I have to thank Cory Doctorow of Boing Boing for posting a link to the L5 Society web site, which features many gorgeous paintings of space stations taken, I think, from Gerard K. O’Neill’s Colonies in Space. I spent many hours poring over and daydreaming about this book when I was a kid, and these paintings are practically vistas of my childhood home for me. Still, the descriptions of these space stations have become rather sad and quaint now. It’s almost ridiculous to think of building these things–enormous rotating structures capable of housing tens of thousands of people–but at one point, it must have seemed like an inevitable waypoint along the trajectory of space exploration. Too bad our dreams of space are so much more limited now. I would still be one of the first to sign up for a spot living on a space station like these, where the landscape curves up and over your head, where enormous space mirrors reflect the sunlight onto manicured lawns and gently flowing artificial streams.