A Journey of the Imagination

Erik Wernquist, a Swedish computer animator, has produced a remarkably beautiful little film called Wanderers. A labor of love, Wanderers, which refers to the ancient Greek names for planets (wandering stars), imagines humanity’s eventual colonization of the solar system. It resonates nicely at this time when we seem to need as a people to dream bigger dreams. It’s a great companion piece to Interstellar.

The narration is a small piece of Carl Sagan’s book The Pale Blue Dot, where the great astronomy communicator muses on our future explorations of the other worlds that orbit our sun.

Watch it above, but to really get into it, go to Erik’s website and explore the gallery, where he explains each of the scenes he has created. Which is your favorite? I’d be hard pressed to say. I love Mars, so those scenes of course grabbed me, like the one of the space elevator. This sunset image, however, which is based on a actual photograph from one of the Mars rovers, would have to take the prize for the sublime for me:


One of the key roles of hard science fiction is to give form to our collective imagination unfettered by the often grim realities of our particular historical moment. Where can we go? What are we capable of? And refreshingly, Erik’s CGI effects are in service of those noble questions and not just as backdrops for explosions. Erik mentions drawing inspiration from hard sci-fi authors like Arthur C. Clarke and Kim Stanley Robinson among others…I’d like to ask him about those others. Maybe I’ll email him a few questions!


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