In the new year you look back to the past for a moment. And you find that the past looks back at you. This Soviet slide from 1977 predicted to its contemporaries how a little girl would live in 21st-century intergalactic Moscow, Alisa in Wonderland.
In 21st-century Moscow lives a little girl, Alisa. Let us try to fly ahead in time and get to know this little girl. Who knows, perhaps she happens to be the great-great-great-granddaughter of one of you…
Her father is a biologist researching alien beings, her mother designs houses on other planets. And the little girl is an ordinary Moscow girl, who, like everyone else, keeps in her room a dachshund, cats, a hedgehog and a Martian praying mantis, and from Sirius she has received a big-eared shusha, a real living cheburashka, whom she teaches to speak and read in Russian. The most attractive dream for those of us, who at that time – I mean, not in the 21st century, but in 1977 – grew up on Gerald Durrell and Dr. Dolittle – Doktor Aybolit –, had the same desires, and prepared to be exobiologists in the 21st century, if ever such a century would come to be.
Alisa’s father – Professor Seleznev – is the director of the Moscow zoo, where he studies the animals of the Earth and of the cosmos
Yes, something like this...
Nevertheless, if you look back after forty years, in this alternative 21st century it is not the alien animals that are the most interesting, nor even the eighty-storey cities. And not even the great dream which came true with the production of oranges and bananas in the kolkhoz of Podmoskovye (although it would be probably more profitable to deliver it by rocket from Tau Ceti, but nevertheless – it is ours!) But the fact that, despite the astronaut scenery, in daily life nothing has changed, everything goes on as in 1977. Just like in the postcards of a hundred years ago which dreamed about the 2000s, life in the happy time of peace goes on amidst the scenery of Jules Verne. I do not even dare to consider how hopelessly old-fashioned they will find the imagery and lifestyle of Star Wars in the period when that epic takes place.
Perhaps only one thing has really changed: how the scientists look. Instead of the typical thick-necked alcoholic institute leader apparatchiks, the arrogant and servile lecturers of the late Brezhnev era, by the 21st century finally all the scientists have taken on intelligent facial expressions that witness a real interest and proficiency in their subject. And if for no other reason than this, it was worth it to wait for this wonderful twenty-first century.