It’s that time again: we go into the British Museum’s public domain Flickr page, pick out an image that strikes us, and ask you to explain what happened. Today’s case: The terrified cat.
When your planet is nothing but interlocked nodes, every day is planet maintenance day.
Does this image depict another planet’s largest metropolis, where intergalactic commuters buzz in every morning from their homes on nearby planets or suburban moons? Or is this the Earth of the future, where the skies have become more convenient for travel than the car-choked highways of the past?
It creeps through the ... air? Rather than under your bed? Regardless, it’s a terrifying thing to be following you around.
Some days, man, the life of two hard-boiled private eyes—one of whom happens to be a robot—requires a drive out into the desert to rest.
When the giant sea beasts beach themselves, everyone scavenges whatever they can—meat, teeth, skin. And the remaining carcass becomes shelter.
When it emerged, no one knew what it was and where it came from. And when people started to disappear, all anyone wished for was that it went back to where it came from.
And when they bleed, the resulting blood pool becomes a portal to the underworld. Full art below.
In a lush field, there’s a most unusual aquarium—occupied by whales and smaller fish, who swim in circles waiting for unknown visitors. Who built this contraption, and where did the whales come from? Who comes to visit? And are those phone booths in the background—or portals to other, even stranger, exhibits?
Our ancient cities are defined by their defensive stone walls and bell towers announcing the city square. In the future, transport rings and laser bows keep us safe.
A destroyed train displaying a tattered flag forms a gateway to a brighter land located further down the tracks. Are the taller figures some sort of futuristic miliary, cobbled together to police the post-apocalypse? Are they merely collecting a toll, or giving helpful directions?
The Sky Kings peer down at the horseman who has come ... to seek their advice? Their blessing? To bring them news that rather irritates them? Or is this a chance enounter, a stunning moment of happenstance for this lonely cowboy? Or perhaps he is a fellow Sky King, wearing an earthly disguise?
Halfway across a bridge spanning a deep ravine in a darkened forest, a young woman sets down her lantern and pauses to take in the glowing view. Who is she, where has she been, and where is she going?
Hidden for centuries, an ancient dragon bursts forth, with only the tree roots that’ve grown around its skeleton keeping it from taking flight. What brought this mighty mythical creature back to life? What will happen next? And what, exactly, are the reactions of those two human figures at the left?
Concept artists — Want your work featured on io9 for the concept art writing prompt? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Concept art writing prompt.” Thanks!
Under a full moon, the demons gather in a circle. They dance until a mysteroius power lifts them off the ground, and they float above us all. What do you think is happening in this picture? And what happens to the people who encounter these demons?
Come, tell us tales about the invasion of the seven-foot tall aliens with a single weak spot right in the center of its forehead. And the single-use weapon we made to kill it.
It’s a folktale that’s been reworked and re-told for centuries. Disney’s making it into an animated film slated for next year (the live-action version is scheduled for two years after that). The monk, caught in a life of contemplation, hears a sound in the kitchen. Grabbing a spoon for protection, he encounters a…
Do you remember when the Moon was conquered in 1889 and, to cement their victory, a number of giant dishes were erected?
The British Library has used its flickr page to upload over a million obscure images that have passed into the public domain. It is an amazing collection, and I’m going to be featuring a bunch of them in the coming weeks.