There is of course a written literature that predates and underlies all these movies, which could hardly have found their form without the help of H.P. Lovecraft and Arthur C. Clarke and Philip K. Dick (not to mention the foundational assistance of H.G. Wells and Olaf Stapledon). There is even an epic poem, Harry Martinson’s Aniara, an absurdist vision of life aboard a rocket ship permanently lost in space, that in 1958 was turned into a twelve-tone opera by Karl-Birger Blomdahl. But it is in the form of movies that this mythology becomes part of the furniture of our world, to which we turn as one might to a prayer rug or a Ouija board, in an effort to make contact with the unknowable. It’s where the Romantic Sublime went to die.

The Sublime Horrors of Ridley Scott by Geoffrey O’Brien | NYRblog | The New York Review of Books. David Lindsay’s A Voyage to Arcturus should be mentioned in this context too.