Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The Art of Space

Growing up, most of my impressions of what space looked like came from the art on the cover of sci-fi paperbacks. This was the work of illustrators, individuals whose job it was to interpret the concepts presented inside. Movies tried to do the same but very few could capture the imagination the way one good interplanetary landscape could; the mystery of multiple suns and moons, space stations the size of continents, and colonies of people living in universes that seemed to defy gravity. 

This is what The Art of Space is all about.

Let's take a look, shall we? This is from Ron Miller himself:

How about this one? One of my favorites from Robert McCall:
Or maybe this fish eye view of Daphnis, a tiny moon of Saturn, from Don Davis:

From Jules Verne to the present, as artists have brought these images to light, this collection highlights some of the best of best. Not just book covers, but concept illustrations, images based on the best science available, some by artists who were also trained as space scientists. A large number of these images were done specifically for the space program, to illustrate what some needed to see to better understand.

Miller, a Hugo Award-winning author and artist, presents over 350 illustrations divided into five chapters: Planets and Moons, Stars and Galaxies, Spaceships and Space Stations, Space Colonies and Cities, and Aliens.With everything from early pen and ink drawings to paintings to computer-generated galaxies, this collection is a feast for the artist, the reader, the scientist, and the dreamer. I couldn't say for certain (no time machines... yet!) but if The Art of Space had been dropped into my lap as a teen I wonder if it wouldn't have changed my future.

The Art of Space
The History of Space Art, From the Earliest Visions to the Graphics of the Modern Era
by Ron Miller
Zenith Press 2014

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