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Sentury book cover
Great Sci-Fi art books
14 August 2007


There are actually not that many books about Sci-Fi art. Fantasy art seems to be much more popular, especially lately due to the LOTR movies. Looking at my art book shelfs I counted 48 books about Sci-Fi and Fantasy art. They are all very good but some are better than others. Here I will list the ones which I think are excellent. They all have been a source of great inspiration to me.

Let's start with the visual futurist - the legendary concept designer and illustrator Syd Mead. He is probably best known for his Sci-Fi designs done for movies such as Blade Runner, Aliens, 2010, and Tron. His work is simply spectacular! Especially the environment and vehicle designs are phenomenal. I spend countless hours studying his work very closely and with great pleasure. His attention to detail and the ability to illustrate unique designs that flow in beautiful harmony with the environment is matched by few. Unfortunately all of his books are out of print, but you should be able to find used ones on Amazon or eBay. I cannot recommend the following ones highly enough: Sentury, Oblagon, Kronoteko, and Kronovecta. If you are a hard Sci-Fi art buff you'll love them!

The Star Wars art books. I have several of them and I browsed through many more at local book stores. There are primarily two Star Wars artists that I especially like: Ralph McQuarrie and Doug Chiang. Ralph McQuarrie worked on the older Star Wars movies and Doug Chiang on the recent ones. Both artists are fantastic in their own way. Doug for his fresh and new design ideas with incredible attention to detail and Ralph for creating much of the original look and feel of the first three Star Wars movies. The ones I recommend are The Art of Star Wars - Episode 1 and Episode 5 .

Back in the late 80s I had this habit of going to book stores just to look at Sci-Fi and Fantasy book covers. Infact that is how I discovered and became a fan of Chris Moore, a British illustrator particularly known for his Sci-Fi work. He has created cover artwork for books written by many famous science fiction writers. What I especially like about Moore's Sci-Fi artwork are the vivid, beautiful colors and captivating atmosphere. One extra cool thing about Journeyman The Art of Chris Moore is that it contains one long interview with the artist, which can give you many unique insights into the life of a long time Sci-Fi illustrator.

Infinite Worlds - The Fantastic Visions of Science Fiction Art is a compilation of 700 images from some of the best Sci-Fi book and magazine covers. It includes a brief history of the genre, and short biographies of more than 100 artists. Although some respected artists are not included, like Chris Foss, this is possibly the best wide range resource for anybody interested in SciFi art and the artists behind it. There are many hard to find images in this book. Some of the older artists don't have a website or little of their work is on the web. Making this book an even more valuable source on the fantastic worlds of Sci-Fi art.


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