Monday, 13 May 2013

VISIONS OF THE FUTURE: AN EXCITING AND NOVEL SELECTION OF SCIENCE FICTION ART OF TODAY


It's books like this that make me wish I had an A3 scanner. Actually, I do own one, but it's old (Windows 95/98) and only has a SCSI cable, which I don't think any of my PCs have had since 2005. Anyway... this is a large format paperback book published in 1976 featuring content previously featured either in New English Library's Science Fiction Monthly (an A3 sized poster magazine that run from the mid to late 1970s), or the covers of NEL's line of SF paperbacks. Artists featured include Brent Armstrong, Jim Burns, Gary Chalk, Gareth Colman, Lucinda Cowell, Gordon C. Davies, Roger Dean, Emlyn Duffy, Ray Feibush, Chris Foss, C. Foster, Bob Fowke, Bob Haberfield, David Hardy, G. W. Harrison, Colin Hay, David Higgins, P. Jepson, Josh Kirby, Bob Layzell, Mike Little, Brigid Marlin, Ian Miller, Kristine Nason, Michael Payne, David Pelham, Bruce Pennington, Time White and Chris Yates. There is a little biographical info on each, ranging from a line (date of birth, country) to whole pages. There's also an introduction by A. E. van Vogt.

The back cover, featuring the work of Karel Thole, who is not in the book, unfortunately. 
Rear-cover guff: 
"These imaginative visions of the future have all been culled from the pages of Science Fiction Monthly, Britain's top-selling sf colour magazine. They represent the work of established illustrators like David Pelham, Roger Dean, Bruce Pennington, David Hardy and Chris Yates and also the best of the new sf artists who have been featured over the past two years. Their range of interpretation and expression is quite exceptional - from the mysteriously innocent idylls of Bob Fowke, through the meticulously detailed space hardware of Chris Foss to the bizarre worlds of Ray Feibush. Like all good artists, they challenge us to think twice about our assumptions - whether the world of two hundred (or two million) years from now will be the technological heaven the scientists have promised, or whether it will be a nightmarish landscape in which we and our values have been hopelessly lost to the superiority of other civilizations 'out there'. As A.E. van Vogt says in his introduction, these pictures represent 'a new and remarkable. . .contribution to the slowly shifting balance of the human psyche as it once more tries to confront reality.' Through the airbrush and the photo-collage these artists tell us about ourselves and our place in the universe. At the same time they give us much of the fun of sf it has come down from the world of pulp fiction - bug-eyed monsters, rayguns, gigantic space battleships and fantastic planets. Their approach is wide-ranging and open, as it should be in tackling a world which looms nearer every day."

"Beyond Bedlam" by Jim Burns.

Painting for "Early Asimov 3" by Chris Foss.

Painting (detail) for Hughes Cooper's "Sexmax" by C. Foster.

"Purple Gas" by David Higgins.

"Invasion" (detail) by Bob Layzell.

"The Rat Catcher" by Ian Miller.

Painting (detail) by Bruce Pennington for M. John Harrison's "The Pastel City".
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