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REVIEWS: BOOKS, COMICS, FILMS AND MUSIC


 
 

BOOK REVIEW: SCI-FI ART NOW - John Freeman


 

First of all, Sci-Fi Art Now is impressive in terms of its production. It's is quite large and heavy, printed in full colour on high quality paper. I was always fond of the big books. For me, this kind of book gives me the chance to enjoy some fine sci-fi images in the comfort of my couch, rather than crouched on a chair in front of the monitor. 
After going through the book a couple of times, at first I wanted to pick out a selection of a few images  that made the strongest impression on me. I figured it would be about half a dozen of them, and it would be easy to list them in this review, but searching through the book, the initial number of especially well rendered artwork grew to a dozen images, then two dozen, then three ... In short, too many to be listed in here! So my little plan was abandoned. 
To be honest, I wasn't thrilled with all the images. There were many, although technically almost perfectly rendered, that reminded me of the stuff I've seen so many times in some very familiar sci-fi movies, books or comics. Those that hold the cult status. There was an overall notion of, perhaps, too extensive use of the dark colours in too many images, provoking a kind of depressing atmosphere. I have grown to resent that in the modern CGI-rich movies as well. We need more optimism and bright colours to represent the future. (I'm thinking of Avatar here). 
But back to the positive things about the book. I really enjoyed the variety of styles and themes. From realist Flash Gordon-like paintings to digitally colored cartoon illustrations, there's certainly something in the book for every taste. The chapters are conceived with a true sense for sci-fi genre and the captions with the comments of the authors themselves is a great concept. 
What's missing, in my opinion, is more strange, alien worlds, more robots and maybe much more of the retro-future stuff. Perhaps we'll see those in a a second volume profiling modern sci-fi artists world? In the meantime, if you're a true sci-fi fan, you simply must have a copy of this lavishly illustrated book laying on your coffee table.

More on the book at John Freeman's blog

Buy Sci-Fi Art Now at the Amazon
 

 

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