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
Sci-Fi Art Now at the Amazon