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Spacebase 2000 Hardcover – 1984

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 5 reviews
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
A very interesting sf art book with a story for good measure 25 April 1999
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
Have you ever wished the science fiction story you just read lived up to itslavish airbrushed cover? Space base 2000 is a work of fiction based entirely around the sub-genre of SF/Fantasy art, the airbrushed space ship picture.
Now out of print, Space base 2000 was a very rare and strange book. I haven't seen anything quite like it since. Essentially it was a science fiction art book. However it attempted to be more. The art is mainly of the airbrushed spaceship genre and is by many varied artists. What makes this book stand out from the other myriad airbrush F&SF artbooks from the late 70's early 80's is the attempt to create a universe around the various illustrations. Each oversize double page spread contains a full colour image and a detailed chunk of prose expounding on the illustration. Not only are the craft detailed, but background to the action depicted is offered. A detailed and interesting universe is dished out in indirect chunks. We learn about an intestellar war, what people do for recreation. How they get about and other details of this fictional future.
The art in the book continues through out, however the tech specs and essays give way to an SF novella to which the images become illustration. The novella's plot is as far as I can remember (and it's been a long time since this book was in my possession) is typical space opera. By itself it probably wouldn't stand all too well, but seeing as it is only half the book and the other half is being told by the pictures it is more than satisfactory.
Much of the art is taken from the covers of pulp 70's SF novels. However most of it is very competently drawn and coloured. Definately the best examples of the genre.
The fact that the book is oversized means that the pictures are shown in great clarity. The book is also commendably thick with many pages of art.
The fact that this book is not associated with any kind of long running SF franchise (starwars / trek) lends it an extremely refreshing air and the book has a very creative and interesting feel to it.
It's a forgotten work of science fiction that deserves credit for attempting something I've never seen done before or since. For fans of SF art work it is a work that should be sought out. For SF fans it is certainly a curiousity to be aware of.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Cult Classic Sci-Fi 10 Nov. 2010
By Fr. Seraphim - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a compilation of two books: "Spacecraft 2000-2100 A.D." by Stewart Cowley and "Great Space Battles," also by Cowley and co-written with Charles Herridge. This edition was published in 1984.

Cowley noticed in the 1970's that there was a lot of very good Sci-Fi art going to waste in pulp magazines and occasional paperback novel covers that he thought a better use could be made of. The end result was a book that was a futuristic book comparable to "Jane's Fighting Ships," and similar titles, telling about a space ship and its history and development with one or more pictures to illustrate it. The sales were so good that the publisher asked Cowley to create another, which became "Great Space Battles," a collection of 'histories' of interstellar wars and battles with alien lifeforms - sentient and not - and even with other humans.

The extensive art is still evocative more than 30 years after its creation. Some of it appears like some of the conceptual art appearing today in science articles about spcae travel, and others have a more dated appearance, but all of it is beautiful and well-chosen.

I first discovered "Great Space Battles" in a library as a child. I loved it so much that I checked it out repeatedly and actually wore the cover off the book and was forced to pay the library for its replacement. The stories were, to me, stories of the human spirit, but not always the hero-always-wins sort. All in all, these two books are well written and in many ways timeless, and they enjoy a global cult following today.

I highly recommend this title to any serious Sci-Fi reader, but especially to those who enjoy Sci-Fi art and paintings as well.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Love love love the old school sci fi art 29 April 2011
By Stop Motion Maniac - Published on
Format: Paperback
I cannot comment on the text as I have not read the content. I am mostly referring to the artwork within as that is my primary intention in purchasing these older titles. I love the old school artwork in these Stewart Cowley titles. There isn't any CGI...this is brush to canvas artwork. I'm always on the hunt for books to spur the imagination and creativity in regard to environments/architecture etc. and this one does not disappoint.
An excitingly new look at SF 23 Nov. 1999
By Chris M. - Published on
Format: Paperback
I found this book to be a refreshing reprise from the tipical space opera of most SF writers. The book is written in 3rd person point of view which I found interesting to read. I also enjoyed the artwork and the many small descriptive stories following each one. The author writes a lavish description of future societies and wraps it all together with superb artwork.
Five Stars 16 Feb. 2015
By Micah Bishop - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Great memories from when I was a kid!
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