21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Chris Foss. Sci-fi Art Master
Published on 7 Sep 2011 by Parka
1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Expected a bit more
I grew up like many others reading SF books with Chris Foss artwork. This volume has excellent quality reproduction plates of his artwork and as such would normally make it a 'must have' book for SF fans. I guess I also wanted to know a little more about the artist and some background as to his creative ideas plus some narrative on each of his works.
Published 13 months ago by Ian Paul
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Chris Foss. Sci-fi Art Master,
This review is from: Hardware: The Definitive SF Works of Chris Foss (Hardcover)
I managed to get this book from Amazon UK as it was released earlier there.
This book is an amazing value for money. It's a rather large art book and it's filled with all these wonderful art from Chris Foss, mainly from the 70s and 80s. Each page typically has around 1 to 4 illustrations and there are a total of 240 pages. That's a lot of work!
Chris Foss is an incredible sci-fi artist. There's a sense of realism that comes not just from how his works are painted, but also from the designs. For the ones that are printed full page, you can really check out the details that are put in. All are fully coloured and there are some line sketches as well.
There are lots of variety of spacecrafts featured, space stations, alien landscapes and cities, a few robots, some ships and planes. Chris Foss certainly made space more colourful with his colourful spacecrafts. Many of these work have appeared on sci-fi novels, and have also inspired sci-fi film designs.
It will take a while to go through this wonderful collection.
Highly recommended if you're into sci-fi art.
You can also check out more work at Chris Foss' website.
(There are more pictures of the book on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Sci-fi Artists Artist,
This review is from: Hardware: The Definitive SF Works of Chris Foss (Hardcover)My first encounters with the work of Chris Foss were filled with mixed emotions. Thrilled by the superb artwork upon the cover of various books I would buy titles only to find that the stories themselves were often horribly outdated & released with amazing artwork that hid the dull contents within.
Older & wiser I may avoid many of those titles of dubious content but I remain thrilled by Foss's work.
The true greats in sci-fi & fantasy art have always managed to balance a peek into the future with a timeless quality that means their work remains fresh forever.
There can surely be few people who haven't seen the imperious spacecraft that are the trademark of this superbly talented artist. For me what keeps me glued to the images is the sense that these are vehicles fit for gods to arrive in. The intricate detail, eye catching colours & ground breaking design all play second fiddle to the sheer size and fearsome power he imbues into them.
The publishers, Titan, have a well deserved reputation for quality at very reasonable prices for their publications & this title keeps that reputation in tact. The glossy hardcovers are eye catching & help keep costs down by making the need for a dust jacket redundant. The paper is heavy & the colours bright & deep. The font is called 'range' & is suitably sci-fi but easily read. The 2 page intro by Rian Hughes is well worth a read but the real pleasures are the interview by Imogene Foss which gives a fine insight & mini biography. For the artists then surely the Jean Giraud intro. is the high point with an artists view. The Alejandro Jodorowsky page, (Foss did some prelim. artwork for a failed 'Dune' movie project), is brief but a welcome addition.
Then it's on to the artwork in earnest. 220 pages of eye blistering, mind expanding & imagination pumping brilliance. The commentary is limited to a bold type title/project with brief content description & date printed on the pages outer edge & not interfering with the work. The only small downside of the whole book is that it can be a bit baffling matching the description with the right work on a busy page.. It really is all about the art & the variety & quality on show here is staggering. Full page illustrations abound & there are a fair few double page spreads too. The multi-image pages are well chosen & I really feel that there is just about as little quality v quantity compromise as you could possible hope for.
The robots, the seascapes, aliens & most of all spacecraft of Chris Foss are ageless & objects of terrible beauty. A quick flick of this book nearly always seems to be turned into yet another hour gone by in the company of a true genius.
I find myself swept back to those days of my early teens when I first really fell in love with all things sci-fi & yet, unlike so much else I once felt cutting edge, this huge collection retains a sharp & edgy quality that refuses to age.
This is not just for those into sci-fi but rather anyone with a love of art will be thrilled by this stunning work.
A collection of timeless classics from a true master of the genre.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If Chris Foss excites you, you need this book.,
This review is from: Hardware: The Definitive SF Works of Chris Foss (Hardcover)As a boy I had the "21st Century Foss" book. I don't recall how or where I got it, but I do recall the book quite vividly.
It was one of my favourite books - the sense of scale, the detail, the wonderful designs. Or, in some cases, non-designs - things built from scavenged parts, cobbled together yet somehow working.
That book, sadly, was not treated as well as it could have been. Filled with larger versions of book covers we thrilled to, I shared it with friends - it went to and from school in various bags, and it didn't really survive that well.
I've always wanted to replace that book. But luckily, this book is here now. And it's bigger, it's better printed, and well bound.
The book is well organised and fairly comprehensive, with all the famous works that you expect. It also has sketches from Foss' work on films, and plenty of text up front with details of his career and artistic development.
So it's a good book.
But if, like everyone else commenting here, you first saw Chris Foss' works on the cover of a novel and were electrified by them - immediately attracted and intrigued by them - then this is a great book.
This is the book you want.
And that is all you need to know.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent reference work,
This review is from: Hardware: The Definitive SF Works of Chris Foss (Hardcover)This is a superb book for all Foss fans and anyone who likes SF art. This book brings together work from his two previous books - 21st Century Foss & Diary of a Space Person - with some old work from his early days that has rarely been seen and some new work too. By reading the captions to the images you get to realise the diversity of fields his work has been used in - not just book covers, but also films, record covers, jigsaws, calendars, advertising and magazines (ranging from Men Only to National Geographic).
The quality of the book is very good indeed - the paper is a relatively heavy gauge and the colour reproduction is excellent; it is a large and heavy tome and is a must-have for all Foss fans.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Breath-takingly good SF art,
This review is from: Hardware: The Definitive SF Works of Chris Foss (Hardcover)If you have read any good Science Fiction then the odds are that you have also seen a paperback cover illustrated by Chris Foss, and perhaps even studied the seemingly infinite depth of detail in the machines, buildings, ships, starscapes, alien terrain... His imagination is boundless and matched only by his skill and care lavished on the paintings and drawings. He is widely acknowledged to have set new standards in how to present an idea with perspective, scale, form and detail, and many have since copied his style and techniques, but Foss is still producing work and still setting the benchmark for excellence.
The print quality of the images in this (larger than A4) coffee-table book is excellent. The scans are sufficiently detailed that I borrowed reading glasses and a magnifying glass to see better some of the finer aspects in several of the pictures. Apparently some of them have been rescued and restored, but I was not able to find anything untoward, and they compare very favourably with the hundreds of old paperback covers fading away on my bookshelves.
This volume has only a few pages of text.
Rian Hughes outlines why and how he came to be able to collect together such a wide range of high quality scans of Foss's art, when most of the originals (being ephemeral and usually only intended for a publisher to photograph and discard) have been discarded or lost.
Foss's interview with Imogene Foss gives us a good insight into his background and life and why he is driven to produce the superb art.
Jean Giruad's Dune Recollections talks about his time working with Foss on Dune, with a revealing anecdote on how Foss's mind works.
Alejandro Jodorowsky also worked with Foss on Dune and so admired Foss's creativity that he wrote the introduction to 21st century Foss, which he reprises and updates here.
The rest of the book is crammed full with Foss's work, ranging from locomotives to spaceships from animals to people, from impossibly gigantic and battered machines to the delicate beauty of the female form, anything that a commercial artist might be asked to do, but all endowed with the unmistakeable style and flair of Chris Foss. Some of the images are only a few inches across, whereas others are double page (ie slightly bigger than A3) spreads. All are worthy of inclusion.
I have only one niggle, there is no index or contents list to help us find specific illustrations. Fortunately each image does have next to it the bare bones of title, author, publisher and date.
For me, an SF enthusiast, there are going to be many more happy hours browsing through this treasure trove of fantastic imagery.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful trip down memory lane,
This review is from: Hardware: The Definitive SF Works of Chris Foss (Hardcover)Back in the 60s/70s I avidly read Sci Fi and one of my most cherished memories were the brilliant jacket illustrations by Chris Foss and several other very talented artists. Unfortunately book cover art has had a poor rap in the art world and seldom gets the recognition it deserves. Hopefully this tremendous book will do a little to redress the balance. The layout is excellent and so too is the colour reproduction. I would say to anyone who loves SciFi go out and buy this book you won't be disappointed. All we now need is a similar compendium of messrs Bruce Pennington and Eddie Jones et al.........
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars FOSS THE GREAT,
This review is from: Hardware: The Definitive SF Works of Chris Foss (Hardcover)There is very little that I can say about this artist. I have for years seen his art everywhere and have never tired of it; that is to say that I have always longed to see more and now I know that he is even better than I thought. Now that I have got that out of the way this, is a must have book for any fantasy/Sci-Fi budding artist or otherwise: this is a master at work and make no mistake about it.
Ernust Iunius Felix.
5.0 out of 5 stars Gods Themselves,
This review is from: Hardware: The Definitive SF Works of Chris Foss (Hardcover)This is the definitive work on Chris Foss and his tantalising skills, about which superlatives seem inadequate. I bought it for my nephew's Christmas present, but in truth, I am wondering about getting another! It's larger and thicker than the previous work "Dragon's Dream" and surpasses it on every level: the colour `plates' reminiscent of the original `Eagle' annual have a majestic, deep, rich and vivid quality that gives life to the artwork of arguably the best SF artist. It contains more Foss artwork than one's mind can compass and some breathtaking double pages of some of his finest work including my all time favourite SF image on page 130/131.
Given our somewhat overcrowded world that is supporting, I wonder, just about as many humans as it can: I suspect that mankind's continued existence will depend on spaceships with faster than light drive. Though I cannot see this breakthrough occurring in my lifetime I wonder if when men do journey beyond Saturn's rings to distant colonies in far flung planets, orbiting unimagined stars, whether any of those men will know of Chris Foss whose inventive mind has seen and given life to some of those things they will view and the technology they'll have used to get there! Wonderful.
5.0 out of 5 stars Hardware: The Definitive Works of Chris Foss,
This review is from: Hardware: The Definitive SF Works of Chris Foss (Hardcover)This is a real find for me and anyone who remembers the covers of old sci fi paperbacks. My dad had hundreds of them years ago, I remember them vividly and they are all in here. Along with all the classica are hundreds of early works and undiscovered gems, I never knew he did studies for Alien for instance, making this a true treasure trove of top quality art. It's a good size too.
Lots of beautiful full page and double page plates and a good lump of text at the beginning that is worth reading.
A great book at a great price. Buy it. You will not be disappointed.
4.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic images,
This review is from: Hardware: The Definitive SF Works of Chris Foss (Hardcover)Chris Foss's incredible images led to be reading some truly awful sci-fi books 30 years ago. But I have forgiven him. The images in the book are great. Sadly the book was let down a bit by poor printing. I had to use a sharp knife to separate 5 or 6 pages. Perhaps I was just unlucky.
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Hardware: The Definitive SF Works of Chris Foss by Rian Hughes (Hardcover - 22 July 2011)