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Infinite Worlds: Fantastic Visions of Science Fiction Art

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Infinite Worlds has a little bit of everything to offer those interested in science fiction art: a brief history of the field, short biographies of more than 100 artists, and 700 images from some of the finest sci-fi book and magazine covers ever created. Author Vincent Di Fate combines all of these elements to create a book that is as enjoyable to read as it is to look th Infinite Worlds has a little bit of everything to offer those interested in science fiction art: a brief history of the field, short biographies of more than 100 artists, and 700 images from some of the finest sci-fi book and magazine covers ever created. Author Vincent Di Fate combines all of these elements to create a book that is as enjoyable to read as it is to look through. It even has a two-page digression on the influence of Stanley Meltzoff's famous painting for Robert A. Heinlein's The Puppet Masters. Whether you're after a coffee-table art book or an encyclopedia of the science fiction world, Infinite Worlds is the book for you.


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Infinite Worlds has a little bit of everything to offer those interested in science fiction art: a brief history of the field, short biographies of more than 100 artists, and 700 images from some of the finest sci-fi book and magazine covers ever created. Author Vincent Di Fate combines all of these elements to create a book that is as enjoyable to read as it is to look th Infinite Worlds has a little bit of everything to offer those interested in science fiction art: a brief history of the field, short biographies of more than 100 artists, and 700 images from some of the finest sci-fi book and magazine covers ever created. Author Vincent Di Fate combines all of these elements to create a book that is as enjoyable to read as it is to look through. It even has a two-page digression on the influence of Stanley Meltzoff's famous painting for Robert A. Heinlein's The Puppet Masters. Whether you're after a coffee-table art book or an encyclopedia of the science fiction world, Infinite Worlds is the book for you.

30 review for Infinite Worlds: Fantastic Visions of Science Fiction Art

  1. 4 out of 5

    Trevor Williams

    This is one book that will always have a home on my shelf. A massive book in size and weight, Infinite Worlds is not only a fascinating collection of science fiction art from the 20th century but also an informative historical work as well. After the forward by Ray Bradbury, the book is split into two parts. The first 1/3 covers the history of science fiction in general alongside the evolution of the art that was commissioned throughout the decades for books, magazines, and film. The way this thi This is one book that will always have a home on my shelf. A massive book in size and weight, Infinite Worlds is not only a fascinating collection of science fiction art from the 20th century but also an informative historical work as well. After the forward by Ray Bradbury, the book is split into two parts. The first 1/3 covers the history of science fiction in general alongside the evolution of the art that was commissioned throughout the decades for books, magazines, and film. The way this third of the book is structured is the only reason I've knocked a star off my final rating. In summary, I feel this part of the book was written with the intention of it being read from start to finish like a novel. However, this isn't a novel. Sadly, there is no easy way to tell which era of science fiction you are reading about unless you get into the individual paragraphs on the pages - there are no headers or sub-headers to break apart this section at all. On a related note, the Table of Contents also reflects this, but for the book as a whole - it's very minimalist in its presentation, making it harder than it should be to find what you are looking for. Yes, there is an index page, but it only lists artists. If you are looking to understand specific eras of science fiction and its artwork, expect to search page by page for your content. With that out of the way, I must state that the history, in terms of its raw content, is very informative and inspirational. This takes us to the last 2/3 of the book - the meat of the book, as it were. Sorted by last name order, over two hundred artists and their select works are presented to you with incredible artistic detail. In some cases there are full-page spreads while in others the artists' work is presented as it was as part of magazine or book covers. It's truly fascinating to me to see such an amazing combination of hand-drawn art alongside the beginnings of digital art - and then to learn all about the artists who created them. Most artists receive two solid paragraphs describing who they are and their contributions to the science fiction world, but a handful definitely got more press than others. That said, I don't feel that detracts from the overall quality that these pictures are presented. My one gripe here is that in many cases, the artwork that is presented may have the artist's name and the publisher, but details on the written work in which the art was used is omitted. If you want to read the work in which a certain picture is presented, the odds are that you won't be able to find it unless you scan the image into your computer and run an image search based on that scan. Or look up the artist online and hope their portfolio is publicly available. Finally - and this is minor in my eyes - this book was published in 1997, over twenty years ago. Obviously there are MANY new artists on the scene that are leaving their marks in the science fiction world, but due to the printed format of this book they aren't represented. Therefore, Infinite Worlds today is best viewed as a history book first since what used to be contemporary artists in it are no longer that in all likelihood. If you want to gain a greater appreciation of the science fiction genre and its art - where it originated, how it evolved over time - Infinite Worlds is an excellent book to have on your shelf.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Lucy

    Fantastic visions indeed. A history of science fiction art and short biographies of many of the important artists with examples of their work, entries ranging from 1 to 4 pages. (Di Fate's profile is written by Murray Tinkleman.) The focus is mostly on book covers and interior art from the magazines, but some movie poster work is also shown. The only drawback is that it was published in 1997 and therefore misses the last 20 years of art and any new artists of that time. And of course some of the Fantastic visions indeed. A history of science fiction art and short biographies of many of the important artists with examples of their work, entries ranging from 1 to 4 pages. (Di Fate's profile is written by Murray Tinkleman.) The focus is mostly on book covers and interior art from the magazines, but some movie poster work is also shown. The only drawback is that it was published in 1997 and therefore misses the last 20 years of art and any new artists of that time. And of course some of the artists profiled have since died or perhaps dropped out of this market. Recommended for anyone who reads science fiction to see who your favorite cover artists are. Also for those who simply like this kind of art even if they don't read the stories. Aside from not being up to date, one thing that bugs me is that on many illustrations the caption gives the title of the work and the publisher, but not the author of the book. Often he does give this, but not always. If the full book cover is shown complete with title & author that's okay, but mostly he shows the original artwork. I know that's what the book is about and I'm all for it, but often I also want to know the book/author. It would take only a few more words. I still give it 5 stars. One small thing I noticed is that he sort of mentions or focuses on Doc Savage, showing cover illustrations from at least 3 different artists. I never read that series, and am wondering if Doc Savage spent all the time in the books with a ripped-to-shreds shirt, as shown in all the pictures presented.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jlawrence

    Stunning collection of science fiction art. Illustrator Vincent Di Fate provides an excellent summary of the history of SF illustration in the introduction and the rest of the book is an alphabetical presentation of selected artists, with short bios and samples of their work. And what glorious work (with a few dud exceptions). There's something about great science fiction art - it can still invoke that childlike sense of wonder, of possibility, of pure this-is-awesome-ness for me in the way few o Stunning collection of science fiction art. Illustrator Vincent Di Fate provides an excellent summary of the history of SF illustration in the introduction and the rest of the book is an alphabetical presentation of selected artists, with short bios and samples of their work. And what glorious work (with a few dud exceptions). There's something about great science fiction art - it can still invoke that childlike sense of wonder, of possibility, of pure this-is-awesome-ness for me in the way few other things can - and this book is full of such inspiring, imaginative work. As a bonus, Ray Bradbury's passionate foreword about the importance of such stuff makes me forgive (or forget) some of his curmudgeonly luddite statements of late.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Julie

    Very cool gallery of sci-fi (and a little bit of fantasy) artwork from artists from the late 1800s into the late 20th century (it was written in the late '90s). There are writeups on each artist and examples of their work. These are some incredibly talented people and I'm glad we've had them out there in the world to inspire us and ignite our imaginations. Very cool gallery of sci-fi (and a little bit of fantasy) artwork from artists from the late 1800s into the late 20th century (it was written in the late '90s). There are writeups on each artist and examples of their work. These are some incredibly talented people and I'm glad we've had them out there in the world to inspire us and ignite our imaginations.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Brian Bowes

    What a wonderful journey into the fantastic world of Sci-Fi Illustration, a sort of catalog of past visionaries of the future. It's like walking into an old friend that you've just met. What a wonderful journey into the fantastic world of Sci-Fi Illustration, a sort of catalog of past visionaries of the future. It's like walking into an old friend that you've just met.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Ian Massey

    The current lockdown is giving me an opportunity to read books that have sat untouched on my shelves for years - in the case of this one, almost since it was published. Although I have previously flicked through it, I have never before taken the time to read it or look at the various reproduced artworks thoroughly. (Indeed, some may say I still haven't looked closely enough to fully digest the art.) It is, perhaps, not a book to read from cover to cover as it can be, at times, repetitive in some The current lockdown is giving me an opportunity to read books that have sat untouched on my shelves for years - in the case of this one, almost since it was published. Although I have previously flicked through it, I have never before taken the time to read it or look at the various reproduced artworks thoroughly. (Indeed, some may say I still haven't looked closely enough to fully digest the art.) It is, perhaps, not a book to read from cover to cover as it can be, at times, repetitive in some details, both in the excellent 100 page essay on the history of SF art and artists, but also in the biographies that accompany the "gallery" section (I lost count of how many times something along the lines of "this was the first magazine devoted to SF" was written). But that's not why it loses a star in my opinion, nor is the non-inclusion (explained in the text) of art by Chris Foss, a personal favourite of mine. Rather it us the seemingly random nature in which book-cover art is detailed, varying from simply saying that a picture was a cover, to listing the title, publisher, author and date, with every variation in between. I got tired of liking a piece which was listed as being the cover of a book only to have to break off to research who wrote said book. Also, I found the forward by Ray Bradbury to be very heavy work, compared to the rest of the text. The art itself, to this fan, is variable - I'm sure each piece has it's merits and historical significance, but I'm not, in general, a fan of the surreal pieces, many of which leave me cold. Still, there is enough variation to keep me happy and I will no doubt be flicking through this book again.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Steve Joyce

    I just finished re-reading* this wonderful book. I'm sure that it is now slightly dated but I recall at the time there was only one important science fiction artist (to my mind, anyway) that did not have an entry. That would be Rick Sternbach and to this day I'm not sure why he would be excluded. However, the volume is otherwise pretty much as complete and thorough as could be. Haven't kept up with s.f. art like I once did, but I was tickled to see a number of artists included for whom I have a p I just finished re-reading* this wonderful book. I'm sure that it is now slightly dated but I recall at the time there was only one important science fiction artist (to my mind, anyway) that did not have an entry. That would be Rick Sternbach and to this day I'm not sure why he would be excluded. However, the volume is otherwise pretty much as complete and thorough as could be. Haven't kept up with s.f. art like I once did, but I was tickled to see a number of artists included for whom I have a piece of two in my humble collection. That's includes Janny Wurts. Her write-up includes a final version of her Firestorm painting. Doubly ticked on that one since I have a prelim painting of it. * Well, does one really "read" a book like this? Mainly, I savored the pretty pictures!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Mike

  9. 4 out of 5

    Rhiannon Boyle

  10. 4 out of 5

    Greg Carter

  11. 4 out of 5

    B22091

  12. 4 out of 5

    Mark R. Katlic, M.D.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Gud.Spelar.Too

  14. 5 out of 5

    Eugene booker

  15. 5 out of 5

    Tony

  16. 4 out of 5

    Mark

  17. 4 out of 5

    Mark Schomburg

  18. 4 out of 5

    Alexis R Ogdie

  19. 4 out of 5

    Rich

  20. 4 out of 5

    John Walsh

  21. 5 out of 5

    Crystal

  22. 4 out of 5

    Paul

  23. 4 out of 5

    Bobby Hitt

  24. 5 out of 5

    Kevin Knutson

  25. 4 out of 5

    Paul

  26. 4 out of 5

    Bill

  27. 5 out of 5

    Shane

  28. 4 out of 5

    ✨ Elvira ✨

  29. 4 out of 5

    Michael O'Donnell

  30. 5 out of 5

    John

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