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Barlowe's Guide to Extraterrestrials: Great Aliens from Science Fiction Literature Paperback – January 11, 1987

4.8 out of 5 stars 47 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Any science fiction reader would enjoy receiving this as a gift." (Science Fiction Chronicle)

From the Back Cover

The extraterrestrials are here. One man has seen them.

In his classic guide, Wayne Douglas Barlow's brilliant portraits bring to life 50 aliens from science fiction literature: Larry Niven's Thrint and his Puppeteer, Arthur C. Clarke's Overlord, Frank Herbert's Steersman, Robert Silverberg's Sulidor and more. Humanoids, insectoids, reptillians-even protoplasmic, gaseous and crystalline life forms-are all faithfully and naturalistically depicted so that you can now visualize what could only before be imagined.

Plus a special section taken directly from the artist's personal sketchbook, featuring renderings, notes and locomotive studies.

"Barlowe awes me. It's a breathtaking job of extending the author's vision . . ."-from the foreword by Robert Silverberg

"The illustrated field guide to extraterrestrials that every lover of science fiction must have."-The Brothers Hildebrandt

"Any science fiction reader would enjoy receiving this as a gift.-Science Fiction Chronicle

"Remarkable . . . The artist's imagination proves fully equal to the reader's own mental picture of these varied denizens."-ALA Booklist

A Hugo Award Nominee

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Workman Publishing Company; 2 edition (January 11, 1987)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0894803247
  • ISBN-13: 978-0894803246
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.4 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #629,284 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By L. Troy Beals on August 18, 2000
Format: Paperback
The premise of this book is: The authors have taken various characters from various science fiction works and have visualy recreated them and write about some of their culture from what is in the books. This is one of the best Science Fiction art books I've ever read!!! and if you've read some of the books that these aliens are recreated from it's even better!!!! Colorful pictures, explanations, and even a couple of pages showing the comparative sizes of each of the aliens!!!!
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Format: Paperback
_Wayne Barlowe's Guide to Extraterrestrials_ is my 12 year old son/fantasy/scfi fanatic's favorite book. It is dog-eared from so much love, reading, studying and attention. This is no kid's book, though--these are the wunderkind's Wayne Barlowe's illustrations that have appeared in many famous scfi books. Each alien has a full bio-ethnographic description, bring each to life.
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Format: Paperback
I do want to say starting off that (1) I got this because, being a Sci-Fi fan into artsy books, this was a hole in my collection; (2) I have been a fan of Barlowe's art since I found a used-but-impeccable copy of EXPEDITION a few years back; and (3) overall, this book did not dissapoint.
The book seems (at least on the surface) to be a well-researched compendium of aliens renedered in paint fit to augment the fertile imaginations of readers everywhere. The aliens are mainly from books and short stories that I'm not familiar with (not surprising since this was published originally when I was aproximately 5 years old), but there is enough info about them included to make it not just pictures of things I don't know what they are.
I personally felt that the best part was the sketchbook drawings in the back. I would adore to see the Thype project finally completed. And I think that some of the sketches of the aliens are superior to the finished paintings, an opinion that I realize many readers may not share.
But my big beef with the book is based on the Guild Steersman. If you read the Dune books with any care you can figure out that steersmen are mutated humans. They are not at all in this book like they are portrayed in the novels and some of the facts here are quite wrong. That the steersmen are not aliens of an unknown planet but humans who are mutated by spice overexposure is used as a plot point in one of the Dune prequels and the fact is presumably taken either from Herbert's notes or the inferences from the original novels.
Now this in itself would not usually lead me to give a book a mediocre review.
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Excellent, and nostalgic book from my childhood. The illustrations are magnificent and supplied me with endless dreams of exotic worlds and their inhabitants.

Other masterpieces of this genera (which I own) include 'Space Wars Worlds and Weapons' Space Wars: Worlds & Weapons and the incomparable 'Spacecraft, 2000-2100 A.D.: Terran Trade Authority Handbook' Spacecraft, 2000-2100 A.D.: Terran Trade Authority Handbook.

Enjoy!
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I had originally purchased this book by Wayne Douglas Barlowe in 1988 and thoroughly enjoyed the artwork and descriptions of the extraterrestrials. For a fictional guide to beings, it is detailed and believable. I wish Mr. Barlowe would make an updated or new publication with art and descriptions of science fiction entities that have been written about since the original 1979 release.

I was extremely happy to be able to find a copy of the book on Amazon after losing my original copy of the book years ago. I highly recommend this book to lovers of science fiction and art.
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Format: Paperback
A book on great alien races from science fiction. Classic fiction to boot. Most of us know about the Overlords from 'Childhood's End', the Puppeteers from 'Ringworld', the Guild Steersman from 'Dune' and even the Old Ones from 'At the Mountains of Madness'. But do you remember the Thrint from 'World of Ptavvs', the Cinruss from 'Hospital Station', or the Cygnan from 'The Jupiter Theft'?
A great source of information on alien races with full color pictures, lots of data on history, culture and habitat BUT also a great source for finding classic stories you never heard of!
Do you know the Pnume, Salaman, Triped or Merseian? Well, get this book and found out who they are!
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I read this book when I was younger and have wanted it ever since. To see creatures that you can only imagine makes me so happy. That being said in my imagination some of them look a bit different, but brass tacks.
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One of my favorite books in my collection. It is a great overview of my great aliens in Scifi. The art is fantastic and it really goes into a good amount of detail to make you want to read the stories that the aliens are from.
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