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The Chesley Awards for Science Fiction and Fantasy Art: A Retrospective Hardcover – October 1, 2003

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Like many other professional fellowships, the Association of Science Fiction and Fantasy Artists (ASFA) gives out best-of-the-year awards in several categories. At first, they were called the ASFA Awards, but the year after their first bestowal, Chesley Bonestell (1888-1986) died. When next awarded in 1987, they were renamed in honor of that artist, whose breathtaking, realistic paintings of space exploration (see Ron Miller's Art of Chesley Bonestell, 2001) inspired plenty of artists as well as future astronauts. This album showcases most of the Chesley winners through 2002, including, most importantly, perhaps, small portfolios of the overall Achievement Award winners' work. This strain of illustrative art--most of it done for books and magazines--represents the last and, fortunately, probably permanent stand of romantic realism. In it, color is rich and luscious, lineation is varied and intricate, masses are bold and tactile, composition and perspective are dramatic and imposing. It descends from eighteenth-century history painting, through Ingres and Delacroix and the Hudson River Valley and Brandywine schools of American painters. It aims to stun, rarely fails, and at the hands of the latest Achievement Award winner, Donato Giancola, it just gets more stunning. No collection with sf and fantasy in it should make do without it. Ray Olson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Artist's and Photographers' Press Ltd (October 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1904332102
  • ISBN-13: 978-1904332107
  • Product Dimensions: 11.5 x 9.7 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.9 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,179,619 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

John Grant is the author of more than seventy books, including the critically acclaimed Discarded Science, Corrupted Science, and Bogus Science. In addition to his popular science writing, Grant is a prolific science fiction and fantasy writer. He has won two Hugo Awards, the World Fantasy Award, the Locus Award, and a number of other international literary awards. He coedited with John Clute The Encyclopedia of Fantasy and wrote all three editions of The Encyclopedia of Walt Disney's Animated Characters; both encyclopedias are standard reference works in their field. Under his real name, Paul Barnett, he has written several books and run the world-famous fantasy-art-book imprint Paper Tiger, for this latter work winning a Chesley Award and a nomination for the World Fantasy Award. For more on this prolific author, see www.johngrantpaulbarnett.com.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Miles on December 13, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This book is extraordinary, if for no other reason than the fact that many of the images inside are not available or extremely hard to find. I know from personal experience that even some of the artists included no longer have some of their own images and the authors should be commended for their research. The prodution value of the book is fantastic and Malcom Couch (art director) did a wonderful job placing the images in an appealing and flowing format.
I am delighted to have this book in my collection. The International Assoc. of SFF Art voted these works the best for good reason. It brings back 20 years of amazing memorys of science fiction-fantasy art and fandom and I will never lend this one out! It is no wonder that I have given several of these books as gifts already!
There are a few images whose reproduction seems to have come from damaged originals. For example, I have seen some of the Frazetta originals in his museum and the overall condition of some of the paintings are lacking, and apparently the authors used photo images of those originals, as a result the original's pre-existing damage shows. It is a shame that better images cannot be found. I am surprised that they did include as much of the Frazetta collection as they did knowing the "difficult" Frazetta reputation for dealing with publications.
If you want a wonderfully comprehensive collection of some of the world's very best sci-fi/fantasy art, THIS is it. It is a must to go along with all those great Spectrums (to be honest, I have to say I would keep this above all others if I had to choose). Thank you to Mr.Grant and Ms.Humphrey for all their hard work!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 1, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Very often color reproduction is lacking in books of this type and there are very very few problems with this volume. The production values are extremely high and thank you to the production/design team for using a beautifully coated paper that doesn't reflex back my face in its pages. Over the years of attending conventions I have been privileged to see much of the art included in this book on exhibit - although not so privileged to be able to afford to buy any of it. It is a treat that I can now have it "all" in my home. What a wonderful anthology of SF & Fantasy art! For my money it's far superior to anything Spectrum has ever produced.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Outstanding! The best of Fantasy art, no doubt--I saw a lot of these paintings at World Fantasy art shows, and the reproduction is superb. (I bought this book because the cover painting for The Wind Witch is featured. Page 116.) And beyond my expectations, the used copy I bought is in an archival protective jacket, and it's signed by at least 4 of the artists!
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10 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 24, 2003
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
What should have been a nice history of the Association of Science Fiction and Fantasy Artists annual awards turns out being a mish-mash of art. Reproduction quality is all across the board and ranges from being very good to simply awful (the Frazettas, some of Hickman's, Brad Foster's, some of Jim Gurney's, etc. are printed so badly that it would have been best to not include them at all). Troubling too are the numeous tiny reproductions: if the book is supposed to celebrate the art, why make some the size of postage stamps? There definitely are some very good pieces nicely reproduced (Whelan, Donato, Palencar, etc.), but most are already available in other books. At the fairly hefty cover price I was expecting much more than what the editors and publisher delivered.
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2 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 22, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Wow! This is a book I've been waiting a long time! Over 300 of the best fantasy & sci-fi art works from about the last 20 year's. Imposibly to say how many treasures there are in here - just as tough to discribe how beautifuly the book is made, because the printing of almost all the pictures is better than I have seen any where else. I would have been happy with fewer Frazzeta pictures, because they seem dull and old guard beside the others, it seems strange I complain about too many Frazzeta pictures I know! Great to see a collection of pictures by the late great Alex Shomburg though. Lots of great great great art by Don Maitz, Micheal Whelan, James Gurny, others. The best collection of sci-fi and fantasy pictures in years, its so righteous I like just holding it!
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