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Barlowe's Guide to Extraterrestrials: Great Aliens from Science Fiction Literature Paperback – January 11, 1987
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In this illustrated field guide to extraterrestrials-a 1980 nominee for the ABA and Hugo Awards and named one of the Best Books of Spring 1980 by School Library Journal-Wayne Douglas Barlowe paints 50 denizens of popular science fiction literature. 150 full-color paintings show each character not only in full figure but also in detail highlighting distinctive characteristics. Humanoids, insectoids, reptilians, and more are included. Field notes explain movement, diet, respiration, and reproduction habits. The book also features a pull-out chart showing comparative sizes, and a section devoted to Barlowe's own sketchbook of works in progress. Selection of the Science Fiction Book Club. 267,000 copies in print.
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I also need to remark here on Barlowe's meticulous combing of the source material for details to help the illustrations. He has seemingly read every detail about, say, a Thrint that ever saw print. The result is a drawing that you will probably never find contradicted by anything in the source stories and novels. The range is also excellent, covering many classic SF works. You may even find yourself introduced to an overlooked classic of genre fiction by finding a striking alien here, and tracking it back to the novel it came from.
I cannot recommend this book more highly. It would be cheap at twice the price.
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.
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.