Visual Journeys: A Tribute to Space Artists Perfect Paperback – June 25, 2007
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- Item Weight : 1.4 pounds
- ISBN-10 : 0978514831
- ISBN-13 : 978-0978514839
- Perfect Paperback : 388 pages
- Publisher : Hadley Rille Books; 1st edition (June 25, 2007)
- Language: : English
- Customer Reviews:
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Based on the impressive reading, I ordered the book. My first reaction to the book was "Wow!" The book's concept is unusual - authors write stories based on pieces of space art they've seen. The art - full color - is printed next to the story that inspired it. It's a very impressive package, and chock full of great stuff. There's not a bad story in the bunch, but some of the real highlights are:
* Cruising on Io (visual art by Bob Eggleton) and Io, Robot (short story by Tobias S. Buckell). It's the leadoff story, about robotic explorers of Io waiting for humans to return. The question becomes, what is a human?
* Ron Miller, a Hugo award-winning artist, takes a Chesney Bonestell painting, "Funeral on Mars" (American astronauts burying one of their own) and turns in a crackerjack story called "The Funeral." It's somewhat of a mystery story, but to help you solve it, here is a hint - Ron is very big on 19th Century SF writers.
* Frank Wu, another visual artist, gives us his first published short story, "Worlds in Collusion" based on the painting "Impact" by Joe Tucciarone. It's an unusual dual romance. You'll have to read it to see who is doing the romancing.
* G. David Nordley takes Wolf Read's painting "Hell Orbit" and gives us an interesting short story of the same name. It's a mix of romance and coming-of-age, set in a star system 30 light years from Earth.
* Bob Eggleton (artist) and Jay Lake (writer) team up (in a virtual way) in a quirky but interesting short story called "After Bonestell." Bob also teams up with James Van Pelt, who uses Bob's "Of Late I Dreamt of Venus" to create an interesting story of obsession, also titled "Of Late I Dreamt of Venus."
* Richard Chewdyk's story "Where We Go" isn't so much science fiction as about science fiction, notably the history of it in Chicago of the 1940s. It is, however, quite touching. The artwork for this story, "Kronos Jazz Quartet" by Delphyne, was actually created for the story, the only case like that in this book. Richard dedicates his story to his father, Joseph, who was a painter and artist.
* Ron Miller contributes a painting, "Jupiter Cloudscapes," to the book. It's used by Christopher McKitterick to write the wonderful story "Jupiter Whispers," which is about the exploitation of Jupiter.
Hadley Rille is a new publishing house, and this is only their second book. It's a real home run, and I look forward to their next effort, a two volume set called "Ruins."
I was right, but for reasons that were actually the other way around. The artwork in "Visual Journeys" is largely unremarkable, while the stories, almost without exception, are true gems. As a matter of personal preference, I tend to favor accurate, feasible, photo-realistic space artwork. Some of the pieces in "Visual Journeys," while they all are crisp, sharp and nicely printed on glossy paper, are a little too nonliteral for my tastes. I was exceptionally pleased to discover, however, that the stories accompanying the artwork are uniformly excellent. They are so good, in fact, that they could well be anthologized in a volume without any artwork at all and still be an excellent selection of enjoyable tales well worth reading. The intriguing juxtaposition of a piece of space artwork and a story that it inspired is an interesting bonus, as are the artist and author profiles at the end of the book.
An interest in space artwork is one reason for reading "Visual Journeys." An even better reason is to savor a collection of short stories that, in my opinion, is as good as any published in recent years. The mind-melding of two distinct artistic genres in "Visual Journeys" is an experiment that works great, and I hope to see more in the future. Highly recommended.