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Barlowe's Guide to Extraterrestrials: Great Aliens from Science Fiction Literature

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The extraterrestrials are here. One man has seen them. Wayne Dougles Barlowe's brilliant portraits of science fiction creatures are the result of exacting studies made during a lifetime in the field. He now presents anatomical drawings, cutaway and locomotive studies, and at-hand observations of each entity's habits, behavioral patterns, environment, and culture. Wayne Dougl The extraterrestrials are here. One man has seen them. Wayne Dougles Barlowe's brilliant portraits of science fiction creatures are the result of exacting studies made during a lifetime in the field. He now presents anatomical drawings, cutaway and locomotive studies, and at-hand observations of each entity's habits, behavioral patterns, environment, and culture. Wayne Douglas Barlowe has been that close.


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The extraterrestrials are here. One man has seen them. Wayne Dougles Barlowe's brilliant portraits of science fiction creatures are the result of exacting studies made during a lifetime in the field. He now presents anatomical drawings, cutaway and locomotive studies, and at-hand observations of each entity's habits, behavioral patterns, environment, and culture. Wayne Dougl The extraterrestrials are here. One man has seen them. Wayne Dougles Barlowe's brilliant portraits of science fiction creatures are the result of exacting studies made during a lifetime in the field. He now presents anatomical drawings, cutaway and locomotive studies, and at-hand observations of each entity's habits, behavioral patterns, environment, and culture. Wayne Douglas Barlowe has been that close.

30 review for Barlowe's Guide to Extraterrestrials: Great Aliens from Science Fiction Literature

  1. 4 out of 5

    K.T. Katzmann

    An incredible bestiary with one deep flaw that gets less worrisome by the year. You will see scarlet lion-centaur vagina; if that's a deal breaker, leave now. Its my favorite format: beastie on one side, info on the other. I'll use this pic of my favorite alien in the book as an example. Man, thanks for leaving such a good description of your starfish socialist slavelords for Barlowe, Howie. Barlowe gives that level of care to everything in the book, although most species only get one or two p An incredible bestiary with one deep flaw that gets less worrisome by the year. You will see scarlet lion-centaur vagina; if that's a deal breaker, leave now. Its my favorite format: beastie on one side, info on the other. I'll use this pic of my favorite alien in the book as an example. Man, thanks for leaving such a good description of your starfish socialist slavelords for Barlowe, Howie. Barlowe gives that level of care to everything in the book, although most species only get one or two pullout pictures. The selection still holds up after all these years. Big names like the Guild Steersman, the Thing (I used this art in a 7th grade reading passage!), and Solaris share the roster with species I've never heard of. What amazes me about all this research is the youth of the author. Take a look at the whippersnapper's painting in the size comparison chart. Seriously, dude made this famous masterpiece at twenty-one. That’s incredible. So, let's go to that issue. This book would have been massively spoilerific at the time it came out. For instance, the Overlord from Childhood's End looks wonderful, but their appearance is a major mystery for a quarter of the book. Hell, the notes on their society is information the reader only gleams in the last thirty pages. Moving through the book, you never know when that's the case. A race like the Overlords is treated exactly like a race that cameos in a short story. Reading this might ruin some surprises for classic SF. And I don't think that's a bad thing anymore. Hear me out. Imagine a world in which Star Wars is basically forgotten. So, the best moment in Reign of Fire. Now, picture a fan who runs across the "I am your father" scene. Yes, they've been spoiled, but they now actually want to experience something that they never suspected existed. A lot of these books have become obscure, regardless of the amount of Hugos or Nebulas they've snagged. I keep this book on my classroom shelf, hoping that the kids who read it are intrigued enough to track down one of the books mentioned within. Regardless of the spoilers, this book is worth it. Even with the lion-centaur vagina. One other interesting tidbit: there was some kind of dust-up over whether Dougal Dixon plagiarized a design for Man After Man: An Anthropology of the Future from the sketches in the back of the book. I own both books, and I’ve never been able to find the connection. Anyone who knows, please leave a hint in the comments!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Andrew

    This was a book I have been meaning to read for some time unfortunately finding a copy to read in a decent condition has appeared to be harder than I was expecting. But I finally did it.. Now before I start I will say that I am always cautious about reading books about other peoples interpretations - either visually or descriptively. This book is no different after all it mentions aliens from some of the first books I learned to read with. So you can imagine that I have both very strong and possi This was a book I have been meaning to read for some time unfortunately finding a copy to read in a decent condition has appeared to be harder than I was expecting. But I finally did it.. Now before I start I will say that I am always cautious about reading books about other peoples interpretations - either visually or descriptively. This book is no different after all it mentions aliens from some of the first books I learned to read with. So you can imagine that I have both very strong and possibly jaded ideas of what to expect. However this book does not disappoint. Either with the quality of the images (no vague black and white pencil drawings which leave as much to the imagination as if they had never started in the first place) as well as the interpretations themselves. Now I know that some people think that they do not resemble anything at all what they were excepting however I will go out on a limb and say that in my opinion they do and as such I think they are great. Yes the text can be a bit vague after all the author of the book has gone to great lengths not to create anything that is extra or contradictory about their appearance that is not discussed in the books they appear in. So all in all a great book and not a disappoint at all, all I need to do is figure out how I can repair the book now that the glue along the spine has become so brittle that it now shattered like glass.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    Oh my god, this book has been in my family for years, and I never really read into it much. I thought they were just cool drawings. We had the fantasy one, but I don't know what happened to it. I didn't realize that the aliens were drawn from famous sci-fi novels. All through it, I kept thinking "These would look comfortable in Men in Black and Hellboy". Well, it turns out that Wayne Barlowe did concept art for the Hellboy movies! As for Men in Black, I dunno, but there is a sketch in the back of Oh my god, this book has been in my family for years, and I never really read into it much. I thought they were just cool drawings. We had the fantasy one, but I don't know what happened to it. I didn't realize that the aliens were drawn from famous sci-fi novels. All through it, I kept thinking "These would look comfortable in Men in Black and Hellboy". Well, it turns out that Wayne Barlowe did concept art for the Hellboy movies! As for Men in Black, I dunno, but there is a sketch in the back of the book of the "predatory brachiator from thype" that looks a lot like that alien hanging from the street lamp in this scene. Actually the sneezing alien as well.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Terence

    Barlowe's Guide to Extraterrestrials was my introduction to a variety of SF authors, including Jack Vance, F.M. Busby and A.E. van Vogt. It's another one of those lost treasures that I neglected to retrieve from my Mother's house :-( Barlowe's Guide to Extraterrestrials was my introduction to a variety of SF authors, including Jack Vance, F.M. Busby and A.E. van Vogt. It's another one of those lost treasures that I neglected to retrieve from my Mother's house :-(

  5. 5 out of 5

    Michael

    I found this book when I was still quite a young sci fi fan in the bookstore "Mythology" that used to be across the street from the American Museum of Natural History in New York. At the time, I had neither read nor heard of any of the stories that were the source material for Barlowe's artistic depictions of xenomorphs. Today, I've read a few more and seen many less imaginative efforts at depicting non-human beings. Barlowe is to be commended for staying away from humanoid aliens that simply co I found this book when I was still quite a young sci fi fan in the bookstore "Mythology" that used to be across the street from the American Museum of Natural History in New York. At the time, I had neither read nor heard of any of the stories that were the source material for Barlowe's artistic depictions of xenomorphs. Today, I've read a few more and seen many less imaginative efforts at depicting non-human beings. Barlowe is to be commended for staying away from humanoid aliens that simply confirm Gaia-centric biases and looking for the truly strange beasts that populate the outer edges of science fiction. His Lovecraft depiction, I believe, was the first I had ever seen, and remains for me the standard by which others are judged. As a kid, these images and descriptions were like a trip to the galactic zoo, and they inspired many games in which I envisioned the various creatures herein interacting, fighting, or living their alien lives. Today it reminds me of the power and imagination of first encounters with sci fi.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Ingrid

    This book has a record of aliens from science fiction literature. The artist has painstakingly painted these images and referenced sci-fi literature to make them as accurate as possible. Most pages have the painted image on one side and the information about it on the other. Information can be physical characteristics, habitat, culture, etc. It would be great to use this book in conjunction with a lesson on creating your own alien and placing them in a habitat.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Alexander Pyles

    Interesting to see Summers' take on established creatures in SF, especially when I have my own images of them, but overall a fun work to look at. Interesting to see Summers' take on established creatures in SF, especially when I have my own images of them, but overall a fun work to look at.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Rob

    I'll admit it. At age 14 when I first bought this, I thought I was getting some sort of compendium of alien species as described by abductees and other close encounters. A sort of creative non-fiction. Instead I got a compendium of creatures from science fiction. Still good but imagine my disappointment? That said, the artwork in this book is fabulous. It's a neat little companion book for sci-fi fans; it has wonderful illustrations of all the various organisms that have been portrayed in some of I'll admit it. At age 14 when I first bought this, I thought I was getting some sort of compendium of alien species as described by abductees and other close encounters. A sort of creative non-fiction. Instead I got a compendium of creatures from science fiction. Still good but imagine my disappointment? That said, the artwork in this book is fabulous. It's a neat little companion book for sci-fi fans; it has wonderful illustrations of all the various organisms that have been portrayed in some of sci-fi's classic and canonical works. And along with those illustrations? Little one-page write ups on their biology, social structure, etc.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Timothy Boyd

    If you always wondered what some of the odd critters in your favorite SiFi book looked like here is the art reference book for you. Great art book with excellent drawings of these SiFi creatures. Recommended

  10. 5 out of 5

    Wendy

    This is a book that my dad gave to me when I was a child and I still have it. I hope my son will enjoy it just as much. The Puppeteer is still my favorite.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Daniel A.

    Barlowe's Guide to Extraterrestrials is a bit of a funny book. It's considered a classic, but for some reason I've never read it until now, and while I recognize that in many ways it's a love letter to the classic era of science fiction, with all we now know about evolutionary biology and the hundreds of exoplanets now found by astronomers, Barlowe's Guide to Extraterrestrials seems more than a bit dated. By the time the first edition of Barlowe's Guide to Extraterrestrials was published in the l Barlowe's Guide to Extraterrestrials is a bit of a funny book. It's considered a classic, but for some reason I've never read it until now, and while I recognize that in many ways it's a love letter to the classic era of science fiction, with all we now know about evolutionary biology and the hundreds of exoplanets now found by astronomers, Barlowe's Guide to Extraterrestrials seems more than a bit dated. By the time the first edition of Barlowe's Guide to Extraterrestrials was published in the late 1970s, primary artist Wayne Douglas Barlowe was already an accomplished SF/F illustrator. SF Grand Master Robert Silverberg writes in his introduction to the second edition that Barlowe possesses an understanding of the anatomy of creatures that simply don't exist that was unmatched among many of his contemporaries; hence, publisher Ian Summers and Barlowe came up with the idea to publish an art book containing all the "classic" creatures both that Barlowe grew up with and that were roughly contemporary as of the original writing of the guide. And to that extent, it mostly succeeds. I note that Barlowe's depiction of H.P. Lovecraft's Old Ones is virtually identical to that in Ward and Kuntz's original D&D Deities & Demigods Cyclopedia, published roughly at the same time, and I wonder how much of Barlowe the D&D artists "borrowed" for their own work; likewise, Barlowe's other illustrations and designs show a remarkable understanding of anatomy, as well as deep affection for the source material, whether from Golden Age writers such as E.E. "Doc" Smith, Isaac Asimov, and Fred Hoyle, or from more contemporary works such as The Word for World Is Forest by Ursula K. Le Guin and A Plague of Demons by Keith Laumer. And that's part of the problem with Barlowe's Guide to Extraterrestrials. Silverberg's introduction suggests that Barlowe selected "real-science"-based extraterrestrials for his book, and that was true—in 1979. What we know now about evolutionary biology, exoplanets, and the possibility of life on those planets in 2017 is markedly different from what we understood when Barlowe originally wrote his Guide. Our knowledge in 2017 simply precludes several of these creatures from ever existing, and that dates the material. (The less said about Piers Anthony's extraterrestrial character designs, the better—as is the case with much of Anthony's output, frankly.) Nevertheless, there is a point to be made that by definition the extraterrestrials Barlowe illustrates are speculative; as fiction, they wouldn't exist anyway, never mind the different philosophies that more current authors such as, say, Robert J. Sawyer evince in their designs of extraterrestrials. As such, Barlowe's Guide to Extraterrestrials is a mostly valuable addition to the SFnal canon. (One final note: In Barlowe's designs for his own fiction, I saw some serious cultural appropriation going on, and Barlowe's Guide to Extraterrestrials gets serious points off for that element of the book. Your Mileage May Vary.)

  12. 4 out of 5

    Juushika

    3.5 stars. The followup sketches are what make this, because the anatomy and locomotion studies have a life to them which is absent from the stiff, repetitive poses and isolated close-ups of the full-color spreads. There's a lot of humanoids here, and many of the non-humanoids are humorously improbable; some illustrations are shrinkwrapped, borrowing legitimacy from the worst tendency of paleoart. The source materials make for a poor reading list, as it's largely golden age SF from white men. Bu 3.5 stars. The followup sketches are what make this, because the anatomy and locomotion studies have a life to them which is absent from the stiff, repetitive poses and isolated close-ups of the full-color spreads. There's a lot of humanoids here, and many of the non-humanoids are humorously improbable; some illustrations are shrinkwrapped, borrowing legitimacy from the worst tendency of paleoart. The source materials make for a poor reading list, as it's largely golden age SF from white men. But the cumulative effect of leafing through the spreads, turning from silly green vegetable men to nightmare-fuel hand-walking Demons, has the playful and imagination-sparking effect of speculative evolution. The aliens co-exist in the text, diverse and embodied; the brief blurbs are easy to binge, and the bodies-first approach that strips the aliens from their sources creates a cluttered universe of exploration, sapient life, danger, and an abundance of telepathic powers. It's a flawed work that one wishes were expanded or updated to explore more diverse sources, but it's still delightful.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Mansour Sadhan

    Great book, totally enjoyed it. Loads of weird, out of this world creatures from the far reaches of the universe. Some make more sense than others, which makes a lot of sense since they came from different authors! But all amusing and imaginative. It also includes a collection of Barlowe's impressive pencil sketches, a book in it's own right. Glad I stumbled on this amazing artist, looking forward to reading more of his books. If you love science fiction you'll love this. My only complaint is th Great book, totally enjoyed it. Loads of weird, out of this world creatures from the far reaches of the universe. Some make more sense than others, which makes a lot of sense since they came from different authors! But all amusing and imaginative. It also includes a collection of Barlowe's impressive pencil sketches, a book in it's own right. Glad I stumbled on this amazing artist, looking forward to reading more of his books. If you love science fiction you'll love this. My only complaint is that the description for a creature may contain a spoiler form the novel that it came from. Which is a bummer if one is interested in reading the novel, but nothing too serious. All in all, totally amazing book.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Joshua

    My mom picked this book up for me from this mail order science fiction book club when I was a kid and I loved it. It's packed full of beautiful artwork and inspired me as a young artist. Until just today I couldn't remember what it was because I'd lost it long ago but someone on Chet Zar's Patreon knew exactly what I was talking about and shared the name of the book. Now that I've found it again, I can't wait to pick up another copy and I would recommend it to anyone who is into science fiction. My mom picked this book up for me from this mail order science fiction book club when I was a kid and I loved it. It's packed full of beautiful artwork and inspired me as a young artist. Until just today I couldn't remember what it was because I'd lost it long ago but someone on Chet Zar's Patreon knew exactly what I was talking about and shared the name of the book. Now that I've found it again, I can't wait to pick up another copy and I would recommend it to anyone who is into science fiction.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    If I had come across this book as a kid, I would have spent hours pouring over the pages -- imagining my own stories for each of the aliens pictured, inspired to create my own worlds and creatures in encyclopedic form. Evokes a particular nostalgia, unfounded in that I've only read a handful of the source texts. I especially loved the sketchbook drawings at the end. If I had come across this book as a kid, I would have spent hours pouring over the pages -- imagining my own stories for each of the aliens pictured, inspired to create my own worlds and creatures in encyclopedic form. Evokes a particular nostalgia, unfounded in that I've only read a handful of the source texts. I especially loved the sketchbook drawings at the end.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Karl

    Actually read this many years ago, but I was just telling one of our interns about it. A towering achievement in geekery.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Muzzlehatch

    I've had this book for going on 40 years; my copy is the first paperback edition from October 1979. If there had been anything of the kind published up to that point, I sure wasn't - and am not now - aware of it. Wayne Barlow illustrates a "guide" to 50 well-known extraterrestrials from equally well-known science fiction novels and stories by mostly famous writers of the mid-20th century, and Ian Summers provides the tongue-in-cheek text; each entry has a full-page illo on the right page with th I've had this book for going on 40 years; my copy is the first paperback edition from October 1979. If there had been anything of the kind published up to that point, I sure wasn't - and am not now - aware of it. Wayne Barlow illustrates a "guide" to 50 well-known extraterrestrials from equally well-known science fiction novels and stories by mostly famous writers of the mid-20th century, and Ian Summers provides the tongue-in-cheek text; each entry has a full-page illo on the right page with the text and smaller, detail illustrations facing it. In the center is a fold-out chart showing the relative sizes of the creatures depicted, from tiny Mesklinites (Hal Clement's MISSION OF GRAVITY) to the huge dragon-like Velantian (Doc Smith's CHILDREN OF THE LENS). Stanislaw Lem's sentient planet SOLARIS from the novel of the same name is, obviously, not presented to scale. The beings depicted are all sentient species, presented as if posed with just a white background, and just enough details of their physiologies and cultures given to whet the appetite of the prospective reader. I can tell you that I've picked up more than a couple of books over the years based solely on reading about and seeing the alien species depicted herein. Some of my favorites, besides those I've mentioned, are the nearly unkillable Ixtl from A.E. Van Vogt's VOYAGE OF THE SPACE BEAGLE (I wish the Couerl from the same volume had been included, but there is only one species per book), the Czill from Jack Chalker's WELL WORLD series, and the Puppeteer from Larry Niven's RINGWORLD. The paintings are colorful and highly detailed; Barlowe was also a regular SF cover artist in the late 70s and 80s and I've always recognized his style instantly since owning this book. In the back are a series of sketches from an abortive project called THYPE in black and white that to my knowledge hasn't gone much further, at least in print, since this was published; too bad, the sketches are intriguing and all seem to mesh with each other nicely - it's easy to imagine a desert world featuring the races and creatures so carefully detailed here. Still as much fun and nice to look at as it was when published; though there have been far more science fiction artbooks and fictional guidebooks published in the interim, this remains a still-relevant granddaddy in the field.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Belarius

    It's difficult to overstate how large an impact Barlowe's Guide To Extraterrestrials had on me when I first read it. I was in the home of near-strangers at one of the monthly "French Circle" meetings my parents would take me to, hanging out with the other kids, and someone passed me this book. I was instantly engrossed and spent the rest of the evening reading it. It was only years later (1994, probably) that I discovered another copy in a bookstore and recognized it. Barlowe's Guide was importan It's difficult to overstate how large an impact Barlowe's Guide To Extraterrestrials had on me when I first read it. I was in the home of near-strangers at one of the monthly "French Circle" meetings my parents would take me to, hanging out with the other kids, and someone passed me this book. I was instantly engrossed and spent the rest of the evening reading it. It was only years later (1994, probably) that I discovered another copy in a bookstore and recognized it. Barlowe's Guide was important to me for two reason. First, it was the first book to present me with the premise of describing a science fiction setting without needing a science fiction story. A bestiary of possible creatures, Barlowe makes no attempt to describe the role of each species in the novels that first described them. Secondly, Barlowe's Guide was the first serious treatment I had encountered of speculative xenobiology. Barlowe goes to great lengths to depict each species as being as plausible and anatomical as possible. While traditional hard science fiction (Asimov, Clarke, etc.) tended to focus on physics and chemistry, Barlowe has taken a hard sci-fi approach to biology. One this that stood out then and stands out even more strikingly now is the age of the book. Originally published in 1979, it features aliens from an era of science fiction that most people today have had no exposure to. This actually improved my experience of the book, because rather than seeing any "fan favorites," nearly every alien was new to me, and taken on its own terms. Obviously, devoting only one full-page illustration to each alien, Barlowe isn't exploring the depths of any of his subjects. Nevertheless, this is a roundly solid piece of work that, as it approaches its thirtieth birthday, has aged remarkably well.

  19. 4 out of 5

    JT

    Wayne Barlow is a genius. Herein you'll find his conception of some of the oddest alien species in science fiction, from Hoyle's "Black Cloud" to Anthony's "/" to Niven's "Puppeteer" and a number of the stranger critters from Chalker's "Well World" series. Giving this book to a properly inclined 11 year old virtually guarantees he will spend the next decade devouring science fiction books, trying to discover why Barlow picked that one, with varying results. Some of the books sourced are pure gen Wayne Barlow is a genius. Herein you'll find his conception of some of the oddest alien species in science fiction, from Hoyle's "Black Cloud" to Anthony's "/" to Niven's "Puppeteer" and a number of the stranger critters from Chalker's "Well World" series. Giving this book to a properly inclined 11 year old virtually guarantees he will spend the next decade devouring science fiction books, trying to discover why Barlow picked that one, with varying results. Some of the books sourced are pure genius (Childhood's End) some... less so. In any case, with this book, Barlow sent me on my trajectory toward irredeemable geekdom, for which, my thanks.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Mark

    First-class geekery. A collection of drawings of beings that had been previously imagined in the novels of science fiction writers. Lovingly rendered with surprising attention to details. This completely unnecessary tome doesn't achieve the sublime wit of Borges's Book of Imaginary Beings, but it's much better-executed and less sophomoric than The Thackery T. Lambshead Pocket Guide to Eccentric & Discredited Diseases. It's entertaining, at least, and some of the painted beings may give you night First-class geekery. A collection of drawings of beings that had been previously imagined in the novels of science fiction writers. Lovingly rendered with surprising attention to details. This completely unnecessary tome doesn't achieve the sublime wit of Borges's Book of Imaginary Beings, but it's much better-executed and less sophomoric than The Thackery T. Lambshead Pocket Guide to Eccentric & Discredited Diseases. It's entertaining, at least, and some of the painted beings may give you nightmares, so it's hard to find fault with it.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Troy

    I got this when I was a kid; a kid obsessed with drawing, science fiction, fantasy, video games, and role playing. This, like my first encounter with the magazine Heavy Metal, was an utter shock. Beautiful drawings and so much thought elevated so-called junk to a level of majesty and beauty. It was one of my first times experiencing that sci-fi wasn't just junk, wasn't simply "good on its own terms," but could be Great. Thanks, Barlowe. I got this when I was a kid; a kid obsessed with drawing, science fiction, fantasy, video games, and role playing. This, like my first encounter with the magazine Heavy Metal, was an utter shock. Beautiful drawings and so much thought elevated so-called junk to a level of majesty and beauty. It was one of my first times experiencing that sci-fi wasn't just junk, wasn't simply "good on its own terms," but could be Great. Thanks, Barlowe.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Valerie

    I have to say that I wasn't as impressed by this as I expected to be. I found references to it in other books, and I searched for it, since I wanted to see the depictions and read the descriptions. But I didn't find this either particularly comprehensive nor very well written. I could easily imagine an updated version with better biophysical descriptions, and with more creatures depicted. The pictures are better than adequate, mostly. I have to say that I wasn't as impressed by this as I expected to be. I found references to it in other books, and I searched for it, since I wanted to see the depictions and read the descriptions. But I didn't find this either particularly comprehensive nor very well written. I could easily imagine an updated version with better biophysical descriptions, and with more creatures depicted. The pictures are better than adequate, mostly.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Honesty

    Barlowe's style definitely improved by the time he wrote Expedition: Being an Account in Words and Artwork of the 2358 A.D. Voyage to Darwin IV, but considering he was only twenty-one when he undertook illustrating all the aliens for this guide, I'm definitely impressed. Barlowe's style definitely improved by the time he wrote Expedition: Being an Account in Words and Artwork of the 2358 A.D. Voyage to Darwin IV, but considering he was only twenty-one when he undertook illustrating all the aliens for this guide, I'm definitely impressed.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Melissa Bennett

    Enjoyed this book. It was full of wonderful illustrations. With each illustration is a bit of a description and from what the picture was drawn from. A lot of these drawing are from books. I ended up going through this book and whatever creature caught my eye, a book was put on my list that I wanted to read.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Evan

    An awesome picture book by one of my favorite artists, Wayne Barlowe, whose renderings of fantastical (and silly) aliens from classic science fiction, accompanied by short psuedo-scientific blurbs, make for an inspired package. I wish I owned this book non-digitally; it would make a great coffee table book (along with a stack of the rest of Barlowe's bibliography). An awesome picture book by one of my favorite artists, Wayne Barlowe, whose renderings of fantastical (and silly) aliens from classic science fiction, accompanied by short psuedo-scientific blurbs, make for an inspired package. I wish I owned this book non-digitally; it would make a great coffee table book (along with a stack of the rest of Barlowe's bibliography).

  26. 4 out of 5

    Tony

    This is really a classic, and a remarkable idea in its own right. Wayne Barlowe combed roughly 50 works of classic science fiction and created a visual bestiary of some of the aliens. To this day, his images are the ones I still associate with many of the creatures I have read about.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Adam

    Not a bad book-Douglas Barlowe does a good job of bringing the literary aliens to life with vivid art and very descriptive prose. Here's hoping that he (or someone of like ilk) does another book like this one, with more recent literary aliens..! Not a bad book-Douglas Barlowe does a good job of bringing the literary aliens to life with vivid art and very descriptive prose. Here's hoping that he (or someone of like ilk) does another book like this one, with more recent literary aliens..!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Don

    Ever tried to imagine what the creatures and aliens within your favorite science-fiction novels looked like? Ponder no more. This collection fully does what your imagination could not. Great sci-fi reference book.

  29. 5 out of 5

    c5

    I picked this up again just recently to see how many more of the creatures I'd be familiar with now versus when I last read the book years ago. I'd always kind of wished that I could suggest the addition of a few more of my favorite science fiction creatures. I picked this up again just recently to see how many more of the creatures I'd be familiar with now versus when I last read the book years ago. I'd always kind of wished that I could suggest the addition of a few more of my favorite science fiction creatures.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Brad Lebeau

    A fun read for a teenage boy. This is basically what it says. Wayne Barlowe let his imagination run wild and this is the result. It is pages and pages of well thought out alien designs with just a few tidbits of info. Just enough to leave you wanting more.

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