Out Now: Worlds Beyond Time: Sci-Fi Art of the 1970s

Worlds Beyond Time is a new book out now from Adam Rowe, published by Abrams, described as the definitive visual history of the spaceships, alien landscapes, cryptozoology, and imagined industrial machinery of 1970s paperback sci-fi art, and the artists who created these extraordinary images.

Worlds Beyond Time: Sci-Fi Art of the 1970s

In the 1970s, mass-produced, cheaply printed science-fiction novels were thriving. The paper was rough, the titles often outrageous, and the cover art astounding. Over the course of the decade, a stable of talented painters, comic-book artists, and designers produced thousands of the most eye-catching book covers to ever grace bookshop shelves (or spinner racks).

Curiously, the pieces commissioned for these covers often had very little to do with the contents of the books they were selling, but by leaning heavily on psychedelic imagery, far-out landscapes, and trippy surrealism, the art was able to satisfy the same space race–fueled appetite for the big ideas and brave new worlds that sci-fi writers were boldly pushing forward.

In Worlds Beyond Time: Sci-Fi Art of the 1970s, Adam Rowe – who has been curating, championing, and resurrecting the best and most obscure art that 1970s sci-fi has to offer on his blog, 70s Sci-Fi Art – introduces readers to the biggest names in the genre, including Chris Foss, Peter Elson, Tim White, Jack Gaughan and Virgil Finlay, as well as their influences.

  • Worlds Beyond Time: Sci-Fi Art of the 1970s
  • Worlds Beyond Time: Sci-Fi Art of the 1970s
  • Worlds Beyond Time: Sci-Fi Art of the 1970s
  • Worlds Beyond Time: Sci-Fi Art of the 1970s

With deep dives into the subject matter that commonly appeared on these covers – spaceships, alien landscapes, fantasy realms, cryptozoology, and heavy machinery – this book, which includes some 400 illustrations, is a loving tribute to a unique and robust art form whose legacy lives on both in nostalgic appreciation as well as the retro-chic design of mainstream sci-fi films such as Guardians of the Galaxy, Alien: Covenant, and Thor: Ragnarok.

Author and 1970s SF art archivist Adam Rowe
Author and 1970s SF art archivist Adam Rowe

Adam Rowe, who lives in Seattle, Washington, is a senior writer at Tech.co and a Forbes contributor on publishing and the business of storytelling. He has also written for iO9, Popular Mechanics, Tor.com and the Barnes & Noble Sci-Fi & Fantasy Blog. In 2018, he was a Digital Book World Award nominee for Publishing Commentator of the Year.

He’s curated the popular, multi-platform 70s Sci-Fi Art feed for several years now, bringing the best in retro sci-fi art to over 100,000 Instagram followers @70sscifi.

“The creation of this book was a group effort,” says Adam, “my own work would not be possible without the artists who kindly agreed to interviews, the collectors and families who shared scans and stories, the fans who helped track down information about uncredited works, and every supporter of 70s Sci-Fi Art who has enjoyed the art feed for so many years.”

“This book has everything,” enthuses author Fred Scharmen. “Floating vertical skyscrapers. Skull planets. Giant worms. Boris Vallejo. Interstellar rivers. Jeffrey Catherine Jones. Cryosleep. There’s a whole entry for Space Cats!”

“First Contact” by Richard Hescox (Portfolio Art)
“First Contact” by Richard Hescox

There are some exclusives to this book, too. When Adam decided to include an illustration by Richard Hescox, titled “First Contact”, in the collection, he reached out to the to the artist for more information on where it was first published and got a surprising answer: Never.

“Hescox created it as a sample for his portfolio in 1975,” says Adam. “My art collection has a nice clean version of it in my section about gunfights in space. So, today is the first time this one has appeared in print!”

Worlds Beyond Time is available now (AmazonUK Affiliate Link) | ISBN 978-1419748691 | Amazon.com

• Follow 70s Sci-Fi Art on Facebook | Instagram | Tumblr | Twitter

Categories: Art and Illustration, Books, downthetubes News, Other Worlds, Science Fiction

Tags: , , , ,

1 reply

  1. This looks worthwhile.

Discover more from downthetubes.net

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading