Tomorrow And Beyond: Masterpieces of Science Fiction Art edited by Ian Summers (book review).

Finding a science fiction art book that I missed in the 1970s is always a delightful experience. Such is the case with ‘Tomorrow and Beyond: Masterpieces of Science Fiction Art’ from 1978. ‘Tomorrow and Beyond: Masterpieces of Science Fiction Art’ from 1978 features the works of 67 artists, spanning over 297 paintings. Upon reviewing the appendices, I found that many of these artists have multiple paintings in the twelve sections.

Surprisingly, during my perusal of the book, I found it difficult to discern the transition between categories, unless I concentrated on the page titles. This is understandable given the exceptional quality of the artwork. The most peculiar aspect of the book is the placement of four paintings on the left page and a single page on the right. I’m not sure how they arrived at that decision.

I recognized a few book covers, so most have to be. The appendices provide information that would have made more sense if placed alongside the artwork, but this is from a bygone era, and it’s worth noting that some pieces are personal.

It’s difficult to determine when genre artbooks vary in the sizes of the art pieces on their pages. This is the first time I’ve come across a format such as this. You certainly got more art for your buck back then, and even today. Only copyright permissions prevent me from showcasing these pieces. You have the likes of Boris Vallejo, Rowena Morrill, Wayne Barlow, John Berkey, Vincent DiFate, Steve Hickman, Ken Kelly, the Brothers Hildebrandt, Ken Barr, Richard Powers, and Michael Whelan. Indeed, these are the usual suspects, but there are also many artists whose names I was unfamiliar with. It’s remarkable how many artists can remain unnoticed even after nearly 50 years. If you’re looking for surprises, then this artbook will supply them. The majority of the art styles are realistic, but occasionally, there are some more surreal ones.

If you want a demonstration of good SF art to show friends, then this book is a good choice, and there are still plenty of copies on the open market.

GF Willmetts

May 2024

(pub: Windward, 1978. 158 page illustrated very large softcover. Price: varies. ISBN: 0-89480-055-8)


Geoff Willmetts has been editor at SFCrowsnest for some 21 plus years now, showing a versatility and knowledge in not only Science Fiction, but also the sciences and arts, all of which has been displayed here through editorials, reviews, articles and stories. With the latter, he has been running a short story series under the title of ‘Psi-Kicks’ If you want to contribute to SFCrowsnest, read the guidelines and show him what you can do. If it isn’t usable, he spends as much time telling you what the problems is as he would with material he accepts. This is largely how he got called an Uncle, as in Dutch Uncle. He’s not actually Dutch but hails from the west country in the UK.

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