Friday, October 03, 2008

Book trailers and Foss

Trailers for books, a 21st Century concept if any.
Alex points to the Cosmic Motors book trailer.
And an old favorite of mine: Robota.

I'm reminded of Chris Foss, from way back when, I think the seventies.
I don't get why Foss was so overlooked. He was commissioned for designs on big movies like Alien, Dune, and Superman, but hardly anything of his was used. I'd love to see his colorful machines, space craft, and buildings in movies. I don't see why SF should always be so colorless.

Here's something funny: in the link above I've linked to Google's frame for the page, because I can't link to the original Russian page! Strangely, though my Mac can display the Russian characters, it seems it can't copy/paste them.
Also I've never before seen a URL with non-english characters, I did not think it was possible.
(The reason for linking to the Russian version is because it has lots of images.) (I'm guessing the Russians, like the Chinese, don't have a lot of sympathy for the copyright concerns of rich and decadent Westerners...), est. 2005.


Alex said...

The only Foss I have was a 1980's jacket to "The Complete Robot", which is "I Robot" with a bunch of other stories added.

As for Cosmic Motors, I've seen this book in the local "Books Inc." for a while, and I've thumbed through it often. I finally committed to ownership today. It really is a glorious book (after reading it for 10 minutes the kids dived into the Lego full of inspiration). The website has a link to the artist's site which has more good art.

And great, I was going to blog this too, but you stole my thunder!

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

That'll teach you to email The Great Idea Sponge! Bwah-hah-hahhhh!!

Povl, a friend of mine, showed me a big picture book of Foss' paintings back in the late seventies.

Pascal [P-04referent] said...

That instantly rand a bell. ("DONNNNG!!!")
Oh, how I know well the name of Cristopher Foss! Along with Tibor Csernus and Philip Caza, they illustrated the many great sci-fi classics I used to read in my younger youth. (As opposed to my slightly less young current youth.) I can still recognize their characteristic work in a heartbeat. Csernus was typical for sketchy paintings with a surrealistic, literally oniric feel, much more symbolic than specific of the story, all about suggesting the global atmosphere. Caza had a very special drawing style, with clear outlines that managed to give volume to monochrome surfaces, I learned the technique from him. All his illustrations felt like colored stone bas-relief. And Foss... oh, his super-cool spaceships only illustrated the very first sci-fi book I read, the Human Operators (by Van Vogt, I think). And it had a sex scene in it, a very proper one (perhaps a bit TOO proper). In it, giant spaceships roamed the cosmos, but their dangerously sophisticated artificial intelligences had learned, courtesy of a fluke blast during a cosmic war, to rebel against their human passengers. So they each killed all of their crews, except for one single and indispensable human for maintenance, enslaved and brainwashed into pious submission. The ships would stage encounters so that their operators could reproduce, a measure made more pressing by the fact that the more an operator advances in age, the more it becomes "naughty". Translate: intelligent, therefore dangerous, therefore to be replaced and killed after the child grows up enough. But, of course, there's no enslaving the human spirit for ever, and the mating meetings allowed for secretly sharing key "naughty" data. Pun intended.

"(I'm guessing the Russians, like the Chinese, don't have a lot of sympathy for the copyright concerns of rich and decadent Westerners...)"

Another nostalgia flashback. All those books had a notice at the beginning: "All translation, adaptation and copy rights reserved for all countries, including the USSR and the Scandinavian countries."

I guess you too, Eo, come from a nation of long-time rebellious historical pirates.
Didn't their name get stolen by the Capitalist pigs for a series of space probes? Normands? Seakings? Something like that...

My own copy of "Les Robots" was illustrated by Caza, with a very touching picture of Robbie and his/its young master.
Asimov wrote robots like nobody!

"(after reading it for 10 minutes the kids dived into the Lego full of inspiration)."

Uh-oh! You KNOW that's always a bad sign. Kiss your alone time goodbye for a good couple of months, they'll be hounding you with all their (genuinely) "awesome cool creations, look Daddy" for a good while! I speak from lengthy personal experience. I've been a child for many years. :-)
Alsi, if they have a whole pool of Lego to dive into, that's worrying in itself! Translate: I'm jealous to death, green with N-V. (Non-Violence)

"but you stole my thunder!"
Ka-chow, baby, ka-chow!
"Hey, Chick Hicks! They should call you Thunder. You know, because Thunder always comes after Lightning..." -- (Lightning McQueen, Cars after "the Hickster" stole his act with the babes.)
"Thundering typhoons, Eolake stole my blogging idea!"
I wonder if The Great Idea Sponge has square pants? Ah-ha-ha-ha! Ah-ha-ha-ha! Ah-ha-ha-ha! Right, Patrick? (It's Pascal? Whatever, Plancton.)