The Definitive SF Works of Chris Foss: exclusive preview


40 Responses to “The Definitive SF Works of Chris Foss: exclusive preview”

  1. RadioSilence says:

    Already on my christmas list :D

  2. Stefan Jones says:

    Ah . . . memories knocking loose.

    For a few years in the 1980s, collections of this guy’s art were matched up with descriptive material to make it look like they were from a consistent background. Kind of like Barlow’s Guide but for spacecraft.

  3. Brainspore says:

    Looks like a high-speed train knocked up a fighter jet. (I mean that in a good way.)

  4. jlargentaye says:

    Huh, I was utterly convinced these were illustrations by Manchu, who has illustrated most french editions of SF booksfrom my childhood. The styles are so close! He also has an artbook, which would probably of interest to Chris Foss fans.

    I suppose Manchu must’ve been inspired by Foss, he links back from his blog.

  5. Kurt says:

    Reminds me of the Terran Trade Authority books that I loved as a teen.  I think I may still have one or two in my parent’s basement.

  6. Ed Defy says:

    My dad bought me the book about the Spacecraft of the Terran Trade Authority when I was a wee snapper, and I thought it was the coolest thing ever. Great memory!

  7. Tony Fisk says:

    My Dad used to refer to my Doc Smith covers as ‘Australian spaceships’ in reference to the tacked on architectural look reminiscent of outback humpies. Just as well Foss did the artwork, since I don’t think I’d glance twice at the original cover editions.

    One should never judge a book by its cover, but one always tends to do what one should not.

  8. daen says:

    I am *so* getting this

  9. t3kna2007 says:


    (Can anyone name that font used in the cover shot?)

    • sincarne says:

      According to “What the Font,” it’s Range in two different weights (Medium and Light).

      Looks a pretty good match to me:

  10. This post makes me extremely happy. I was obsessed with the big collection books of space ships that were made in the 80′s and recently I’ve been trying to figure out what they were called and who did them. I’m 100% positive if the books I’m thinking of aren’t completely by Chris Foss that some of the artwork in them was. They were really large size art books of colossal spaceships that included detailed descriptions of what everything was and what it was doing. 

  11. mack says:

    Every single artist at – and there are some brilliant ones – owes a debt of gratitude to Chris Foss and Ron Cobb. Full stop.

  12. Once again a wonderful thing, BB. I had forgotten the Terran Trade Authority Books! Sweet.

  13. Florian Magnus Dobler says:

    Is there any other source for the special edition book which allows international shipping to europe?

  14. pjcamp says:

    When did Stewie become a robot?

  15. Jack Myers says:

    I remember loving this guys work from way back, and many moons later when the game Homeworld came out they thanked ‘Lucas’ for inspiration but not Foss.  I imagine they got plenty of emails about it because he is carefully thanked in every other HR manual that followed the first game release. 

  16. liquidstar says:

    So funny,  a friend of mine remarked just the other day how much he liked the Terran Trade Authority Handbook (Spacecraft, 2000 to 2100 AD) and how it was funny it’s past 2000 now.  Good to know there are other people out there who love the old SF cover masters.  (Jim Burns a personal fav of mine,  his Planet Story and Mechanismo

  17. lorq says:

    Just for clarification: there were no Chris Foss illustrations in the Terran Trade Authority books; they were illustrations by other artists working in the Foss style, like Angus McKie and (one of my faves) Peter Elson.  Love Foss and love the TTA books — but Foss himself wasn’t in them.

  18. Halloween Jack says:

    Fun fact: Foss was also one of the illustrators for the original edition of The Joy of Sex. “Realism and invention”, indeed.

  19. stuck411 says:

    Wonderful work. Makes my hands itch for the glory days of OMNI Magazine when they ran painting spreads of futuristic landscapes. I’ll bet I saw his stuff in there when I was younger than 10.

  20. Spikeles says:

    Ah I thought they looked familar, wracked my brain for bit, but Google came through for me.

    I have a well thumbed copy of one of his earlier books. 21st Century Foss

  21. nosehat says:

    Ah, ha!  I’ve got a copy of 21st Century Foss somewhere as well!

    Foss was really good at painting BIG spaceships, and making them look very, very, very big!  Great awe-inspiring, sense-of-wonder stuff!

  22. Oh man. You guys are killing me. I had no idea that my much beloved copy of Starliners was part of some series but the second I saw the image on this post I was like, this guy has to be in that book (which I always assumed was a collection of different artists). True story: I’ve had that book for probably 25 years or so and never read a word of it until a year ago. I just drank in the images. I was too young to get any of it. I should have known the Happy Mutants would know EXACTLY what book it was.  

    Mack, thanks for posting that link. Great site. 

  23. craum says:

    Reminds me of Angus Mckie…

    • avraamov says:

      it does indeed. peter elson was another one, is my brain is working correctly. it’s been a long time. the guy i obsessed over most though, was tim white, who at the time i thought was a cut above everybody else. now he looks slightly cheesier, in some ways.

    • Lobster says:

      Huh.  That’s actually who I thought this was at first.  I grew up looking at Mckie’s art books.  There’s one image in particular, a sort of derelict that looks kind of like a thin-fingered hand, that still as unsettling as when I was a kid.  Can’t seem to find it online, though.

  24. avraamov says:

    kurt – are you me?

  25. avraamov says:

    didn’t foss illustrate ‘the joy of sex’? or am i hallucinating..

  26. Tim Smith says:

    I had spacewrecks at a child and I studied that book until it totally fell apart, I re-discovered them on ebay in my mid 20′s and I purchased all the TTA books, just to relive that feeling of being a day dreamy kid again

  27. Textuality says:

    Can’t seem to find the special edition in the UK. :(

  28. Stas' Wiatrowski says:

    Brings back memories of the 70s Asimov Panther editions of my youth.  I remember being a little peeved that the images on the cover had no connection at all to the Good Doctor’s stories, but at the same time I couldn’t help but be transported by the sheer awesomeness of Foss’s attention to detail and sense of scale.

  29. I fell in love with Foss’s work (and that of the late lamented Peter Elson) after reading the TTA books as well. Vincent DiFate had a more oil-paint style, but also great.

  30. I got back my TTA books I left at my parents house and have been buying them up as I see them at various cons and shows.

    ch mod = horny

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