Retro-futurism, fading into graphical depictions of reality.
That’s what The Art of Space: The History of Space Art, From the Earliest Visions to the Graphics of the Modern Era gives us. The history of space art, from early imaginings of what is up there, to different ideas of how to find out, to realistic representations of actual events.
At first I thought this book would be filled with the cheesy artist renderings of what foreign planets would look like with three suns, or a planet like Saturn too close to the Earth. There are a handful of images such as these, but the book is mostly filled with amazing retro posters of rockets, comets, space stations, galaxies, and aliens, and more modern shots of the Space Shuttle and other actual occurrences. It is broken up into topics, such as Planets & Moons, Spaceships & Space Stations, and more.
In addition to the over 350 images that are included, the book contains special features in each chapter profiling artists and particular topics, such as using space art as propaganda. The font used for section titles and the table of contents is a bit hard to read, but it captures that futuristic feel that continues throughout this interesting book, and the rest of the text is easy on the eyes.
The Art of Space: The History of Space Art, From the Earliest Visions to the Graphics of the Modern Era retails for $35, but can be found much cheaper online. It would be a fantastic gift for anyone you know interested in space art or the history of visions of space travel, or for amateur astronomers.
Note: I received this book for review purposes.