Hello all. I am looking for a "coffee table" sci-fi art-and-story book I used to check out of the children's section of the public library when I was kid. That would have been early '80s. It was a collection of stories about alien worlds, many hostile to colonization.
The book usually had a full page, full color picture of the alien world or it's lifeforms on one side, and a full page story about the alien lifeform, on the opposite page.
The book is reminiscent of Stewart Crowley's Terran Trade Authority books, as well as Steven Eisler's book "Alien World", in the short story—plus colorful art format. In fact, I thought it was "Alien World" or "Spacewreck" but it was neither.
Two stories from that book, and their art, have been sticking up in my mind as of late, and I really want to find this moody sci fi fantasy art book to connect with my childhood love of sci-fi. After much googling and failing to find it, I am here. :)
The stories are:
A planet that was home to giant spiders that shot webs out of their head or face; these spiders killed off colonists.
A planet that was home to giant carnivorous plant/flower/tree-type things. The plants could shoot these long venomous spines (black with red stripes if I remember) to kill prey. The illustration showed some humanoid aliens dying, with their bodies covered in these spikes.
Anyway, the giant spiders and the killer plants really stoked my imagination back then, while also giving me a good scare bordering horror-fantasy. I'd love to know which book it was. Thanks in advance for any help
February 22nd, 2012, 02:31 PM
It wasn't this was it?
February 22nd, 2012, 02:46 PM
I thought it was, and I bought it off of amazon just last week.
I've gone through it a few times since it arrived and it has neither the giant spiders or the carnivorous plants. However, the format is very similar to the book I am trying to remember, and the artwork is the same kind of artwork that populates those books from back then. There are some aliens in Eisler's book that look just like the ones that got killed off by the killer plants, but alas, it's not the book I was looking for.
February 22nd, 2012, 03:19 PM
I seem to remember Octopus books doing a couple of these type but can't seem to find what I'm remembering. There was this series which seems to have had a similar idea. Cover illustrations from books with facing page text:
Yeah, TTA—Terran Trade Authority. I loved those books, and was reading them during the same time-frame as a kid. In fact, I thought what I was looking for was Spacewreck or Great Space Battles. Unfortunately, it was neither of those.
At this point, I am thinking it might have been Settlers in space: The fight for survival on distant worlds or perhaps Aliens In Space: An Illustrated Guide to the Inhabited Galaxy both by Steven Caldwell, which was another name that Stewart Cowley published under, or another Steven Eisler book, Space Wars: Worlds & Weapons
I just don't remember having read them. I was pretty sure the killer plants and animals were from The Alien World. All those titles by Cowley and Eisler are illustrated by the same people. Artwork that was used in other titles, and re-used to make these books.
February 22nd, 2012, 04:02 PM
This afternoon I've been searching for the artists whose work was represented in those books.
Alan Daniels (https://www.google.com/search?q=alan+davies&hl=en&safe=off&client=firefox-a&hs=zwe&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&channel=np&prmd=imvnso&source=lnms&tbm=isch&ei=iVVFT6bwGvPciQLty9XVDg&sa=X&oi=mode_link&ct=mode&cd=2&ved=0CBcQ_AUoAQ&biw=1067&bih=514#hl=en&safe=off&client=firefox-a&hs=Qxe&rls=org.mozilla:en-US%3Aofficial&channel=np&tbm=isch&sa=1&q=alan+daniels+sci+fi&pbx=1&oq=alan+daniels+sci+fi&aq=f&aqi=&aql=&gs_sm=3&gs_upl=24747l25778l2l26170l7l7l0l5l5l0l102l159l1.1 l2l0&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_cp.r_qf.,cf.osb&fp=f5378fb6ff4ce85&biw=1067&bih=514)
Fred Gambino (https://www.google.com/search?q=fred+gambino&hl=en&safe=off&client=firefox-a&hs=BYz&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&channel=np&prmd=imvnso&source=lnms&tbm=isch&ei=ilRFT8uVFOetiQKCusnFDg&sa=X&oi=mode_link&ct=mode&cd=2&ved=0CBkQ_AUoAQ&biw=1067&bih=514)
It's totally hit or miss though. On image page 7 of Gambino's work are some aliens that look like the ones that were killed by the spike-shooting plants. Those TTA books are collectors items now, because of the art. I got three (used) TTA books for my birthday, at a cost of 65$, each.
February 25th, 2012, 08:56 PM
Eventhorizon, you are looking for Galactic Aliens by Allen Frank. LibraryThing entry here (http://www.librarything.com/work/899326).
The book has two killer "plants" for sure... trees whose roots detect vibrations that drop sticky leaves that encase and digest the prey; and a spotty corpuscle shaped creature that turns inside out into a pillar bearing cactus like spines that shoot out and pierce the prey. There is a close up illo of an individual stiped spine.
My favourite book in the genre.
February 26th, 2012, 01:59 PM
omg...yes! Thank you so much! The inside out pod becomes pillar-cactus...that's the one! I am sure the spider planet is in there. Headed towards amazon...
February 26th, 2012, 06:06 PM
Anytime I can point someone to a great book like Galactic Aliens, I'm thrilled :)