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  1. #1

    Question hostile alien world collection?

    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
    Last edited by Eventhorizon; February 22nd, 2012 at 01:48 PM.

  2. #2
    Registered User JunkMonkey's Avatar
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    Jun 2007
    Slap Bang in the Middle of Infinity

  3. #3
    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.

    Thanks anyway!
    Last edited by Eventhorizon; February 22nd, 2012 at 01:49 PM. Reason: misspelled author name

  4. #4
    Registered User JunkMonkey's Avatar
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    Jun 2007
    Slap Bang in the Middle of Infinity
    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:

    Terran Trade Authority Handbooks

  5. #5
    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.

  6. #6
    This afternoon I've been searching for the artists whose work was represented in those books.

    Alan Daniels

    Fred Gambino

    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.

  7. #7
    Eventhorizon, you are looking for Galactic Aliens by Allen Frank. LibraryThing entry here.

    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.

  8. #8

    Talking woot!

    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...

    Thanks again!

  9. #9

    Anytime I can point someone to a great book like Galactic Aliens, I'm thrilled

  10. #10
    Registered User Pennarin's Avatar
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    Aug 2011
    Rimouski, Canada
    How is LibraryThing useful again?

  11. #11
    Hi folks,

    Sorry for bumping a months-dead thread, but I just wanted to express my gratitude to the original poster and the respondents, especially, rainswept. I've been searching for the name of this book for a long time, and Google eventually led me here.

    I loved this book as a kid, and must have checked it out from the library dozens of times to pore over the illustrations, building my own stories about how the various creatures and encounters came to be. I'm now 30, and still a huge sci-fi fan, and flashes of the illustrations in Galactic Aliens still flit through my brain from time to time.

    I've got a used copy of this book on the way to me now, and I can't wait to relive the experience of turning those pages. Thanks so much for (accidentally) helping me rediscover a piece of my childhood!

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