sci-fi-o-rama uibaka 01

Sci-Fi-O-Rama returns with a quick feature on a rather special tumblr known simply as ‘UI BAKA‘.

Originating from ‘The Land of the Rising Sun’ this tumblr celebrates the art of sci-fi interfaces with a particular slant towards Japanese Anime, something we’ve shamefully rarely covered.

So what to expect? Well all things bright and beautiful of course, and in this case that’s glowing wire spheres, rippling sine waves, flickering binaries and a large dollop of a targeting reticles.

Indeed whatever the incandescent element, and no matter the function, as long as somethings spins or pulses, it works.

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Luke Wyatt – Sad Stonewash (a Video Mulch)

It’s rare to come across a piece of art that really moves me. This odyssey of distortion does just that.

Unnerving, strangely touching and certainly one of the most spellbinding and hallucinatory 5 minutes of music video your ever likely to see. This is but a taster of Luke Wyatt’s ‘Sad Stonewash’ (a Video Mulch) a 40 minute sojourn into the abyss of VHS.

“Video Mulch” is Wyatt’s trademark form of extreme analog Video Processing, created using a combo of outdated analogue and digital tools.

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Selected Sci-Fi & Fantasy Book Covers Part 1

'Nightmare Blue' Art by Justin Todd 1975

A varied selection of retro SF and Fantasy book art. Sci-Fi-O-Rama was pretty much built upon the back of posting forgotten book and games art, so with a renaissance in blog activity what better than to revisit the archives and excerpt another sampler.

What’s most fascinating with each of these examples is though the whole might not always fully hit the mark there’s always something of interest or worthy for reference. This then might be a style of colouring, a technique in rendering, the choice and application of a typeface, or even something as obscure as the design of a motif. In short even the most subtle fragment of detailing can flick a creative switch, it’s all about your own imagination. That isn’t however to say that every Sci-Fi book cover has merit – au contraire – they most certainly do not. But that’s what we’re here for, to filter and serve only the very finest…

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New Poster Art

Alejandro Magallanes - Behind The American Dream

‘Behind The American Dream’ Alejandro Magallanes (Mexico 2001)

This selection is a book sampler ‘New Poster Art’ published by Thames & Hudson in 2008. I picked up a copy after spying a fellow commuter thumbing through it on my regular morning train journey. As the title suggests Its a fairly weighty compendium of selected poster Design, Typography and Illustration pulling in artists from across the planet…

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Electrical Banana – Masters of Psychedelic Art

Heinz Edelmann - Lord Of The Rings

‘Lord of the Rings’ (German Book Cover) – 1970

Sci-Fi-O-Rama is proud to present a selection of ‘far out’ imagery sequestered from the fantastically titled ‘Electrical Banana’ Psychedelic art book – and yes that title is indeed derived from a reference to a certain type of ladies sex toy.

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TAMIYA – 1980s Buggy Box Art

Tamiya Logo

First and foremost I set up Sci-Fi-O-Rama as a design and illustration inspiration blog, and though it’s bursting at the seams with Sci-Fi and geek related articles this really is just a flavouring.  What I’m getting at is; whilst this Tamiya post might be one of the less Sci-Fi tainted (there’s no glowing spacecraft here) it does however contain plenty of top notch retro Japanese graphic art spun back fro my favourite decade, the 1980’s.

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Sci-Fi-O-Rama 2013 Round Up (1)

Silence Televison - Back To The Future II

Lets start 2013 with something of a round up. A quick reality check, refresh, and splash of Eau de toilette. 

What we have here then is a brief sampler straight from the Sci-Fi-O-Rama barometer, a long awaited update on a selection of the finest, past featured contemporary artists.

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The Virtual Art of 80’s Game Worlds

Sci-Fi-O-Rama presents an analysis and artistic appreciation of five pioneering 8-bit and 16-bit computer games.

The era is the mid to late 80’s, a period fabulously rich in gaming concepts and innovation as developers frantically sought to grasp, harness and subsequently wring every last nanogram of creativity from the available platforms of the day. Each title here contained – for the time – an array of groundbreaking ideas and technologies. What else connects them? well of course I played them way back when and thus they are in some way or another forever burned into the hazy mists of my subconscious.

I’ve been mulling over this one for a while but wasn’t sure quite how to start, hence the recent posting log jam. I wanted to compose an extended retro game feature, but not just to give a rose tinted review of gameplay or mechanics. Here then is a more focused look at the visuals themselves, what fascinated back then and what us still so beautiful and relevant today, 2012.

1. Midwinter (1989) Microplay – Amiga/Atari St/IBMPC

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Kilian Eng (1) Selected Works + Interview

Kilian Eng - Sci-Fi-O-Rama

OK, as promised, I’m very proud to present an exclusive Sci-Fi-O-Rama feature, this time with Swedish Design and Illustration superstar Kilian Eng. Here we have a total tour de force of the imagination, gloriously twisted, washed in 80’s technicolor and blending only the very finest Sci-Fi and Fantasy references…

I’m quite sure you’ll be familiar with Kilian’s work, he’s built a considerable following since first proliferating through the major design/illustration blogs. Interestingly it was in fact Dan McPharlin that first put me onto Kilian with a post over at But Does it Float, and I’d put these two in the same bracket, pretty much the finest contemporary Science Fiction Illustrators on the planet. Another totally enviable fact is just how prolific Kilian is, check his primary portfolio site at behance.net/KilianEng for a vast array of interstellar work, amassed in just a few years.

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Silence Television

Silence Televison

It’s been a couple of months since my last article so time to unplug the cryogenics, thaw out and get writing. A few special features lined up this month, including an exclusive interview with a certain Swedish Sci-Fi Illustrator, but to start with here’s a close up on the super slick work of Peruvian Designer and Illustrator Gianmarco Magnani, better known by his monicker Silence Television.

Before compiling this post I did attempt to get in touch with Gianmarco to help contextualize this article and get an insight into his inspired, idiosyncratic approach, also no response as of yet, but hopefully we can hook something up in the future. in the mean time here’s a run down on this stunning artwork with my thoughts.

Above: Browse Gianmarco’s portfolio (www.silencetv.com) and you’ll notice several recurring themes; glamorous biker chicks, rock paraphernalia, deconstructed retro motor vehicles and bikes. What really stands the style apart is not just the ultra tight rendering, or the faultless craftsmanship but a real meticulous eye for detail that binds beautifully – a rare pedigree that almost looks effortless. This image shows up all those traits, and with such confidence, one could get lost just studying her enveloping tattoo.

Silence Televison

Above: This one uses several graphic tricks, notably rendering in negative for extra graphical punch. Also note that, not only has Gianmarco perfectly fashioned the splintering guitar, he’s also adorned it with a balanced selection of logotypes, nods of course to his influence and driving inspirations…

Silence Televison

Above: This one is pure class, the perfect poise and composition, again great attention paid to the details such as the subtle texture on the skirt and it’s geometric hem. Also really like the ruffled sleeves, emphasizing the girl’s model-type svelteness.

Silence Televison

Above: A definite feel of Katsuhiro Otomo here, and probably the most Sci-fi orientated material of this post (like that matters!). Worth noting that Otomo is another bike fan, there must be a shared connection between these two!

Above: Another superior detailed composition with a subtle but effective overlayed gradient, again you get a feeling a real sense of gleeful joy is harnessed when Gianmarco applies his finishing touches, perhaps here seen with the retro Vavoline and Texaco stickers.

Silence Television

Above: We finish up here with one final bike rendering – this one in negative profile – A lovely balance of hard graphics, and technical Illustration. Superb stuff!

Further Reading: Head straight to http://silencetv.com for the full portfolio. There’s also a chance to buy prints here: http://society6.com/silencetv/prints and depending on how au fait your Spanish is you might also want to check out the Silence Televsion blog http://silencetv.com/blog/ remember Google Chrome will has a translation option. Finally is you want to show some Facebook love, go to http://www.facebook.com/SilenceTV

*Edit November 15 2001* Happy to say that Gianmarco has been back in touch, so hopefully we’ll run a interview soon.