Heroes of Earth’s Last Days: The Art of Yuri Shwedoff

First up, I’d just like to welcome onboard Ben Feldman to Sci-Fi-O-Rama. Ben will be reviewing Sci-Fi literature as the year unfolds, from the essentials to the esoteric, and he’ll also be posting regular artist samplers, this taste of Russian prodigy Yuri Shwedoff is the first.

Yuri Shwedoff - Night

Above: ‘Night’

Since graduating from Moscow’s Academic Art University in 2014, Yuri Shwedoff has rapidly gained international interest for his melancholy and otherworldly works. His Artstation portfolio has been viewed nearly 1.5 million times, and he has been featured in media ranging from Beautiful/Decay to WIRED.

Classic Science-Fiction Illustrators (Part 1) – Jim Burns

To celebrate ten years of Sci-Fi-O-Rama I thought it would be poignant to reacquaint you with some of the most popular artists we’ve featured through the decade.

Here then is the first part of a new series featuring a selection of genre pioneers synonymous with the pre-digital ‘Golden Age’ of Sci-Fi Illustration. These are artists that were most prolific – though not exclusively – during the 1970s and 1980s, together they’ve captured and inspired the imagination of millions.

In no specific lets then begin with Welsh maestro Jim Burns…

Jim Burns

Jim Burns (born in Cardiff, April 1948) has enjoyed an extremely prolific career dating back to the early 1970s. During these forty years and more he’s produced cover and interior art for literally hundreds of Science Fiction and Fantasy titles including work for authors such as George R. R. Martin, Frank, Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett to name but a few.

Jim Steranko – Outland

Jim Steranko – Outland

Sci-Fi-O-Rama contributor Ben Feldman recently pointed me toward an online selection of Heavy Metal, the infamous American Sci-Fi/Fantasy magazine most prominent in the late 70s and 1980s.

Heavy Metal was originally a remix of translated material from the French comic anthology Métal hurlant and prominently features art from Gallic masters such as Moebius, Enki Bilal, Philippe Caza and Phillippe Druillet.

Anyway, whilst scanning through the back issues I came across samples of this Jaw-dropping Jim Steranko adaptation of the Sean Connery Sci-Fi flick Outland (Peter Hyams, 1981). The level of draughtsmanship detail is simply incredible, a level of confident intricacy that rivals even the technicality Katsuhiro Otomo.

Jim Steranko - Outland

A quick recap, Outland is a ‘high-noon-in-space’ type thriller that features some superb claustrophobic set design akin to Ridley Scott’s Alien, though distinctive enough to merit its own plaudits. The plot revolves around a drug smuggling conspiracy set on a mining colony on Jupiter’s moon Io and whilst the film’s narrative is at times plodding it does have a brooding edge and features decent performances most notably from Connery.

Dan McPharlin – Selected Works

Dan McPharlin – Selected Works

Veteran readers of Sci-Fi-O-Rama will obviously be familiar with the work of Austrailian artist and model-maker Dan McPharlin. He contributed to several posts and of course, designed the Sci-Fi-O-Rama logo. I’ve featured his gorgeous paintings many times and also interviewed him back in 2010.

Sadly as you probably are aware, in 2015 Dan’s internet presence stopped, and thus, nothing new has since appeared. This is not necessarily ominous, I believe Dan may simply be living ‘off-the-grid’. Over the past few years, I’ve received several emails regarding contacting him for potential commisions, I’m afraid I know nothing more than mentioned, I’ve lost touch with him myself. Anyway, let us not be gloomy, I’m sure he’s fine and busy beavering away on some spellbinding-vista as you read this…

A recap then and study of his overflowing talent.

Dan McPharlin - Storie Incredibili / Contatto col nemico

Dan McPharlin - Storie Incredibili / Contatto col nemico

Above and Title Image: ‘Storie Incredibili / Contatto col Nemico’  Wired Magazine (Italy), July-August 2014 issue.

These serene post-apocalyptic Illustrations form the perfect introduction to the art of Dan McPharlin and demonstrate how he excels at his craft. A delicate blend of Science Fiction and Surrealism, perfectly composed with a precisely balanced colour palette washed over with soft mists of texture.

Aliens and the Alcon Blue Butterfly

Aliens and the Alcon Blue Butterfly

First off a heavy disclaimer here: This post is based upon segments from a chapter of Jim Al-Khalili’s recent book ‘Science Asks: Is There Anybody Out There?’ (2016).

The publication is a spellbinding compendium that summarises the bleeding edge of science’s rapidly evolving hunt for extraterrestrial life and includes contributions from 20 expert minds, each at the vanguard of there respective fields.

If you’re even slightly interested in the scientific approach to ET this simply is a must-read, and offers both tantalising and tangible solutions to one of humanity’s greatest questions – Are we alone in the universe?

Adam Makarenko – Exoplanets & Interview

Sci-Fi-O-Rama resurrects with a very special feature on Canadian miniature Photographer and Film Maker Adam Makarenko.

An award-winning multi-talented Artist Adam’s obviously involved with a plethora of supremely interesting visual projects, but it’s his outrageously ambitious ‘exoplanets’ mission we focus in on.

Adam Makarenko Exoplanet

Exoplanets, of course, are rarely out of the news these and the science to hunt them has come along way since the first definitive detection back in 1995 (Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz of the University of Geneva). Fast forward 22 years and as of the start of April 2017 confirmed exoplanets number over 3,500 and range from huge gas giants right down to worlds a similar size to our own precious Earth.

Just how earth like are these worlds, and are they suitable for life ? These are the tantalising questions cosmologists and biologists face today. To answer is a mammoth technical challenge, not unlike Adam’s endeavour to experiment and construct his vision of these far flung worlds in miniature.

1 2 3 4 42