Hardware: The Definitive SF Works of Chris Foss (2011)

As far as art books go, this is the definite way how to publish the work of any artist. Hardcover binding and a near exhaustive sample of Chris Foss whole ouvre (ca. 240 pages) with excellent reproduction quality. Sure, like anything there’s a few cons: a stylish but hard to read font, picture descriptions printed horizontally instead of vertically and a few pictures that go over the gutter (deadly sin for any art book, but I’ve seen it far too often in professional publications that I have to wonder why they don’t get that this is a very bad idea). But apart from those few drawbacks, it really is one of the best collections (if not the best) of any SF cover artist I’ve seen in recent years. It has both quality and quantity and an unbeatable price.

That said, while I do like Foss’s art, I rate a few other cover artists with similar subjects higher. Often there’s too much going on in his pictures and the design of the ships is often either too loose or too rigid to really please the eye. But due to the number of pictures in the book, there was enough I really liked. And the rest is neat too. Even if they aren’t as perfect as, say, John Harris’s covers, they are pretty close most of the time.