Hardware: The Definitive SF Works of Chris Foss

Foss’s groundbreaking and distinctive science fiction art revolutionized paperback covers in the 1970s and 80s.  Dramatically raising the bar for realism and invention, his trademark battle-weary spacecraft, dramatic alien landscapes and crumbling brutalist architecture irrevocably changed the aesthetic of science fiction art and cinema.
Featuring work for books by Isaac Asimov, E. E. ‘Doc’ Smith, Arthur C. Clarke, A. E. Van Vogt and Philip K. Dick, and film design for Ridley Scott and Stanley Kubrick, this volume brings together many rare and classic images that have never been seen or reprinted before. The first comprehensive retrospective of Chris Foss’s SF career.
“Chris Foss’ name has become pre-eminent among sf artists… He is in love with the monstrous, with angular momentum, with inertia-free projectiles and irresistable objects.” — Brian Aldiss
“[Foss’] creations are real machines, not just an artist’s dreams. They combine the two elements so essential to science fiction: realism and a sense of wonder… A medieval goldsmith of future eons.” — Alejandro Jodorowsky

Users Comments:

  • My father introduced me to Sci-fi world when I was about 6 or 7 years old. My dad used to have a copy of Space Wars: Worlds & Weapons, and I remember that the ships impacted me most were the ones by Chris Foss. After 25 years I decided to investigate and I found this one. I would completely recommend it to anyone that is a fan of Chris Foss, but mostly to those who aren’t but do like inmense ships, space wars, or mecha in general. Chris Foss is an amazing artist and this is a perfect compilation of his work. The images are sharp and the colors are vivid and there are a lot of them. Given that he is a prolific artist I think the format of the book is good enough, it would be impossible to have this amount of work on bigger pictures format. The hardcover is flawless and it has some UV coatin with a big “F” printed with glossy varnish that is only visible on certain angles, the rest of the cover is matte. It has a LOT of images, a really nice buy at a very nice price. I think this is an amazing book for fans, and will do an amazing gift for anyone interested in this kind of stuff.
    So I finished reading this book and wanted to give an update on my review. I didn’t have any books on my own from Chris Foss, my father has some, but I didn’t. I think for the price is an AMAZING book, probably (as others reviewers said) others books were better in the past, but for someone who only have 1 book this is a must. I found all the pictures I knew from other compilation works on this one, and the pictures are bright and colorful. It has some introductory text at the beginning but after that it’s only eye candy. I really liked it.
    Probably the only think I didn’t like about the book is that the footnotes for each picture are located placed vertically on the edges of the pages. You have to turn your head 90° to read the name of each picture, and after some time it gets really frustratig. I ended up looking the pictures and then reading again the book rotated, just to read those footnotes. That’s a really bad design but, anyway, the pictures of Mr. Foss are what you bought this book at the end.
    Highly recommended book.
  • What can You say, Chris Foss has done it all. He has done Art Work for every great sci fi author and for several movie companies. His work has influenced Sci Fi art for decades. To see the scope of his work Watch Jodorowsky’s Dune. You will see where all most every major movie studio has stolen the ideas and work from both Foss and Jodorowsky. Though not all, the Alien series used Foss’s work in many places because of his working with others from Jodorwsky’s Dune.
  • If you’re a fan of sf art, or even glanced at the sf section of a bookstore during the 1970s or 1980s then you know Chris Foss. This collection includes virtually all (if not all) of his published sf works. Many of these have been published in previous Foss collections (21st Century Foss and Diary of a Spaceperson), but I think this includes all of those and then some. This book is virtually all artwork, very well reproduced in color, mostly one to four paintings per page, which for the most part is large enough. There doesn’t seem to be much organization or structure in presenting the paintings for the most part, other than the groupings of Dune concept work, military/thriller book covers mostly in one place, but if there is an order to the sf paintings it eludes me. There’s basic information on each painting (title/book/publisher/date of the book cover it appeared on), an introduction by Rian Hughes, bio profile by daughter Imogene Foss, and brief appreciations/recollections by Moebius and Alejandro Jodorowsky who worked with Foss on an abortive 1970s film version of Dune. There are well over 120 sketches from Dune concept work and other sf efforts, as well as a few samples of Foss’s earlier and non-sf works. I would have liked to see a few more sketches from his Diary of a Spaceperson work, or unpublished personal or other conceptual works. Overall, however, this book lives up to its title as the definitive collection of Foss’s work — it has essentially all of his major commercial works, and good samplings of his other art. Finally, this book is a bargain at this price. Well worth purchasing by anyone who enjoys science fiction and space art, or commercial illustration.
  • My first thought about this massive volume is that somebody recognized that Foss’s highly influential style deserved a book celebrating his entire career, and not just superficially. And thank God that person exists! There is so much content here that it’s almost overwhelming. The print quality is very good for a “bargain-priced” book and the hardcover binding seems to be of good quality.
    I’m a huge sci-fi and hardware fan and I have been a Foss fan since I first saw his book covers in the 70s. He is without a doubt one of the hyper-influential proto-modernists (just to pile on some buzzwords!)of sci-fi art. It’s odd that we have yet to see a quality big-budget sci-fi movie utilizing his distinctive designs, though attempts have been made. Probably just as well – Hollywood fails more than it succeeds, and I’d prefer to keep the wonderful worlds and scenarios of his artwork within my own imagination.
    I’d say my favorite trio of sci-fi artists are Foss, Berkey, and Mead. It’s great to see such a solid and packed volume that truly honors a great among giants of sci-fi art. Buy it now!

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