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Worlds: A Mission of Discovery (Anglais) Relié – 1 janvier 2008

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Book by Gillis Alec

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11 internautes sur 12 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Barlowe's is better... 10 novembre 2007
Par A. Burton - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
I'd suggest grabbing Wayne Barlowe's "Expedition" over this book. Or at least grab that one as well.

My problem with "Worlds" is that, while it does have the backing of some obviously talented film and CG artists, it doesn't really give you much bang for your buck. The author took a different track than Barlowe and chose only to show his creations through the camera lens of one man. This personalizes the experience of exploring alien environments and encountering alien creatures, but it also leaves a little too much to the imagination.

Several creatures are so big that they don't fit into the "photographer's" lens, so all you get is a giant mouth or a giant fin. They're weird looking mouths and fins, surely, but that's all you get. I wanted some accompanying sketches (surely the artists did some before modelling these beasts), and maybe some follow-up text on what the scientists on Earth though these things might be. The best bits of text are in an epilogue that I didn't bother reading for months because this was primarily a picture book.

Even though it's all science-fiction, I wanted more data. More photos. More sketches. I wanted these Worlds to be real, and in the end they don't come off any more important or memorable than any of the unnameable planets from the last few Star Wars movies. And like those films, the book here is beautiful but lacks substance.
7 internautes sur 7 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Out of this world 24 décembre 2008
Par Parka - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
This is essentially a movie style picture book. This book is huge. The width is just shorter than my keyboard.

The story premise is on space exploration. It is told in a photo essay way with captions and quotes. The write up is pretty interesting.

Here's an excerpt:

Toxicity analysis showed that a large portion of the creature's body was incompatible with my digestive system, so I carefully avoided those areas. Even so, after eating I became violently ill, suffering nausea and hallucinations for two days. I discovered the only edible tissue is the facia between the skin and muscle. Even that tastes like a shoe marinated in battery acid.

-- End excerpt

The pictures included in the book are amazing, and big. They look as if taken from a real camera, with details like depth of field. The creatures created are very realistic. I've absolutely no idea how they create those creatures. A quick look at the credits on the back suggest a combination of 3D and sculptures.

This is an interesting book that can be read as fast as a comic book.

(More pictures are available on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)
5 internautes sur 5 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
What a Book! 14 juillet 2006
Par Mark Evans - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
I don't even know where to begin with this...

Imagine that you went to see a multimillion dollar film chronicling man's first exploration of life supporting planets. Imagine that the filmakers of this movie spared no expense and achieved a photo-real, seemless FX that would be spoken of as the visual equal to the best award winning FX movies of the past twenty-five years.

If you take that imaginary film and make a photobook out of it you have an idea of just how fantastic this book is.

My one gripe is that the book gives ABSOLUTLEY NO HINT as to how these wonderful images were made. Note to Design Studio Press - make a book on the MAKING of this Book.
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
A great book -- not a great treatise on xenobiology, though 4 septembre 2009
Par J. Griebenow - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
This book, written by creature-effects designer Alec Gillis, has a number of laudable features. The foremost of these is the realistic portrayal of what interstellar travel and the technology that will allow us to accomplish such an endeavor will be like in the twenty-first century (the comparatively near future), if it comes that soon at all. The mission is very mass-constrained, with just one passenger, residing in cryogenic stasis for most of the long voyage: there is no "warp drive" or "hyperspace"; the journey is slow, dark, and tedious, a cruel reality reflected in the sparsely text-covered, expansive pages of the book, with their ebony paper evoking the dark loneliness of deep space. Another favorable attribute in the stunning photography, in particular the harrowing self-portraits. The plot is admirably engaging, too, keeping a fair distance from a sensationalistic Man vs. Wild-like mood while not detracting from the protagonist's dire straits towards the end of the yarn, nor becoming overbearingly harsh and more about a man's struggle for survival than the documentation of extraterrestrial life; this is sharp contrast to the relatively placid (some would say dull) plot of Wayne Barlowe's oft-compared Expedition.
But I've got a few bones to pick with Gillis. For one thing, he is not a zoologist, and it shows: he seldom explains the finer anatomical intricacies of the creatures he has created, their ontogenies, or much about their ecological importance; instead, me mostly concentrates on their appearance, which usually incites some kind of visceral (and often negative) emotion in a human, making plain his Hollywood background. In a similar vein, he is clearly oblivious to taxonomic nomenclature: Gillis capitalizes the species and genus names of his creations (for instance, Infestus Liberi), rather than only the latter, as is proper. Another oversight on his part is the decidedly Earth-like appearance of Proxima Centauri 4 (with its jungles, ice-caps, oceans, etc.) and its biota: the flora has chlorophyll, and thus the atmosphere is conveniently suitable for the marooned hero of the book, while the fauna and ecosystems are not as alien as Gillis could have made them, with much of the construction of both decidedly familiar to Earthlings. Infestus, for instance, are indicated on p. 113 to have "compound eyes." I personally find it highly doubtful that alien life forms would evolve eyes in the first place, much less ones so closely matching the structure of those belonging to our familiar arthropods. As a final criticism, the word "breaching" is replaced with "breeching" on p. 95. This is a bit more irritating (to me, at least) than it might sound.
In conclusion, I would say that Worlds will definitely satisfy most people looking for extraterrestrial thrills, as it reads much like a good science-fiction novel and less like a xenobiology textbook, while its stunning (and even artistic) pictures never disappoint (at least in my case). However, if you're a conjectural zoology geek, you would probably do better to purchase Expedition (which is near-flawless, in my opinion), with its detailed and somehow more realistic profiles of the organisms and ecosystems of Darwin IV.
Visually brilliant, but only whets the appetite. 24 août 2010
Par E. Black - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
This book has wonderful imagery, masterfully executed and with a fascinating story. Unfortunately, that's kind of where it stops. The realistic imagery piques a xenobiological interest, but never really deviates from the main character's story enough to satisfy that same interest. Conceptually it's a brilliant idea, but only partially delivers on what it promises.
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