Space Wars, Worlds & Weapons

Space Wars, Worlds & Weapons, Steven Eisler w/ Foss
Crescent Books, New York, 1979
96pp, 92 full color illustrations, 5 b/w illustrations

I suspect Space Wars, and its stablemate The Alien World, are also Steven Caldwell titles, albeit under a different pen name. Space Wars blends a mix of sci-fi and fantasy artwork with well-written scholarly narrative on the topics of space vehicles, wars and weapons, fantastic creatures, fantasy and worlds. Oddly, there’s no connection between the imaginative artwork captions and the text. A brief, but studious, foreword by Chris Foss sullenly acknowledges how much “good” sci-fi art is inspired from fictitious wars and weapons.

Much of the artwork appears in the TTA and Galactic Encounters books, so I’m presenting a selection of images that, mostly, aren’t published in those editions. Frankly, I feel Space Wars and The Alien World are below the standards of the TTA and Galactic Encounters series. Yet, both can be found relatively inexpensively and will complete your collection.

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  1. joe Bear July 30, 2014

    i think i had this book

  2. Cobber August 30, 2014

    Do you know the name of the artist that produced the picture on the left in the last image of the man on a tank (King Crab?)? This is the only place I have found that image, I remember it from when I owned this book as a child and have been searching the web for it.

  3. admin August 30, 2014

    Hi Cobber…that’s Melvyn Grant.

  4. jaiotu June 22, 2016

    Steven Eisler is a pen name used by the late author Robert Holdstock. Many of the names and some basic narrative similarities were included in Holdstock’s novella “The Dark Wheel” which accompanied the 1984 video game “Elite”. The Elite series of video games was recently revived in 2014 with the release of “Elite: Dangerous”. Many of the original concepts that were first introduced in “The Alien World” are stilling reaching a new audience.

  5. admin June 24, 2016

    Hi Jaiotu…thanks for the info. I agree that many of this era’s books continue to reach new readers and sci-fi art enthusiasts!

  6. Gary John January 16, 2018

    I loved this book as a kid, in Gr 2 before i could read well, in 1979(It didn’t matter, as the pictures were the draw card for me). I found it in my little school library (North QLD,Australia) and I’m pretty sure It gave me some nightmares for a while lol, but i always remembered certain pictures every now and then across the years. About 3 years ago i got it into my head to find this book from my childhood. I visited libraries, online forums and google searching for and describing what i was remembering trying to find out what the title was…. Even when i ordered it online at a secondhand bookshop, I wasn’t sure…… I was so excited when it arrived and i realized it was ‘the’ book ! Unfortunately some kid had taken some of the pics out of it…. but the shop sent me another copy in good nic.
    It’s truly such a nostalgic experience to see this book again… and several others i ordered in my search 🙂

  7. admin January 16, 2018

    Hi Gary…thanks for sharing your nostalgia for this book too. I, too, recall seeing it on the shelves at my elementary school library. I assumed it was part of the TTA series. Still, it’s an enjoyable book and I’ve grown to appreciate the inclusion of non-TTA artists. Thanks for the note!

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