Spacecraft 2000 to 2100 AD, Stewart Cowley
The Hamlyn Group, 1978
95 pp, 46 full color illustrations, 31 b/w illustrations
The first, and arguably, best title in the series, Spacecraft 2000 to 2100 AD examines a variety of military, commercial, special purpose spacecraft from the Terran, Proximan, and Alphan fleets. Appropriately, a timeline is also included, with notable dates in propulsion development and Terran contact with our galactic neighbors, the Alphans and Proximans. Did you know we were supposed to commence work on Mars Station in 2012? Until science fact catches up with science fiction, we’re left to flip through books like this and wonder what awaits among the stars. As expected, the artwork is very good, often covering a full page spread while the narrative is plausible and engaging.
i love this book and have a copy of the RPG too
Thanks for dropping by Joe…Spacecraft is a classic!
many thanks for telling us who the illustrators were for some of the paintings ! One of my most used books !
One of the few regrets I have in life is that I no longer own this [and the others in this series] book. An aunt and uncle bought it for me as an Christmas present in 1979, when I was nine years old along with a Collins astronomy encyclopedia. I did read the encyclopedia occasionally, but the TTA book was an obsession, I remember that my parent’s bought me a new bike for Christmas that year, but I rarely rode it during the festive season and I can vividly remember them forcing me to switch my bedroom light off on the last night of the school holidays when I was pouring over this fantastic book for the umpteenth time and i even used to place it carefully under my pillow when I finally went to sleep. I don’t actually know how the series came to vanish from my life, whether my mum threw them away or it was lost in a house move or what, but the older I get the more I miss them. I did find a copy in a library whilst I was studying during my 20’s and instead of attempting to write an essay, I read the book from cover to cover instead. I must’ve looked odd to the other library patrons and the staff; a man in his mid twenties with dewy eyes and a big daft grin on his face sat reading what they possibly considered a book for children. I know that other people must have similar regard for these books, the price they reach on second hand web sites prove that they are much loved. I wouldn’t be surprised if astronauts, astronomers and people employed in the space industry today can trace their interests back to owning these books as children. Thank You.
Hi Rob…thanks for the thoughtful note. I discovered the TTA/GC series in my local, public library back in the late 70s too. I’m still amazed by how impressionable these books have been on so many young readers. I, too, felt my pulse quicken when I rediscovered these books. You can find them on the usual second-hand book sites. You should do yourself a favor a grab a few…
Just want to say thanks for keeping the spirit of these books alive! I was pleasantly surprised to see how recent these comments were. 🙂
I too first discovered the first two books at my local public library, probably around the same time you did. They grabbed hold of me strongly, something that Star Wars never did (it’s a grat fantasy and I like it, but I found it a bit silly). Some years later I was able to acqire them from used-book stores, and many years later, thanks to the web and Amazon, I finally got the other two books in the series–I never knew they existed, and always wondered if Cowley did any more books after “Great Space Battles”. Well, when I found out, I quickly snatched up both, in great condition and at good prices. I still have the first two books I bought, but I also got a second copy of each; my original GSB’s binding was starting to fall apart, so I decided to “back up” both of the original books. I still have all the books and will never let them go, they’re still fantastic books.
Thanks again for the kind comment, Tom. Indeed, it seems nearly all the people I’ve encountered remember the TTA series from their local public library. It’s a fine testimony to the importance if reading and accessible public libraries. I’m still previewing a few more vintage (and a few modern) books, so please stop back again!
I loved the spacecraft book when I was a little kid, so much I actually stole it from my elementary school library. I always assumed the TTA series was widely popular but in the days before the internet in the 80s I had no way to confirm. Was kind of sad to find out when I finally got online it was more of a niche product.
Hi Kevin…thanks for the note. Hopefully, the statute of limitations has expired on the book theft! The internet has always been a double-edge blade, but I think it’s been a great resource for nostalgia seekers, especially TTA fans. These books are readily available for sale and it’s been great having them back on the shelf. Thanks again for dropping by!
Yeah I think stealing a book when I was like 8 is way past the statue of limitations hehe. I had no idea there were 3 other art books, for some reason they don’t grab me as much. The derelict alien vessels were always my favorite drawings. I seriously must have read the 2000-2100 book 500 times as a kid.
I absolutely love this book i remember buying it with saved up pocket money in W.H.Smiths in uxbridge when i was a kid .I remember looking thru it over and over again it was wonderful .I managed to find another copy recently on eBay it still has the same magic .
btw thanks for the site
I love all four books in the series, and I have to agree with the sentiment that Spacewreck… is the overall best of them. I just LOVE the concept of archaeo-astronomy, those few “Unknown Alien” examples in SC 2000-2100 are but a taste of what Spacewreck is, and the book is what Great Space Battles could have been had it not been a publisher-mandated rush-job. It also reveals the sad fate of the Malmo from the Laguna War.
Thanks for sharing the memory…there is a lot of late 1970s/early 1980s nostalgia between the pages of these books! 🙂
I was recently searching though my basement and found my old copies from when I was a kid. I loved these books and the fantastic artwork and after I heard the creators of the video game No Man’s Sky were inspired by the TTA books I started looking for my old copies. So many memories of flipping through the pages with friends talking about how cool the ships were.
Thanks for sharing Joseph…that’s a sweet basement find! The TTA universe has inspired a lot of contemporary fictional spaceship design. That’s a quite a testament to the genius of their originality and their artists’ imaginations.
I rescued the first 3 books in this series from a skip today! I’ve had the first one since the 1980’s but none of the others until now.
please I like too the stats on the goblein sorry about spelling
I saw this in the library when I was around 10 years old (about 35 years ago). Remembered it all through the years and a few years ago started collecting the whole series. I have about 5 of the books (including this one). Good site btw. Nice to have all the info under one roof.
Hi Tim…thanks for stopping by and the kind word. I plan to refresh the site and add more non-TTA 70s & 80s stuff soon, err, eventually! 😉
I received this book as a gift in 1979, age 12, and obsessively studied each page, the text, specs and art. I knew it was obviously fiction, but it was so well done, so plausible… it blew my mind every time. Like others, somewhere along the line, I lost my copy, and assumed that no one else in the world has ever heard of this book. Angus McKie was my favorite artist, Colin Hay a close second.
Hi Scott…thanks for dropping by! I agree the technical details and official-looking presentation of each ship added a seriousness to the book…it really did seem (almost) believable! You can find these on Amazon for a decent price, if you’re inclined to add them to your library. They’re great trip down the memory star-lanes!
I did not remember the name of this book – which was a fascination for me and best friend in Junior high. The two of us took turns checking it out from the library. So I posed the question of Quora and got an answer in minutes! https://www.quora.com/What-is-the-name-of-the-book-which-had-full-color-artwork-and-descriptions-of-fictional-spacecraft-including-their-speed-and-weapons-What-world-they-came-from-My-school-library-had-the-book-in-1984/answer/Lars-Karlsson-3
Hey John…glad you made it over here. All the TTA books hold up well and keep the nostalgia flowing!
I’m devising a tactical combat board game based on the TTA books, and in particular, “Spaccraft: 2000 to 2100 AD”.
Had this and the Space Battles one as well! The artwork was great and just so ‘futuristic’. Wish I could get them again!
Hi Gary…Spacecraft and Space Battles were the two books that probably introduced most of us the TTA universe. Check for used copies on Amazon – sometimes you can stumble across a decent copy at a decent price.
I too loved these books. My dad for some reason got a copy of Great Space Battles when I was about nine in ’79 and i I still have it now minus the dust cover. I rememver writing an essay for school, and I titled it The Nightmare Begins. Got a frown from my dad, but the teachers loved it. I am even now practicing my 3D modelling techniques by building the ships from some of Peter Elson’s amazing paintings. Good job on this site.
I remember those books as well, borrowed them from local library (various times) in the 80s, at least the three published in Italy (we miss Starliners)
I have fond memories of those books, the illustration where fascinating and I loved the idea of a kind of “space travel encyclopedia”
Now now, I probably have try to check out those book from my old library… they are probably still there 😀
Hi Luca…thanks for stopping by! I think many TTA fans remember these books from our local and school libraries. I missed Starliners too. I wasn’t aware of it until several years after I “grew up”!