Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Peter Elson (1947-1998)

In the 70's and 80's one of my favorite SF Illustrators was Peter Elson, his work had come to my attention mainly through the TTA - Terran Trade Authority books, a collection of four large illustrated science fiction books published between 1978 and 1980. He had a real eye for design and use of colour in spaceships that movies or TV would never attempt, his ships often had colourful markings and logo's, and I much preferred his work to that of the other big 70's SF artist Chris Foss.The Spacecraft from the PC game Homeworld was heavily influenced by Elson's illustrations.
Peter Elson died in 1998 in Skegness whilst he was painting a mural for Butlins
I'd love to know what exactly the mural was ?! Seems a bit odd for an SF artist but I suppose he was just a jobbing artist too. The story is that most of his original work is now owned by his sister.

The four TTA books were:
Spacecraft 2000-2100 AD (by Stewart Cowley, 1978)
Great Space Battles (by Stewart Cowley and Charles Herridge, 1979)
SpaceWreck: Ghost Ships and Derelicts of Space (by Stewart Cowley, 1979)
Starliners: Commercial Travel in 2200 AD (by Stewart Cowley, 1980)
The books also featured the work of many other well known SF artsits such as Jim Burns, Chris Moore and Fred Gambino.

His work also featured in a similar collection of books
Space Wars: Worlds and Weapons (1979)

and the Galactic Encounters Series

Star Quest
Aliens in Space (1979)
The Fantastic Planet (1980)
Dangerous Frontiers (1980)
Space Patrol (1980)
Worlds at War (1980)

I wish someone would do a collection just of Peter Elson's work in one definitive book.


Fraser Lovatt said...

You might like this then, LEGO sculptures based on Peter Elson's paintings:

Have a brilliant Christmas, and I look forward to more great postings from BSMBOW in 2008.


Andrew Glazebrook said...

Fraser I love the links you've posted, especially that Rover Vehicle, that was always a great concept, cheers for those.
Have a great Christmas and New Year also !!!!

Moonwatcher said...

I had a lot of those books when I was younger but gave them away, I've since found some in some of the 2nd hand bookstores here and around York.

Andrew Glazebrook said...

I picked up a few last year from Barter Books in Alnwick, a bit overpriced but worth having !!!

Fraser Lovatt said...

Ahhhhh -- weird internet moment. I was looking at your blog when a promo for Hyperdrive cam on BBC Prime and my wife was watching a clip of Nick Frost on Man Stroke Woman on YouTube.

Or are we just really predictable?


Andrew Glazebrook said...

Fraser, you are under my control !!!