Expedition: Being and Account in Words and Artwork of the 2358 A.D. Voyage to Darwin IV

Wayne Douglas Barlowe, Author Workman Publishing $18.95 (192p) ISBN 978-0-89480-629-2
An abundance of lavish full-color illustrations and detailed black-and-white sketches dominate Barlowe's fictional account of a 21st-century exploratory space flight to the imaginary planet Darwin IV. Sent along as the mission's artist, Barlowe ( Barlowe's Guide to Extraterrestrials ) describes his ``excursions'' to survey Darwin IV and the unusual animals he encountered: creatures like the monopodalians, who pogo-stick across a barren, icy landscape, or the winged but flightless Stripewings that are in ``evolutionary flux.'' Numerous ``observed'' details, such as the length of a Darwinian day (26.7 hours) and the feeding, hunting and mating behaviors of various creatures, help maintain the illusion of realism and immediacy such a first-person narrative demands. SF fans who relish the bizarre for its own sake may enjoy this volume. But while superbly executed, Barlowe's visualization of an alien world falls short imaginatively and is naturalistically unconvincing. Many animals look like dinosaurs designed by a committee and discerning readers will suspect that Darwin IV wouldn't work as an ecological system, no matter how alien. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1991
Release date: 01/01/1991
Hardcover - 192 pages - 978-0-89480-982-8
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