New Book: “Cosmic Motors”

I just wanted to talk briefly about a new book that arrived in my grubby little hands yesterday: "Cosmic Motors: Spaceships, Cars and Pilots of Another Galaxy", by Daniel Simon. The book is almost a personal genre-oriented portfolio of Daniel Simon, described as an "automotive futurist". And with a foreword by the most distinguished and notable visual futurist of our time, Syd Mead, you can take stock in the description of Mr. Simon as an "automotive futurist".
 
So what’s a futurist? A futurist is someone who can look towards the near or distant future and make an analysis of it. In the case of visual futurists, such as Syd Mead and Daniel Simon, they can look towards the near or distant future and provide what can only be described as a "realistic" and believable glance into that future. In the case of Syd Mead, specifically, he’s given the world startling visions of the future in such movies as "Blade Runner", "2010" and "Aliens". A visual futurist paints pictures of a possible future. More importantly, they make us believe it.
 
In "Cosmic Motors", Daniel Simon has painted a picture of an automotive manufacturer in a far-off galaxy, inhabited by people not so different from you or I. The vehicles exhibited in this book are strongly reminiscent of the familiar, but with a touch of flair and detail that’s just not been seen anywhere else. Throughout the book, he’s created his alternate visions of anti gravity racing machines, war machines which call to mind images of the polished steel air frames of the 1950’s and 1960’s, street motorcycles with startlingly different design schemes, and wheeled high-speed racing machines that look so familiar yet so extraordinarily different.
 
Daniel Simon takes us from the first rough sketch of a vehicle through the 3D model (be it physical or virtual) and into very convincing environment that seems utterly suitable for these fantastic designs he has fabricated. The imagery and the environments are stunning–and far more familiar than they are alien.
 
So what use is this to a modeler? First, there’s the inspiration: Just browsing through the pages will fire your imagination and compel you to go forth and assemble styrene. Second, there’s the simple fact that most–if not all–of the vehicles shown were created as physical scale models in the real world. While he does not go into any real detail on the process of creating these models, just seeing them practically come alive on 171 pages of glorious color imagery bring motivation to the scratch-builder to create something new and unique.
 
For the amount and quality of the material, the price tag is very reasonable. I would highly recommend this book to sci-fi and automotive modelers.
 
For more information, visit the official website for the book:
 
Or visit Daniel Simon’s website:
http://www.danielsimon.net/

This book was contributed for review by the management of a local Barnes & Noble (and I’ll be more than happy to plug them again for any other model-related book reviews). To order the softcover edition from Barnes & Noble, click here. They offer free shipping for orders over $25. To find a Barnes & Noble near you, click here.

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