Saturday, 3 March 2012

In Memoriam: Ralph McQuarrie

Early Star Wars concept art by Ralph McQuarrie. Copyright Lucasfilm

We're sorry to report the passing of SF visionary Ralph McQuarrie, aged 82.

Along with artists such as Chris Foss, Roger Dean, Frank Bellamy and Mike Noble, Ralph McQuarrie's singular vision was another influence in my love of SF art that continues to this day. His design work on the original Star Wars universe and the orignal Battlestar Galactica TV series will be most remembered by many, but he also brought his singular vision to other creations, even if some were not used - a remake of Forbidden Planet, for example.

His contribution to SF art is and always will be, immense. His influence on many young artists, inspiring them to follow in his footsteps, is incalculable.

A tribute posted on his official web site reads:

"It is with the deepest sadness that we announce the passing ofRalph McQuarrie.

"People say you should never meet your heroes. Ralph was the exception to that rule. We were all fans of his amazing art long before we were blessed with his friendship. But once you got to know Ralph it was impossible not to become a fan of Ralph the man.

"Ralph was a very special person for many more reasons than his undeniable brilliance with a brush. He was an especially kind, sensitive, deep, modest, funny and fascinating gentleman. And as fine a role model as any one could have wished for.

"His influence on design will be felt forever. There's no doubt in our hearts that centuries from now amazing spaceships will soar, future cities will rise and someone, somewhere will say...

'that looks like something Ralph McQuarrie painted.'"

He will be much missed and our thoughts go out to family, friends and all those whose work he influenced on this sad day.

- Ralph McQuarrie, 13th June 1929 - 3rd March 2012. Official web site:


Thursday, 1 March 2012

New Scientist launches digital SF magazine

Arc, a new magazine about the future has just been launched by the publishers of New Scientist.

Edited by Simon Ings, author of acclaimed genre-spanning novels The Weight of Numbers and Dead Water, Arc explores the endless vistas opened up by today's science and technology and the possibilities these raise for the future.

The first issue features cutting-edge science fiction and forward-looking essays by some of the world's most celebrated authors - Margaret Atwood, Stephen Baxter, M. John Harrison, China MiƩville, Hannu Rajaniemi and Alastair Reynolds.

These are combined with columns by thinkers and practitioners from the worlds of books, design, gaming, film and more - Leigh Alexander, Simon Pummel, Paul Graham Raven, Adam Roberts and Bruce Sterling.

Now all it needs is a kick ass and more impressive SF-inspired cover!

• To find out more visit the Arc website:
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