I felt I was a bit overdue with another list so here’s a third list of cool xenobiology stuff!
For those who have missed my other lists and doesn’t know what xenobiology is it’s pretty much just really weird and/or realistic aliens. It’s the art of speculating on how animals might evolve under different conditions from that of earth. Basically truly alien, aliens.
Discovery Channel – Cosmic Safari
Let’s start off with yet another made-for-tv “documentary” about possible aliens. I seriously thought I had covered every one of these kinds of programs. But then out of nowhere I find yet another one and this could very well be the earliest one. It’s from 1999 and it’s a whopping 1 hour 40 minutes long.
As I’ve seen numerous other shows like this there wasn’t much new for me here.They cover all the regular stuff like exoplanets and the goldilocks zone. What I was hoping for was glimpses of weird aliens. Sadly there weren’t a lot of those in this at all. I’m guessing the CGI was too expensive at the time as this “cosmic safari” didn’t really have that many aliens. But if you haven’t seen anything like this before and want a truly in-depth program about a wide variety of subjects regarding aliens this is quality stuff. (it probably helps if you find the seriously dated CGI charming too)
There’s not much about this online but the entire program can be found by a quick torrent search.
Let’s continuue with an interesting artist. Franxurio (as he is called on deviantart) might not have a large selection of aliens up on his gallery but the creatures there are all fantastic and best of all truly alien. This creature here is just a drawing he did while practicing with a tablet. I really like the whole strange placement of the feathers.
Now this guy is a legend. Hopefully most of you people have heard of him before and seen his animated films but if not you’re in for a treat. Apart from some short films he managed to make three animated science-fiction films in the 70’s and 80’s. All of which happen to have a wide selection of really weird alien creatures. People might know him best for Fantastic Planet which I’m sure some of you will atleast recognize in some vague hazy childhood memory. The image below is from his third and last movie Gandahar.
All of his three movies happen to be uploaded on youtube of which you can find links to below.
Brynn Metheney is the creator and artist of a group of fictional animals living by the fictional Morea river. Apart from drawing other random amazing creatures in general too. I’m pretty sure she’s going to be considered one of great artists of speculative biology in the future. The design and coloring and everything about her creatures is just amazing.
Sadly she just recently shelved the entire Morea River project as she’s understandable getting a crapload of design work because of it. But there’s still a lot of really great drawings to last us for some time. Hopefully she’ll return to the project some time in the future or maybe even create something new and equally amazing.
Frank R. Paul
I love it when I stumble upon stuff like this. Frank R. Paul is the name of a really prolific artist of pulp covers between the 1920’s and 1940’s. He drew an amazing amount of really fantastic sci-fi covers and interiors during his life. And one amazing thing in particular was a series of pages on the native life of all the planets in our solar system made for Fantastic Adventures in 1939. Ridiculous stuff now maybe but the imagination and weirdness of all these creatures is just amazing!
You can find bigger versions of all the pictures in this series in the links below as well as pictures of pretty much all the art he’s done.
Tiffany Turrill might not be exclusively drawing alien creatures but she has drawn quite a lot of them to be worth mentioning. Especially considering her creatures are gorgeous! The picture below here is of a Feathertongue Prowhead. I really like the strange contrast of this almost elephant or dinosaur creature but with the addition of some sort of feather-like underside. It looks both familiar and really alien.
And here’s yet another amazing creature designer. Seriously, there’ s so many really great ones popping up now. It’s like a renaissance of xenobiology art! But anyway, this guy is amazing. I just recently got his sketchbook in the mail now and it’s just filled with gorgeous and interesting drawings. I don’t know what more to write. The guy is just amazing and has done a crapload of drawings. Enjoy!
And here’s even more amazing pulpy magazine sci-fi art! I love this stuff. There’s always so much really fun and gorgeous lost art to be found from these kinds of magazines. Terra was a science-fiction magazine that ran between the 1950’s and 1970’s in west-germany. In the first link below you can find tons and tons of scanned covers of the magazine. And it’s all fantastic stuff! Most of it doesn’t really have any alien creatures in them so I’ve included another link of a blogpost which has posted all the covers with “monsters” on them. Unfortunately I haven’t managed to find out who the artists are for most of these.
Now this artist is a creature machine! He just keeps on drawing amazing creatures of all kinds over and over again. While he’s not really specialised in aliens he’s managed to drawn quite a lot of them just through the sheer amount of random creatures he’s created. I’m especially fond of the level of details on this creature here below.
And another deviantart artist but this time also a short story writer. He’s the creator of a world called Ring which is some sort of space habitat populated by aliens. With each drawing of an alien he also gets caught up in the backstory and ends up writing a short story about the alien. There’s not that many aliens but the ones he’s done are amazing! And it’s interesting reading all the backstory of it all. Hopefully he’ll keep producing more of these aliens. Like this alien right here that while it’s bipedal it’s not really humanoid at all. Great stuff!
And now something completely different and really unique! Frank Little is a photographer/digital artist that makes truly incredible strangely realistic landscape pictures. It’s hard to describe as I haven’t really seen anything like it before. I’m guessing it’s some kind of combination of real photos with really skilled computer rendering where he’s creating these really alien landscapes. He also manages with the feat of doing something that looks really alien without resorting to using a really colorful and unnatural color scheme. It’s earthlike blue skies and green nature and yet it all looks really strange and alien. Such cool stuff!
And now finally here’s a treat! Skywhales is an animated short film from the 80’s by animators Derek Hayes and Phil Austin. The entire short film is uploaded on youtube and I urge you all to watch it. While the main aliens are not really that alien, being pretty much cartoony humanoids, it’s the whole setting and animal life which makes it interesting from a xenobiology standpoint. That combined with the seriously messed up ending which in the end makes the film depict a truly alien world. This is seriously worth a watch and if you like it you can find the film included on the British Animation Classics Vol.1 DVD which I’ve also included a link for below.
And that’s it for now! I still have more cool xenobiology stuff to write about so I’m sure there will be yet another list of this in the future!