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

4.37  ·  Rating Details  ·  278 Ratings  ·  22 Reviews
In 2358, wildlife artist Wayne Douglas Barlowe joined the first manned flight to Darwin IV, fourth planet in the newly discovered F-Class binary system 6.5 light years from Earth. Now his long-awaited account of that historic journey has been published. More vivid than the holos and more interpretive than the videos, these extraordinary paintings, plus numerous drawings, s ...more
Paperback, 192 pages
Published January 12th 1990 by Workman Publishing Company
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Belarius
Jan 27, 2008 Belarius rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: People Who Want To See Alien Herbivores In Action
It's difficult to articulate how profoundly Wayne Barlowe's Expedition influenced my thinking on science fiction. I have always been drawn to the notion of "world-building," that exercise in reasoned extrapolation that can populate a society or an ecosystem, but Expedition's genius forced me to re-examine my thinking and become a lot more hard-nosed about it.

The premise of Expedition is simple: a team of scientists are making the first journey to a hitherto unknown planet brimming with strange a
...more
Brenton Nichol
Jun 19, 2009 Brenton Nichol rated it really liked it
In high school, I used to grab my discman and walk to the big Barnes & Noble at the mall sometimes after classes and spend hours browsing through the science fiction section, reading whatever caught my attention. I particularly enjoyed the big art books and "technical manuals" for things such as Star Wars, Star Trek, the Colonial Marines from the Alien film franchise, and, of course, the works of Wayne Barlowe. His seminal work Expedition repeatedly caught my teenage self off guard with its ...more
Josh
Jan 07, 2009 Josh rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: science obsessives
My new favorite genre - speculative evolution!
Wayne Barlowe, celebrated science fiction book-cover artist and son of two nature illustrators has created an Audubon-style narrative of mankind's first expedition to a living alien world.
Unlike life forms that populate other sci-fi worlds - campy frog-people, or humans with wrinkly foreheads - the animals of Barlowe's Darwin IV are undeniably alien. On a world where eyes never evolved, sonar and infrared serve as the main senses, mounted on "forward
...more
Goose
Dec 31, 2013 Goose rated it it was amazing
This is the last book I've read in 2013 and wow what a way to go out.

I remember watching the "documnetary" based on this book that aired on discovery channel and becoming fascinated with speculative evolution. Imagine my delight years later when I found out the special was actually based on a book.

The book follows Barlowe's expeditions in the 24th century on Darwin IV and is told in classic field journal style. The art is simply gorgeous. Barlowe's imaginative take on possible alien life really
...more
Phil Smith
Feb 28, 2008 Phil Smith rated it it was amazing
Bought a new copy of this fantastic book - it was lifted by some elementary school kid while I was doing an art class years ago. I remembered the book and nabbed one from Amazon. It is a beautifully illustrated book by an artist with thorough knowledge of biology and anatomy, but used in a unique way - he invents an entirely alien ecosphere and treats the subject like an artist on an exploratory mission. I sent it off to get autographed - I only collect autographs of people who have made a singu ...more
Jayme Blaschke
Jul 29, 2012 Jayme Blaschke rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science-fiction, art
Expedition is, without qualification, the single most inspired visual work of science fiction ever produced by a single artist. What Barlowe set out to do had never been attempted before: to illustrate the various ecosystems of a fictional alien world. As the child of two natural history illustrators, he was, perhaps, better equipped than most to tackle this daunting task.

And what a task it must have been. The resulting 192-page book is a lavish tour-de-force, dripping color off every page and c
...more
Eric Landreneau
Aug 25, 2015 Eric Landreneau rated it it was amazing
Wayne Barlowe is my most favorite worldbuilder. A problem lots of authors have is spending too many words on building their world. It gets in the way of the narrative. Barlowe got around that problem by creating a work of sci-fi where the whole point of the book is to descibe an alien world's ecology in minute scientific detail. This is a documentary. When you read it, channel David Atenborough.
Peter
Sep 06, 2011 Peter rated it really liked it
A classic of the speculative biology subgenre of science fiction, with some of the most genuinely alien-looking lifeforms ever created. Still, I have some bones to pick with the logic behind the planet's ecosystems, its food chain and the way the creatures gain their nourishment and survive in their home enviroment. Some of it just isn't as believable as I hoped it would be. Also, Barlowe tries to drop hints about the possible evolutionary background of the various species, but it's often incons ...more
Der-shing
Sep 23, 2010 Der-shing rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi, exploration
Awesome art, not so awesome science-fiction (mostly the science). Why do eyeless creatures that rely on sound to navigate need to evolve to have so many colors?? Deep sea creatures, which actually still have eyes, still don't have more coloration than red or white. And some of the anatomical/ biological explanations made me smack my forehead with frustration (that burrowing tank for example makes me want to scream). The science was bad enough at least to make me give this 3 stars instead of 4 (t ...more
Kal
Mar 13, 2015 Kal rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone who love speculative evolution.
This book came with beautiful artwork and a story of true awesomeness!

The view point to this gorgeous and alien world is... THE AUTHOR! He throws himself in as the main character.
I have never seen this in a official book. The art, the art of the book is just splendid eye candy.The story was splendid, it's set on earth after us humans have destroyed our lovely blue gem. So Wayne goes to the alien world of Darwin IV and I don't want to spoil a thing, so there you have it! I would call Wayne Dougla
...more
Daniel Landsman
Apr 06, 2014 Daniel Landsman rated it it was amazing
Truly a work of art and imagination...belongs in a museum
Jamez Beech
Jan 10, 2014 Jamez Beech rated it it was amazing
Wonderfully imaginative and beautifully illustrated, this book would pair well with some of Dougal Dixon's work for an in depth study of speculative evolution.
RJ
Apr 06, 2014 RJ rated it really liked it
This is my favorite of the speculative evolution books I've seen. The artwork is amazing and the lifeforms are super fascinating and well-designed.
Brian Spiekerman
I love Wayne Barlowe as an artist, and I enjoyed the Alien Planet program, so I was always hoping to read the book behind it. And I would have done that by now, if the only copy at the Barnes & Noble website didn't cost a hundred fucking dollars. (Why do they even allow that?)
Joel
Sep 21, 2011 Joel rated it really liked it
I love how the author's imaginary creatures all seemed to blend into one plausible ecosystem. An artist, Barlowe clearly knows zoology & anatomy well. His framing story was somewhat lame, but he more than makes up for it with his weirdly beautiful creations.
James Knowles
Mar 11, 2008 James Knowles rated it really liked it
Intense imagination combined with beautiful original artwork on large, glossy pages. This is just plain fun to browse, even today.

I could do without the "man is incorrigibly evil" theme, but that's a subtext to this stunning project.

Jonathan Gillespie
Jul 10, 2008 Jonathan Gillespie rated it really liked it
Barlow's clever science-fiction merges here with his stunning illustrations, creating a world that is daringly different and primal. This is a magnificent piece, with Barlowe's background in naturalism only adding to its robust quality.
Itsbecka
Jan 07, 2008 Itsbecka rated it really liked it
An interesting account of finding another planet. I think the Discovery Channel or someone else recently tried to turn this into feature, but it just wasn't as good as the book.
Zeke
Aug 29, 2011 Zeke rated it it was amazing
This book is so fucking pro. This is the final source of pure inspiration and imagination. No one has ever came up with something more imaginative.
Mirek
May 22, 2011 Mirek rated it really liked it
Very good, but Discovery Chanel "documentary" based on it was better (which is the reason I bought this book)
Raphael Rosen
Aug 12, 2008 Raphael Rosen rated it it was amazing
Wayne Barlowe is one of my favorite artists. Amazing.
Denny
Mar 15, 2012 Denny rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Best book ever. Buy it now.
Aron Lukacs
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Feb 06, 2016
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