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

4.41  ·  Rating details ·  359 Ratings  ·  27 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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Jun 14, 2009 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
Jan 27, 2008 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
A.N. Mignan
Jul 28, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
Memorable for the artwork of fauna based on speculative evolution but the story itself falls flat.
Sep 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Fans of sci-fi, fantasy artwork, and nature guides won't want to miss this one. I loved the frame-ready artwork of the bizarre alien creatures and the depth of the author's imagined observation of them and their habitats.
Sep 12, 2007 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
Phil Smith
Feb 28, 2008 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
Eric Landreneau
Aug 25, 2015 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.
Steven Lee
Aug 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Perhaps the greatest thing we could ever discover as a species is another world filled with life in a complicated ecosystem. Science fiction has been rooted in the notion of exploring new worlds for over a century. Like a classic naturalist text Barlowe creates a world and explores various animals, plants and their interactions.

A joint human-alien team travels to the planet of Darwin IV. The visit seems like an incredible opportunity for human redemption. In Barlowe's fiction humanity has poiso
Aug 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Real aliens have radar!

I got this book after watching the (pretty faithful) TV adaptation Alien Planet. Art is top notch and aliens actually look like something from an alien world; not funny-looking humans (cough Star Trek/Wars) or terrestrial animal hybrids (cough Avatar).
Nov 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
The book has interesting creatures as well as interesting text I read this book at least five times. The book is like as if you are looking at a whole new world with creatures never seen before.
Jayme Blaschke
Jul 29, 2012 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
Aug 23, 2010 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
Sep 23, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: 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
Nov 20, 2014 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
Simon Håkansson
Aug 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science, reference

Barlowe was and remains the foremost xenobiological illustrator of this time. He manages to marry science and beauty in a way that very few can match. I wish that the aliens of popular culture looked more like the realistic creations of Barlowe and less like mismatched parts of earthen creatures and distorted humans.
Jonathan Gillespie
Jul 10, 2008 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.
James Knowles
Mar 11, 2008 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.

Brian Spiekerman
Apr 08, 2012 marked it as to-read
Shelves: sci-fi
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?)
Sep 21, 2011 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.
Mar 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Best book ever. Buy it now.
Mar 04, 2011 rated it really liked it
Very good, but Discovery Chanel "documentary" based on it was better (which is the reason I bought this book)
Mar 06, 2014 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.
Jan 07, 2008 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.
James Beech
Jan 10, 2014 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.
Raphael Rosen
Feb 13, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Wayne Barlowe is one of my favorite artists. Amazing.
Aug 29, 2011 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.
rated it it was amazing
Apr 19, 2017
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