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The New Masters of Fantasy 2004
Epilogue.net, CD-ROM

The New Masters of Fantasy 2004
The New Masters of Fantasy
The New Masters of Fantasy (NMoF) is an annual collection of artwork encompassing both traditional and digital mediums and a wide variety of styles and techniques. The New Masters of Fantasy project is one of a number of endeavors in Epilogue's never-ending quest to bring fame and fortune to the many deserving science fiction, fantasy and horror artists around the globe.

The New Masters of Fantasy Website
Epilogue Website

Past Feature Reviews
A review by Steven H Silver

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The New Masters of Fantasy 2004 is a CD-ROM published by Epilogue.net, an on-line artists' community with a focus on the fantastic in art. This collection of art was selected by Don Maitz, Jeff Easley and Larry Elmore. It is the second annual collection put out by Epilogue and it includes more than twice as many artists that appeared the first collection.

The mood of the pieces ranges widely, even among work by the same artist. April Parks's "Uninvited Guests" is whimsical, while her "The Meloncholy [sic] Minotaur" is much more introspective. Bart Willard offers a sense of trepidation with his Cthulhoid "Keeper of Chaos."

Just as mood varies, so too does style and technique. The work of Brian LeBlanc demonstrates the influence of a Frank Frazetta or Julie Bell, while some of Michael Orwick's contributions are reminiscent of the works of Phil Foglio. Other artists have managed to find their own voices as a mixture of styles. Perhaps most notable of those is Matt Hughes. Michele-lee Phelan also demonstrates a wide range of styles in her work.

While the majority of the artwork included on the CD-ROM is two-dimensional, a few of the pieces were originally three dimensional, such as Dawn Schiller's "Hatch" or Dewyne Jefferson's "Alidar of Glaidenphair." Given CD-ROM technology, it would have been nice if, for these pieces particularly, the user interface provided the ability to zoom in and view the art from different angles.

Each image provides the title, the name of the artist and the name of the client for whom it was created. There is a lack of information, however, about the medium in which each painting (or sculpture) was created. While it is frequently possible to tell a watercolor from an oil from a pencil drawing, it would be nice if the viewer could click and see more information about the original work, its size, its medium, and so forth.

One minor nit is the CD's organization of artists in alphabetical order by first name. Names are traditionally (and correctly) organized by last name and then first name. There seems to be an increase in this sort of alphabetizing on the web, and given Epilogue's web origin, may be from where this erroneous organization comes.

Apparently, each of the judges awarded prizes in various categories. These awards are not listed on the disk, although that is information which could easily have been included with the (missing) details about the composition of the art.

With nearly three hundred images on the disk, there are styles of art and subjects which will appeal to just about any viewer. The reproduction on the disk is done well and the images are clear and vivid, although the ability to zoom (and in the case of the sculpture to rotate) would be a desired addition in future collections.

Copyright © 2005 Steven H Silver

Steven H Silver is a four-time Hugo Nominee for Best Fan Writer and the editor of the anthologies Wondrous Beginnings, Magical Beginnings, and Horrible Beginnings (DAW Books, January, February and March, 2003). In addition to maintaining several bibliographies and the Harry Turtledove website, Steven is heavily involved in convention running and publishes the fanzine Argentus.


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