One of my favorite things about nerds and nerd culture is its never-ending ability to remix and rework mainstream art, music, and literature. Sure, the glut of classic novels reworked as zombie stories may grow tiresome after a while, but there is always a fun new mash-up just beyond the horizon. We can also always look to the long-standing trend of artists and book cover designers putting science fiction spins on classic works of art.
Tor has put together a great collection of examples of everyone from da Vinci to Dali getting new twists. Each adaptation sits next to the original so you can get a real of the alterations made.
There are some fairly recognizable American classics taken in new directions, like Luke Radi’s take on Norman Rockwell’s “The Runaway”.
And this zombification of Uncle Sam:
Classic European works have proven inspirational for science fiction and fantasy cover art, as when Boris Vallejo designed the cover for Robert Heinlen’s “To Sail Beyond the Sunset” as a version of Boticelli’s “Birth of Venus”.
If you are a fan of Star Wars and/or modernist art, you might enjoy John Mattos’s interpretation of Marcel Duchamp’s “Nude Descending a Staircase”.
Personally, I’m a sucker for steampunk and, therefore, adore the direction Greg Manchess took one of Abbott Handerson Thayer’s angels.
Other examples in Tor.com’s gallery are more ridiculous than impressive, like this invasion of “American Gothic” by the Twilight crew.
And not even Norman Rockwell’s “Freedom from Want” can keep its charm when Power Girl is brought into the picture.
Check out the rest of the gallery at Tor.com and let us know your favorite sci-fi art!