Created by Matt Zoller Seitz
Directed by Judith Carter
“If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.”
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Worlds Beyond Time is the definitive visual history of the spaceships, alien landscapes, cryptozoology, and imagined industrial machinery of 1970s paperback sci-fi art and the artists who created these extraordinary images.
In the 1970s, mass-produced, cheaply printed science-fiction novels were thriving. The paper was rough, the titles outrageous, and the cover art astounding. Over the course of the decade, a stable of talented painters, comic-book artists, and designers produced thousands of the most eye-catching book covers to ever grace bookstore shelves (or spinner racks). Curiously, the pieces commissioned for these covers often had very little to do with the contents of the books they were selling, but by leaning heavily on psychedelic imagery, far-out landscapes, and trippy surrealism, the art was able to satisfy the same space race–fueled appetite for the big ideas and brave new worlds that sci-fi writers were boldly pushing forward.
In Worlds Beyond Time: Sci-Fi Art of the 1970s, Adam Rowe—who has been curating, championing, and resurrecting the best and most obscure art that 1970s sci-fi has to offer on his blog 70s Sci-Fi Art—introduces readers to the biggest names in the genre, including Chris Foss, Peter Elson, Tim White, Jack Gaughan, and Virgil Finlay, as well as their influences. With deep dives into the subject matter that commonly appeared on these covers—spaceships, alien landscapes, fantasy realms, cryptozoology, and heavy machinery—this book is a loving tribute to a unique and robust art form whose legacy lives on both in nostalgic appreciation as well as the retro-chic design of mainstream sci-fi films such as Guardians of the Galaxy, Alien: Covenant, and Thor: Ragnarok.
MZS.Press is the online arts bookstore founded by author, critic, and filmmaker Matt Zoller Seitz and directed by Judith Carter. It offers new, used, signed, collectible, and rare books on film, TV, music, photography, and the visual arts. The store was launched in 2019 on a different platform and has expanded to incorporate arts books published by MZSPress's private imprint: titles currently include Seitz's The Deadwood Bible: A Lie Agreed Upon and Dreams of Deadwood, about the HBO Western, and Walter Chaw's A Walter Hill Film.
Our deepest wish is to promote, encourage, and distribute work by small presses, academic presses, and individuals. Extraordinary work tends to get swallowed up on giant platforms like Amazon and Barnes & Noble. The store's inventory of nearly 1000 volumes is currently in the process of being reconstructed after its relocation from Cincinnati, Ohio, to Dallas, Texas. The titles featured here are personally selected by a group of curators and advisors, including Seitz, Carter, and an array of critics, artists, journalists, educators, publishers, and arts mavens who are known for their ability to suss out what Seitz's jazz musician dad liked to call "the good sh*t."
“Please. Have mercy. I’ve been wearing the same underwear since Tuesday.”
Matt Zoller Seitz
Critic, Author, Filmmaker, MZS Press Creator
Matt Zoller Seitz is the Editor at Large and film critic of RogerEbert.com; a staff writer for New York Magazine and Vulture.com, and a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in criticism. His writing on film and TV has appeared in Sight and Sound, The New York Times, Salon.com, The New Republic and Rolling Stone. Seitz is the founder and original editor of the influential film blog The House Next Door, now a part of Slant Magazine.
Seitz has written, narrated, edited or produced over a hundred hours’ worth of video essays about cinema history and style for The Museum of the Moving Image, Salon.com and Vulture, among other outlets. His five-part 2009 video essay Wes Anderson: The Substance of Style was spun off into the hardcover book The Wes Anderson Collection. This book and its follow-up, The Wes Anderson Collection: Grand Budapest Hotel were New York Times bestsellers.
Other Seitz books include the New York Times bestellers The Sopranos Sessions and Mad Men Carousel; TV (The Book), The Deadwood Bible: A Lie Agreed Upon, and the forthcoming The Wes Anderson Collection: The French Dispatch. He is also an interviewer, moderator, and film programmer who has curated and hosted film and TV presentations for the Museum of the Moving Image, IFC Center, San Francisco's Roxie Cinema, and other venues. He is currently working on a memoir about his marriages and a feature-length documentary about his father, jazz musician and composer Dave Zoller.
His hobbies include exotic dancing, moonwalking, and affixing masking tape labels to every food item in the refrigerator, including eggs. He has the attention span of a gnat.