Beyond Science Fiction - Paintings by Michael Whelan

Created by Baby Tattoo

Help make and preserve art history with this unique showcase of visionary work by the most awarded sci-fi/fantasy artist of all time.

Latest Updates from Our Project:

Weekly Update 3 of ???
over 3 years ago – Sat, Oct 14, 2017 at 01:19:49 AM

This is really happening...

Michael Whelan Evaluating Cover Proofs In His Studio
Michael Whelan Evaluating Cover Proofs In His Studio

After months of unintended delays, those sheets you are seeing in the image above are actual, physical color proofs of the two different cover designs for Beyond Science Fiction. Both cover variants feature previously unpublished "personal vision" paintings that Michal created in the years following his last art book. We are extremely pleased to let you know that Michael has approved the color for the main "sphere" image, and is requesting only a slight color correction to the alternate "searchlight" image. The next and final phase of cover development is to test the elaborate embossing that will make these books visually and tactilely special. The specific multi-level dimensionality that we are trying to achieve is a little bit experimental, so we have a backup plan for reverting to a more traditional embossing approach if the test process does not produce acceptable results; but ...fingers crossed... these covers are going to have some real wow-factor!

As for the interior of the book... in our last update we reported that a couple of the transparency scans were not high enough quality to meet the requirements of this project. We also indicated that Michael was personally overseeing a resolution to this dilemma. Now we're happy to share that one of the two problematic images has been rescanned from the original art, and the other (which was already published in a previous collection) is being replaced with an alternate painting that Michael is confident will be a better fit for this new volume.

We have built up some significant momentum over the past two weeks, and we are barreling ahead toward our ultimate destination... your book collection. We haven't crossed the finish line just yet, but we're getting closer and closer on a daily basis. We'll have another update next Friday. The dream is getting tantalizingly close to becoming an ink and paper reality!

(Not Quite) Weekly Update 2 of ??
over 3 years ago – Mon, Oct 09, 2017 at 09:22:30 PM

Last week we announced that we would be posting updates every Friday until the Beyond Science Fiction production file is complete and on its way to the printer (and the digital book is on its way to backers). Friday came late "this week" (which is really last week, since we're now in the wee hours of Monday morning), but here is the day-before day-before-yesterday update today...

Good News: All of the high-fidelity photographic transparencies of Michael's paintings that were provided to the service bureau have been scanned.

Bad News: A few (but only a handful, thank goodness) of the transparencies did not provide sharp enough scans for our purposes. Additionally, dust and scratches need to be removed from a few of the scans.

More Good News: Michael is personally overseeing the replacement of the sub-par images, and a skilled member of our design team is cleaning dust and other imperfections right now (seriously, right now at 4:24 AM Pacific Time).

More More Good News: Physical color proofs for the book covers are due to arrive at Baby Tattoo's West Coast headquarters tomorrow, and they will be immediately forwarded to Michael's East Coast studio for approval or notes (whichever the case may be). Once those proofs are approved for color, physical samples with the tricked-out embossing will be created at the factory in Asia. The first tangible, tactile component of this project is about to be in our hands! We will send you photos in the next weekly update.


Real Friday.

over 3 years ago – Sat, Sep 30, 2017 at 01:23:16 AM

Weekly Report 1 of ?

Until the Beyond Science Fiction digital book is in backers' inboxes, and the physical book is in production, we will be posting a weekly update every Friday. Hopefully these regular reports will provide clear snapshots of the conclusory phases of the project... a final countdown of sorts.

One week ago we were facing a daunting-but-doable list of 57 images that needed high resolution updating before we could send the project to the factory for physical printing. Michael was able to de-archive usable digital files for about two dozen of those paintings, but thirty-something more images were simply not good enough for high-quality, wide-gamut printing. 

As Michael pointed out in a conversation with the project designer, most of the existing digital files were generated by sci-fi/fantasy publishers at suitable resolution for paperback book covers, but not with high enough quality for art book reproduction. The solution to the problem exists in good old-fashioned analog tech... film transparencies.

Michael's original, high-fidelity photographic transparencies were delivered to a specialist two days ago. New high-resolutions scans should be ready for digital delivery early next week. At that point, a bit of dust and scratch cleanup and a color tweak or two should get us dangerously close to blastoff!

Fingers crossed that next week will bring an all-systems-go clearance.

Somewhere On The Horizon
almost 4 years ago – Fri, Aug 04, 2017 at 01:02:10 AM

Hello Beyond Science Fiction backers,

Bob Self from Baby Tattoo here, with a long overdue update about a long overdue book...

I have been communicating about production delays via the Kickstarter’s comments page, but I owe everyone an official update. Here is an encapsulation of what is going on…

First and foremost, I certainly understand that some backers are concerned at not having received a book (or even an accurate ETA), but hopefully I can provide a bit of information that will clarify what is going on.

Baby Tattoo has been successfully publishing art books for 15 years. Over that time, our publication output has averaged about 4 books per year. We always have multiple projects in various stages of development (see the bottom of this update for information on another fantasy-themed project currently in the works), and unforeseen delays on books sometimes happen. The good news is that Michael Whelan's book will be completed and delivered. The not-so-good news is that we will not have a realistic ETA until the book files are sent to the printer.

We do not want to give backers a made-up ETA based on wishful thinking rather than reality. We already made that mistake in a previous update, and don't want to repeat it. The design, layout, and final file preparation for Michael's book are not quite complete (in fact we are getting more images from Michael that will probably make the book's page count even higher than we thought it was going to be). As soon as the book goes to the printer we will be able to provide a relatively accurate ETA. And the digital PDF version of the book will be made available to all backers as soon as the files are ready for press.

We want to make backers aware of two important things...

1. We are genuinely sorry about the delay. It was our honest intent to deliver the book on time. We take our responsibility to backers very seriously, and we realize you put your trust in us when you back one of our projects. But while we know we have let backers down in terms of the timeline, we will NOT let you down in terms of the quality of the rewards we deliver.

2. We have already shipped bonus items (non-book rewards) to backers who confirmed their shipping address with us. At this time, well over 90% of backers have received all of their bonus rewards (postcard sets, lapel pins, etc.). The quality of these items should indicate our attention to detail, and the additional expense we have incurred in making an extra shipment to every physical reward recipient (rather than waiting until the new book is complete) hopefully demonstrates our sense of responsibility to each and every backer.  

To summarize... please accept my personal apology for the very lengthy delay, and my sincere promise that I will stay on top of this project until every backer has their signed book with their printed "thank you" acknowledgment in hand.

Now, as for that new fantasy-themed project I mentioned... it's all about a species that Michael Whelan is an expert on... dragons. The art is by up-and-comer Brian Kesinger, and you might like to check out the dragon-controlled campaign by clicking here.

"Penned Dragons" Book with Animated Lenticular Cover
"Penned Dragons" Book with Animated Lenticular Cover


Kindest regards,

Bob Self, Ringmaster,  Baby Tattoo Books

Bonus Rewards Are Shipping!
about 4 years ago – Tue, May 30, 2017 at 11:17:29 PM

Hello Everyone,

As explained in previous updates, production on the Beyond Science Fiction book has been significantly delayed. We anticipate having the completed elements to the printer by the end of June, and we will post an update with a revised timeline during the month ahead. We apologize for the delay, and we thank you for your patience.

Fortunately, all of the bonus rewards are ready to ship starting now. Packages that include all non-book reward items for each pledge level will begin shipping immediately, and the process will continue for the next few weeks until all bonus rewards have been mailed. Here's what to expect...

1. Each individual backer will receive a message requesting that they confirm the shipping address we currently have on file based on the BackerKit survey. Please wait until you receive the message before you send a confirmation.

2. Once we receive a response message indicating that the address we have is correct, we will ship the reward items via USPS Mail and send a followup message with a tracking number.

Please Note: It will take several weeks to complete the process of shipping the 1000+ packages. We will work as quickly as possible to get your bonus items to you.

Thank you again for your support and for your patience. We really think you're going to like the goodies headed your way!

Bob Self & The Beyond Science Fiction Team