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Barlowe's Guide to Fantasy

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Barlowe's Guide to Fantasy
File:Barlowe's Guide to Fantasy.jpg
IllustratorWayne Barlowe
Cover artistWayne Barlowe
Publisher1996 (HarperPrism)
Media typePrint
ISBN0-06-105238-8 Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png.
Dewey Decimal
741 .64 092—dc20
LC Class96-3056

Barlowe's Guide to Fantasy is a 1996 fantasy book by artist Wayne Barlowe. A companion to his earlier book Barlowe's Guide to Extraterrestrials, it contains his visualizations of different beings from various works of fantasy. The foreword is by John Silbersack, then editor-in-chief at HarperPrism. The interior text is by Neil Duskis.

With the success of the "Extraterrestrials" book, Barlowe envisioned a series of "Guides" in the same style and started working on a "Fantasy" book. Since this book's release, Barlowe has worked on others' book covers, his own books, and many movies. The rest of the series has not appeared.[1]

For the book's release, HarperCollins hosted an exhibition of Barlowe's original paintings.[2]

Characters and species[edit]

The book covers 50 creatures, in the same format of text facing illustration that Barlowe used in his Guide to Extraterrestrials.[3] Blogger Fletcher Vredenburgh at Black Gate and others have noted that the pictures were apt to suggest a book worth reading.[4][5]

  • Alzabo – Gene Wolfe's The Sword of the Lictor (Species)
  • Anyanwu – Octavia E. Butler's Wild Seed (Character)
  • Baital – Captain Sir Richard F. Burton's King Vikram and the Vampire (Species)
  • Beatriz De Barbentain – Guy Gavriel Kay's A Song for Arbonne (Character)
  • Biargram Ironhand – David Drake's The Dragon Lord (Character)
  • Bran Mak Morn – Robert E. Howard's Bran Mak Morn (Character)
  • Camber of Culdi – Katherine Kurtz's Camber of Culdi (Character)
  • The Caterpillar – Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (Character)
  • Changeling – John Crowley's Little, Big (Species)
  • Chuz – Tanith Lee's Delusion's Master (Character)
  • Corum Jhaelen Irsei – Michael Moorcock's The Knight of the Swords (Character)
  • Dara – Roger Zelazny's The Guns of Avalon (Character)
  • Dark Ones – Barbara Hambly's The Time of the Dark (Species)
  • Drool Rockworm – Stephen R. Donaldson's Lord Foul's Bane (Character, Cavewight)
  • Eastern Afrit – Tim Powers' The Drawing of the Dark (Species)
  • Elemental – Robert Holdstock's Mythago Wood (Species)
  • Gek-a-gek – Clive Barker's Imajica (Species)
  • Gideon Winter/The Dragon – Peter Straub's Floating Dragon (Character)
  • Golem – Hebrew legend (Artificial)
  • Gorice XII – E. R. Eddison's The Worm Ouroboros (Character)
  • Grendel – Beowulf (Character)
  • Griffin – Greek and Middle Eastern mythology (Species). Barlowe references the work of Adrienne Mayor in his description of them as mutated Protoceratops whose remains were found by Scythians.
  • Gugs – H. P. Lovecraft's The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath (Species)
  • Herrel – Andre Norton's Year of the Unicorn (Character, Were-Rider)
  • Ilrede – Poul Anderson's The Broken Sword (Character, Troll)
  • Kerowyn – Mercedes Lackey's By the Sword (Character)
  • Lamprey-worms – Dan Simmons' Summer of Night (Species)
  • Lirazel – Lord Dunsany's The King of Elfland's Daughter (Character)
  • The Machine-beast – Terry Brooks' The Sword of Shannara (Character)
  • Morgaine – Marion Zimmer Bradley's The Mists of Avalon (Character)
  • Mort – Terry Pratchett's Mort (Character)
  • Nevyn – Katharine Kerr's Daggerspell (Character)
  • Nissifer – Jack Vance's Cugel's Saga (Character)
  • Psammead – E. Nesbit's Five Children and It (Species)
  • Quicksilver Dragon – Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman's Dragon Wing (Species)
  • The Red Death – Edgar Allan Poe's "The Masque of the Red Death" (Character)
  • The Sawhorse – L. Frank Baum's The Land of Oz (Artificial)
  • Shadow – Ursula K. Le Guin's A Wizard of Earthsea (Character)
  • Shrowk – David Lindsay's A Voyage to Arcturus (Species)
  • Silent One – A. Merritt's The Moon Pool (Species)
  • Swine-things – William Hope Hodgson's The House on the Borderland (Species)
  • Tengu – Japanese folklore (Species)
  • Mr. Toad – Kenneth Grahame's The Wind in the Willows (Character)
  • Toothguards – Tad Williams' Tailchaser's Song (Species)
  • Trollocs – Robert Jordan's The Eye of the World (Species)
  • The Unicorn – Peter S. Beagle's The Last Unicorn (Character)
  • Unseelie Court Assassins – Emma Bull's War for the Oaks (Species)
  • Vodyanois – C. J. Cherryh's Russian novel trilogy: Rusalka, Chernevog and Yvgenie (Species)
  • White Lady – Raymond E. Feist's Faerie Tale (Character)
  • Wolfen – Whitley Strieber's The Wolfen (Species)

Extra content[edit]

A foldout section in the middle of the work, showing size comparisons. The last 34 pages consist of pencil sketches, including preliminary sketches for Pilgrimage to Hell, a project possibly related to his later Inferno.[3]


Gardner Dozois wrote in The Year's Best Science Fiction: Fourteenth Annual Collection that the book was, "Among the best values in the art book field this year".[6] The book was reviewed in the Crypt of Cthulhu by Robert M. Price.[7]


  1. Liptak, Andrew (February 16, 2017). "Wayne Barlowe's Illustrated Aliens | Kirkus Reviews". Kirkus Reviews. Retrieved 2018-06-06.
  2. Art Now Gallery Guide: National & international. Art Now, Incorporated. October 1996. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  3. 3.0 3.1 tarbandu (December 19, 2013). "'Barlowe's Guide to Fantasy' by Wayne Douglas Barlowe". The PorPor Books Blog: SF and Fantasy Books 1968 - 1988 (blog).
  4. Fletcher Vredenburgh (February 25, 2014). "For Want of a Dragon … The Dragon Lord by David Drake". Black Gate.
  5. Clark, Scott (2014). "Books That Lead You to More Books" (PDF). lincolnlibraries.org.
  6. Dozois, Gardner R. (1997). The Year's Best Science Fiction: Fourteenth Annual Collection. Macmillan. ISBN 9780312157029. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  7. "Search Crypt of Cthulhu". www.hplovecraft.com. Retrieved 2018-06-07.

External links[edit]

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