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Maciej Rebisz p1

READERSVOICE.COM aims to collect a few interesting reading tips. Polish concept artist and illustrator Maciej Rebisz had some tight deadlines but he managed to answer some questions for this issue. He’s a computer graphics (CG) artist who creates photographic quality 3d images of space and space craft, as well as other subjects, like streetscapes and nature. He works for Platige Image, a Polish company that specializes in computer graphics, 3D animation, and digital special effects, and he creates personal projects in his spare time. His research and reading about space is wide ranging. Check out his work at maciejrebisz.com.

READERSVOICE.COM: I know you liked Ringworld by Larry Niven, because of the picture it inspired. What are some other favorite novels or other books, whether sci-fi, alternative history, space history or anything else?

MACIEJ REBISZ: I prefer more science than fiction in my sci-fi and I have to admit, most of my favorite sci-fi books are the ones where the author puts the idea or a concept before character development. I’m that type of person; I don’t really care if characters are properly fleshed out and what their problems are, as long as the greater idea behind the story is good. Some kind of awesome cosmic events or alien mysteries. That’s why one of my favourite authors is A.C. Clarke – he focuses more on technology, technological and ideological concepts and questions on a cosmic scale. Same with Isaac Asimov. However, sometimes I like to read military sci-fi – like Jack Campbell’s “The Lost Fleet” series and its spin-offs. But I treat it more like an action adventure book than science fiction. On the other hand there’s Jack McDevitt who often combines both action adventure and hard science fiction – his series are full of cool concepts, space mysteries and xenoarchaeology. Indiana Jones in space. I also read tons of non-fiction, like astrophysics and astrodynamics textbooks, scientific articles and space history, too many to name. And I love Haynes Owners’ Workshop Manuals to spacecraft: they’re a great resource of all kinds of technical details about space hardware.

RV: What were the courses you studied on space?

MR: I studied architectural design, but it didn’t really cover any space topics. Last year I’ve decided to take a few online courses – astrophysics, exoplanets, some history of space exploration and some more technical ones about astronautics, space mission design and orbital mechanics. They really helped me understand some of the concepts and current state of knowledge about space and where we should go next.

RV: How did you become interested in space exploration when you were a kid, and when did you first combine it with computer art?

MR: I think it was mostly my dad who got me interested in space; he always liked to read, watch and talk about space things, and as a kid I had many encyclopediae, in which my favourite sections were those about tech, space and astronauts. My first digital space artworks were mostly space vistas with planets, stars and nebulae, back in 2003. Prior to that I remember doing some pen or pencil drawings of space and spaceships, but that was all “analog”.

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– copyright Simon Sandall.