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Art / Space Fantasy Commemorative Stamp Booklet

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Commissioned by the United States Postal Service and created by Stephen Hickman, this booklet displays a pane of five stamps in a row, celebrating the Science Fiction genre.

Released on the 25th of January 1993, it won the 1994 Hugo Award for Best Original Artwork.


These stamps provide examples of:

  • Artistic Licence – Astronomy:
    • The red background is highly unusual, and the presence of planets indicate that this is not a planetary sky. Possibly a nebula, but the presence of planets with atmosphere would indicate against that.
    • The central white star which provides the background for the humans in one of the stamps, has an unusual corona.
  • Conveniently Close Planet: There's nearly a dozen stellar objects, ranging from maybe rocky planets to gas giants, to a central star, all within the single pane of five stamps.
  • Full Moon Silhouette: The central stamp has two humans flying across a blue-white star in the background.
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  • Idiosyncratic Cover Art: The five stamps that make up each of the four pages of this booklet are a single piece of art, designed to have a different central image in each of the five stamps.
  • In Space, Everyone Can See Your Face: The central stamp has two humanoids in metallic-silver spacesuits, wearing bubble helmets that give them the appearance of snub-nosed rocketships.
  • Mile-Long Ship: The ship in the lower background of the centre and centre-right stamps is the largest ship on the entire pane of stamps. The red spaceships give a general idea for how large it is.
  • Retro Rocket:
    • The stamp on the left has three dart-like silver ships, with excessive fins and one or more thrusters.
    • The humans in the centre stamp are wearing jetpacks and a snub-nosed bubble helmet that makes them look like their suit is designed or rocteing around in the atmosphere.
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    • The stamp on the right has three red rockets with an oblong shape and three fins. A line of these ships appears, growing smaller and smaller, in each stamp to the left of this one, ending in the centre.


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