When I got this as a gift as a present, as a sci-fi obsesses teenager, it was a great choice. It's still a great gift choice for teenaged sci-fi obsessed teenagers, which is why it will probably remain in print until doomsday. This is an illustrated compendium of information about extraterrestrials from many of science fiction's classic works - Herbert's Dune, Niven's Known Universe, Heinlein, Asimov, etc., etc., etc. Some authors are represented more than once (probably for rights reasons). Each alien creature gets a lovely painted illustration, with highlighted details, and biographical/xenological summary. A fold-out size comparison is in the center of the binding and the whole is topped off with a generous portion of pencil sketches from Barlowe's workbook. On the whole the pencil work is more vibrant and interesting than the oil porraits and much more interesting.
A nice addition to a sci-fi library.