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Gallery: Sci-Fi-Inspired Concept Ships Show Future of Travel

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Gallery: Sci-Fi-Inspired Concept Ships Show Future of Travel
: Image: Nicolas BouvierFuture worlds described by science fiction visionaries like Philip K. ****, William Gibson and Robert Heinlein often included wildly inventive methods of transportation to other planets, galaxies and dimensions.
These brief glimpses into the possible future of travel were left largely to the readers' imaginations, but a flourishing group of dreamers, designers and illustrators are bringing those creations to life -- at least online.
The conceptships.org website run by Igo Tkac showcases these artists' renditions of spaceships and other fantastical creations. From retro-futuristic aerial attack machines to automated deep-sea treasure hunters, here are some of the coolest.
Left:
Nicolas Bouvier has always been fascinated with space travel. Growing up in Cape Canaveral, Florida, he vividly remembers watching shuttles and rockets launch. Now a game designer with credits including Prince of Persia: Warrior Within and Assassin's Creed, Bouvier also designs book covers. He fashioned this illustration for a French edition of a collection of Philip K. **** short stories.
See more of Bouvier's work.
: Image: Jeffrey TurleyJeffrey Turley's otherwordly aquatic vessel is an archeologist's -- or treasure hunter's -- dream. The underwater vehicle submerges to unexplored depths to locate lost artifacts and document unusual life forms.
Turley, a visual development artist at Walt Disney Animation Studios, said he dreams up his concept creations in his spare time.
"It was just for fun," said Turley. "I do these warm-ups now and then to keep my art fresh."
See more of Turley's work.
: Image: David LevyFor this ship's ethereal design, David Levy decided to upgrade an old concept -- the pirate ship -- with a sci-fi twist. Levy, art director of visual design studio SteamBot Studios, envisioned a space boat voyaging across the universe undetected, thanks to advanced disguise technologies that would keep the craft hidden from enemies.
Additionally, the expansive wings of the sleek ship are solar-powered and can be rotated to face the sun as the ship travels. Even the ship's captain has a revamped first mate: "The bird on the shoulders of the pirate is a robot," said Levy. "Which is why it does not need any breathing apparatus."
See more of Levy's work.
: Image: Ben MauroAlthough 23-year-old designer Ben Mauro painted this haunting vessel as an assignment for an art class, sketching and illustrating concept ships is an avid pastime of his.
Mauro based this ship's bulbous skeleton on shapes formed by musical notes and rhythmic formations. According to Mauro, the cruiser's main purpose would be largely for surveying foreign lands, exploring unknown areas and conducting reconnaissance missions.
See more of Mauro's work.
: Image: Michal JelinekIndustrial designer Michal Jelinek came up with this cargo ship concept as part of an instructional lecture for his students.
"The main purpose of this ship is to deliver goods across the planet and to outer space," said Jelinek. The carrier, with its powerful jet engines positioned on the hull for maximum steering control, would also be capable of navigating extreme atmospheric conditions, he said.
See more of Jelinek's work.
: Image: Joel Carlo AymatMultimedia artist Joel Carlo Aymat pieced together this clover-shaped ship while experimenting with his favorite graphic applications, Photoshop and ZBrush.
Aymat pictured it as a perfect vehicle for everyday intergalactic traveling -- though he still needs to concoct a fuel-efficient power source. "It would probably be a pretty snazzy hybrid commuter," said Aymat. "It'd be like the Toyota FT-HS of space travel!"
See more of Aymat's work.
: Image: Jake ParkerWhen Jake Parker isn't at his day job developing special effects for big-budget animated films like Ice Age and Robots, he's bringing his own creations to life in comic books.
This vessel would compete in aerial death matches, so Parker envisioned a vehicle with superior speed and lethal attack functions.
"I love the designs of pre-WWII racers," said Parker, who works as a designer for high-end CGI firm Blue Sky Studios. "Their sleek lines and full shapes always appealed to me."
A bright yellow paint job with black racing stripes gave way to the craft's nickname -- The Wasp.
See more of Parker's work.
: Image: Theodor WaernSwedish concept artist Theodor Waern took inspiration from dystopian sci-fi thrillers Aliens and Terminator to illustrate a menacing battleship for deploying troops to and from pockets of action.
Dubbed the "Ferro," Waern's war machine is equipped with weapons and can carry up to eight passengers and a pilot.
See more of Waern's work.


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