Space Wars Words & Weapons contains 96 pages of sci-fi paintings from various artists interspersed with author Steven Eisler's literary criticism of various genre works. Although I read the text at the time, I didn't really get it. Instead, my eyes were drawn to the illustrations by Vincent Di Fate, Frank Kelly Freas, Chris Moore, Boris Vallejo, and Michael Whelan. The book contained chapters on space vehicles, interplanetary wars and weapons, fantastic creatures, fantasy, and other worlds. Oh, and a foreward by some guy named Chris Foss. Not only were there some fantasic pieces of art, but the captions for each illustration linked the various artists' works into a shared universe with shout-outs to cities on spindizzy drives, the sandworms of Dune, the dragons of Pern, and various galactic wars and empires.
I lost track of that book once I moved out of my parents' house, but years later I was able to track it down thanks to eBay (helping geeks relive their childhood since 1999). I'm glad I did, as the art still rocks. Don't believe me? Check out this guy's blog post for examples of the art contained in the book and you'll see what I'm talking about.