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In the early to mid '80s I read a graphic novel about space travel in the distant future. A human couple win a lottery for an intergalactic cruise line. In reality they are spies that have to get intel on a specific planet, although that side of the story isn't really very relevant.

There is some text accompanying each image or chapter, but mostly images of the planets they visit, the starliners and ships they encounter along the way, and some local fauna. There are drawings of their boarding passes, ID cards, and other paraphernalia as well, all drawn in colour, which is the unusual detail of this space opera.

This book has nothing to do with the Terran Trade Authority graphic novels, and the quality of the artwork was much much better. The size of the book is around A4, and I'd say it was roughly 100 pages or more in length. Any idea what this book is called, and the name of the author/s?

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    @Organic Marble I suspect the kind of plants they visit should be spelled plan(e)ts. Mar 7, 2021 at 17:23
  • @M.A.Golding thanks! That one soared over my head. Deleting the comment. Mar 7, 2021 at 18:42
  • Planets = plants... seems obvious, no?! Actually, there are images of plants as well, and alien landscapes. The artwork was (in my dim memory) stunning. I did read this at the same time as TTA books, so similar publishing date?!
    – jd1566
    Mar 7, 2021 at 20:57

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An art book based on the concept of a couple winning a galactic cruise as a prize sounds like Tour of the Universe: The Journey of a Lifetime: The Recorded Diaries of Leio Scott and Caroline Luranski (1980) by Malcolm Edwards and Robert Holdstock.

Cover of "Tour of the Universe"

The only blurb I've found for it (e.g. google) says:

Two winners of a trip with the first package tour to the Aurora-Magellan Federation spend six months visiting alien planets.

The reviews on the book's goodreads page include the following additional details:

the conceit is a couple who've won a Galactic lottery to take a tour of exciting locals throughout space. Each location gets highlighted by their diary entries and several paintings. The quality of the paintings is unusually high, and a nice touch is details like colorful passports, brochures, forms, etc for various portions of the trip.

There is a review on Amazon that mentions an espionage subplot, and gives example details of one world they visit:

One neat example is Tombworld, a planet used by kings and lords from thousands of alien races to bury their dead. By the time the tourists arrive an Earth company has the rights and is busily tearing it apart to sell the artifacts. There's some amusing anachronisms, "print outs' that look like an old dot matrix, hand written receipts and spandex outfits that look like they came from the Gil Gerard Buck Rodgers show.

I found a discussion of the book (mostly as an artifact, not about the story) on the We are the Mutants blog that includes scans of about a dozen of the pages from the book, including landscapes, people, beings and some of the tickets and other paperwork.

This one was not there (Angus McKie's "Starship Enters Witchlight") but it's a nice picture so I thought I'd include it.

"Starship Enters Witchlight" by Angus McKie from "Tour of the Universe"

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  • YES! That's the one!!!! Thank you!!!!
    – jd1566
    Mar 7, 2021 at 22:36

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