The Chesley nominees: 24% sci-fi, 73% fantasy, 3% rocket-propelled monkey

Know how to find the coolest science fiction and fantasy art on the planet? Instead of personally reviewing the thousands of book, magazine, gaming and other images out there, simply check out the Chesleys.

The Chesley Awards, named after famed space artist Chesley Bonestell, are given out each year by the Association of Science Fiction and Fantasy Artists for the previous year's best art of the fantastic. This year's awards will be presented at Anticipation, the 67th World Science Fiction Convention, but you don't have to wait until then to meet the finest artists of 2008.

ASFA's site contains all of the nominated works, so whether you're a voting member or not, you still get to wander through a virtual art exhibit. One of our favorites pieces is John Picacio's cover to the Lou Anders-edited anthology Fast Forward 2, from which we've highlighted a detail above. (A flying monkey will get us every time.)

Others images we love include (from left to right below) Bob Eggleton's cover to the August '08 issue of Asimov's SF Magazine, Omar Rayyan's unpublished "Gizmo" and Todd Lockwood's cover to Tom Lloyd's novel The Stormcaller.

Visit ASFA to see these and all the rest of the nominated works.

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