My wife and I have been collecting these since Spectrum 1 and it seems that each is better than the last. I recommend the softcover over the hardcover simply because some of the artwork covers 2 pages, and it is easier to see the entire picture with the softcover. If you like Fantasy and Science Fiction art you'll love this series.
I intended this for my Son-in-law who has a collection of the previous Spectrum's. They are issued each year to show the best in the Fantasy Art field of the previous year. But, the cover was done in a class I attended ( picture of the class is in the book) as was another piece in the magazine and as I knew a number of the artists and their pieces were ones I had seen, either in progress or at least personally, I kept it! It was too enjoyable not to. Sorry Theo. Glad I did as it shows basically the best of the best in fantasy art from 2009. Lovely Lovely book! The artist's works shown are spectacularly good. For me it is inspiration for my own work and a level to aspire to reach. If you just want a table book of amazing fantasy art It still would be a perfect choice. A beautiful book of creative and amazing works.