Every June, I help teach the Illustration Master Class, an SFF illustration workshop that takes place in Amherst. One of the many perks of taking part in the IMC is getting to choose a few favorite fiction titles to use as class assignments. Two years ago, Seanan McGuire’s Every Heart a Doorway was one of those favorites. I was excited to see what the class would do with it, primarily because I loved the book, but also because we had opted for a photo montage for the cover, rather than an illustration. I was curious what an artist would do with Seanan’s (now Hugo Award-winning) Wayward Children series.
Richard Anderson is every art director’s dream. His bold, painterly approach is explosive—there is energy to every line. Nothing is ever still in his work, even when the figures aren’t in motion. The scene is never a stiff or frozen: you are given a moment to look at, but it’s easy to imagine what comes before and after. The looseness in his style invites the viewer to fill in the gaps, it also allows the reader to imagine the details for themselves as they go through the book. Richard gives you tone, a feeling for the book, and asks you to participate in the imagery. He’s also just a joy to work with. (It may not be the most important aspect of an illustrator, but it sure helps.)
After reading Aidan Moher’s feature on Richard, I was curious to see all of his book covers in one place. While I am very familiar with his work, I always enjoy a chance to see an artist in new a context. With that, here are some of the books that various publishers felt Richard was the perfect artist to set the stage for, and a little about each series. Enjoy!
Last week, we were very excited to release Tor.com Publishing’s first novel-length hardcover, Malka Older’s Infomocracy. As someone who has been in publishing for over 20 years, one of the many gifts Tor.com has given me is to make the process seem new again. I’ve been working on book covers since 1993 and loving every year of it, but still, it is impossible not to take a special pride in this line. Combine that with a few new people in the art department (waves at Esther and Christine!), we decided we were due for some behind-the-scenes coverage of our shiny, shiny jacket for Infomocracy.
Today would have marked Chesley Bonestell’s 128th birthday.
Throughout the 1930s Bonestell worked as both an architect and a movie matte painter on high profile projects ranging from New York’s Chrysler building and San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge, to Orson Welles’ Citizen Kane and George Pal’s War of the Worlds. But it is astronomical art where Bonestell is best known and revered.
Series: On This Day
Science fiction artist Richard Powers is among the Society of Illustrators’ newest Hall of Fame inductees, along with Beatrix Potter, Peter de Seve, Marshall Arisman, Guy Billout, Rolf Armstrong, and William Glackens. Since 1958, the Society of Illustrators has elected to its Hall of Fame artists recognized for their “distinguished achievement in the art of illustration.”
Richard Powers was a hugely influential science fiction illustrator throughout the 1950s and ’60s. Vincent di Fate wrote, in his art survey book Infinite Worlds:
When they first appeared on since fiction paperbacks in the 1950s, Richard Powers’s surreal and largely abstract images were usual to see in the field of commercial art. The stir they created launched him on the path to becoming one of the most successful and imitated illustrators in SF, placing him in the company of J. Allen St. John, Frank R. Paul, and Chelsey Bonestell as a prime mover of the field.
We talk a lot of about writers and stories on Tor.com but we always strive to give equal attention to our visual presentation. We are indebted to the artists who work tirelessly to make us, and our stories, look good and connect to readers. With that in mind, I’m sure you can appreciate how delighted and honored I am that 12 illustrations for Tor.com Publishing have been selected for this year’s Society of Illustrators annual exhibition.
A special congratulations to Sam Weber for having earned a Gold Medal for his illustration for Haralambi Markov’s story “The Language of Knives”. The Society of Illustrators Annual Awards are one the premiere showcases for outstanding work created worldwide throughout the year. Thousands of entries are received and juried by a team of illustrators and art directors. It is truly an honor to be selected for the annual, and a great honor to be one of the few chosen for a medal.
These will be on display at the Museum of American Illustration in February and March 2016 and will be included in Society’s annual, Illustrators, coming out in winter 2017.
I hope you can take a moment to enjoy these works outside of the context of illustration and appreciate them as artworks in themselves. Below, the twelve pieces unadorned.
This year’s jury consisted of Justin Gerard, Virginie Ropars, Greg Ruth, Annie Stegg Gerard, and Dice Tsutsumi, and determined Silver and Gold recipients in eight categories. The Spectrum Advisory Board also selected the 2015 Grand Master Honoree.
Please join us in congratulating all of the finalists and recipients!
We released the Richard Anderson cover for Victor Milán’s The Dinosaur Lords last year with a bit of fanfare….Mostly of the “Holy Sh*t!” variety. The book roughly mirrors 14th century Europe with its dynastic rivalries, religious wars, and byzantine politics…but the weapons of choice are dinosaurs. As I said then, a painting of knights riding dinosaurs was either going to be a cheesy disaster or pure awesome. Thankfully (if not surprisingly) Richard Anderson delivered the awesome.
The subject matter was just too rich not to indulge a little, so we commissioned Anderson to create a few interior drawings for the chapter heads. While Anderson is busy on the cover art for the sequel, The Dinosaur Knights, I thought I’d show off a couple of these drawings.
Tor Books is proud to present the cover for Death’s End, the concluding book in the tour de force near-future adventure trilogy from China’s best-selling and most beloved science fiction writer, with yet another beautiful image from Stephan Martinière!
Cixin Liu’s first book in the series, The Three-Body Problem, came out last year and is currently on the Hugo and Nebula Awards ballot. Book two, The Dark Forest, will be out this summer. Death’s End, the exciting concluding volume, will be out January 2016.
Launching V. E. Schwab’s A Darker Shade of Magic was, in a word, a blast. We had a popular and energetic writer who was getting a great response for her previous standalone book (Vicious), plus an intriguing premise for the new novel with an awesome cover by Will Staehle. Titan Books, the UK publisher of A Darker Shade of Magic, has an equally great cover by Julia Lloyd. (The two publishing houses even created double-sided posters so fans could switch back and forth.)
So, when it came time to work on the the follow-up, A Gathering of Shadows, we were excited and primed to have a good time with it and see what both deisgners had in store.
We are particularly proud to share Will Staehle’s amazing cover for Charlie Jane Anders’ All the Birds in the Sky. For one thing, there is the usual excitement over any cover Will Staehle creates (and the wonderful torture of having to pick only one), but also because it’s Charlie Jane Anders’ first novel. Not only is she the beloved editor of io9, but she has long been a favorite contributor to Tor.com’s orginal fiction. When All the Birds in the Sky came up for auction, everyone at Tor was delighted that editor Patrick Nielsen Hayden was able to land it for us.
The book is described as blending literary fantasy and science fiction, telling the story of the decades-long, on-and-off romance between a sorceress and a computer genius, beginning in childhood and proceeding against a background of increasingly catastrophic climate change.
The James Tiptree, Jr. Literary Award Council has just announced the 2014 winners and honor list. The Tiptree Award “is presented annually to a work of science fiction or fantasy that explores and expands gender roles. The award seeks out work that is thought-provoking, imaginative, and perhaps even infuriating. It is intended to reward those writers who are bold enough to contemplate shifts and changes in gender roles, a fundamental aspect of any society.”
The 2014 James Tiptree Award goes to My Real Children by Jo Walton and The Girl in the Road by Monica Byrne. More on this year’s winners, and the complete honor list, below the fold…
The Folio Society has been publishing premium illustrated editions of classic works since 1947, including many iconic science fiction and fantasy titles. They’ve just released a beautiful edition of Frank Herbert’s Dune with art by Sam Weber, and that’s a reason for both fans of Dune and fans of great art to rejoice. This 50th anniversary edition contains eleven full color illustrations, black and white spot illustrations, as well as a gorgeous slipcase featuring the desert landscape of Arrakis.
Jonathan Strahan has released the table of contents for The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year Vol 9. Congratulations to all the authors selected! We are extremely proud to have three stories included—“The Devil in America” by Kai Ashante Wilson, “The Insects of Love” by Genevieve Valentine, and “Cold Wind” by Nicola Griffith.
Behold, the Will Staehle cover for Adam Christopher’s scifi noir thriller Made to Kill! We are particularly excited about this title here at Tor.com, as Adam Christopher came up with the idea for the novel while taking one of our “Pop Quiz” author interviews. What started as a passing notion—what would a science fiction story written by Raymond Chandler look like—became a novelette, and now a series of novels.
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