John Harris has been one of my personal favorite artists since I began working at Tor Books 20 years ago. Of course I love the scale of his work—everything feels weighty and important—but it’s his ability to portray a future that seems simultaneously possible and dream-like that resonates with me the most. His paintings are never labored or overly rendered. Instead they invite the viewer to participate in them, to contemplate that future, and its repercussions, in their own mind. It’s almost as if the viewer is left with a memory of the event.
Harris’ work has graced the covers of countless science fiction books science the early 80s, for authors such as John Scalzi, Orson Scott Card, Ben Bova, Ann Leckie, and many others. It is a testament to his work that book covers produced today are every bit as fresh and relevant as they have been throughout the past three decades.
Titan Books is now publishing The Art of John Harris: Beyond the Horizon, a 160 page hardcover collection that focuses on his wide variety of futuristic paintings, sketches, acrylics and watercolors.
In the introduction John Scalzi says,
In my career as an author, I’ve found John Harris’ work incredibly inspiring. And no, I don’t mean that simply as a compliment. I mean it in the sense that a significant part of my written work started with me staring at a picture of his artwork and having ideas come from there.
The best example of this my novel The Ghost Brigades, part of my Old Man’s War series. Tor, my publisher, decided to have John do the art for trade paperback of Old Man War and at the same time commissioned the cover to The Ghost Brigades, which I was then writing—because sometimes in publishing you get a cover even before you have a manuscript. My editor showed both to me with a flourish. Both were quintessential John Harris space art: vibrantly colored, impressionist yet technical, implying a whole universe outside the borders of the cover.
The Art of John Harris: Beyond the Horizon will be available May 30th. We are honored to present the following preview.
I’m particularly proud that the cover to John Scalzi’s The Human Division is being used for the cover of the regular edition. For collectors, a slipcase edition will sport this lovely painting created for a private commission.