The 20th Spectrum Fantastic Art Awards were announced this evening at the awards ceremony at Spectrum Live, a weekend long celebration of fantastic art, in Kansas City. Congratulations to all the nominees and winners!
For the past twenty years, the Spectrum Fantastic Art Annual has been the gold-standard of fantasy and science fiction art. Cathie and Arnie Fenner created Spectrum as means to celebrate genre art in an era when it was largely overlooked by the mainstream illustration industry. Since then it has grown to become the most widely distributed and anticipated annual publication of contemporary illustration on the shelves.
Today, at the second annual Spectrum Live convention, the Fenners announced that it was time hand the reins over to another publisher.
The Locus Science Fiction Foundation realeased the finalists for the 2013 Locus Awards. Winners will be announced during the Locus Awards Weekend in Seattle WA, June 28-30, 2013.
Congratulations to all the nominees! We are particularly proud of many Tor Books and Tor.com nominations.
“You will give them an ideal to strive for.”
I have a confession: I am obsessed with Iceland. I’ve only been there once, but I’ve been mesmerized by the place ever since. (Would you like to see my 3,500 vacation photos? Seriously, I’d be happy to show you them. All of them. One by one.) So it was not terribley surprising to me that Iceland has become Hollywood location scouts’ darling of late. Being there, you cannot help but to feel that the Earth is a living thing, in constant flux—with thousands of dramatic waterfalls, volcanoes, geysers (in fact, the geyser), and otherworldly landscapes shaped by old and new eruptions, it’s a natural stand-in for both the beginning of time and the ends of the earth.
With Tom Cruise’s Oblivion—filmed in part in Iceland—opening this weekend, I thought I’d take a look at some other science fiction and fantasy movies that have been shot on this spectacular island...
JordanCon is this weekend. For those in the Atalanta area that want to revel in The Wheel of Time, this is your chance. Among this year’s guests are our own Leigh Butler, Seanan McGuire, Brandon Sanderson, and Michael Whelan. As an extra treat, Michael decided to finish up one of the prelimnary studies he did for the cover of Brandon Sanderson’s The Way of Kings. He will have it on display at the convention. Since I know we have one or two Way of Kings fans here, I couldn’t resist posting for those not able to attend the convention.
For the past eight years, Greg Manchess, Dan Dos Santos, and I have asked a dozen friends to create a 5x7 artwork of their choosing. These miniatures are exhibited at the Society of Illustrators and then placed on auction with all proceeds going to the Society’s student scholarship fund.
Below is a preview of this year’s works. The eBay auction will go live on April 23rd and will end on May 2nd at 7pm.
Here’s a first look at one of the most anticipated movies of the the year, Elysium, from District 9’s Neill Blomkamp. And it looks fantastic.
The impoverished inhabitants of a ruined planet Earth fight to join the safe and pristine living conditions of the space station Elysium, where only the wealthy reside. One resident of the planet's slums must get to get to the space station and kidnaps someone in order to do so.
The BSFA Awards are sponsored by the British Science Fiction Association and drawn up from the most popular titles selected by members of the BSFA. Those members join attendees of Eastercon to cast votes on the winners. This year Eastercon 64, known as EightSquaredCon, and is taking place in Bradford, England, UK from the 29th of March to the 1st of April.
Here are the 2012 winners and nominees.
Congratulations to Brian Francis Slattery whose Lost Everything just won the 2012 Philip K. Dick Award!
Announced Friday night at NorwesCon, the Philip K. Dick Award is presented annually with the support of the Philip K. Dick Trust for distinguished science fiction published in paperback original form in the United States.
From the author of the critically acclaimed literary SF novels Spaceman Blues and Liberation comes an incandescent and thrilling post-apocalyptic tale in the vein of1984 or The Road.
In the not-distant-enough future, a man takes a boat trip up the Susquehanna River with his most trusted friend, intent on reuniting with his son. But the man is pursued by an army, and his own harrowing past; and the familiar American landscape has been savaged by war and climate change until it is nearly unrecognizable.
Lost Everything is a stunning novel about family and faith, what we are afraid may come to be, and how to wring hope from hopelessness.
Welcome to the latest edition of “Picturing...” as we celebrate the art of dinosaurs and creatures in the spirit of dinosaurs. It’s no secret among my friends that I am obsessed with Natural History museums and have far more dinosaur toys in my office than any forty-three year old should admit to having. That said, I’m no expert on dinosaurs, not even in the way that most seven-year-olds can rattle off the names of their favorites. But I love these museums as art installations in themselves, telling nearly unbelievable stories that actually happened. The images included here were chosen because I love them as artwork and I have indulged in, more than a little, the fantastic stories that have been inspired by these creatures. Please enjoy this mix of science and art, fantasy (intentional or otherwise), old theories and new…
(above) Jeff Jones depicting Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Back to the Stone Age.
Take a look at the new art Tor Books has comissioned for the trade paperback edition of A Crown of Swords, volume 7 in Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series!
When it came time to print the trade paperback editions, editor Harriet McDougal asked if we could depict the scene where Cadsuane meets Rand for the first time. It’s a great moment in the book but I feared it might be a difficult one to depict, being a cinematically quiet test of wills. Luckily, artist Tyler Jacobson pulled it off with flying colors.
I met Tyler a few years ago when I went to a portfolio review at Academy of Art University in San Fransisco and have been watching his career ever since. I needed someone that understood the fantasy aesthetic and could handle a crowd scene—Tyler’s name came to mind pretty quickly. Not only did he manage to get all those characters into a small space, he was able to capture the sense of tension embedded in the scene. Not an easy task in a still image.
A while ago I called a bunch of artist-friends and asked them to share their favorite winter paintings for an article celebrating the winter solstice. I didn’t expect to make it a series at the time, but the post was too much fun to put together and I learned way too much not to try it again.
To be honest, when I started I worried that spring would not have the gravitas that winter does, however now that it’s here the exuberance of spring is a delight. It has been a mild but seemingly endless winter here in the American northeast, but the promise of warmer weather, longer days, and a gentle breeze are irresistible.
Without further ado, here are the joys of re-awakening.
Tor Books will publish Vicious by V. E. Schwab this fall. I was excited when the editor, Miriam Weinberg, asked for Victo Ngai by name. Beyond all of her other great work, Victo has been creating a number of fantastic illustrations for Tor.com stories over the past year (even winning a gold medal at the Society of Illustrators for one) and I was thrilled to see that people were taking notice.
After reading the book Victo came back with a bunch of sketches. Here are just a few....
It’s my pleasure to announce that Michael Whelan is confirmed to create the cover art for Words of Radiance, volume 2 of Brandon Sanderson’s Stormlight Archive. Whelan has turned to gallery work in recent years, so we were honored when he took on the series debut, The Way of Kings. That cover was a stunning beginning for the new epic fantasy series and I am delighted that he has agreed to explore Sanderson’s growing world again with us.
Judging for the 20th edition of the Spectrum Fantastic Art Annual wrapped up yesterday. Five jurors looked at, and evaluated, over six thousand entries. A few hundred of the best entries will be complied into the Spectrum annual, due out next fall. Gold and silver medal winners will be announced at the awards ceremony at Spectrum Live, a weekend long celebration of fantastic art, in Kansas City, May 17-19th.
Welcome to another edition of “Picturing...” You don’t have to be an accomplished equestrian to see that horses are magnificent creatures—majestic, fierce, gentle, wise, often all at once. They are a staple throughout art history in general, as well as in fantasy illustration. Putting this collection together, it was tough to know when to stop building; the amount of fantastic drawing and painting about horses seems limitless.
Above: Scandinavian folklore painter John Bauer. I have Charles Vess to thank for introducing me to Bauer’s wonderful fantasy work—he is now an all-time favorite of mine (both Charlie and Bauer.)
Ralph Bakshi’s Lord of the Rings may have had its faults—I admit I’ve been afraid to see it since it’s realease—but to my eight year old self, the gritty hybrid of drawing and live was a dark and fantastic view of the world. I had loved the kinder gentler Rankin/Bass Hobbit at seven and was ready to see the world as a riskier almost-real place. Now, Ralph Bakshi has been generously showing off various bits of production on on his Facebook page. I may still be wary of watching the movie again but it’s a real kick to see behind the real-life work that went into the production.
The best kind of torture for an art director is receiving a bunch of comps and wanting to publish them all. Thankfully, in the internet age, we can show off the alternates, even if we can’t officially publish them.
I’ve wanted to work with designer Will Staehle for a while—I loved the covers he did for Kelly Link’s Pretty Monsters, Adam Christopher’s books, and others. When Tor Books editor Claire Eddy came to me with the premise for Ian Tregillis’ new novel—a Raymond Chandler-inspired murder mystery set in Thomas Aquinas’s vision of Heaven—it felt like the perfect fit.
Michael Whelan, the artist on the 14th and final voume of The Wheel of Time, has made prints available of his cover to A Memory of Light. Upon seeing the cover for the first time, Harriet McDougal, Jordan’s editor and widow remarked, “that is the Rand I have waited to see for twenty years.” Prints are available in 20x30 and 24x36 sizes. Ordering information at the link above. You can see Whelan’s painting process in this post.