Martiniere/Manchess mashup for “The Starship Mechanic” and “Looking for Truth in a Wild Blue Yonder”

Jay Lake was in New York a while back and took some time to hang out at TorDotCentral. He mentioned that he submitted two stories, “The Starship Mechanic” and “Looking for Truth in a Wild Blue Yonder,” to Patrick Nielsen Hayden for consideration on These stories were collaborations between him and Ken Scholes. As a publicity stunt, they sat in the mostest-bestest bookstore, San Fransisco’s Borderlands Books, and started to write. After a while they stopped, swapped stories, and finished them. (More about that here.)

As Jay was explaining this I was becoming unduly excited. Greg Manchess is the artist on Ken’s Psalms of Isaak series and Stephan Martiniere is the artist on Jay’s Clockwork books. The obvious had to happen, there was no way around it. We needed to have Stephan and Greg each start a painting for one of the stories, swap, and finish the other’s work—combining Greg’s classic oil painting with Stephan’s digital painting.

It took a large amount of trust between them and a willingness  to experiment in public. More than anything else, it took a freak-load of scheduling to get everyone lined up. But, lo and behold, a kind of Stephory Marchess was born.

The Starship Mechanic

Greg Manchess’ sketches:

Greg Manchess sketches for The Starship Mechanic

Stephan took those sketches and developed the painting digitaly:
Stephan Martiniere, Greg manchess - Starship Mechanic

…and then Greg printed out the painting in-progress and added the last layer of finish to create the final “Starship Mechanic”:

Stephan Martiniere, Greg Manchess - Starship Mechanic

Looking for Truth in a Wild Blue Yonder

Stephan Martiniere started with the sketches:

Stephan Martiniere sketches  - Looking for Truth

Greg Manchess’ progression through the first half of the painting:
Stephan Martiniere, Greg Manchess, Looking for Truth prgressions

Stephan’s digital paint-over, the final “Looking for Truth”:
Stepahn Martiniere and Greg Manchess, Looking For Truth in a Wild Blue Yonder

Irene Gallo is the art director for Tor, Forge, and Starscape books and


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