November 21st, 2015


Unfriendly Powers

I never judged a book by its cover. Back in the days when you could buy books in the quaint old mass-market paperback format at actual bookstores, I would go to the science fiction section and look for names and descriptions, recognizing that the publishers had to put certain kinds of pictures on the front to indicate what sort of book it was, but the words were the important part.

In retrospect, I now realize that I had to look at (or pretty much through) a number of covers that told us the future would be gaunt, misshapen, and just plain ugly. A few years ago I joined the Vintage Paperback mailing list, which sends us a picture of an old book every day, and I realized that the ugly-sci-fi covers were done by a man named Richard Powers (with perhaps a few by artists trying to imitate him).

Once again I am in the minority. He was the Discorporate Artist GoH at World Fantasy Con, where they had a video display of one of his covers after another (from which I learned that he didn’t have to draw like that), and now I learn that he has been inducted into the Society of Illustrators Hall of Fame.

Thanx to