" In this universe the night was falling; the shadows were lengthening towards an east that would not know another dawn. But elsewhere the stars were still young and the light of morning lingered; and along the path he once had followed, Man would one day go again"

Arthur C. Clarke Against the Fall of Night

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

The Power of Powers

One of the events that propelled me from a SF reader to a SF collector was receiving some books on SF movies and illustration from a friend. That gift and my subsequent collecting led me to a complie, at least in my head, a list of favourite illustrators. Frank R. Paul for the many wonderful covers, he did for Hugo Gernsback's Amazing Stories among others, with their vivid scenes of futuristic cities, science experiments gone wrong, men battling giants insects, aliens, dinosaur, machines run amok or any other threat he could envision against striking red, blue and yellow backgrounds. Virgil Finlay for his luxuriant interior b&w illustrations for pulps like Weird Tales, and his bubble-beckoning beauties on the covers of magazines like Famous Fantastic Mysteries. The longer I collect the more I love Paul Lehr's gorgeous illustrations, with enigmatically rendered figures amid the cones and curves of his dreamlike landscapes and cities. And of course there is Richard Powers with his robots, rockets and inexplicable machines nestled among backgrounds snatched from the dreams and nightmares of any number of surrealists. I first met him not on the wonderful Ballantine paperbacks I adore now but the hardcover series of Andre Norton novels from Harcourt, Brace & World books that formed a cornerstone of the libraries of my youth and coloured so much of my childhood interest in SF. So when I saw that..,

"Science fiction artist Richard Powers is among the Society of Illustrators’ newest Hall of Fame inductees"
quoted from the TOR.COM website, the link to the full post follows


I went to my shelves and pulled some of my favourite covers. I also added a link to Matt Lattorre's wonderful Richard Powers Gallery in my Handy Resources. Enjoy.


  1. Powers always impresses! His cover for Nerves is spectacular... I have Brain Wave (not a huge fan of the book itself), Star Surgeon, and A Mirror For Observers... I'd love to have that edition of The Sirens of Titan -- unfortunately I have some mass market type paperback after Vonnegut got famous and "mainstream."

  2. Thanks for commenting.

    I really love the way Powers could adapt his surrealist style to the actual elements of the plot. Nerves, is I think one of the best examples of that it screams Powers but also really captures Del Rey's themes.

    All the best