Friday, June 29, 2018

Harlan Ellison (1934-2018)

I mark the passing of science fiction writer Harlan Ellison (1934-2018) with this wraparound paperback cover that art I did for his novel “Phoenix Without Ashes.” 

The story was based on a TV script he wrote called "The Starlost," about people who discover they're living on a generation starship. 

The production of the paperback book got hung up in some dispute Harlan had with the publisher, so it didn't get past the proof stage in the paperback version, but was later released on a hardcover dust jacket by IDW press.


Jim Douglas said...

Jim, did you follow a similar design process for creating your early book cover illustrations as you would now? That is, did you begin with a series of thumbnail sketches to test composition, color, value, etc.? Or has your process changed/developed over time?

Pierre Fontaine said...

Also, would you have constructed a maquette for the ship and control room set that you've painted to test for lighting, perspective etc. It's a very impressive image and one that suits the story perfectly.

Sad to hear about Mr. Ellison. While I enjoyed his writing, I truly enjoyed his essays and film reviews. Thanks for posting your book cover as its a lovely tribute to a very talented writer and the worlds he created.


Rich said...

Love the warm-cool-contrasts, the reflexes, the overall coloring, the lighting and last but not least the compelling perspective, leading straight to the focal couple.

David Apatoff said...

"The production of the paperback book got hung up in some dispute Harlan had with the publisher"

Imagine that--Harlan got in a dispute with somebody. It would be more surprising if you said Harlan didn't get in a dispute with somebody. Life for him was one long battle, but he was a brilliant writer and a potent force in the field of speculative fiction. All artists should mourn the loss of such a heroic voice for the rights of creative people.

Your book cover is lovely, James. I'm sure Harlan appreciated it.