Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Q: What do Hugh Jackman, Charles Stross & me have in common?

While I'm sure blinding sex appeal comes to mind first (cough, ahem), the answer in this case is that we're featured interviews, along with Robert Picardo, in ROBOT 50, the brilliant Italian magazine from Delos Books. I just received my copy yesterday and the issue looks fabulous. Thanks to Silvio Sosio and Maurizio Manzieri for inviting me. Maurizio is a terrific Chesley Award-winning illustrator and did a great job with my interview. The image they chose for the cover is is the art I did for the most recent North American edition of Frederik Pohl's GATEWAY (Ballantine/Del Rey). Grazie, fellas!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Thanks, folks...

Been working away over here on several assignments, so I'm a bit late on the following. Just wanted to say thanks to a couple of folks. First, to SFRevu. They recently posted their Hugo Recommendations and were kind enough to list me amongst their suggested suspects in the Professional Artist category. Very appreciated. All terrific names in their list, and I'm pleased to see Brian W. Dow listed there as well. His most notable recent cover work was done for Pyr, and besides his really thoughtful covers, the guy is an absolutely amazing modelmaker. For a couple of his Pyr covers, he lovingly crafted spaceships out of household scraps and then used these models as references for his illustrations. I did the same thing on Mike Resnick's STARSHIP: MUTINY and STARSHIP: PIRATE, but I have to hand it to Brian -- his handiwork would make Industrial Light & Magic drool with envy. He's good. So I'm happy to see him getting acknowledgement for his work. Lots of other terrific recommendations overall in the SF Revu Recommendation List, including Lou Anders for Best Professional Editor (Long Form), and Chris Roberson's PARAGAEA (Novel).

Also thanks to John Klima, the mastermind at Electric Velocipede. He offered his Hugo thoughts and he listed COVER STORY: THE ART OF JOHN PICACIO as a nominee in the Best Related Book category. COVER STORY is definitely eligible, as well as SPECTRUM 13: THE BEST IN CONTEMPORARY FANTASTIC ART and Jon Foster's re/volution, amongst other 2006 releases. Good luck to Klima in the Hugo Best Editor (Short Form) category for his work on Electric Velocipede. SFRevu and Electric Velocipede are both excellent considerations in the Best Fanzine category.

TIME'S CHILD arrives

Congrats to Rebecca Ore, Diana Gill, Jennifer Brehl, and the folks over at HarperCollins/Eos. Rebecca's latest novel TIME'S CHILD scored a rock-solid "A-" review from "Highly entertaining and creative, a story readers won't forget." Looks like Eos is running some thoughtful essays by Rebecca over at their blog. You should check these out, and definitely keep your eyes out for TIME'S CHILD which just released in bookstores everywhere yesterday. (In case you're curious, here's the full front cover art.) :)

Friday, February 09, 2007

FAST FORWARD 1 hits the streets

I offered the following thoughts (or words to the effect) over in a comment on Lou Anders' blog. Lou's new anthology, FAST FORWARD 1: FUTURE FICTION FROM THE CUTTING EDGE, (published by Pyr), debuted this week via booksellers everywhere, and in fact, I just recently received a few comp copies from the publisher over here. In a nutshell, I'm so thrilled to be a part of this book. When I saw the finished product for the first time, I felt very fortunate to do what I do for a living. The reviews for the book are starting to roll in and it's getting raves from many corners. I couldn't be happier for Lou and Pyr.

As far as the cover goes, it's no secret how much I admire Richard Powers and his art. Here's an expanded version of my comment from Lou's blog, regarding this cover:

Lou and I talked a lot about this one. More than anything, we talked about the editorial direction of the book and what territory he was trying to explore. I read his introduction early in the process. Incredibly inspiring. He and I talked a lot about Richard Powers and his effect on Ballantine's covers in the '50s. On Lou's blog, he mentioned something about the cover "approximating some of Powers' energy for our time." I don't want anyone to think that I equate myself with Powers, so I might clarify that by saying that the thing I love about Powers' covers is that they challenge their audience. They refuse to be beauty pageant pieces that desparately preen to be liked for their surface polish. I think that's one of the most powerful lessons in his art....they spoke to the audience of their time, and they did it on their own terms. So I guess if anything, I was attempting (and attempting is the keyword) to do the same with this cover. Lofty as that may sound. Of course, in the end, I look at the FF1 cover and as much as it's one of my recent favorites, I see my own glaring shortcomings more than anything. I've got a long way to go....I'm already looking forward to FF2, so I can try again.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

The LOCUS Recommended Reading List for 2006

Here it is. I'm pleased to see COVER STORY: THE ART OF JOHN PICACIO listed amongst LOCUS' list of the best art books of 2006. Awesome.

Also especially pleased to see the following books on the list because I was fortunate to do covers for them:

THE EMPIRE OF ICE CREAM by Jeffrey Ford (Golden Gryphon)

THE MAN FROM THE DIOGENES CLUB by Kim Newman (MonkeyBrain Books)

FUTURESHOCKS, edited by Lou Anders (Penguin/Roc)

SCIENCE FICTION: THE VERY BEST OF 2005, edited by Jonathan Strahan (Locus Press)

FANTASY: THE VERY BEST OF 2005, edited by Jonathan Strahan (Locus Press)


BLOOD & THUNDER: THE LIFE & ART OF ROBERT E. HOWARD by Mark Finn (MonkeyBrain Books)


Chris Roberson posted this over at his blog, and I'm a couple of days late in sharing. Wow, what a cool review for COVER STORY: THE ART OF JOHN PICACIO in the March issue of ASIMOV'S SCIENCE FICTION! Review by Paul Di Filippo.