Tuesday, May 27, 2008
Here's my cover illustration for the September issue of ASIMOV'S SCIENCE FICTION. The illustration is based on the issue's lead story, "The Ice War" by Stephen Baxter. Imagine a War-of-the-Worlds cataclysm colliding with England in the 1720s. However, the alien ships in this story are a different take from the usual tentacled, flexible tripods of previous WOTW stories. Baxter's aliens are Phoebeans made of ice that erupt from the ground. Their lenticular bodies are supported by huge shafts of ice that converge concentrically in-and-out underneath their body masses and this sliding action is what allows them to move. Pretty cool! So their 'legs' don't bend at all, and they're always parallel. Not until I started sketching did I realize those features make it challenging to depict movement in an illustration. At any rate -- it's a terrific story, and I think it's more about communication than it is about conflict. A pleasure to work with ASIMOV'S for the first time!