Friday, July 04, 2008

FAST FORWARD 2, ed. by Lou Anders

Here's the final cover art for the forthcoming Pyr anthology FAST FORWARD 2, edited by Hugo Award finalist Lou Anders. Art's best when it speaks for itself, but if you want behind the scenes trivia, here's a little. This cover had a few inspirations, not the least of which is the mental tennis between me and Lou. It's not so much Lou saying, "I want the cover to look like this" as much him firing short phrases of things he's seeing in science fiction, and then I respond with what I see, and at some point, I take off and run with the ball. Hard to explain if you're not there, but it's just the way we've always worked. The best of times. Back to inspirations:

1. This image has been in my head illustration by Theophile Alexandre Steinlen featured on the cover of a late-1800's French magazine called Le Petit Sou. The symbolism is so resonant. I don't think that this image was created with the USA in mind, but it reminds me of the ideals that founded this country, and also what it will probably take if the US intends to be great again. I love this image, and it not only spawned the FF2 cover, but at least two more illustrations that I'll be doing for myself (or maybe even for future covers?).

2. Something unexpected and out-of-the-blue....the death of Dave Stevens, the creator of THE ROCKETEER. I've never seen a drawing of his that wasn't full of love and hope. My personal tastes in art have shifted a lot since all those years ago when I treasured his comics, but his recent death still jolted me. In some small way, the cover of FF2 is my way of saying, "RIP, Dave....thanks for the memories."

3. From Paul McAuley...Lou quoted this in FF2's intro...."(Science fiction) not only shows us what could happen if things carry on the way they are, but it pushes what's going on to the extremes of absurdity. That's not its job: that's its nature. And what's happened to science fiction lately, it isn't natural. It's pale and lank and kind of out of focus. It needs to straighten up and fly right. It needs to reconnect with the world's weather, and get medieval on reality's ass."


Blogger Rick Klaw said...

Another great cover! I'm looking forward to this book. I really enjoyed the first volume.

7:49 PM  
Blogger ces said...

Yup, looks wonderful!

11:27 PM  
Blogger John Picacio said...

Thanks, Rick! Thanks, Christine! Much appreciated. I can't wait to see this book in its final form....

5:37 PM  
Blogger Jeff Carlson said...

Very strong cover, sir! It's appreciated.

6:17 PM  
Blogger John Picacio said...

Thanks, Jeff! Lou speaks highly of your book THE PLAGUE YEAR....I'll have to get around to that one someday....see you at Worldcon! :)

8:05 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home