Saturday, May 31, 2008

SON OF MAN is here!

Cool! Look what I just received -- advance copies of Pyr's spiffy new edition of Robert Silverberg's classic SON OF MAN! Wraparound cover illustration by me (see the full image here). Here's the summary copy on the book's back cover: "Clay is a man from the twentieth century who is somehow caught up in a time-flux and transported into a distant future. The Earth and the life on it have changed beyond recognition. Even the human race has evolved into many different forms now coexisting on the planet. The seemingly omnipotent Skimmers, the tyrannosaur-like Eaters, the sedentary Awaiters, the squid-like Breathers, the Interceders, the Destroyers -- all are "Sons of Man." Befriended and besexed by the Skimmers, Clay goes on a journey that takes him around the future Earth and into the depths of his own soul. He is human, but what does that mean?" If you like your science fiction trippy, transcendent, and mind-bending, you're gonna like this one. Get yours starting this coming Tuesday from booksellers everywhere. :)

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

"The Ice War" by Stephen Baxter

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!

Monday, May 26, 2008

CANTICLE in Hungary

Recently arrived -- Maecenas, a first-rate Hungarian publishing house who also happens to be the exclusive Hungarian publisher for heavyweights like Kurt Vonnegut, has just released their edition of Walter M. Miller, Jr's classic A CANTICLE FOR LEIBOWITZ. They bought the Hungarian rights for my cover illustration (first appeared on the HarperCollins/Eos American trade edition) and sent me a couple of copies. I was wowed by their edition's foil and matte treatment, with partial embossing. Pazar! Hats off to Maecenas, and many thanks to Gyorgy Tibor Szanto and Eva Bitto for making it happen. :)

The Terok Nor Trilogy

Recently arrived -- Marco Palmieri and the Pocket Books team were kind enough to send me my copies of the STAR TREK: TEROK NOR trilogy. The first two debuted in March and April, respectively, and the third book should be in bookstores now. As mentioned here previously, I illustrated the three covers as a triptych so that they would connect into one picture when the books are put together. If you're a Deep Space Nine fan, check 'em out! :)

Thursday, May 15, 2008


Been working round-the-clock on two covers these last several days. One of them is the cover for Michael Moorcock's ELRIC: THE SLEEPING SORCERESS, which will be the third of Del Rey's six-volume Elric series. Right now, I'm working on the final color version, but here's a look at the final pencil underdrawing. Pencil on Crescent illustration board, 14"x20". The other cover I'm working on is for ASIMOV'S. Editor Sheila Williams has given me a terrific story by Stephen Baxter called "The Ice War" and I'll share my work on this one soon, as well as the finished Elric cover, when it's all done and Del Rey gives the green light.

Thursday, May 08, 2008


Looks like my cover art for two STAR TREK: MYRIAD UNIVERSE books has leaked into cyberspace this week. So I guess it's OK to post it here. The top picture is the cover illo for a July release called STAR TREK: MYRIAD UNIVERSES -- INFINITY'S PRISM, which features alternate universe TREK stories by Christopher L. Bennett, William Leisner, and James Swallow.

The bottom one here is for an August release called STAR TREK: MYRIAD UNIVERSES -- ECHOES & REFRACTIONS, which features more goodness by Keith R. A. DeCandido, Chris Roberson, and Geoff Trowbridge. Marco Palmieri, Pocket Books' senior editor and STAR TREK overseer, sent me the following comment that Geoff dropped on a discussion board yesterday, "Whereas some artists work in oils or watercolors, Picacio's medium of choice is comprised entirely of awesome." I got a good laugh out of that one....much appreciated, Geoff. :) Shoutout to Keith for his recent Scribe Awards nominations, and add another notch in the Roberson/Picacio collaboration list, which always makes me happy.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Moorcock, Elric, & Me at GalleyCat

Swell photo here of 2008 SFWA Grandmaster Michael Moorcock, courtesy of Del Rey's editor-in-chief Betsy Mitchell. This morning, GalleyCat posted Betsy's photo, along with a sizable article about Mike's honors and my collaboration with him on ELRIC: THE STEALER OF SOULS. Pretty solid piece by Ron Hogan.....check it out!

Tor's New Website!

Tor Books has been perfecting their version of the mother-of-all-websites, and as an incentive to build audience, they're offering free(!) desktop wallpapers from different artists each week. The wallpapers are available for one week only, and then they're replaced by another set. Starting today, this week's featured artists -- me and Bob Eggleton! My wallpaper is excerpted from my Tor cover art for L.E. Modesitt Jr.'s VIEWPOINTS CRITICAL. Get it while you can. :)

John Berkey -- SF Hall of Famer?

Well, not yet anyway. Sad news this week, well-chronicled by now -- one of sf's finest artists ever, John Berkey, passed away on Tuesday. Irene Gallo, Arnie Fenner, Bob Eggleton and others have posted nice remembrances of Berkey. I'm definitely one of the legions who revere his work, which I believe is more influential now than it's ever been. Jane Frank's THE ART OF JOHN BERKEY is one of my favorite art books and although Berkey was best known to many of us for his acrylic & casein sf images, he was a master of traditional landscapes, as well. The guy's work is timeless, and I wish I would've met him in person.

So as for the title of this post -- here's a thought: anyone out there a paid member of the Science Fiction Museum in Seattle? If so, then you have the power to nominate creators for induction into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame. Every year, a list is compiled from the suggestions of paid members, and that list is given to the seven jurors who then deliberate the merits of those individuals, and decide which four get inducted every yesr. I was honored to be one of the jurors for this year's class, and we selected legendary artist Richard Powers as one of this year's inductees. Happy as I am about that, I was secretly disappointed that Berkey was not even on the preliminary list given to us. I knew he was in failing health at the time, and I had hoped to lobby for him before he passed away. This year's HOF class of Powers, the Ballantines, Rod Serling, and William Gibson will be inducted on June 21, but it sure would be nice to see Berkey in next year's class, amongst the sf immortals, where he belongs.

Clarkesworld Issue #20 / May '08

Now available -- Includes an interview with yours truly, conducted late January/early Feburary this year, courtesy of Jeff VanderMeer, AKA The Hardest Working Man in Genre. (Bizarre -- how have I known Jeff this long, and only now did I notice that he capitalizes the "M" in his last name??)

More good stuff in CLARKESWORLD #20 -- new fiction by Catherynne M. Valente, who's also got a fresh new interview in the May issue of LOCUS MAGAZINE. Cover image (pictured above ) by an illustrator named Cuson. Plus much more...thanks to Neil Clarke and Wyrm Publishing for making it happen. Check it out. :)