Most of you probably don't know who Richard Powers is... but I love his artwork. He died in 1996 (Two years before Night Shade put out its first book.)... He hasn't been doing any new covers for anybody, for a long time. But.... The book I just published... The book I was the art director for... It has an original Richard Powers piece of cover art. It was a commissioned piece of work that was never used. The estate doesn't know who or what it was intended for. But... It fits the Eclipse series perfectly. It's been waiting for me, and for this book all these years.
More then once, I sat on the deck at the Locus house in the oakland hills... talking publishing with Charles Brown, and Jonathan Strahan... talking about my love for the look-and-feel of the paperback covers of '60s and '70s era SF. I remember telling Charles that someday I would love to publish a book that looked like those books... Those books that inspired my life-long lover affair with the Science Fiction genre.
Charles never got a chance to see my Richard Powers cover... but I got to put it on a Jonathan Strahan anthology. I did this cover for me. It's not a terribly comercial cover. It probably won't generate any impulse buys. It will speak to me, and maybe a few dozen other people who fetishize those SF covers the way I do. But I GOT TO DO IT.
This is THE REASON to slog through all the bad parts of any job... to get to those parts that absolutely charge you up and thrill you, and make you feel like a child, and like god, all at the same time. I GOT TO PUBLISH A BOOK WITH A RICHARD POWERS COVER! I am a gangster-pimp-publisher, and I am a 12 year old child, filled with wonder. All at the same time! THIS is why I chose to spend the last 12 years of my life publishing sceince fiction.
I hope some of you out there enjoy the cover*, and perhaps the fine anthology that Jonathan edited. But whether you do or not, I will go to bed happy tonight. I got my Richard Powers cover.
It doesn't say it anywhere in the book. But as the publisher I'd like to dedicate the book to three men. To Richard Powers, who I never met. To Charles Brown, who I didn't get to spend enough time with, and to Jonathan Strahan, a man who's passions continue to inspire me, in much the same way Richard Powers' covers did, oh-so-many years ago.
*The jpg image on the web site doesn't do a very good job of conveying just how vibrant, sharp and impressive the actual printed book is. If you get a chance, look for it in a store, or library, or stop by our table at a convention. This is a cover that really needs to be seen in person.