Distinctive Science Fiction Illustrator and Cover Artist Richard Powers
October 21, 2002 8:56 AM   Subscribe

Richard Powers - His sleek surreal and otherworldly abstractions changed science fiction illustration and, in the process, the stature of science fiction itself. Here is the Richard Powers Catalog from Vandewater Books. From the e-zine Strange Words Archive, comes The Powers Years part of Collecting The Ballantine Originals, and check out the thumbnails amid and after the Richard Powers essay at Hedonia--who are the very wave of the future in so many ways at once! David G. Hartwell remembers Powers the man. Here is another from his son in download form from Paper Snarl, where Powers is well regarded. And check out the links at the Richard Powers Cyber Art Gallery - everything from a Goth art gallery to Terence McKenna's Dream Museum. But don't click on Miss Stephanie Locke if you're at work! Oh, and the Strange Worlds archive is worth a gander, too...
posted by y2karl (10 comments total)
Geez. I've read so many books with covers by this guy, and I'm only realising this now. I love his stuff, just because it's so out there. Whenever I go searching for old sci-fi books in the second-hand bookshops, I try to get those with the psychedelic covers in the vein of Powers' works. Often their murky and muddy abstractions reflect the content of the book not at all, but they're a lot more interesting to look at than the sterile, straight representational stuff that's usually on the covers of more recent reprints. Whatever happened to weirdness?

Oh, and it's funny that Theodore Sturgeon had a short story compilation called Caviar. Heehee!
posted by picea at 10:48 AM on October 21, 2002

This other Richard Powers is worth checking out, too.
posted by mookieproof at 10:48 AM on October 21, 2002

<pathetic>So of course the first thing I'm looking for is the Stephanie Locke link...</pathetic>
<ridiculous>...and I can't even find it...</ridiculous>
posted by ook at 11:20 AM on October 21, 2002

Uh.... found it. *cough*

Pardon me while I retreat to the safety of the science-fiction department... Man, this whole situation is way too similar to my entire adolescence...
posted by ook at 11:26 AM on October 21, 2002

Is he any relation to Max Power? As in "No one illustrates with Richard Powers, you strap yourself in and feel the G's".
posted by blue_beetle at 11:32 AM on October 21, 2002

mookieproof: You beat me to it. I think the other Richard Powers is one of the great unappreciated writers of our time; Galatea 2.2 blew me away, and I ran out and started reading his others. (I wrote to Jonathan Yardley after he left Powers off a list of novelists, and it turned out he'd never heard of him -- he got quite huffy after I gave him grief for his ignorance, and said he certainly wasn't going to investigate a writer who was pushed by such an uncivil person!)
posted by languagehat at 12:23 PM on October 21, 2002

i'll definitely be sifting through my old sci-fi collection when i get home tonight in search of all the Richard Powers covers i may have. hmmm. just what i need - ANOTHER reason to bring home more paperbacks i barely have room for!

it is interesting to learn about how influential Mr. Powers was on other sci-fi artists, specifically Ed Emshwiller, who's been a fave of mine for as long as i've been collecting the old novels (an Emsh cover was the reason i STARTED collecting in the first place - how could i resist such a strange and provocative image staring back at me in that southside Edmonton secondhand bookstore!) As with a lot of other sci-fi artists, ol' Ed's art became stranger and 'trippier' over the years, in no small part due to the influence of Powers.

anyone interested in the old sci-fi novels (or old novels period) might like to nose around a bit here or here.

posted by frisky biscuits at 1:54 PM on October 21, 2002

hey i just picked up the tor/orb reprint of a.e. van vogt's the world of null-a with a cover [misattributed to mark rogers (with the wrong cover? -- players??)] by hubert rogers who used to draw for astounding.

i like john berkey (whoa!), michael whelan and stephan martiniere :D
posted by kliuless at 5:06 PM on October 21, 2002

#6 is all Greek to me, buddy.
posted by y2karl at 5:13 PM on October 21, 2002

how very non-aristotelian of you, citizen! keke :D
posted by kliuless at 6:57 AM on October 22, 2002

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