This week I’m featuring Bruce Pennington. His first cover illustration appeared in 1967 for the New English Library 1970 paperback edition of Robert Heinlein’s Stranger in a Strange Land. During the 70s Bruce’s art appeared in Horror fiction for authors such as Arthur Machen, H.P. Lovecraft, August Derleth and Clark Ashton Smith. He continued to illustrate science fiction, fantasy and horror novels like the Dune series by Frank Herbert and works by Edgar Rice Burroughs, including Philip Jose Farmer, Gene Wolfe, Eric van Lustbader, and A.E van Vogt.
Below is a small but iconic collection of his work. Each image links back to the site of origin. Enjoy!
Because each artist possesses a style that is uniquely their own it influences perception of a book. As such, it sometimes conflicts with the voice of the writer or, appear at odds with the story’s tone inside. Or, if you’re like me, it colors it. It adds depth and mood that enhances the story. The same is also true of Bruce’s illustrations, and why I consider him one of the contributors of that onslaught of awesomeness that reigned during the 70s and 80s in fantasy and science fiction.
From his Wikipedia entry: “Pennington’s works are largely characterized by bold, daring colours; rich pinks and blues sustaining his continuing motifs of speculation as well as precise brush strokes, harmonious pigment blending as well as the acute concentration in the detail of his depicted subjects, usually landscapes of other times or worlds.”
Let me know your thoughts in the comment section below and remember to check out this week’s Art of Science Fiction over on Kōsa Press.