Stephen Hickman has been producing art for science fiction and fantasy for forty years, in which time he has illustrated over 400 book covers for a vast range of authors. He even won a Hugo in 1994 for his designs for a set of stamps issued by the US Post Office, charting the impact of the genre on technological progress.
In this book, which he assembled himself, he gives us an insight into just some of those pieces, and his own approach and influences. Coming in at 144 pages, this book contains a vast number of pictures and sketches, interspersed with technical notes and anecdotes on how the works were approached. It is far from an autobiography, but does contain the odd piece of personal history and it is clear he has a lot of affection for his family and childhood; this comes out in some of the illustrations.
Stephen is heavily influenced by Tolkien and there is a whole section covering scenes from The Hobbit, sketches of Smaug, elves and many more familiar subjects. Science fiction is represented as well, with a whole chapter covering Larry Niven books, Robert Heinlein and Andre Norton.
Most of the book centres on fantasy works, and even includes a couple of sculptures before finishing with a sweep across what Stephen call Classic – everything from Greek myth through to HG Wells via Jules Verne and other early twentieth century writers such as Haggard and Burroughs.
Stephen Hickman takes the time to bring his work to life and anyone with an eye for genre art would find this book worth taking the time to read.
THE ART OF STEPHEN HICKMAN / AUTHOR: STEPHEN HICKMAN / PUBLISHER: TITAN BOOKS / RELEASE DATE: NOVEMBER 6TH