Covers
F&SF 70th

F&SF 70th

My first F&SF cover was in 1971. This cover was added in 2019, and is for the 70th Anniversary of the magazine! It shows Saturn from Iapetus, from my book with Sir Patrick Moore, 'Futures'.

F&SF- 'Enigma'

F&SF- 'Enigma'

The first science fiction cover for a major US magazine, in 1971. This started life as a large landscape-format painting for the 1970 SF convention, SciCon. Until then Hardy had painted only space art, but painting Saturn's moon Titan he thought 'What if astronauts found a replica of our Sphinx at Gizeh here, in a lake of liquid methane-?" Hence the title. (See link below)

Museum Piece

Museum Piece

Following the success of 'Enigma' in 1971, in September 1975 Hardy painted this scene of a preserved Stegosaurus on Jupiter's moon Io, presumably placed there by alien collectors. (See next image)

Jurassic Collectors

Jurassic Collectors

In March 1986 Hardy followed up his 'Museum Piece' with a 'prequel' cover which may explain how the Stegosaurus got to Io!

Dark Intruder

Dark Intruder

Occasionally a painting which Hardy has done purely for his own enjoyment proves ideal for some project. This was the case with 'Dark Intruder', which was used for the cover of The Oxford Book of Science Fiction Stories, edited by Tom Shippey in 1993 – 20 years after it was painted. (Gouache.)

Dragons of Taban

Dragons of Taban

Sometimes, due to pressures of time or because not much money is available as a fee, an artist has to make use of previous artwork to produce new. This was the case here, when a cover was needed for a semi-pro SF magazine. The dragon from an earlier fantasy piece was placed over the cloud-covered landscape from 'Towers of Taban' in Galactic Tours, with the result you see here. (Gouache, digital,)

Discovery on Dione

Discovery on Dione

'Discovery on Dione' was a private commission from someone who just wanted 'a painting of one of Saturn's moons'. But from the beginning Hardy has photographed his work on transparency (now digitally) and since the copyright always remains with the artist he is able to use the image for covers etc. This one appeared on Analog in March 2002. (Acrylics.)

Shooting Star

Shooting Star

'Shooting Star' is Hardy's name for this piece, but it was painted for the December 1978 issue of F&SF, illustrating a story by Glen Cook called 'Quiet Sea'. The artist loved the juxtaposition of ancient sailing ships with a massive, flaming spaceship plunging meteor-like into the ocean. The original was bought by Ed Ferman, then editor of F&SF, and it was also used on the cover of Graphics World in 1980, with an article about the artist. (Gouache; private collection of Ed Ferman.)

Repair at Black Hole

Repair at Black Hole

This is the vertical version of a painting which appeared in double-page format in The New Challenge of the Stars, which was published in 1978 to coincide with the release of Star Wars. It was used as a cover for F&SF in December 1979. (Gouache & collage.)

Returning starship

Returning starship

Originally painted an anthology called for Planetfall by Douglas Hill, this has been one of Hardy's most successful pieces, having been used (with slight digital modifications) on the cover of Interzone in September/October 1989, and it was even copied by another artist for Far Point in 1992! It has also appeared on Analog, and in Hardyware. (Gouache/digital, 1986.)

Artist on Mimas

Artist on Mimas

Painted for a story in the June 1994 F&SF by Allen Steele, 'Shepherd's Moon' (it led to the writer telling Hardy that he was a big fan, which was mutual. In 1991 he had actually mentioned Hardy in his novel Lunar Descent), this is of course a scene dear to any space artist's heart. Nearly all of them would give. . . well, a lot (you can't paint without a right arm!) to be able to do what this artist is doing. . . (Gouache.)

Alien Radio Tel

Alien Radio Tel

This radio telescope on the civilised planet of another star, with a huge, close moon, was painted for Challenge of the Stars (1972). Just as we are trying to detect signals from other civilisations in space, so (presumably) must alien races be hoping to hear from us. . . With his strong interest in SETI (he wrote Contact), Carl Sagan bought the original. (Gouache, private collection of the late Carl Sagan.)

Spiral

Spiral

'Spiral' actually refers to the trilogy of novels by Michael Scott Rohan. It was a private commission from a lover of these books, and doesn't illustrate a specific scene so much as encapsulate the 'feel' of the stories. (OIls on canvas; private collection of S. Peak.)

Red Mars

Red Mars

'Red Mars' was commissioned for the cover of Interzone for its September 1992 issue, which contained an excerpt from Kim Stanley Robinson's now-famous trilogy. It shows a dirigible flying over the Tharsis region. The original was bought by writer Paul McAuley; Robinson had to settle for a print! (Gouache, private collection of P. McAuley.)

Technology is Magic?

Technology is Magic?

SFX magazine asked three artists to illustrate a 'spoof' story in their own styles. The scene chosen by Hardy includes a crash-landed spaceship, and a character using pieces of 'found' technology as if they are magical. Hence its title: 'Technology is Magic'. (We all know what Arthur C. Clarke said about that!) (Digital.)

L-5 SSPS

L-5 SSPS

This was a cover for the magazine of the L5 Society (when that existed; it merged with the National Space Institute) in 1976. It illustrates the ideas of Gerard K. O'Neill to build a huge, wheel-shaped colony and solar satellite power stations, converting the Sun's energy and beaming it to Earth as microwaves, where it would be received by a 'rectenna'. At the L4 and L5 Lagrange Points in the Earth/Moon system these can remain in one place without using any fuel. (Gouache.)

Time Traveller

Time Traveller

This painting was done by Hardy originally back in the 70s as piece of self-promotion: himself as a time traveller who is having a problem with a pterosaur. But it proved quite popular, and was used by Analog as a cover in May 2004. Hardy commented: "It's the first time I've had a self-portrait on a cover!". (Gouache.)

Balance of Nature

Balance of Nature

'Balance of Nature' was the title of the story by Lee Goodloe in the January 2006 issue of Analog. Having experienced glowing lava in Iceland, Hawaii and other volcanic areas, Hardy enjoyed painting this one. (Digital.)

Alien Homestead

Alien Homestead

In September 2009 'Alien Homestead' was painted, deliberately in the style of Frederic Church of the Hudson River School, because these artists accompanied the settlers who opened up the US West – becoming responsible for creating the National Parks (like Zion and Yellowstone). It was a private commission, and the buyer wanted a scene on the planet of a binary (double) star, and had an interest in the US settlers. See next picture. . . (Acrylics; private collection of N. Wallace)

Alien Homestead - Analog

Alien Homestead - Analog

Once again Hardy saw an opportunity for an Analog cover, and on the April 2010 issue it appeared, but with the bright blue companion star (the other being a red giant, behind us but illuminating the mountains) changed into a shuttle lifting off. The homestead buildings, with solar panel roofs for power, had to be moved to the right to make room for the barcode – hated by all artists! (Acrylics/Digital.)

Space Eater

Space Eater

This is the design Hardy originally produced for The Space Eater by David Langford. Both artist and author preferred this, but the publisher preferred one without the astronaut – and the publisher always has the last word! (Digital.)

Cathedral

Cathedral

The full title of this story by Garry W. Shockley is 'The Cathedral of Universal Biodiversity'. It appeared on F&SF in February 2006, but unfortunately the printer omitted to convert the digital image from RGB to CMYK (google them!) and the result was pale and washed out. So what you see here is the way Hardy intended it. . . (Digital.)

Mysteries of the Mind

Mysteries of the Mind

Although Hardy doesn't subscribe to these supernatural or psychic beliefs he does find them of interest, and he also enjoys a challenge, so when he was offered a series of covers on 'Mysteries of. . . The Solar System, The Mind, and The Supernatural', he naturally accepted. This is the Mind cover. (Digital.)

Mysteries of the Supernatural

Mysteries of the Supernatural

Another cover in the 'Mysteries' series of books. (Digital)

German UFO

German UFO

This was originally painted for one of the 'Mysteries' books, and illustrates a German plan for an advanced aircraft before and during World War II. These were supposed to be based on Viktor Schauberger's engine research, and some reports claim that the Nazis had a base in Antarctica. This art appeared on the cover of The Human Front by Ken Macleod, PS Publishing in 2001, and also on Analog, May 2002. (Digital.)

Life in a Globular Cluster

Life in a Globular Cluster

'Civilisation in a Globular Cluster' was painted for Hardy's book with Sir Patrick Moore, Futures: 50 Years in Space (The Challenge of the Stars), which was an update of the latter book, in the light of developments since the 1950s. Globular Clusters are just that – clusters of stars, very close together and usually old and reddish. This was also used as the cover of Stephen Baxter's Gravity Dreams, with 2 more of the illustrations as endpapers. (Digital, for PS Publishing.)

Last & First Contacts

Last & First Contacts

Stephen Baxter wrote the Foreword for Hardyware, in which he said that in 1972, at the age of 14, reading Challenge of the Stars changed his life! For his part Hardy has always enjoyed Baxter's books, and is glad of the chance to illustrate them. This very recent cover is for Last and First Contacts, from Newcon Books, April 2012, a collection of his short stories. (Digital.)

F&SF Retro

F&SF Retro

Since he has been producing covers for F&SF since 1971 it seems only fitting that Hardy should be chosen to illustrate the covers of their 60th Anniversry issue in Oct/Nov 2009; and also the anthology, The Very Best of F&SF. As Hardy said, it was the covers of Chesley Bonestell on those early issue that led him to the magazine; so he used adapted version of his 'Retro Rocket' series (see 1950s) to give a Bonestellian look to these. (Digital.)

From Earth to Moon

From Earth to Moon

When the 'Space Mountain: Mission 2" roller-coaster ride opened at Disneyland Paris in 1995, 3 years after the opening of the park itself, a new hardback edition of Jules Verne's classic 1865 novel was published to help promote it. Hardy was asked to do the jacket, shown here. (Gouache; Sutton Publishing Ltd, 1995.)

Venus Rain cover

Venus Rain cover

Hardy has produced all the covers so far for the series of Kirt Hickman's novels that began with Worlds Asunder in 2008. This is the cover for the second, Venus Rain (2010). (Digital.)

Galahad 3 Cover

Galahad 3 Cover

A series of novels for younger readers ('teen fiction') by Dom Testa goes under the name 'Galahad', and has won several US awards, both for the stories and the art, since the first in 2004. Sadly the publishers opted for a different cover design, without the art, after Hardy had produced the third, Galahad 3 in 2007. However, this has now seen publication as the cover of the April 2012 Analog. As is often the case, this has been 'cropped', but here is the full version. . . (Digital.)

Electrica

Electrica

For the March/April 2012 issue of F&SF Hardy illustrated the story 'Electrica' by Sean McMullen. Hardy says he always enjoys the challenges thrown at him by Gordon van Gelder (and before him Ed Ferman), editor of F&SF, because they rarely fall into the 'space art' category for which he is best known. He is particularly pleased with this one, which is set in the days when electricity was still new, strange and exciting. . . (Digital.)

Analog Ice Moon

Analog Ice Moon

The original painting of 'Ice Moon', in landscape format, may be seen in the Extrasolar Gallery. This is a vertical version, edited digitally for the US Analog magazine, Jan/Feb 2014.

F&SF Shore at the Edge. . .

F&SF Shore at the Edge. . .

A cover for the story Shore at the Edge of he World' by Eugene Mirabelli, Sept/Oct 2013. (Digital)

Hardy's first SF cover was for Visions of Tomorrow in 1970. He went on to produce covers (over 70 to date) for The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction (F&SF), and later for Analog; also paperbacks and hardcovers for most UK publishers. Again, this is just a selection.

Text & images copyright © 2015 AstroArt by David A. Hardy. All Rights Reserved.

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