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Skeleton Pirate vs Zombie Pirate

Posted by: John on October 23rd, 2008 at 12:01
Posted in: On Stranger Tides, Powers Artwork

On Stranger Tides is one of my favourite Powers novels - I mean come on! Voodoo magic? Zombie Pirates? The Fountain of Youth? Who doesn't want to read an adventure chock-full of all that stuff? I remember I first read that book back in the late 80s and as well as loving the novel, I was captivated by the cover art - I'm talking here of the UK edition published by Grafton, which featured an amazingly strong cover image painted by Richard Clifton-Dey.

The artist died in 1997, but left behind an incredible body of work, now highly sought after by collectors. This wasn't always the case - a few years ago now, I began to make enquiries about his pirate painting and these led me (after some considerable investigation work!) into contact with his agent, the hugely helpful Alison Eldred who told me that following his death, Clifton-Dey's widow had basically shut down his studio and put everything under wraps. Perhaps my interest in the pirate painting might convince her it was time to look at allowing some of the originals on to the market. On my behalf Alison kindly travelled down to visit Mrs Clifton-Dey and found a treasure trove of his work, all stored, preserved and untouched since his death. And there also she found, in perfect condition, the pirate painting and also his cover art for the Grafton edition of The Anubis Gates (this edition being the very first Powers book I ever read, and largely becuase of the cool cover!), along with the preparatory sketches for both commissions. I ended up with both the paintings and the sketches and no, they're not for sale!

In this recent blog entry, the wonderful American artist Jim Gurney wrote a piece about his experiences of producing the cover art for the original Ace edition of On Stranger Tides, a painting that has been reused a number of times, most recently on the recent Czech translation and on the Subterranean Press reissue of the novel
published earlier this year. You can read this fascinating article by following the link above. Most interesting to me was the inclusion of the image shown below of Gurney's preparatory watercolours for the eventual image - a wonderful accompaniment to Clifton-Dey's pencil sketches above. As to which of the two images make for the best cover... well, that is a debate that will run and run!

Two New Powers Items…

Posted by: John on October 9th, 2008 at 20:58
Posted in: Forthcoming Works, New Editions, Powers News

Rhae Lynn, editor of the prestigious Berkeley Poetry Review has been in touch to let us know that their latest issue (#39) contains three Powers poems, along with a brand new (and extremely interesting) interview with the author. The poems have all been published previously, but only in collectable or hard-to-find volumes, so it's great that the BPR is making them more widely available. The poems are Negation which appeared previous in Nine Sonnets by Francis Thomas Marrity (Subterranean Press 2006), Checklist, which was one of the Cheyenne Flemming poems issued as an insert in the numbered state of A Soul in a Bottle and I've Seen You Looking Better, a much older Powers poem dating from the mid seventies and which has hitherto only been printed in Poetry Fullerton 3, copies of which are extremely rare.

Copies of Berkeley Poetry Review are available via their web site or this eBay seller link (the proceeds from which go directly to the publisher).

Powers has provided the cover art and an introduction to a new James P. Blaylock project (first mentioned here in the Late July 08 News Round Up - this 64 page chapbook is being published by Subterranean Press and features three new stories by Blaylock written in collaboration with some of his creative writing students.

Metamorphosis is now available for preorder - follow this direct link to Amazon.com to get your copy now, and help this web site in the process!