The Big Idea Artist Spotlight: John Harris

AO John Harris - Hi-res Cover

If you’ve read science fiction in the last quarter century, then you know the work John Harris: His artwork has graced the covers of writers such as Ben Bova, Allen Steele, Orson Scott Card among others, including, of course, me, specifically on my Old Man’s War series of books.

For those folks who want to get a closer look at his work, there’s The Art of John Harris: Beyond the Horizon, a very handsome collection of covers and other SF-related work, for which I was honored to write the introduction.

As a special treat, Harris has offered up some commentary on a selected covers that he’s created for my work; I’ve put them into a gallery and added some comments on my own.

Click on any picture to begin the slideshow.

The Art of John Harris: Beyond the Horizon: Amazon|Barnes & Noble|Indiebound|Powell’s

Signed, limited edition available here.

24 thoughts on “The Big Idea Artist Spotlight: John Harris

  1. Maybe I am reading this too early in the morning… but I am getting the 404 error when I try to start the slideshow.

  2. LOL that The Last Colony‘s cover was originally intended for Off Armageddon Reef! He really would have been better off with actual sailing ships there…

  3. I’m also getting a 404 error when I try to start the slideshow.

    (I’m in Canada if this is a location issue.)

  4. I,ve seen that cover somewhere before, but it was creditted to John Harriss. I have 37 John Harris covers.

  5. I like his art, it really sets the stage for sci-fi. As it happens, I have seen a lot of his art without realizing it as I’ve read all of those authors.

    The Twin Parliaments of Pyrrus? Can I pre-order?

  6. Wei, J Reynolds: are you trying to open the slideshow as a new tab? I found I get a 404 doing that, but directly clicking opens it fine. I shall resist the temptation to publicly speculate about why, mainly due to knowing so little about web coding that I’m not even dangerous.

  7. The link in the new-post-notification email produces the 404 message. The link directly from Whatever worked just fine.

  8. I really like the comments you both did for this set of images, the insight into Harris’ thoughts and Scalzi’s reactions is interesting and informative. I have the book and it’s terrific. Excellent post.

  9. I loved the “Back Channel” one when I first saw it. It looks like something from the Culture.

  10. I want The Twin Parliaments of Pyrrus on a wall in my office. It’s great seeing them in larger versions on my big monitor.

  11. Did he do any work on Homeworld? The art style of the ships in that always reminded me of Harrison’s work.

  12. I knew the ‘style’ looked familiar. He’s done covers for Jack McDevitt’s ‘Alex Benedict’ series. (Aside – a new AB novel is due out in November. AAAA!!!! ‘Firebird’ had me screaming! Yes!)

  13. One of my favorite illustrators — I also have his earlier monograph Mass, and this one recently arrived. I hadn’t realized he did so many of your covers…you (or your publisher) have good taste.

  14. A John Harris cover always makes me that little bit more likely to buy a book. So glad to see this coming out, as the previous book of his art is well and truly out of print.

  15. I saw the 2nd painting and immediately thought “I bet that’s the guy who did the cover for Ancillary Justice” and, yep. Good painting, good book.

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