The Big Idea Artist Spotlight: John Harris

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 Comments on “The Big Idea Artist Spotlight: John Harris”

  1. 🌵VIVIMETALIUN🌵 – Slvador-Bahia – O Mais é Nada Janeiro 6, 2008 “Navegue, descubra tesouros, mas não os tire do fundo do mar, o lugar deles é lá. Admire a lua, sonhe com ela, mas não queira trazê-la para a terra. Curta o sol, se deixe acariciar por ele, mas lembre-se que o seu calor é para todos. Sonhe com as estrelas, apenas sonhe, elas só podem brilhar no céu. Não tente deter o vento, ele precisa correr por toda parte, ele tem pressa de chegar sabe-se lá onde. Não apare a chuva, ela quer cair e molhar muitos rostos, não pode molhar só o seu. As lágrimas? Não as seque, elas precisam correr na minha, na sua, em todas as faces. O sorriso! Esse você deve segurar, não deixe-o ir embora, agarre-o! Quem você ama? Guarde dentro de um porta jóias, tranque, perca a chave! Quem você ama é a maior jóia que você possui, a mais valiosa. Não importa se a estação do ano muda, se o século vira e se o milênio é outro, se a idade aumenta; conserve a vontade de viver, não se chega à parte alguma sem ela. Abra todas as janelas que encontrar e as portas também. Persiga um sonho, mas não deixe ele viver sozinho. Alimente sua alma com amor, cure suas feridas com carinho. Descubra-se todos os dias, deixe-se levar pelas vontades, mas não enlouqueça por elas. Procure, sempre procure o fim de uma história, seja ela qual for. Dê um sorriso para quem esqueceu como se faz isso. Acelere seus pensamentos, mas não permita que eles te consumam. Olhe para o lado, alguém precisa de você. Abasteça seu coração de fé, não a perca nunca. Mergulhe de cabeça nos seus desejos e satisfaça-os. Agonize de dor por um amigo, só saia dessa agonia se conseguir tirá-lo também. Procure os seus caminhos, mas não magoe ninguém nessa procura. Arrependa-se, volte atrás, peça perdão! Não se acostume com o que não o faz feliz, revolte-se quando julgar necessário. Alague seu coração de esperanças, mas não deixe que ele se afogue nelas. Se achar que precisa voltar, volte! Se perceber que precisa seguir, siga! Se estiver tudo errado, comece novamente. Se estiver tudo certo, continue. Se sentir saudades, mate-a. Se perder um amor, não se perca! Se achá-lo, segure-o! “Circunda-te de rosas, ama, bebe e cala. O mais é nada”. (Fernando Pessoa)

    Reblogged this on VIVIMETALIUN.

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

  3. 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…

  4. Roy Sexton (Reel Roy Reviews) – I've been posting my movie musings on Facebook for a few years now, much to the chagrin of true arbiters of taste. I tend to go see whatever film has been most obnoxiously hyped, marketed, and oversold in any given films? Bah! Won't find too many of those discussed here. And every once in awhile, I may review a TV show, record album, theatrical production, or book (yeah, probably not too many of those)...and I may use this blog for some shameless self-promotion. Just a fair warning! Enjoy! Speaking of which - I now have a book! Order it here: Also, you can read my mom’s work at and check out my theatre group at
    Roy Sexton (Reel Roy Reviews)

    What a great post! Looks like I’ll be ordering another book in my near future! Thanks for this post


  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. Kim van Wyk – Durban, South Africa – A Christian South African happy husband, electronic engineer, software developer, Python dabbler, proud member of the North Durban Lions club and all-round geeky type fellow.
    kimvanwyk476im van Wyk

    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.

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