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Richard M. Powers

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Title: Richard M. Powers  
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Subject: Beyond Fantasy Fiction, Childhood's End, The Number of the Beast (novel), People by year/Reports/No other categories/2, The Case Against Tomorrow
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Richard M. Powers

Richard M. Powers (February 24, 1921 – March 9, 1996) was an American science fiction illustrator. He was inducted by the Science Fiction Hall of Fame in 2008.[1][2]


  • Life and work 1
  • Cultural influence 2
  • Selected works 3
    • Collections 3.1
    • Illustrated books 3.2
    • Album covers 3.3
    • Book covers 3.4
    • Short Stories 3.5
  • References 4
  • External links 5

Life and work

Born in Chicago 1921 into a Catholic family, Richard Michael Gorman Powers[3] spent most of his early life supported by his mother and aunt. His father left the family when Powers was young. At eleven, Powers was introduced to art when his uncle gave him a sketch book, although in later life his uncle's wife would try to prevent from making any art. He studied Greek at Loyola University before switching to art, taking classes at Mizen Academy, Chicago Art Institute and the University of Illinois, Chicago. After enlisting to join World War II, he took more art classes at the University of Kentucky during basic training, thereafter working in the Signal Corps in New York City. He married and began a career in illustrations for magazines and publishing houses, continuing his art education at the New School in New York.[4] Eventually, he became one of the most influential science fiction artists of all time.

He began by working in a conventional pulp paperback style, but quickly evolved a personal Surrealist idiom influenced by the cubists and surrealists, especially Picasso and Yves Tanguy. He also dabbled in abstract art and collage at a later age before dying in 1996 at the age of 75.

From the 1940s through the 1960s, he did many of covers for Doubleday. During the 1950s and 1960s, he served as an unofficial art director for Ballantine Books.

For many years, the science fiction art of the estate of Richard Powers, which includes original artwork, was represented by Worlds of Wonder, and it is still possible to contact them about gaining usage rights to art pieces.[5] The estate of Richard Powers is offering pieces of Richard Powers' fine art collection for sale - both originals and authorized reproductions - through Baldwin Hill Art & Framing in Natick, Massachusetts.[6]

Cultural influence

In 2010, Andy Partridge, former frontman of the British New wave band XTC released a limited edition CD of music inspired by Powers' art titled POWERS.[7]

Selected works

In 1952, Powers provided a Galaxy Science Fiction cover highlighting essays by de Camp and by Robert A. Heinlein


  • Spacetimewarp: Paintings (1983) (Doubleday Science Fiction Book Club)

Illustrated books

Powers provided interior illustrations for a number of Easton Press special editions of classic science fiction novels, including a 1986 editions of The Gods Themselves and To Your Scattered Bodies Go.

Album covers

Book covers

The Internet Speculative Fiction Database catalogs hundreds of book covers illustrated by Powers beginning 1950 (two known).[3]

Short Stories

  • Three Acts With Ballet (1947) [9]


  1. ^ "2008 Science Fiction Hall of Fame Ceremony Tickets On Sale May 15" at the Wayback Machine (archived May 10, 2008). Press release April/May 2008. Experience Music Project and Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame ( Archived 2008-05-10. Retrieved 2013-03-19.
  2. ^ "Powers, Richard". The Locus Index to SF Awards: Index of Art Nominees. Locus Publications. Retrieved 2013-04-09.
  3. ^ a b c Richard Powers at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database (ISFDB). Retrieved 2013-04-09. Select a title to see its linked publication history and general information. Select a particular edition (title) for more data at that level, such as a front cover image or linked contents.
  4. ^ The Art of Richard Powers by Jane Frank
  5. ^ "RICHARD POWERS estate || Worlds of Wonder: Store". Retrieved 2014-06-29. 
  6. ^ "Artists | Baldwin Hill Art & Framing". Retrieved 2014-06-29. 
  7. ^ [2]
  8. ^ Rca Victor LM-1900: Berlioz: Symphonie Fantastique by Charles Munch
  9. ^ January-February 1947 Story Magazine pages 85 to 92
  • Frank, Jane; "The Art of Richard Powers", London : Paper Tiger, 2001. ISBN 1-85585-890-8
  • The Frank Collection: A Showcase of the World's Finest Fantastic Art, Jane and Howard Frank. Paper Tiger, 1999

External links

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