Favorite Cover of the Year

The fine fellows over at SFSignal are discussing which was the best cover art for this year.


I note with pleasure that the TITANS OF CHAOS cover by Scott Fischer attracted applause, as did the PROSPERO LOST cover by Sam Weber.

One odd little anecdote about the first time I saw that gorgeous Scott Fischer cover: The wife and I were at a New York party, to meet the man who would become her literary agent. There were no other paintings displayed, except for this one of a blonde in aviatrix gear and a schoolgirl uniform. I came upon the corner where the easel stood, and stared at it in puzzlement. It looked hauntingly familiar, as if I should recognize it, but I knew I had never seen it before. Then I squinted at the nameplate affixed to the frame. It had my name, and the name of my book.

Thunderstruck with delight, I sought out someone to share my glee. Here was Mr. Black, an acquaintance of many previous convention, whom I seized upon as my target. He is an illustrator, and the husband of the famous Holly Black, whose SPIDERWICK yarn was made into a fine film not so long ago. 

He admired the painting with the appropriate level of admiration. I thought the picture of the girl was pretty, and said so. Actually, what I said was, "Mr. Black, is it wrong, morally wrong, for a man to feel sexual attraction to a purely imaginary character of his own invention? Isn’t that incest?" His wise and considered reply: "Dude! When she looks like that, it ain’t wrong!"

Then he musingly said. "Wonder who the model is? Scott does not live that far from me. Maybe I can visit his house and find out." To which I replied, jaw dropping, "You mean a real life girl looks like that? That’s amazing." To which he replied with a chuckle, "No, what’s astonishing is that I am going to get to meet her, and you’re not!"

I congratulated him on his good fortune, but to this day do not know if there is any sequel. Is there a real Amelia Windrose lookalike out there somewhere? Did Mr. Black ever meet her?

We may never know.

Amelia in a posture of ecstasy

Another Amelia, also in Flying Togs

Not Every Pretty Girl in Goggles is Amelia!

And Not Every Pic of a Pretty Girl in Goggles is done by Scott Fischer!

THIS IS THE REAL AMELIA WINDROSE! (Or, at Least, a three-dimensional cross section of her) ACCEPT NO SUBSTITUTES!