Art Books Culture Fantasy Science-Fiction Teicóg (Geek Culture)

The Shadow Of The Torturer, Bruce Pennington

Wraparound cover illustration for Gene Wolfe's science-fantasy classic The Shadow of the Torturer, drawn by Bruce Pennington, 1980
Wraparound cover illustration for Gene Wolfe’s science-fantasy classic “The Shadow of the Torturer”, drawn by Bruce Pennington (Íomhá: © 1980 Bruce Pennington)

For lovers of science-fiction and fantasy book art from the 1970s and ’80s the name of Bruce Pennington looms large. He is indelibly associated with some of the greatest writers of the era, his baroque images gracing the covers of such diverse publications as Frank Herbert’s “Dune” or Harry Harrison’s ” Stainless Steel Rat”. However for many his most accomplished professional creation is the atmospheric jacket illustration he produced for the first hardback edition of Gene Wolfe’s 1980 novel “The Shadow of the Torturer”. Frequently copied, rarely matched, it remains a textbook example of book art, technically perfect in almost every respect. Though collections of his work are now long out of print they are certainly deserving of a new compendium. There are more Pennington book covers here.

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