Published cover illustration for Kutath, Book Three of the Faded Sun trilogy, by C.J. Cherryh (DAW, 1980).
Early in his career, Michael Whelan was often paired with established authors. His task was reimagining covers for classic books that already had an audience, so it was exciting whenever he had a chance to work with newer authors such as C.J. Cherryh.
In 1976, DAW Books assigned him the cover for her first novel Gate of Ivrel. Over the years, he would illustrate covers for many debut authors, but his relationship with Cherryh would always be a special one as they started out together. He illustrated 16 covers for her, more than any author over the course of his career, and they remain good friends today.
One of the hallmarks of Cherryh’s writing is her intricate worldbuilding and detailed portrayal of extraterrestial races. Here we get both in the desert landscape of the ancient, dying world of Kutath and the bold posture of the trio of protagonists who intend to save it.
Acrylic on Watercolor Board
Image: 27" x 16"
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