Sci-fi Imagineering (August 2020)

This is the second in my new “imagineering” series. This time around, I thought I’d feature an image by the late Peter Elson, a British sci-fi illustrator. I first came across his name as the artist who created several covers for some of my favorite books by Harry Harrison, including the Stainless Steel Rat and Deathworld series.

This piece is called “Slaves of the Moon” and is particularly evocative to me as it reflects several of the sci-fi TV shows I loved when I was younger, such as UFO, and Space: 1999. Also lunar colonies of the type depicted here have long been a central part of science fiction novels.

It’s also the kind of image that, to me, sums up the desolate beauty of the lunar surface, and how precarious life there would be–something I touched on in the second Joe Ballen book: Perimeter. Although in the book, I do have the lunar residences below ground to provide greater security for the residents.

Sadly, Peter Elson died in 1998 at the all- too-young age of 51. If you’d like to see more of his art, you can on this website dedicated to his work.

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