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From the stark light of suns glinting off intricately constructed space arks, to the sheer power and majesty of a space elevator rising from the jungles of Sri Lanka, the work of artist Paul Swendsen embodies the sense of wonder and awe at the heart of science fiction. Paul ’s delightful and inspiring visions are rendered with artistic skills rarely found in these times. His art combines a playful imagination with an evident knowledge of science. As a special effects director and matte artist for Lucas films and many other cinema companies, he is one of a small group of people in the world today with a true mastery of light and realism.

As a cover artist, he has illustrated over a dozen of my own books- which is a rare accomplishment. It is standard to commission two, three, or perhaps four covers from one artist . Then to avoid repetition a new artist is usually assigned. But Paul tackles each new concept with such unique energy and freshness that my publishers have commissioned him to produce many of my covers over the years. Paul has captured the essence of my writing, and is thus one of my most valued colleagues.

Arthur C. Clarke, CBE

Colombo, Sri Lanka

31 May 1995

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From: The Collected Stories of Robert Silverberg

Volume Two: The Secret Sharer

To the Promised Land

The story first appeared in Omni .

When this story later appeared in the Benford-Greenberg anthology, it was illustrated on the book’s cover by a moody, brooding painting of twentieth-century Memphis that I had created. The artist’s vision was of something a little like the world of the film Blade Runner, plus sphinxes, Egyptian temples, and a giant pyramid-shaped hotel next to a downtown freeway. A man named Paul Swendsen painted it. I think it’s a marvel.

Robert Silverberg


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