Artwork has always been an important part of science fiction and fantasy.
That idea is a Grim Oak Press foundational principle. We will always work with the very best artists because our readers deserve as much. Therefore, I knew when Terry Brooks approached me about producing beautiful limited editions of the first three Shannara novels that I needed an artist who matched up with the magic of those books.
The original publications featured wonderful Hildebrandt Brothers and Darrell K. Sweet art, the illustrations largely focusing on the characters and their immediate surroundings. Terry and I wanted something a bit different for the limited editions. We looked through various online artist portfolios to find a great fit. Marc Simonetti was our first choice. The work he had already done on books by George R. R. Martin, Robin Hobb, and Frank Herbert was stellar. More importantly, he is great at wide-sweeping landscapes, art that fits well with epic fantasy.
I asked Marc if he would be interested in bringing The Sword of Shannara to life in a new way and he readily agreed. He went right to work, wowing us with every completed piece. He first turned in the cover. It highlights the Druid Allanon’s Culhaven company as they approach the ancient and ominous Hall of Kings, a scene that had not been depicted in previous editions. It is shown in the grand scale that Terry imagines. When he finished it, Marc went right to work on the interior illustrations. Now that the book is published, Terry and I couldn’t be happier with it. The Grim Oak Press edition of The Sword of Shannara is a work of art from beginning to end.
Imagine our not-surprise when the Chesley Award nominees were announced last week and Marc’s work on The Sword of Shannara was selected for Best Cover Illustrations: Hardcover. But that’s not all. Marc has also been Chesley nominated for Best Interior Illustration too!
Do hear that? That’s us at Grim Oak Press cheering and clapping for Marc! Way to go, Mr. Simonetti! You are in excellent company—especially alongside that Donato fellow who was also nominated for Best Cover on a non-Grim Oak book but who is working on our edition of Naomi Novik’s Uprooted!
The awards are given by the Association of Science Fiction & Fantasy Artists (ASFA). Voting is open to members of ASFA until May 27, 2018. Winners will be announced at Worldcon 76 to be held August 16-20, 2018 at the San Jose McEnery Convention Center in San Jose CA.
Congratulations, Marc! Work well done
And good luck!
Shawn Speakman Publisher & Editorial Director