Bruce Pennington - Legends of SF Art Vol.6

The Green Brain - art by Bruce Pennington
The Green Brain - art by Bruce Pennington
Dune - art by Bruce Pennington
Dune - art by Bruce Pennington
Lost Worlds of 2001 - art by Bruce Pennington
Lost Worlds of 2001 - art by Bruce Pennington

One of the great SF artists, Bruce Pennington was born in Somerset, England in 1944.

He had a love of art from a young age, he attended the Beckenham School of Art where he started off by drawing models, he than moved to the Ravensbourne College of Art at Bromley. After graduating he became a freelance artist building up a portfolio of work hoping to impress potential clients.

His first real commission was from Panther Books where he provided a cover for The Defence by Vladimir Nabokov in 1967, more covers for Panther followed.

The New English Library (NEL) were impressed with his covers at Panther and employed Pennington to paint covers for their sci-fi range of paperbacks.

The first sci-fi paperback cover he painted was for Robert Heinlein’s classic novel Stranger in a Strange Land.

More SF covers followed including perhaps his most famous cover, Frank Herbert’s Dune, one of the most widely read sci-fi novels of all time. He also painted covers for other books in the Dune series.

Pennington has produced some striking cover art for a series of SF books by author Brian Aldiss, other noteworthy SF book covers include The Moons of Jupiter (Asimov), A Princess of Mars (Burroughs), Children of Tomorrow (Van Vogt), The Shadow of the Torturer (Wolfe), The Green Brain (Herbert) and Satan’s World (Anderson).

He has also created covers for horror fiction by the likes of August Derleth, H.P. Lovecraft, Clark Ashton Smith and Brian Lumley.

Pennington's art has it's own unique style whether it was bizarre alien lifeforms, apocalyptic vistas, ruined cities, UFO's zooming over arid landscapes, strange religious symbolism or Gothic architecture.

Books featuring Pennington’s artwork include The Bruce Pennington Portfolio (1990 Paper Tiger) and Ultraterranium (1992 Paper Tiger),

The Rise of the Antichrist - art by Bruce Pennington
The Rise of the Antichrist - art by Bruce Pennington
Shadow of the Torturer - art by Bruce Pennington
Shadow of the Torturer - art by Bruce Pennington
The Pastel City - art by Bruce Pennington
The Pastel City - art by Bruce Pennington
Indoctrinaire - art by Bruce Pennington
Indoctrinaire - art by Bruce Pennington
Satan's World - art by Bruce Pennington
Satan's World - art by Bruce Pennington
The Book of Frank Herbert - art by Bruce Pennington
The Book of Frank Herbert - art by Bruce Pennington
Children of Tomorrow - art by Bruce Pennington
Children of Tomorrow - art by Bruce Pennington
Twilight - art by Bruce Pennington
Twilight - art by Bruce Pennington


Paperback Cover Bibliography -

Battle of Forever ,The (Van Vogt)

Caliban's Hour (Williams)

Canopy of Time ,The (Aldiss)

Canticle for Liebowitz ,A (Miller)

Children of Dune (Herbert)

Children of Tomorrow (Van Vogt)

Citadel of the Autarch (Wolfe)

Dragonflight (McCaffrey)

Dune (Herbert)

Dune Messiah (Herbert)

Earthworks (Aldiss)

Empire of the Atom (Van Vogt)

Equator (Aldiss)

Fahrenheit 451 (Bradbury)

Fifth Head of Cerberus ,The (Wolfe)

Glory Road (Heinlein)

Goblin Reservation ,The (Simak)

God Emperor of Dune (Herbert)

Godmakers ,The (Herbert)

Golden Apples of the Sun (Bradbury)

Illustrated Man ,The (Bradbury)

Lost Worlds of 2001 ,The (Clarke)

Machineries of Joy (Bradbury)

Moon is a Harsh Mistress ,The (Heinlein)

Pirates of the Asteroids (Asimov)

Princess of Mars ,A (Burroughs)

Quest for the Future (Van Vogt)

Rendezvous with Rama (Clarke)

Revolt in 2100 (Heinlein)

Riverworld (Farmer)

Satan's World (Anderson)

Shadow of the Torturer ,The (Wolfe)

Silkie ,The (Van Vogt)

Silver Locusts ,The (Bradbury)

Something Wicked This Way Comes (Bradbury)

Space, Time and Nathaniel (Aldiss)

Stone God Awakens ,The (Farmer)

Stranger in a Strange Land (Heinlein)

Tales of the Cthulhu Mythos (Collection)

Time Enough for Love (Heinlein)

Voyage of the Space Beagle ,The (Van Vogt)

Weapon Makers ,The (Van Vogt)

Weapon Shops of Isher (Van Vogt)

Worlds of Robert Heinlein ,The

Space, Time and Nathaniel - art by Bruce Pennington
Space, Time and Nathaniel - art by Bruce Pennington
A Princess of Mars - Art by Bruce Pennington
A Princess of Mars - Art by Bruce Pennington
Earthworks - Art by Bruce Pennington
Earthworks - Art by Bruce Pennington
The Man in the Maze - art by Bruce Pennington
The Man in the Maze - art by Bruce Pennington
The Canopy of Time - art by Bruce Pennington
The Canopy of Time - art by Bruce Pennington
Quest for the Future - art by Bruce Pennington
Quest for the Future - art by Bruce Pennington

More by this Author


19 comments

FloraBreenRobison profile image

FloraBreenRobison 4 years ago

Getting ready for dinner, so no time to comment, but I saw this show up on my feed. I'll just quickly say that I don't know the name, bu I recognize the artwork.


Steve Lensman profile image

Steve Lensman 4 years ago from London, England Author

Dinner? I'm almost ready for bed, what time is it over there? :)

This is my 19th artist hub in 13 months. One third of the views from all my hubs come from the artist hubs.


Faceless39 profile image

Faceless39 4 years ago from The North Woods, USA

Voted up, awesome, and beautiful. A wonderful artist who I recognize but knew little about. Awesome!


Steve Lensman profile image

Steve Lensman 4 years ago from London, England Author

Thank you Faceless39, your comment and votes are very much appreciated.

I had some of those images on my paperback covers back in the 70's never suspecting one day I'll be writing about the artist. :)


Cogerson profile image

Cogerson 4 years ago from Virginia

Hey another talented Bruce...that makes four of us....Springsteen, Willis, Pennington and me....lol. I like Flora have never heard of Bruce Pennington, but I sure like the artwork you posted. I see the connection to 2001 in one of the pictures...is that where you discovered him? I really liked the Space, Time and Nathaniel picture the best...it actually looks like the alien is listening to alien music. I would say Indoctrinaire would be a close 2nd of my favorites.

I find your artists hubs very interesting and very educational...voted up and interesting.


Steve Lensman profile image

Steve Lensman 4 years ago from London, England Author

Thanks Bruce, appreciate the comment, kind words, observation and votes.

Space, Time and Nathaniel has been one of my favourite SF images for decades, long before I knew who the artist was.

I have the original Brian Aldiss paperback, Clarke's Lost Worlds of 2001 and the Dune series of course. Those were the days when I relished reading those stories. Now I start to nod off after a few pages... whoa I nearly nodded off writing thizzzzzzzzzzzz


FloraBreenRobison profile image

FloraBreenRobison 4 years ago

To answer your question that you really were not asking, the United Kingdom is 8 hours ahead of British Columbia. My comment was made just after 5pm. Great to hear these artist hubs are getting you lots of traffic.


Steve Lensman profile image

Steve Lensman 4 years ago from London, England Author

Thank you Flora, so it must be about quarter to two over in B.C.

Currently my no.1 artist hub is Chris Foss followed by Alan Lee.


FloraBreenRobison profile image

FloraBreenRobison 4 years ago

A quarter to 1pm. Did I get that wrong? My map showing uses a time of 4pm here. Midnight there.


Steve Lensman profile image

Steve Lensman 4 years ago from London, England Author

Well its currently 19:50 here in Britland. :)


FloraBreenRobison profile image

FloraBreenRobison 4 years ago

19:50-military time. That is 7:50pm for us non-military folks. Interesting. I love speakin gwith people half-way around the world. Speaking being relative, since this is the internet.


Steve Lensman profile image

Steve Lensman 4 years ago from London, England Author

We both got our times wrong there's a 7 hour time difference. Next week is British Summer Time, clocks go forward one hour here, so the time difference will be 8 hours, unless I got that wrong too. :)


FloraBreenRobison profile image

FloraBreenRobison 4 years ago

Oh, so that's why! WE already changed our clocks because United States changes their clock's earlier than they used to do. Otherwise the airport schedule would be all screwy. we changed them 10th into the 11th.


FloraBreenRobison profile image

FloraBreenRobison 4 years ago

Hey, I forwarded you an email but first typed your address incorrectly -typo!


Steve Lensman profile image

Steve Lensman 4 years ago from London, England Author

Well it happens to all of us. So um... which painting did you like the best Flora? I know.. the first picture, the green brain, right? No?

Hey did I mention I saw John Carter? Big new film at the cinema, there is a connection with one of these paintings, the film is based on A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs and its up there by Pennington. I enjoyed the film, could have been better but I had a good time with it.


FloraBreenRobison profile image

FloraBreenRobison 4 years ago

Haven't I done that? Drat. Too busy commenting on things that have nothing to do with Bruce Pennington.

My favourites are Rise of the Antichrist and The Pastel City. They are beautiful.


Steve Lensman profile image

Steve Lensman 4 years ago from London, England Author

Thanks Flora, good choices.


Jools99 profile image

Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK

My goodness Steve, he had a really vivid imagination. The Canopy of Time and The Man In The Maze are my favourite two from the photos. Nothing here that I would hang on my wall necessarily but the detail is fantastic for this genre.


Steve Lensman profile image

Steve Lensman 4 years ago from London, England Author

Oh come on Jools, you won't find room on your kitchen wall for The Green Brain? You wouldn't replace Gainsborough's Blue Boy with Space, Time and Nathaniel? ;)

Thanks for commenting.

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