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GENE SZAFRAN (1941-2011)

There is little information to draw upon, yet the cover illustrations tell a rich, creative story with a tragic end. The artwork is that of Gene Szafran, a talented artist born in Michigan in 1941. His career blossomed around 1970 when science fiction and fantasy paperbacks saturated the publishing market, yet his works were also featured in magazines and on records. Szafran's most notable images were printed and reprinted on novels by legendary writers like Poul Anderson, Robert Heinlein and Robert Silverberg. His cosmic and mystical style often blended smoothly with rigid interpretations of science and sexuality. This was of course the age of free love and expression, and Szafran's unique vision stamped his generation with a clever wink and nod. Tragically Szafran's career was cut short in 1977 when he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. He continued to be involved with art as a teacher, but his style and absence in the publishing world was clearly felt. Szafran passed away in 2011.