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Fabian, Stephen E

Entry updated 12 September 2022. Tagged: Artist.

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(1930-    ) American artist, sometimes credited as Steve Fabian or simply Fabian. The self-trained Fabian first worked as an electronic engineer, but he began contributing art to fanzines in the late 1960s and became a full-time professional in 1973. He did a number of covers and interior art for SF Magazines, mostly Amazing, Fantastic, and Galaxy, as well as occasional book covers for Avon Books and several Small Presses such as Donald M Grant, Byron Preiss and Underwood-Miller. His art is distinctive, with a strong sense of formal design. Many commentators most admire his dramatic interior black-and-white work, reminiscent of Virgil Finlay's and prepared on textured coquille board, but his vividly coloured magazine covers, sometimes featuring astronomical scenes, can command attention as well. His book covers were typically for works of classic Fantasy by authors like Robert E Howard and A Merritt, but he did noteworthy illustrations for some sf novels as well, like his subdued, atmospheric cover for a 1976 edition of J G Ballard's The Crystal World (fixup 1966). He also collaborated with Byron Preiss on a Graphic Novel, Starfawn (graph 1976).

An unusual number of books have been devoted to Fabian's work, especially considering that he is an artist best known for his interior illustrations; the checklist below includes some elusive items published in very limited editions. Fabian was nominated for a Hugo Award seven times, and in 2006 he received the World Fantasy Award for lifetime achievement. [PN/JG/GW]

Stephen E Fabian

born Garfield, New Jersey: 3 January 1930



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