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Giancola, Donato

Entry updated 23 October 2023. Tagged: Artist.

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(1967-    ) American artist, at times credited simply as Donato. After initially studying engineering in college, Giancola shifted his focus to art, obtaining a BFA in painting from Syracuse University College of Visual Arts in 1992. Almost immediately, he began receiving assignments to paint covers for major publishers, including Tor Books and Ace Books, creatively employing his classical training to depict unusual settings and beings – as observed, for example, in his cover for David Brin's collection Otherness (coll 1994), showing an astronaut calmly conversing with an immense Alien and a Robot. But Giancola could also impress readers with covers that lacked human figures, like his image of a barren Mars for Dana Stabenow's Red Planet Run (1995) or his rendering of a white dove against the backdrop of an orange starscape for Alexander Jablokov's River of Dust (1996).

Soon, Giancola was becoming one of the most admired artists in the field: although he earned the first of twenty Chesley Awards for his cover for Lee Hogan's Eggheads (1996 as by Emily Devenport), showing a spacewoman standing in front of an enormous, multicoloured egg, that now seems one of his less striking productions. More noteworthy were his covers for the first three volumes of Brian Stableford's Emortality series, Inherit the Earth (1998), Architects of Emortality (1999), and The Fountains of Youth (2000), all presenting stylized human figures posed within bold, unusually coloured structures. During the next decade, Giancola worked steadily on covers for both books and magazines, including some impressive items for science fiction classics republished in 2003 by the Science Fiction Book Club; one interesting example was his cover for Arthur C Clarke's The City and the Stars (November 1948 Startling as Against the Fall of Night; 1953; exp and much rev vt The City and the Stars 1956), showing two men conversing against a screen showing a planet that resembles an enormous eye, and his cover for Clifford D Simak's City (May 1944-December 1947 Astounding, January 1951 Fantastic Adventures; coll of linked stories/fixup 1952; exp 1981; original text restored 2003) earned him another of his many Chesley Awards, the latest being in 2015. These include the Chesley for Lifetime Artistic Achievement. Among other honours, Giancola also received the Hugo Award as Best Professional Artist in 2006, 2007, and 2009. Still far from the age of retirement, he seems destined to remain a major sf artist for many years to come. [GW]

see also: Worldcon.

Donato Theron Giancola

born Colchester, Vermont: 1967



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