Michael Whelan and several of the Eaton Collection books with his cover art
May 22, 2017

Renowned science fiction artist Michael Whelan came to speak at the UCR Library on the evening of May 18, 2017.

“An Evening with Michael Whelan” was co-sponsored by the Riverside Art Museum (RAM), and ran from 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm in Special Collections & University Archives. Whelan lectured to a standing-room only crowd about his career, his creative inspiration, and more.

Special Collections had also prepared a display of noteworthy books from the Eaton Collection of Science Fiction and Fantasy that feature Whelan’s cover art, which is still available for viewing on the fourth floor of Rivera Library.

The Jay Kay and Doris Klein Librarian for Science Fiction JJ Jacobson said that she was spoiled for choice. “I got 555 results one way, and 568 another,” Jacobson said of her catalog search results.

Jacobson said that she could have approached the display design from a number of different methods, but in the end, she decided to highlight Eaton Collection books by authors that many consider to be the “Grand Masters” of Science Fiction and Fantasy, including Ray Bradbury, Poul Anderson, Marion Zimmer Bradley, Andre Norton, and Samuel Delany.

Michael Whelan and JJ Jacobson look at several of the Eaton Collection books with his cover art

As the most honored artist in Science Fiction, Whelan has won an unprecedented 15 Hugo Awards (which is the equivalent of an Academy Award in the science fiction art world), three World Fantasy Awards, and 13 Chesleys from the Association of Science Fiction and Fantasy Artists. The readers of Locus Magazine (for SF insiders) have named him “Best Professional Artist” 30 times in their annual poll, most recently in 2014. The Spectrum Annual of the Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art named Whelan a Grand Master in 2004.

Other noteworthy awards include a Gold Medal from the Society of Illustrators, a Vargas Award, a Grumbacher Gold Medal, and the Solstice Award from the Science Fiction Writers of America.

The Riverside Art Museum had an exhibition of Whelan's artwork titled “Beyond Science Fiction: The Alternative Realism of Michael Whelan” on display until May 25, 2017.

To learn more about the artist, please visit: michaelwhelan.com.