John Picacio, the amazing cover illustrator on Fast Forward 1: Future Fiction from the Cutting Edge,talks about his illustration on his blog, On the Front:
"Lou and I talked a lot about this one. More than anything, we talked about the editorial direction of the book and what territory he was trying to explore. I read his introduction early in the process. Incredibly inspiring. He and I talked a lot about Richard Powers and his effect on Ballantine's covers in the '50s. On Lou's blog, he mentioned something about the cover 'approximating some of Powers' energy for our time.' I don't want anyone to think that I equate myself with Powers, so I might clarify that by saying that the thing I love about Powers' covers is that they challenge their audience. They refuse to be beauty pageant pieces that desparately preen to be liked for their surface polish. I think that's one of the most powerful lessons in his art....they spoke to the audience of their time, and they did it on their own terms. So I guess if anything, I was attempting (and attempting is the keyword) to do the same with this cover. Lofty as that may sound. Of course, in the end, I look at the FF1 cover and as much as it's one of my recent favorites, I see my own glaring shortcomings more than anything. I've got a long way to go...."For my two cents, John may be going a long way still - in terms of his evolution and career - but he's already pretty far ahead of the pack with this and many other pieces!