Thursday, November 17, 2011

Paul Alexander (b. 1937)

Paul R. Alexander was one of the top science fiction paperback cover artists of the 1970s and '80s. Now retired, Mr. Alexander was born on September 3, 1937, in Richmond, Indiana, and graduated from Wittenberg University in nearby Springfield, Ohio, in 1967. He also studied at the Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles. In his book Infinite Worlds: The Fantastic Visions of Science Fiction Art (1997), Vincent Di Fate includes Mr. Alexander with Dean Ellis, Christopher Foss, and John C. Berkey as "gadget" artists, "adept at painting futuristic hardware." The artist's talents were not limited to enormous spaceships zooming through vast realms of space, though. As the images below show, Mr. Alexander was equally adept at portraying human and not-so-human figures.

Paul Alexander's work was recently on display at the Communication Arts Technologies (CAT) Gallery at Montgomery College in Rockville, Maryland. Those works were part of an exhibit called "Worlds Collide: The Art of Science Fiction." You can view an online gallery at:

Cover illustration for Robert Silverberg's Those Who Watch (1978).
Another cover for another Robert Silverberg book, To Open the Sky (1978).
Finally, a cover illustration for Jehad by Simon Hawke, aka Nicholas Valentin Yermakov (1984).

Text and captions copyright 2011 Terence E. Hanley


  1. A great illustrator I have admired since the eighties. I own the two Silverberg covers above, and will soon add a third. He lives in Greenville, Ohio now and does not own a computer, but interested buyers of his art should contact Jane at WORLDS OF WONDER (


  2. I have loved Mr. Alexander's work since I first saw The Eyes of Heisenberg and the gorgeous cover he did for The Best from Fantasy and Science Fiction: A Special 25th Anniversary Anthology early in his career. I would dearly love to get an artbook featuring his illustrations, but sadly, I've never learned of any being published. His art just has a glow to it, no matter the subject matter, and he is one of my absolute favorite artists.

  3. I just began re-reading the 1978 Dell paperback "Sargasso" by Edwin Corley, with a knock-your-socks-off cover by Mr. Alexander. You can judge this book by its cover. Both are superb! Thanks - Charles in Raleigh

  4. To Anonymous, Unknown, and Doc Piedmont,

    Thanks for writing and for your appreciation of Paul Alexander's artwork.