Adventures in Science Fiction Cover Art: Three Tantalizing Australian SF Covers by Michael Payne

(Michael Payne’s cover for the 1978 edition of Envisaged Worlds (1978), ed. Paul Collins)

Michael Payne created a handful of covers for Australian SF presses in the 1970s. They are difficult to track down (especially in high-quality images) so I’ve provided three tantalizing covers that suggest potential if he had continued to produce SF art. They feature careful pencil work and an eye for the slightly surreal–especially the repeated human figures in Envisaged Worlds (1978) (my favorite of the bunch).

This post is also a call for any additional information you might be able to find about his career, non-SF art (if any), or even the Australian presses (Wren and Void Publications). The art for Beyond Tomorrow (1976) also appeared on the 1975 Science Fiction Monthly, July 1975 “AussieCon Special” edition. If someone has that copy of Science Fiction Monthly please let me know as Michael Payne provided additional interior art.

Certainly paddling along an esoteric “eddy,” as a reader called my various explorations. I’ve posted far superior pencil SF covers in the past—my post on Claude Lacroix’s Delicate Lines and Mutations (60s/70s covers for the French SF Magazine Fiction) comes to mind.


As always, thoughts and comments are welcome.

For additional Adventures in SF art (including many less esoteric artists and themes) consult the INDEX.

rooms of paradise

(Michael Payne’s cover for the 1979 edition of Rooms of Paradise (1978), ed. Lee Harding)

(Michael Payne’s cover for the 1976 edition of Beyond Tomorrow (1976), ed. Lee Harding)


16 thoughts on “Adventures in Science Fiction Cover Art: Three Tantalizing Australian SF Covers by Michael Payne

    • I didn’t care for it at first but it’s growing on me — especially that strange flower room near his head….

      I still think my favorite is the one for Envisaged Worlds. The human forms are so uncanny.

  1. I seem to recognize his style, it’s possible he did a lot of uncredited and anonymous work for the paperback field. Artists really get no respect.

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