Saturday, June 23, 2012

Shelf Candy Saturday #25: Crucible: Spock:The Fire and the Rose, by David R. George III

This wonderful book meme/blog hop
is hosted by
Stephanie @

The purpose of this feature is to display
a beautiful book cover,
with information, if available,
about the cover illustrator,
photographer, and/or designer.

For all the participation rules,
just click

Here's my choice for this week!

Mass Market Paperback, 390 pages
Pocket Books
November 28, 2006
Genre: Science Fiction

Why do I love this cover?

I've been a die-hard Trekkie for several years, and I do prefer the original series.  Not only did it revolutionize TV and movie science fiction, but the characters in the show were wonderful!  I love the way they interacted; besides being a team of brilliant space travelers, they were also a tightly-knit family.

Spock, the half-Vulcan science officer and second in command to Captain Kirk, is my favorite.  A Vulcan's life is ruled by logic, and Spock's mind is razor-sharp in its unfailing application of this discipline.  Still, there's that undercurrent of emotion he constantly tries to suppress.  This is the legacy of his Terran mother.  This inner war is what makes Spock such an interesting character. 

This cover beautifully portrays both aspects of this fascinating man's personality.  His keen intellect and stern self-discipline are etched on his face, but then, so is his strong emotional nature.   I see a subtle difference when comparing the right and left halves of his face.  The right side shows the strongly logical part of his mind, while the left side reflects the emotional part.  This tells the viewer that the cover artist has skillfully incorporated current scientific findings on the workings of the brain.  The left half of the brain, which is logical, controls the right side of the body; the right half, which is emotional, controls the left side of the body. 

I love this artist's style, as well!  He's obviously a master draftsman; his realistic portrayal of Spock is brilliantly executed, perfectly capturing Spock's likeness.  I also love the composition!  The "Enterprise" looms over Spock's right shoulder, while galaxies swirl in the background.  Two shafts of light -- these are probably phaser fire -- shoot past each side of Spock's body.  The colors are incredible, as well; purple, lilac, pink, blue and white play over the cover, giving it an otherworldly quality.  Spock's head really stands out, yet, some of the background tones make up the color of his skin.  He is very obviously not of planet Earth.

I've had this book in my collection for some time now, but have yet to read it...   

The brilliant illustrator of 
this dynamic cover is
John Picacio.  

From the Artist's Website

JOHN PICACIO is a World Fantasy Award-winning illustrator of science fiction, fantasy, and horror. His artwork is noted for its diversity and range, often combining traditional drawing and painting with digital finishes, as well as exploring methods such as hand-made assemblages. His works have illustrated the covers of books by Michael Moorcock, Harlan Ellison, Robert Silverberg, L.E. Modesitt, Jr., Dan Simmons, Joe R. Lansdale, Jeffrey Ford, Frederik Pohl, James Tiptree, Jr., Mark Chadbourn, and many more. He has produced cover artwork for franchises such as STAR TREK and the X-MEN.

His accolades include the Locus Award, four Chesley Awards, and two International Horror Guild Awards, all in the Artist category. He has been nominated eight consecutive years for the Hugo Award in the Best Professional Artist category (2005-2012).

Picacio is a finalist in the
2012 Chelsey Award competition,
in the Best Product Illustration category.
His entry is the calendar image shown above.
The Chelsey Award is given by
ASFA, the Association of Science Fiction
and Fantasy Artists,
to artists who excel in the production
of SF and fantasy art.
The voting, by ASFA members,
will end on July 7th.
Winners will be announced at
This is the 70th World SF Convention,
which will be held
from August 30th to Sept. 3rd,
at Chicago's Hyatt Regency.

You can find more of the artist's exciting work
at his website, HERE.

You can visit his blog HERE.

So what do you think
of this cover?
What beautiful cover(s)
are you featuring this week?


  1. Great pick! I'm not a big Trekkie, but I've seen enough to agree that cover works really well for Spock. I like how they got the Enterprise on there too.

    My shelf candy is here if you'd like a look :)

  2. Wow, is that cover ever old school Star Trek! I used to watch the show as a kid and loved Dr. Spock. I think that it is almost a shame that they carried on with things for so long with all of the different generations. I like the older stuff the best and in my mind, the others can't compare.
    That cover brings back memories, especially of my father. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Hi, Claire!

    Yes, this is an excellent cover, and it captures Spock's personality perfectly! Glad you like it! I'm heading over to yor SCS post!

    Thanks for commenting!! : )

  4. Hey, Steph!

    Oh, I totally agree!! The original "Star Trek" was the absolute BEST!!! And Picard could NEVER compare to Kirk, in my book!! Lol.

    I'm so glad you like this cover, and that it brought back pleasant memories.

    You're more than welcome for the share, and thanks for the great comment!! :D

  5. I agree great cover and very interesting book. I grew up with TOS and when I see something like this it nearly brings tears to my eyes. Some of the Star Trek Books are well written and worth a try. This one is tempting.

  6. Hey, Brian! Oh, I LOVE this cover!! And of course, I LOVE Spock!! I first discovered TOS through re-runs, and immediately got hooked! I never liked any of the other 'versions' of "Star Trek". To me, they were entirely different programs. For some reason, they decided to give them the name, but in my opinion, the ONE AND ONLY "Star Trek" ended in 1969, when the stupid network pulled the plug on Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Uhura, Scotty, Sulu, Chekov, and Chapel! And Yeoman Janice Rand!

    In my opinion, and, I think, that of many fans, Picard NEVER could hold a candle to Kirk, and Data just couldn't hold one to Spock, either.

    Have you seen the other work done by Picacio, the cover artist? This guy's just AMAZING.

    I'm going to try to get to this book before the end of the year. There are two more "Crucible" books -- one for Kirk, and one for McCoy. All three are by the same author.

    I just ADORE thee guys!! To me, they're immortal!!!

    Thanks for commenting!! : )


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