Apr 27

Ah train verses helicopter.. the eternal struggle.

Click for pure art – no type, no logo

Larry Comments: OK, this doesn’t follow The Rules, but it’s me, the actual artst, giving you a sneak peek at my upcoming disaster. The art direction for this book was LITERALLY: A Black Helicopter versus a Black Locomotive, at night. It’s for the upcoming Baen (No really try to look surprised) book WRITTEN IN TIME.

You might remember Larry’s work from this cover!

To which he has responded: I agree with when I was gigged here at GSS for the Sceptere’d Isle cover. Yes that WAS a gamer pal with a costume. Sometimes I look back at stuff I have done and wonder, holy crap, what was I thinking?

He also says something we whole heartily agree with here, “Misty (Mercedes Lackey) and I have a life philosophy that embraces the humor in all things. As we put it in an interview not long ago, to fully respect something you must acknowledge that all things have an element of the absurd. If you treat something as wholly serious, you’re not respecting its entirety, since you are trimming off and discarding the silly side of it—in other words, to fully love something you must also make fun of it.”

Thanks to Larry for sending this all in and might I add, is a jolly nice bloke, as we would say here. Check out his website:

Good Show Sir, Good Show!

Actually, that cover IS a classical work of art!I would touch it without protective gloves.I've seen worse. Far, far, worse.Interesting, but I would still read it in public.Middlng: Neither awful nor awfully goodWould not like to be seen reading that!Awful... just awful...That belongs in a gold-lame picture frame!Gah... my eyes are burning! Feels so good!Good Show Sir! (Average: 4.83 out of 10)

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23 Responses to “Written In Time”

  1. SI Says:

    To be very fair, the cover really isn’t that bad at all! Baen have defiantly put way worse things on their covers than that.

    Might I point to the following case of RX verses Chaos:


  2. A.R.Yngve Says:

    Helicopter versus Locomotive… who would win?
    My money is on the locomotive, it’s much heavier and harder.

  3. Simon Says:

    “There’s only one way to find out . . .” (One for TV Burp fans)

    Illustrates nicely the peril that lurks round the corner for every cover brief that says ‘illustrate this scene from the book’. It rarely ends well.

  4. James Lovegrove Says:

    At least they put in some real effort on the title and authors’ names, making them dramatic and eye-catching. Oh no, wait, they didn’t.

    And no strapline? What’s the book about? Are we supposed to guess? “She was a helicopter. He was a steam locomotive. Their love was forbidden, but they knew it was special, and they would race to the ends of the earth to prove it.”

  5. little mi Says:

    I would have thought the helicopter could just fly about and drop things on the locomotive…or the tracks. I wouldn’t give the train much of a chance really.

    Sorry, I’m taking this too seriously aren’t I…

  6. CSA Says:

    The pic is good, however i can see where everything started to fall apart : “A Black Helicopter versus a Black Locomotive, at night”, i guess they got exactly what they asked for.

    Personally id have interpreted that differently, id have carved a huge skull onto the front of the train and Darth Vader would have been in the cabin playing monopoly with Hitler. I would also have added a topless cyberpunk woman hanging onto the side of the chopper. actually, make that TWO topless women. Finally, Harry Potter would have been standing on the track, robe blowing in the wind etc pointing his wand at the train, but THEN you would notice there is actually an Alien on the side of the train which is about to pounce on a Predator which is underneath the chopper.

    The authors would have re-work a few scenes. But i think the end result would be worth it.

    Much respect to Larry.

  7. Kathleen Says:

    TWO topless women

    who have three breasts, of course. Or does that go without saying?

  8. CSA Says:

    Well said, any book cover is infinately improved by three breasted women. You should see my custom made copy of the bible. Well you can’t actually, i lent it to the pope and he hasn’t given it back.

  9. Albertosaurus Rex Says:

    I actually think that cover is awesome.

  10. weirdwombat Says:

    I actually quite like this cover. A bit dark, but apart from that it’s pretty cool.

  11. James Lovegrove Says:

    @Kathleen: Is that two topless women with three breasts each or three breasts in total between them? It makes a difference, you know.

  12. Morgan C Says:

    Larry is a great guy. I remember gaming with him in Spring Lake NC, at Ron Hancock’s shop back in the late 80s…

  13. Larry Dixon Says:

    Hello Morgan! Hope you have been doing wonderfully. Still gaming, still working on games, still bouncing dice, wrenching on cars and pushing words around. ๐Ÿ™‚ Health’s been a total helicopter-vs-train wreck for the past decade so the career’s been on again off again. But I am GRYPHON FIERCE and shall never give up! Even though many may agree it’d be a good idea. ๐Ÿ™‚

    BTW, comics great Gail Simone’s comment about that cover was, “It needs more NINJAS.” To which I replied, “Twenty isn’t enough?”

  14. individual Says:

    Ay. Can’t say I like Larry’s covers all that much but it’s just so hard to rag on fantasy artists because I can say from experience that most of them are the nicest people you would ever meet. Whereas the modern conceptual artists I’ve met are a bunch of pricks.

  15. Dave Van Domelen Says:

    The Rules may need to be modified with a Baen Exemption or something. Because no matter how insane a Baen cover of the past few years seems to be, you’re virtually guaranteed that it’s a faithful depiction of something in the book. Black helicopter versus train? I bet it happens just that way. “Goblins” firing a cannon at a ship while powerarmored space marines look on? That happened. Lightning-breathing dragon piloted by a guy who looks like a ninja, raking a castle rampart? Happened. Nanotech-created mermaid frolics with a dragon? In the book. And so forth. ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. Bookworm Bas Says:

    RE: Morgan C, Gaming

    It’s a shame computer games have pretty much decimated the RPG scene. When I was growing up computers and consoles were just evolving from our atari and 286 with 1 MB of RAM and 20 MB harddrive. Even when I finished high school they had only just reached the Pentium processor. Computer games while good fun weren’t as impressive or detailed as they are now. Nor were Laptops cheap. Thus the cheapest and most fun that a group of imaginative young lads with only paper, dice, pencils and rulebook (preferably but not essential) was to play “”Cyberpunk 2020” (started on “2013”, greatly admire William Gibson) or “Call of Cthulhu” (love the work of H P Lovecraft and co) plus a variety of others. Good cheap wholesome fun : ) even when you are disembowelling your enemy with your knock off Wolverine Fist Blades in a dark alley or being dragged along by a dimensional shambler, which apparently hangs out at my local DOS prompt. Some of the most fun I’ve had in my life. Oh well…..

    In regards the cover of the book. I’m no art critic but it looks as though Larry has given the publisher just what they asked for and made It look good at that. Kudos to you Larry hopefully your next comission will allow you more scope.

  17. PDM Says:

    This cover alone could be the basis for a time-travel story involving robber barons and modern CEOs. They could be competing for the title of supreme robber baron or fighting off time-traveling socialists and/or liberals. Or both.

  18. David Cowie Says:

    And speaking of PC games and helicopter versus train at night รขโ‚ฌยฆ one of the scenes in the game SOLDIER OF FORTUNE is you on a train, which is being attacked by a helicopter, and I’m pretty sure it happens at night. You have to shoot the chopper down with the sniper rifle. Honestly.

  19. Ron Hancock Says:

    WOW!!!! I thought all you guys were dead! JK. And yea it’s the real me. Been forever since I have heard from your name Morgan. And a pleasure to see your name. I was trying to remember where my old shop was and where I lived all those years ago and stumbled on you guys. I am in Fort Collins CO. now. Just moved here a couple of months ago from texas (long but good story). Wish there was a way here to get a hold of you. I chatted with Larry on his website sometime back. Just to say hi and glad he was doing ok.
    And yes, I am still gaming (though not as much as I used too) and still collect comics. You guys take care and maybe we will see each other again…I am planning on going to ComicCon next year in San Deigo.

  20. Dead Stuff With Big Teeth Says:

    *looks at cover* Good use of perspective, better than I can do…quite dynamic…nice sunset, otherwise lacking in colours…

    *reads art direction* Erm, was the art director ramming two of the model vehicles on his desk together, and making ‘BRRM! BRRM! KABOOOSH!’ noises, when he (or she) dictated the assignment?

  21. anon Says:

    …as opposed to written too late and hence not published?
    What is this, a bad version of SilkWorm with a steam locomotive instead a jeep?

  22. Tom Noir Says:

    My money is on the chopper.

    Seriously, how is this even a contest?!?

  23. Anna T. Says:

    It’s a contest if the train has a Gatling gun.

    Also, someone’s clearly been temporally displaced here, and depending on how and why, this could be very, very bad.

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