Stephen Hickman (1949-2021)

Artist and author Stephen Hickman, 72, died of natural causes July 16, 2021 at home in Red Hook NY.

Stephen Forrest Hickman was born April 9, 1949 Washington DC. His father was in the foreign service, and as a child he spent time in the Philippines and Pakistan. Stateside they lived in Texas and Arizona before settling in Alexandria VA.

He studied art at the Richmond Professional Institute of Virginia Commonwealth University, where his classmates included artists Michael W. Kaluta and Charles Vess. He attended the New York Comics Convention in 1967, and subsequently became involved in fandom, doing illustrations in fanzines. A piece of his stock art was purchased for use as an Ace cover in 1974, and his first commissioned cover was for a reprint of The Brain Stealers by Murray Leinster around 1976.

Hickman painted over 300 book covers, notably for Stephen Brust’s Dragaera books and Larry Niven’s Man-Kzin Wars series. Some of his J.R.R. Tolkien-inspired works were included in anthology Realms of Tolkien: Images of Middle-Earth (1996), and have appeared as prints and calendars. He also designed a chess set based on Tolkien characters, and did other sculptural work, including some inspired by the writings of H.P. Lovecraft.

Hickman published one novel, The Lemurian Stone (1988). His art books include The Fantasy Art of Stephen Hickman (1989) and The Art of Stephen Hickman: Empyrean (2015).

Hickman won the inaugural Jack Gaughan Award for Best Emerging Artist in 1986, and won a Hugo Award in 1994 in the original artwork category for the Space Fantasy series of postage stamps from the US Postal Service. He also won numerous Chesley Awards, including a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2000, along with two Spectrum Gold awards.

He is survived by wife Vicki and daughters Aurora and Zara.

For more, see his entry in The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction.

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