Jones, Eddie

Tagged: Art

(1935-1999) Working name of British illustrator Edward John Jones, who also published artwork as S Fantoni and "Eddie". One of Britain's most prolific sf artists, Jones was also one of the few in the field to be self-taught. After building a minor reputation as a fan artist, Jones began working professionally in 1957 with some interior art for Nebula Science Fiction and New Worlds; a year later, he painted the first of three covers for Nebula, and he also did three book covers for Badger Books. In these early works, some key characteristics of his style were already evident, including a predilection for astronomical scenes featuring Spaceships and spacesuited astronauts and the use of rich, glowing colours. However, except for several black-and-white cover illustrations for the fanzines Vector and Amra (see George H Scithers), Jones did little genre work during the 1960s, as he focused on his day job in the field of advertising.

In 1969, Jones's life changed when he agreed to serve as the art director for the short-lived magazine Vision of Tomorrow, also painting several of the magazine's covers, and after the magazine folded a year later he continued working as a full-time artist, producing sf covers for many publishers, notably Great Britain's Sphere Books and Germany's Fischer Taschenbuch. One of his many effective covers for Sphere, for Angus Wells's The Best of Clifford D Simak (coll 1975), showed a futuristic city on a mesa and a low-flying spacecraft passing by. He also painted the cover of the May 1974 issue of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, illustrating Lester del Rey's "The Dawn Rider" with an understated portrait of a flying chariot being driven by a winged horse. He may be best remembered, however, for his contributions to Star Trek-related books in the 1970s, though there is some uncertainty about the covers of Bantam Books publications, which then did not credit cover artists. However, the cover of James Blish's Star Trek 10 (coll 1974) is clearly signed "S Fantoni", and the covers of five other books – Blish's Star Trek 9 (coll 1973) and Star Trek 11 (coll 1975), Blish and Judith Ann Lawrence's Star Trek 12 (coll 1977), and Sondra Marshak and Myrna Culbreath's anthologies Star Trek: The New Voyages (anth 1976) and Star Trek: The New Voyages II (anth 1978) – are very much in the same style, indicating that Jones was responsible for them as well. Two other books – Walter Irwin's and G B Love's The Best of Trek (anth 1978) and Joe Haldeman's Star Trek novel World Without End (1979) – have similar covers signed "Eddie Jones". He also did some black-and-white illustrations for German editions of Blish's adaptations, which were later published as a portfolio.

Jones continued painting sf book covers until 1985, when Jane Frank reports that he shifted his attention to "painting military figures for a model shop in Liverpool." Although he also stopped attending science fiction conventions around this time, he made one more appearance at the 1999 Eastercon shortly before his death. [JG/GW]

Edward John Jones

born Great Britain: 18 January 1935

died Liverpool, England: 15 October 1999


  • A Star Trek Portfolio as by S Fantoni (Birmingham: Andromeda Books, 1976) [portfolio: eight Star Trek black-and-white illustrations prepared for German editions of James Blish's Star Trek adaptations: na/Eddie Jones]


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