Norwescon 1 Program Book Cover Art
This is a scan of the original art for the Norwescon 1 program book cover. The cover is by Bill Warren (William R. Warren, Jr.), 1978; India ink on vellum.
The little gnome with the glowing guts sitting under the bridge with his quill is, of course, Norwescon's guest of honor, Theodore Sturgeon. The fellow to the left with the staff is toastmaster Ray Bradbury.
Bill had the artwork done before he learned who the toastmaster was. Upon hearing the news, he replaced the face of the original wizardy guy with a sketch of Bradbury. The patch is still there on the original art.
Once upon a time, Theodore Sturgeon wrote a passage about a little gnome sitting under a bridge, this guts a-glow as he penned some tome. Bill based this scene on that passage. And now, dang it, I cannot find the original quote.
All the other characters in the scene are from Sturgeon stories.
The "Q" with an arrow through it is Sturgeon's personal symbol. It means, "Ask the next question."
He advocated that we keep asking questions about the why and the how of it, expanding our knowledge throughout our lives.
You might also be familiar with Sturgeon's Law: "90% of everything is crud." It came from a time a fan complained to him that 90% of science fiction was crud. Sturgeon replied, "Of course it is! But then, 90% of everything is crud!"
He was quite adamant in saying that the word was "crud," not "crap." However, whether it's 90% or 95% is of no significance. The important thing is to seek out the good stuff.
(Text by Gregory Bennett)