Saturday, November 20, 2010

The Magic Goes Away: Esteban Maroto



My Copy of Larry Niven's "The Magic Goes Away" is the mass market, paperback edition, with the Esteban Maroto interior artwork. The novel is roughly 200 pages, but nearly 70 of those are Maroto illustrations. The principal characters are the Warrior, the Witch, the Warlock, the Medicine Man and a living Skull (all shown in the above art).


We meet the Witch and the Antagonist (both in the above illustration) early on in the story. Her hair turns from white to black as she finds sufficient magic to refresh her youth spells.


I'm partial to black and white illustrations, and I don't think it's merely because my earliest introduction to D&D art was from the original collectors edition set. I prefer black and white as the illustrator must dazzle me with technique rather than color.


Here's a picture of the Witch holding one of here travelling companions, the living Skull. Even when employing the starkness of black and white , Maroto is able to capture a feeling of softness and voluptuousness.



9 comments:

GrayPumpkin said...

Now I need to buy this book again. I had it at one time, but I lent it out and never got it back. But as much as love Maroto I had forgotten how great these illustrations were.

LoneIslander said...

I feel like that I have seen this before, but I don't know where

Regamer said...

Is that the same person who illustrated Conan and the Flaming Knife?

Regamer said...

....sorry I mean The Flame Knife

David J. West said...

Regamer-it is the same, Maroto also did Conan's The Black Stranger and a few of the other ACE Conan's (on some occasions the pic's were recycled)

I liked some elements of the story in The Magic Goes Away = the Moon stones and using magic up, but some other elements bugged me, but perhaps I just didn't like Niven's style.
I still heartily recomend the book for Maroto's art. I found a trade paperback so its even bigger.

steelcaress said...

Maroto also provided the illustrations for the Ace 1981 edition of Zelazny's Changeling, as well as on and off comic book work through the years for an Amethyst Annual, Savage Sword of Conan, Zero Patrol (Continuity Comics), etc. Definitely one of faves.

A Paladin In Citadel said...

I like Niven's science fiction stuff, but his magic system in The Magic Goes Away is too rational for me, I like magic to be a little more mysterious.

Dangerous Brian said...

I remember this book. I should still have it in my library somewhere. It was my first encounter with a "fading magic" setting. I completely forgot I even had it. Time to read it again, I think.

shimrod said...

I had (have, somewhere?) this same edition and really enjoyed both it and the lovely illustrations. I found the concepts behind the book moving and sad.