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Artwork and Covers

Runcible Jones

Original artwork done by Simon Irvine for Ian, for the Runcible Jones books. Simon is now a movie animator and has worked on many big movies Including Legend of the Guardians, The Amazing Spider-Man, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Terminator Genesys and In the Heart of the Sea.

Grindgrim, the worst school in the country, is designed to crush the magic out of every child sent there.

Grindgrim School

Thandimanilon’s Tower on the magical world of Iltior.

Thand Tower

A fly-around of the tower can be seen at

Slippery Sleeth duelling Wyrmhilte in the ice cave.

Ice Cave

The crippled villain Lord Shambles in his nyssitron.


Runcie, Mariam and Thandimanilon fighting Shambles’ attack at the top of the tower.

Attack at the top of the tower

Sorcerer’s Tower

The wonderful covers and black and white internal illustrations were done by DM Cornish, award-winning writer and illustrator of the Monster Blood
Tattoo trilogy. You can find more about his books and artwork here.

Grim and Grimmer

The fantastic covers were done by World Fantasy Award-winning UK artist, Martin McKenna.

The View from the Mirror

The covers for The View from the Mirror Quartet were all done by Mark Sofilas based on concepts prepared by the author and others. The following sequence shows stages in development of the covers for the Quartet, which have been used worldwide.

Initial concepts were developed around Ian’s kitchen table by Ian, Anne and Barrie Collins. An awkward early sketch by Ian is shown below (1996).

A Shadow On The Glass - Ian's sketch

The cover for A Shadow on the Glass was inspired by a glorious coloured pencil sketch and graphic overlay by designer friend Barrie Collins (1997).

A Shadow On The Glass - Barry C

The Tower on the Rift cover was based on sketches by the author. The following image shows the author’s rough pencil sketch for the tower of Katazza (1997).

The Tower on the Rift - Ian's sketch

The cover for Dark is the Moon is closely based on original Bryce 3D artwork by Simon Irvine, done when he was at high school (1998).

Dark Is The Moon - Simon

The Way Between the Worlds cover went through many drafts. The final cover is partly based on original Bryce 3D artwork by Angus and Simon Irvine while they were at high school. Simon did the volcanic landscape of Aachan and the Aachim buildings, while Angus created the portal and the landscape seen through it (1999).

The Way Between The Worlds - Simon & Angus

The cover is also partly based on a very amateurish coloured pencil sketch by the author (1999), proving that he’s no artist.

The Way Between The Worlds - Ian's sketch

The Australian covers for Geomancer and Tetrarch were painted by Nick Stathopoulos based on suggestions by the author and design concepts by Cathy Larsen. The cover illustration for Scrutator is by Marco Nero.

Geomancer won the Galaxy Bookshop Award for Best Designed Fantasy/Science Fiction Book at the Australian Publisher’s Association 50th Annual Book Design Awards.

The UK cover illustrations are by Lee Gibbons.


All Ian’s fantasy books were designed by Cathy Larsen of the Penguin Design Studio, Melbourne. The symbol on the Mirror, also by Cathy Larsen, is based on original artwork by Ian. The original image below was done by Anne in gold and silver leaf and crimson ink (1997).

The glyphs surrounding the Mirror on all four covers were lettered by Cathy Larsen based on designs by Ian, inspired by various South Asian scripts. The layout of these glyphs on the four Australian covers corresponds to the puzzle in The Way between the Worlds. In the Orbit and Warner covers, however, some glyphs have been moved and others added, so the arrangement no longer corresponds to the text.

The symbol for The Well of Echoes is based upon a 3-D minimal surface Scherk-Collins structure. For more on algebraic topology, see

Most international editions of The View from the Mirror (eg UK, US, Dutch, Bulgarian and Czech editions) used the original Australian covers.