Our cover this month, In a city halfway across the galaxy an alien intelligence was addressing the strangest delegation since time began . . . by Jack Gaughan sold for $3,120 at Swann Auction Galleries Illustration Art auction on Dec. 6, 2018 in New York City. The image is the cover illustration for Samuel R. Delany’s science fantasy novel City of a Thousand Suns. Gaughan also notably illustrated the covers and hand-lettered title pages of the unauthorized first paperback edition of J.R.R. Tolkien’s now cult favorite fantasy thriller, Lord of the Rings. He’s well recognized for his illustrations in this particular genre, having won several Hugo Awards throughout his career.
Gaughan was particularly lauded for his ability to depict the science fiction and fantasy scenes of spaceships, characters and objects exactly as they were described in the literary works he illustrated. His use of color and perspective also gives his images an abstract and otherworldly feel, which makes his work stand out from that of some of his peers.
One is left to wonder if practitioners living in Gaughan’s generation would have perceived the modern estate-planning world as a work of science fiction not unlike the ones Gaughan illustrated. In fact, technological advances as they affect the estate-planning profession are still a topic of hot debate, as can be seen in Jonathan G. Blattmachr and Martin M. Shenkman’s article, “DAS Are a Must,” p. 36, and Douglas J. Paul’s piece, “The Slippery Slope of DAS,” p. 38, which present opposing views on the automation of document creation.