Dark Piper by Andre Norton

Dark Piper by Andre Norton

First published in 1968, Dark Piper is the first title in Andre Norton’s Dark Companion series. The book begins at the end of a decade-long war, as soldiers return to their home planets after years away. Unfortunately, some planets have changed in terrifying ways.

Andre Norton, a prolific writer of both science fiction and fantasy, was the first woman to serve as SFWA Grand Master. While most of her novels were targeted towards adults, her work frequently featured teen protagonists. In 2005, the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America created the Andre Norton Award, which is given to outstanding works of science fiction or fantasy targeted at young adults.

Dark Piper by Andre Norton

This mysterious cover was created for the book’s first paperback edition, which was published by Ace Books in 1969. It was painted by Hugo-Award winning artist Jack Gaughan, who also worked with Ace on books like Clans of the Alphane Moon and Dawnman Planet. He was the primary artist for Galaxy Science Fiction between 1969 and 1974.

Although Gaughan studied at the Dayton Art Institute, he received personal training from Hannes Bok, a pulp artist that created covers for magazines like Weird Tales and Famous Fantastic Mysteries. Gaughan was a passionate fan of science fiction, and he frequently submitted fan illustrations to magazines. On several occasions, he received simultaneous Hugo nominations for best professional artist and best fan artist.