The upcoming Association of Science Fiction and Fantasy Artists awards, or Chesleys, have had their finalists announced. This group chooses via a public vote at the World Science Fiction Convention (Worldcon) for all association members. Awards have been around since 1985, named after artist Chesley Bonestell.
All awards are for the year of 2017 only and how people vote is via a ranked choice, meaning you choose for your #1 pick and #2, and so on for each category and artists cannot vote for their own artwork. As this is a popular vote, having a more notable name has a major advantage, with Irene Gallo for Tor being a near lock for best art director every year.
Magic’s art director Cynthia Sheppard is also up for best art director this year. Considering the uptick in Magic’s art quality, she has a good chance of winning. The Gaming Related Illustration category includes the Specrum Silver Institutional winner of Moaning Wall by Piotr Jablo?ski and should be the favorite for the win if one had to choose. Best of luck to all candidates!
Best Art Director
Neil Clarke — Clarkesworld
Christine Foltzer — Tor.com Publishing
Irene Gallo — Tor Books/Tor.com
Lauren Panepinto — Orbit Books and for Muddy Colors blog articles
Cynthia Sheppard — Wizards of the Coast
Best Gaming Related Illustration
Kari Christensen — Chandra Gremlin Wrangler Heroes of the Realm WotC September 2017
Melissa Gay — Offering Sagaborn RPG Core Rule Book Lone Wanderer Entertainment August 2017
Piotr Jablo?ski — Moaning Wall Magic card for Hour of Devastation WotC July 2017
Jaime Jones — The Ur- Dragon Magic card for Commander 2017 WotC, August 2017
Sara Winters — Compulsive Research Magic card for Modern Masters 2017 WotC, March 2017
Chandra Gremlin Wrangler by Kari Christensen
The Ur- Dragon by Jaime Jones
Moaning Wall by Piotr Jablo?ski
Compulsive Research by Sara Winters
If you’re curious how Magic has done in the past, please see the list:
In 2014, Ruric Thar, the Unbowed by Tyler Jacobson, Observant Alseid by Todd Lockwood, Serene Remembrance by David Palumbo, Prognostic Sphinx by Steve Prescott, and Ashen Rider by Chris Rahn, were all nominated. The only non Magic nomination won the award.
In 2015, Noah Bradley for Drown in Sorrow, Ephara, God of the Polis by Eric Deschamps, Pharika, God of Affliction by Peter Mohrbacher, Ghoulcaller Gisa by Karla Ortiz, and Ajani Steadfast by Chris Rahn were all nominated with Pharika, God of Affliction getting the Chesley.
In 2016, Magic swept the category. Mind Rot by Clint Cearley, Guardian Automaton by Vincent Proce, Blessed Spirits by Anna Steinbauer, Sandblast by Min Yum, and Fruit of the First Tree by Ryan Yee. Fruit of the First Tree won the Chesley.