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Mark Funke, a collector of science fiction artifacts, recently acquired the original cover art for 'The Left Hand of Darkness'.
But the cover art for the 1969 first edition of the novel has its own merit. Leo and Diane Dillon, the only artists to win two consecutive Caldecott Medals for the picture books Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears and Ashanti to Zulu, are known for illustrating dozens of science fiction covers for celebrated authors like Le Guin.
Leo and Diane Dillon aimed to transform the traditional look of science fiction covers with their illustrations, moving away from space adventures and conflict-based stories.
"It was science fiction that moved away from the pulpy space adventures, aliens and laser guns-type stories and conflict-based stories, specifically, of earlier in the century," says Phoenix Alexander, the science fiction librarian at UC Riverside.