|Chaff, pen and ink, 1995|
Another of my old SF illustrations, this one for a story by Greg Egan, the acclaimed SF writer who is also from Perth. A futuristic tale with parallels to Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness, Chaff is about a mercenary sent into a jungle that has become unpredictably transformed by genetic interference. I decided to represent the jungle as a brain-like mass to suggest something sinister and sentient at the journey's end. This illustration appeared in the collection Our Lady of Chernobyl.
The chaff (grain husks) of the title refers to a line in Conrad's novel: "No fear can stand up to hunger, no patience can wear it out, disgust simply does not exist where hunger is; and as to superstition, beliefs, and what you may call principles, they are less than chaff in a breeze."