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Interspersing colorful slides with humorous anecdotes, award-winning science fiction illustrator Don Maitz told an eager audience Friday night of the intricacies and difficulties he has had in the science fiction industry. In a two-hour presentation at International House, Maitz who was making his first American appearance since winning the prestigious Hugo Award in Holland earlier this year entertained about 50 members of the Philadelphia Science Fiction Society by showing dozens of slides of many of his previous paintings and book cover art. The program also featured Maitz' wife, Janny Wurts, who displayed a slide presentation of her own including the book jacket from an upcoming novel. During the program, Maitz stressed that research is the key to developing award-winning fantasy images, adding that raw talent and an active imagination help to embellish the art. Maitz, sporting a leopard-spotted black and white shirt with a dark fluorescent green tie, pointed to his current project involving the painting of an 18th-century ship full of pirates for which he has had to spend long hours researching the workings of eighteenth century sailing ships. "It's a lot of research trying to get it accurate," he added. During her presentation, Wurts criticized American publishers, saying that they often want to edit the books to their own preferences. Because of that, Wurts said she relies on English publishers making her books more difficult to buy in the United States. "My next six books are coming out in England, but I don't have a buyer yet in America," Wurts added. "I'm reluctant to commit all my books to a publisher who won't do a good job." Her next book, Servant of the Empire, which she wrote with Raymond Feist is the follow-up to her previous collaboration with Feist, Daughter of the Empire and is set to be released later this month. Audience members said afterwards that they found the presentation both inventive and fascinating. "It's always a great insight to see how authors wrote the books," said Wharton senior Bobby Pish. "It gives the books a lot more color."

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