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Images (c) 2001 Frank Wu
Illustration for the story by Daniel J. Maines in Fantastic Stories magazine, Spring 2001. In this tale, a little alien in a fedora is trying to convince machine shop owner Joey to help him fix his spaceship. In the illustration (above), the alien is offering Joey money, but Joey is a tad suspicious and is threatening him with a camshaft. This drawing was used for the back of the T-shirts at the WillyCon 2001 sci-fi convention.
I did this illustration after reading the story once. Then, upon re-reading it, I realized that Joey was holding a driveshaft - NOT a camshaft. Oh no! A driveshaft doesn't have all those gnarly lumps, but is just a straight rod with a universal joint on the end. Boring, but the drawing must match the story, so I had to change it. It was published like this:
I still think the camshaft looks better.
Also, many of the objects in the foreground are real automobile parts. I was extremely tickled when a friend of mine said, hey, that looks like the intercooler from a Porsche 911 - because he was exactly right.
There was also a second illo for this story, of the little alien dude with his little alien device that will help him produce the lubricant he needs to run his little spaceship. He moves very quickly, hence the blur. (I try to avoid Photoshop tricks, but here I think it helped.)