Keith Parkinson was born on October 22, 1958, in West Covina, California. From a very young age, Keith had an interest in the arts. His take on what exactly constituted ‘art’ was a little different from the definitions of most, though. Inspired by the work of J.R.R. Tolkien, he started painting sweeping landscapes occupied by fearsome monsters during high school. He quickly developed an affinity for his new hobby, and was soon splitting his time between painting and playing drums in a rock band. Citing a desire for a more stable career as a freelance fantasy artist, Keith eventually abandoned his dreams of rock stardom and left his band to go to art school. Upon graduating from Kendall School of Design in 1980, Keith took a staff artist position at a company called Advertising Posters. After working with Advertising Posters, Keith took a job at a company called TSR – the publishers of the popular Dungeons & Dragons role playing game. The next seven years were spent primarily doing book covers for the New York publishing market. In 2000, Keith began devoting more time to writing and moved the focus of his commercial artwork into the software industry, producing art for the hugely popular EverQuest online game. In April of 2002 Keith moved to San Diego to -- along with several EverQuest colleagues -- found Sigil Games Online, Inc. Among his many responsibilities as Art Director for Sigil Games Online, Keith created and maintained the overall style of the game, contribute to in-house concept art, in-game art, posters, promotional material, and more. During his life, Keith traveled the world many times over. He explored castles across Europe, camped in the deserts of Kenya and wandered the busy streets of Hong Kong but his favorite place to be was always at home surrounded by friends, family, and of course, lots of paint. After a lengthy struggle with Acute Myelogenous Leukemia (AML), Keith passed away on October 26, 2005. He was 47 years old. He was an inspiration to everyone that knew him and he will be greatly missed. A wesite with a gallery of his work and a webshop is still available at

This artwork was done by Keith Parkinson for the US edition of The Chronicles of Pern : First Fall, published by Random House (Ballantine/Del Rey) and it was used for both hard- and softcover books. It has a unique interpretation of a colonist sled and is one of the Pern book covers that have more of a science fiction feeling about them because of the technical details. The dragonrider and dragon could be meant to be Sean Connell and bronze Carenath.

© Copyright by Keith Parkinson, all rights reserved.

I haven't been able to find this art in the webshop on Keith Parkinson's website. However, you can mail them and ask if it is available in original or as a print.


Original cover art is shown here with no intention to violate the copyright, or any other right, of the original artist and in recompense we try to promote the artist and link back to his or her webpages and webshops if possible. Should anyone whose work is depicted on these Pern Museum Pages have any objection to seeing his works of art promoted here, a simple email will suffice to make your wishes known and we will act accordingly.