Jim Burns (born April 1948) is a Welsh artist born in Cardiff, Wales.
In 1966 he joined the Royal Air Force, but soon thereafter he left and signed up at the Newport School of Art for a year’s foundation course.
After that, he went on to complete a 3-year Diploma in Art and Design at St. Martin’s School of Art in London. When he left St. Martin’s in 1972 he had already joined the recently established illustration agency Young Artists. He has been with this agency, later renamed Arena, ever since.
He is today a contemporary British science fiction illustrator. His work mostly deals with science fiction with erotic overtones. His paintings are generally intricate photo-realistic works of beautiful women set against advanced machines and spaceships. While his preparatory sketches are more erotically focused, his final works and published book covers have a more academic tone portraying far off and imaginary worlds.
Apart from book and game covers, Burns briefly worked with Ridley Scott on Blade Runner. He has also had books of his own works published, including Lightship, Planet Story (written by Harry Harrison), Mechanismo, Transluminal, and Imago
Burns won the Hugo award for best professional artist three times—the only non-American ever to have won it—and has also been awarded 12 BSFA awards. Well regarded in fandom, he was artist guest of honour at the 1987 Worldcon.
Work by the artist includes cover art for:
- The Fury of Dracula (1987) a boardgame by Stephen Hand
- Two books by Daniel Keys Moran
- Armageddon Blues (1988)
- The Long Run (1989)
- Over thirty books by Robert Silverberg including The Face of the Waters (1991)
- Aristoi (1992) by Walter Jon Williams
- Upland Outlaws (1993) by Dave Duncan
- Infinity’s Shore (1996) by David Brin
- The Stone Dance of the Chameleon series by Ricardo Pinto
- The Chosen (1999)
- The Standing Dead (2002)
- The Third God (2009)
- The Commonwealth Saga by Peter F. Hamilton
- Pandora’s Star (2004)
- Judas Unchained (2005)
- The Void trilogy by Peter F. Hamilton
- The Dreaming Void (2007)
- The Temporal Void (2008)