Stephen Hickman illustrated science fiction and fantasy for more than five decades. His work was inspired by the masters of fantasy and science fiction writing J.R.R. Tolkien, H.P. Lovecraft, A. Merritt, Edgar Rice Burroughs and Clark Ashton Smith.
His illustrations have been used as cover work for many contemporary writers: Stephen Brust, Hal Colbatch, Tom Cool, Gordon Dickson, David Drake, Harlan Ellison, Robert Heinlein, Anne McCaffrey, Larry Niven, Andre Norton, Jerry Pournelle, and Steve Stirling among others.
Hickmans work earned him critical acclaim, including a World Science Fiction Convention's Hugo Award, 6 Chesley Awards from the Association of Science Fiction and Fantasy Artists and 2 Spectrum Gold Awards.
Since 1976 Hickman has illustrated over 425 covers for Ace, Baen, Ballantine, Bantam, Berkeley, Dell, Del Rey, Doubleday, Phage Press, Tor, Warren Publications and others.
In 1988 Hickman wrote The Lemurian Stone (Ace Books), which formed the basis for his Pharazar Mythos illustrations, The Lion Pavillion, is one example, and is also reproduced along with The Archers, in the 1994 edition of Spectrum.
In 1994 he was awarded a Hugo Award from the World Science Fiction Convention for the United States Postal Services Space Fantasy Commemorative Booklet of stamps, the first official recognition by the government of the SF genre.
In 1996, Hickman created the Cthulhu statuette inspired by an earlier cover illustration done for H.P. Lovecrafts story The Call of Cthulhu (Baen Books). The statuette was produced and distributed by Bowen Designs. A bust of H.P. Lovecraft himself was also released.
Empyrean, The Art of Stephen Hickman, published in 2015, is available by Titan Books.
In 2020, a second Cthulhu edition was released in collaboration with George Beahm, Flights of Imagination.
Stephen Hickman passed of natural causes July 16, 2021 surrounded by his loving family.