Dave grew up in Liverpool and studied art before attending the Royal College of Art in London. He went on to produce the artwork, posters and tickets for the three Isle of Wight music festivals from 1968 to 1970. After that Dave started designing cover art for books and albums including the 1975 Nazareth album Hair of the Dog and progressive rock band Popol Ace’s album Stolen From Time released in 1976. Dave then created the artwork for Jon Anderson’s 1976 debut album Olias of Sunhillow. In 1978 he began collaborating with fantasy writer Anne McCaffrey, producing stunning artwork for four of the Pern books. Also featured on this site are Dave’s works for books by John Barth, George Macbeth and C J Cherryh.
Anne and/or her UK publisher might have come in contact with Dave Roe because Jon Anderson wanted to to an album with music pertaining to the Dragonriders of Pern, a project that never materialized though Anne did meet Jon to talk things through. Dave has a website (a site maintained for him by his nephew Mike) called The Dragondaze Portfolio, The official website of David Fairbrother Rioe, but there is (currently) no webshop. but it does have a gallery and a page with the Pern work. The message that they are happy to take requests and ear from anyone interested in Dave's work has been there for a long time and maybe you have better luck in getting an answer than I and several friends did.

Dave's dragons must be among the strangest any Pern fan might encounter, but at the same time they are beautiful in their own right. The first time the fans were to see one of Dave's covers was on a Corgi paperback publication of Dragonsong, the first volume in the Harper Hall trilogy. I suppose we could assume that this is T'gellan and Menolly, just after the rescue of the girl, taking a rest at the Dragonstones near Half Circle Sea Hold, a scene not appearing in the book, but that's artistic license and it does give us a wonderful piece of art to behold.

© Copyright by David Roe 1978, all rights reserved.

Dave was also asked to do the art for Dragonsinger. Strangely enough a cover for Dragondrums by his hand never came to be. This cover is total fantasy and again features that very special kind of dragon that is unique to David Roe.

© Copyright by David Roe 1978, all rights reserved.

The year after he did the covers for Dragonsong and Dragonsinger Dave was asked to do the artwork for the cover of the UK edition of the anthology with short stories by Anne titled Get off the Unicorn, which also contains the most famous Pern short story of them all: The Smallest Dragonboy. The art was used on both hardcover and paperback UK editions.

© Copyright by David Roe 1979, all rights reserved.

Even Anne admits that a large part of what made The White Dragon sales soar and brought the book onto the bestseller lists, was the wonderful cover Michael Whelan did for it. However, in the UK they had the same cover on the hardcover edition but opted to have David Roe do yet another Pern cover for the paperback edition. It would also be his last. Again Dave painted a very intrigueing dragon (consistent with the style of the earlier covers) but this time a person (Jaxom?) joined the scene, wearing what looks like an ermine mantle and a long tunic over leather pants.

© Copyright by David Roe 1980, all rights reserved.


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.