Aleta Jackson (1948-2016)
Although not known by most of the viewers here at DA, Aleta Jackson has been seen in this gallery, particularly for “Guz’s Place”, "Lion On Tharthee" and “Space Frontier Cover”. In addition, she was the model for “In Another Country (Novel Version)”, and commissioned “I Saw Mir” for the National Space Society.
From my own perspective, she was a sci-fi/astronomical art fan, model, art buyer, and art director.
Also, hands down the most classy woman I ever met!
The first time I saw her, in 1985, she approached me at the art show room with a long black dress which I was told later was something of a “trademark” (from her Star Wars fandom days), and depicted somewhat here.
The fact I was in Arizona, where she lived, and, interested in breaking into the astronomical field of art, made our meeting inevitable. She was part of the L5 Society, which I later had covers with, and based in Tuscon.
I moved from NYC in 1986, and, one of the first things I needed, was models, as I had been using them for the book covers on a regular basis. Through her, I was introduced to the SCA (Society of Creative Anochronisms). I used several models, and their home made costumes included in the covers “Armor Of Light”, “Empress Of Earth”, “In The Country Of The Blind” and “Falling Free”
When I was commissioned for the Dec. 1988 cover for Science Fiction Analog’s “Guz’s Place”, I thought she was an absolute natural for the character! She used her charm school skills for the pose, and this was the first major nationally distributed magazine with her on it.
When, by the 1990’s, I was married, and raising a family. Aleta moved to Washington DC. with the NSA (National Space Society). She commissioned “I Saw Mir” shortly after going to work there.
The last time we met, was shortly after the death of our mutual friend, author G. Harry Stine, in 1997. She commissioned for me, the art of a privately financed rocket, taking off from a launching pad, which was added to the original art of “The General’s President”, the one portrait of Harry, I did, in 1987. He was a pioneer in the field of rocketry, having worked at Alamogordo NM White Sands Missile Range.
That 1997 art, not seen on the cover of "The General's President" is added to this portrait, seen here for the first time.
Like G. Harry Stine, Aleta went to working in the rocketry field, at the Rotary Rocket Co. (in her experience), by the mid 90’s. and moving to Mojave, CA and getting married to Dan DeLong.
At that point, I lost contact.
It was 2 months until I found out that she had passed away, which underscores the fact I’m totally out of touch with the community of Sci-fi astronomical social circles…
There’s a whole lot more about her life, but this was the person I knew from those years (1985-97)