Ron Miller is an illustrator and writer who lives and works in South Boston, Virginia. He now specializes in astronomical, astronautical and science fiction books for adults and young adults.
Miller was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He holds a BFA from Columbus, Ohio, College of Art and Design. He worked as a commercial artist and designer for six years, before taking a position as art director for the National Air and Space Museum's Albert Einstein Planetarium. He left there in 1977 to become a freelance illustrator and author; to date he has nearly sixty book titles to his credit, and his illustrations have appeared on hundreds of book jackets, book interiors and in magazines such as National Geographic, Reader's Digest, Scientific American, Smithsonian, Analog, Starlog, Air & Space, Astronomy, Sky & Telescope, Science et Vie, Newsweek, Natural History, Discover, GEO and others.
Miller has translated and illustrated new editions of Jules Verne's 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, From the Earth to the Moon and Journey to the Center of the Earth as well as a companion/atlas to Verne's works, Extraordinary Voyages. He has acted as a consultant on Verne for Walt Disney Imagineering (for the Paris Disneyland) and A&E Television Network's Biography series. Miller's book The Dream Machines, a comprehensive 744-page history of crewed spacecraft, was nominated for the International Astronautical Federation's Manuscript Award and won the Booklist Editor's Choice Award. His original paintings are in numerous private and public collections, including the Smithsonian Institution and the Pushkin Museum (Moscow).
He designed a set of ten commemorative postage stamps for the U.S. Postal Service. One of the stamps in the Space Exploration series (1991), is credited with helping inspire the New Horizons mission to that planet. The Pluto stamp was attached to the spacecraft before launch. The stamp is now in the Guinness Book of World Records as having traveled further than any other postage stamp in history. He has been a production illustrator for motion pictures, notably Dune and an unproduced version of Total Recall; and he designed and co-wrote the computer-generated show ride film, Comet Impact! for SimEx. He has provided concept and special effects art for numerous other films. Most recently he was a co-producer of the documentary film, "A Brush With the Future."
Miller has taken part in international space art workshops and exhibitions, including seminal sessions held in Iceland and the Soviet Union. He was invited by the Soviet government to the 30th anniversary celebration of the launch of Sputnik, and has lectured on space art and space history in the United States, France, Japan, Italy and Great Britain. He was featured on Hour 25 Science Fiction Radio program in early 2003.
An authority on the work of astronomical artist Chesley Bonestell, his book The Art of Chesley Bonestell received a Hugo Award in 2002. A feature-length documentary based on this book, "A Brush With the Future," for which he was co-producer, won the Audience Award at the Newport Beach Film Festival and Best Documentary at the San Diego Comic Con. Other books have received awards, including a Silver Award for best fiction from ForeWord magazine for Palaces & Prisons and the Violet Crown Award from the Writers' League of Texas for Bradamant. His Worlds Beyond series received the American Institute of Physics Award of Excellence. The Grand Tour has gone through three editions, multiple printings, several translations, was a Hugo Award nominee and has sold over 250,000 copies. It was also twice a Book-of-the-Month feature selection. This and other books have been selections of the Science, Quality Paperback and Science Fiction Book Clubs. His book, Digital Art, was listed on the VOYA (Voice of Youth Advocates) Nonfiction Honor List in 2009. In all, he has 75 works in 142 publications in 6 languages in 16,977 libraries world-wide.
Miller has been on the faculty of the International Space University. He is a contributing editor for Air & Space/Smithsonian magazine; a member of the International Academy of Astronautics; a member of the History Committee of the American Astronautical Society; a Life Member, Fellow and past Trustee of the International Association of Astronomical Artists; an Honorary Member of the Sociétè Jules Verne [fr] (Paris); a past member of the North American Jules Verne Society and a past Fellow of the British Interplanetary Society.
A recent project has been Black Cat Press, which Miller has devoted to publishing new editions of rare and obscure science fiction, fantasy and science fact books. Among these are new, original translations of several Jules Verne novels.