So given nothing better to do, I decided to see if I could track down that poster I had always thought of as "that huge cool Roger Dean poster I gave to Joe when I went to college and he enlisted in the army."
Except it turns out not to be a Roger Dean poster at all, and I feel like I owe an apology to Rodney Matthews , who has probably been dealing with that confusion his entire career (which has been and continues to be, quite productive).
It also has a name, which is Tanelorn, the Eternal City from Michael Morcook's multiverse. I have never heard of Tanelorn before today, although of course I'd heard of Morcock and his Eternal Champion, Elric. I had good friends (the aforementioned Joe was most certainly among them) who were reading this stuff (in between D&D sessions), along with Fritz Leiber's Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser series. I never read any of it, sticking more with science fiction (Asimov, Heinlein, Clarke, Herbert), although I did get more into fantasy later (McAffrey, Zimmer Bradley, LeGuin). Of course everyone read Tolkein, then.
I literally wrote out and had to erase: I have no desire to read epic fantasy ever again, but then I realized I'm still curious to see how GRRM is going to untangle the multiple knotted plot threads in his massive A Song of Fire of Ice series, popularly known as Game of Thrones. I've got a bit of wait on that front, with a possible publication of volume six in 2014 and then who knows how long for the final book.
So I haven't really lost my taste for fantasy, and this image still tugs at my heart. The thing I love about it is that you can't tell whether it's a city or an impossibly huge ship, able to slip away at will -- exactly the kind of thing Tanelorn can do. Kudos, Mr. Matthews.