HomeAll postsEsperanto — a silly illo by Ian Gunn

Esperanto — a silly illo by Ian Gunn

In the mid-twentieth century, some authors believed Esperanto, a ‘common’ language, would be used to facilitate communication between cultures. So, of course, Ian made a pun out of it, for which I take no responsibility. [shifty eyes]

Ian Gunn, creator of these silly illos (illustrations), was a beloved award-winning artist based in Melbourne. Cancer took him from us too soon.

Ian left a legacy including lots of great illustrations. Many of these illustrations are available for sale.

Victoria’s science fiction convention, Continuum, occasionally presents the Ian Gunn Memorial Award recognising the ‘unsung heroes’ of fandom: people consistently working in the background who never expect any recognition of their efforts. This commemorates Ian’s selfless efforts to reach out to others, encouraging others and thereby building the science fiction community.

K’rin Pender-Gunn, Ian’s widow, gave Dark Matter Zine permission to republish Ian’s artwork. Thanks, K’rin!

Nalini is an award-winning writer and artist as well as managing editor of Dark Matter Zine.


  1. Esperanto is a planned language which belongs to no one country or group of states. Using it brings speakers of different mother tongues together without having to resort to English or a strong regional language. I am one of many people who for decades have argued quietly that wider support for Esperanto as a lingua franca could bring many benefits to the world.

    Not many people know that Esperanto has native speakers too. See:

    Over 300,000 people have signed on for the new Duolingo Esperanto course in its few months.

    • Thanks for sharing that additional information. I didn’t realise that Esperanto had native speakers although I remember asking my parents about the language when I was in primary school (and reading their SF books because BORED AND NOTHING TO READ). 🙂


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