Adventures in Science Fiction Cover Art: Pyramids (spaceships + future earthscapes + alien temples)
December 17, 2012 § 62 Comments
(Jack Faragasso’s cover for the 1971 edition of The Pyramids from Space (1970), Jack Bertin and Peter B. Germano)
This post is in a series on the interaction between television/film and science fiction cover art (The Statue of Liberty on Pre-1968 Magazine and Novel Covers and Cosmic Fetuses + Other Uterine Spaces). In the former, the scene at the end of Planet of the Apes (1968) drew directly on pre-existing pulp science fiction art tropes. In the later, Kubrick’s baby in a balloon scene in 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) inspired many artists to reproduce the image of the cosmic fetus. There isn’t a direct line of influence in this post between these covers and Stargate (1994) and its sequels. I simply seek to illustrate that there has always been an obsession, verging into the sci-fi genre, with re-interpreting ancient civilizations as alien inspired. I suspect many of these published after 1968 were influenced by the “non-fiction” book Chariots of the Gods (1968).
The very thought of science fiction combining pyramids with any amalgamation of aliens, “History” Channel conspiracy content, space forces, and re-invented Egypt related mythology makes me cringe in disgust. Yes, I disliked all incarnations of Stargate although I did find its incredibly campy nature weirdly appealing… And no, I probably will not read any of the books (perhaps some of the magazines due to the variety of their content) I’ve scrounged up for this hilarious, and often artistically inept, group of covers.
We have levitating pyramids, pyramid spaceships, pyramidal temples, model spacemen, and even an egregious “Romance novel” tinged sci-fi cover with pyramids… As always, Paul Lehr’s interpretation of the theme is by far the best.
If I’ve missed any let me know.
(Uncredited cover for the 1975 edition of From the Legend of Biel (1975), Mary Stanton)
(Paul Lehr’s cover for Three Trips in Time and Space (1973), ed. Robert Silverberg)
(Ed Moritz’s cover for the July 1956 issue of Fantastic Universe)
(Uncredited cover for the 1978 edition of The Epping Pyramid (1978), Colin Cooper)
(Curt Caesar’s cover for the 1954 edition of Pyramidopolis (1953), Gabriel Guignard)
(Boris Vallejo’s cover for the 1988 edition of The Vengeance of Orion (1988), Ben Bova)
(Malcolm Smith’s cover for the June 1952 issue of Other Worlds)
(Chesley Bonestall’s cover for the November 1954 issue of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction)
(Uncredited cover for the 1960s edition of The Red Planet (1962), Russ Wintherbotham)
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