May 16, 2013 § 15 Comments
(Uncredited cover for the 1970 edition of When Two Worlds Meet (1970), Robert Moore Williams)
A while ago I put together a post on the theme of Models, Dolls, and Mannequins in cover art. Little did I know that Curtis Books (a rather minor publisher of generally minor authors) and Born, a Dutch imprint, used a substantial number of cover compositions comprised of manipulated photographs/collages etc of plastic toy spacemen in unusual alien environments. Also, a few more major publishers/magazines — Four Square Science Fiction and Analog Science Fiction Science Fact — had their own take on the theme.
I find these covers very charming and fun (sort of like a science fiction B-film from the 50s) — not necessarily artistic masterpieces. They certainly evoke childhood games with toy figurines — perhaps placed in the lawn or sandbox or amongst the grass. I’ve included a few from my previous post and another can be found in my post « Read the rest of this entry »
May 1, 2013 § 10 Comments
(John Richards’ cover for the 1958 edition of Crisis 2000 (1955), Charles Eric Maine)
On science fiction covers from the 40s and 50s the atom is often emblematic of atomic power and all the dangers and promises that such a scientific breakthrough could (and did) yield. In John Richards’ cover for the 1958 edition of Charles Eric Maine’s Crisis 2000 (1955) the humanoid super beings arrive from Saturn to terrorize Earthmen — and, carefully covering the private areas of one of these denizens of Saturn is the atomic symbol surrounded by blood. The cover is made even more unnerving by the multiplicity of identical « Read the rest of this entry »
April 22, 2013 § 6 Comments
(Arthur Hawkins’ cover for the 1959 edition of Skyport (1959), Curt Siodmak)
Part II of my series on cover art depicting space stations (Part I). Here are vast assortment of primarily Alex Schomburg and Vincent Di Fate’s artwork — they did love their space stations. But, I think my favorite is by far Arthur Hawkins’ cover for the 1959 edition of Curt Siodmak’s Skyport (1959) — the author is of course famous for the novel Donovan’s Brain (1942). The delightful color scheme, the 50s aesthetic, the vague indication of continents below, the cluster of « Read the rest of this entry »
April 8, 2013 § 19 Comments
On the cross, a future prophet (or false one)? A martyr for a lost cause? Or, some future priestly emissary of the Catholic church dispensing law on those gathered…. Perhaps some transformation of man to a godly state all hallowed and arrayed with religious accouterments of faith? I’ve gathered a fun collection of science fiction prophets mostly decked out / depicted in distinctly Christian style.
My favorite is Robert Foster’s cover for the 1970 edition of Behold the Man (1969) by Michael Moorcock…. And Gray Morrow’s cover for the 1970 edition of This Immortal (variant title: And Call Me Conrad) (1965) contains a fascinating color scheme — although there isn’t any mold on the figure’s face as Zelazny « Read the rest of this entry »
March 31, 2013 § 10 Comments
(Dean Ellis’ cover for the 1973 edition of Operation Umanaq (1973), John Rankine)
Here are only a small portion of the cover images I’ve collected of space stations and space habitats of the rotating wheel variety — i.e. the ring (or a torus) spins creating pseudo-gravity. As in the double-wheeled space station in 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)… I have always been enamored with space stations/habitats which was part of reason I adored Star Trek: Deep Space Nine as a kid (although today I prefer it over the over Star Treks due to the complicated arc « Read the rest of this entry »
March 23, 2013 § 18 Comments
(Karel Thole’s cover for the 1962 edition of Starman’s Quest (1958), Robert Silverberg)
Some of my favorite cover art posts over the last two years were on the theme of cities — Elevated Cities (Part I, Part II), Domed Cities (Part I, Part II, Part III), Doomed Cities (Part I, Part II, Part III), and Ice-Covered Cities. I’m starting a new series on science fiction cities – The City on the Horizon — I already have two additional posts lined up on the theme.
The City on the Horizon — a glimmer of hope for beleaguered travelers, an beacon of habitation of an unknown civilization on an alien world, an organic mass rising from the desert sands, or a refuge of the ultra wealthy rising majestic from a slum… The possibilities are « Read the rest of this entry »
March 14, 2013 § 15 Comments
(Richard Powers’ cover for the 1952 edition of Rat Race (1950), Jay Franklin)
As always, I’ve included a variety of novel and magazine covers on the theme from the 50s-70s. My favorite is by far Richard Powers’ cover for the 1952 edition of Rat Race (1950) – his occasional less surreal visions from the 1950s are artistically adept and powerful (by the 60s the majority of his covers are surrealist). I found that the uncredited cover for the 1961 edition of Dark December (1960) convincingly depicts the loneliness of the survivors in their new world… J. F. Doeve’s cover for the 1966 Dutch edition of The Crucified City (1962) displays the devastation « Read the rest of this entry »
March 8, 2013 § 10 Comments
(Robert Gibson Jones’ cover for the June 1948 issue of Amazing Stories)
This post is somewhat thematically similar to my earlier post on humans trapped in mysterious vials (here). The glass or crystal pillar is often just another way for a heroine to be imprisoned by some malevolent entity — waiting for the hero to come to rescue. For example Robert Gibson Jones’ wonderful pulp cover for the June 1948 issue of Amazing Stories. Although, the countless similar pillars across the horizon imply an entire city of people imprisoned in ice…
Some of the covers are even more mysterious — in Gray Morrow’s « Read the rest of this entry »
Adventures in Science Fiction Cover Art: Look, I’m Actually a Robot (chest flaps, faux skin, mechanical brains)
February 24, 2013 § 12 Comments
(Gray Morrow’s cover for the the December 1964 issue of If)
One of Philip K. Dick’s trademark narrative devices is a character’s realization that they are not human as they previously believed but rather a robot — for example in one of my favorite sci-fi short stories, ‘Impostor’. Generally these bewildered robots float to the ceiling and explode, which has to be one of the more terrifying and cataclysmic revelations possible (the knowledge itself and the devastation caused).
Unfortunately, cover artists don’t attempt to depict that sort of “look, I’m a robot” type « Read the rest of this entry »