December 8, 2013 § 27 Comments
(Paul Lehr’s cover for the 1979 edition of Crompton Divided (variant title: The Alchemical Marriage of Alistair Crompton) (1978), Robert Sheckley)
Paul Lehr’s cover for the 1979 edition of Robert Sheckley’s Crompton Divided (1978) was the inspiration for this post. I found the cover many years ago while looking through Lehr’s entire (mostly brilliant catalogue) and was intrigued. The man, comprised of puzzle-like pieces that slowly morph into the swirls of his clothes, stares at us with hybridized eyes — a planet, a pupil — while one missing puzzle piece allows the viewer a glimpse of a barren landscape. His brain, entirely a puzzle, is complete, but are his senses crumbling?
Dean Ellis’ cover for the 1971 edition of Larry Niven’s collection All the Myriad Ways (1971) is even more fantastic — the puzzle pieces (bones, faces, limbs) dangle in the air « Read the rest of this entry »
Adventures in Science Fiction Cover Art: Diagrammatic Wonders (alien sand art + planning invasions + and other more mysterious formulations), Part I
November 21, 2013 § 18 Comments
(Virgil Finlay’s cover for the April 1957 issue of Fantastic Universe, ed. Hans Stefan Santesson)
At first glance this is a miscellaneous collection of covers on diagrammatic wonders — the aliens (or “advanced” humans) on Virgil Finlay’s cover for the April 1957 issue of Fantastic Universe conjure an image of earth with colored sand, generals plot invasions via maps and other diagrams depicting troop movements….
While some of the covers are themselves diagrams (Christopher Zacharow’s cover for the 1985 edition of Ancient of Days (1985), Michael Bishop) others place their characters in opposition to each other as pieces « Read the rest of this entry »
October 31, 2013 § 21 Comments
(Peter Goodfellow’s cover for the 1979 edition of The Moment of Eclipse (1970), Brian Aldiss)
Make sure to take a peek at Part I if you enjoyed this collection!
In Part I I described how I was inspired by Ed Valigursky’s stunning and powerful cover — with its giant eye, running figures, and perspective lines drawn across the artificial field heightening the tension — to look through my image collection and find similar examples. Since I made the last post I’ve collected quite a few more examples (from my own collection and image collections online) along similar lines.
Mitchell Hooks’ cover for the 1958 edition of The Big Eye (1949) by Max Ehrlich has long been one of my favorite covers and it has cropped up in various posts over the years…. The uncredited cover for the 1969 edition of The Cosmic Eye « Read the rest of this entry »
October 16, 2013 § 37 Comments
(Richard Powers’ cover for the 1969 edition of Cosmic Engineers (1939), Clifford D. Simak)
The theme of this post is the future metropolis as canvas where the entire surface of the cover is arrayed and ordered by the forms and forces of the city. The city as a matrix that holds the scene unfolding amongst its spires… Richard Powers’ masterful cover for the 1969 edition of Cosmic Engineers is the perfect example. The mass of the buildings arch, indistinct, upward — causeways and platforms amongst the cityscape hold faceless humanoid forms that “look” « Read the rest of this entry »
October 8, 2013 § 16 Comments
(Uncredited cover for the 1961 edition of Earth Abides (1949), George R. Stewart)
Note: if anyone can identify the artist for the first three downright spectacular covers I’d be very very happy. I’m positive that they match stylistically (the vague human shape, the cityscape, the brush strokes, the textures). Two of the three covers were made for Signet press and all three are from the early 1960s. I suspect if I perused the covers from the Signet catalogue from that era I’d find even more…. Perhaps it’s the work of Sanford Kossin? He was producing covers for Signet around the same time.
And now The Vaguely Defined Looming Man Shape « Read the rest of this entry »
September 16, 2013 § 14 Comments
(Earle Bergey’s cover for the February 1953 issue of Science Fiction Adventures, ed. Philip St. John — i.e. Lester del Rey)
Make sure to take a peek at Part I if you haven’t already.
Crashed spaceships! Our heroes forced to trek across desolate landscapes, fight giant robots, and evil aliens…. Or, aliens stumble from the wreckage of their flying saucers — unusual green matter emanates while the flames reach ever upward. I suspect that if I were a kid in the era of pulp SF magazines I would have snatched everyone with a crashed spaceship regardless of the often dubious contents.
I am generally no fan of Kelly Freas but his cover for the July 1957 issue of Science Fiction Stories, is one of my favorite action/adventure type SF covers. Unusual aliens on the back of a massive turtle alien swimming through lava « Read the rest of this entry »
Adventures in Science Fiction Art: Spacewomen of the Future (flying spaceships + exploring alien landscapes + delivering galactic mail), Part II
August 27, 2013 § 23 Comments
(Ed Emshwiller’s cover for the February 1953 issue of Space Stories, ed. Samuel Mines)
Part II of my Spacewomen of the Future series – Part I.
In my first installment I discussed the stereotype of the 40s/50s SF pulp heroine — for example, she shrieks at the evil alien while the man has to rescue her or despite her education, she spends her time serving the men coffee on the spaceship (there’s a cringeworthy scene along these lines in It! The Terror From Beyond Space (1958), dir. Edward L. Cahn). Hopefully these cover art depictions will complicate the stereotype. Of course, I have not read all the contents of magazines/novels bellow so I can not speak for the portrayals within the texts. In the stories they could potentially be astronauts in the service, scientists, civilian love interests, colonists, partners of the male astronauts, etc…
I have somewhat arbitrarily decided for thematic reasons that “Spacewomen” is a woman in a space uniform of the future or « Read the rest of this entry »
August 20, 2013 § 10 Comments
(Brian Lewis’ cover for the July 1960 edition of New Worlds Science Fiction)
Brian Lewis’ fantastic cover for the July 1960 edition of New Worlds Science Fiction (if there’s a single magazine I desperately want to collect it’s this one…) depicts a futuristic radar dish (alien or human?) with a surrealist touch. I’ve included a wide range of different SF takes on radar dishes and telescopes – including what I assume is a Hubble-like space telescope on A. Leslie Ross’ cover for the July 1952 issue of Future Science Fiction. But there’s a chance that Ross’ telescope is on the Earth’s surface — the cluttered, confused, and rather hasty cover is rather hard to figure out (evil string creatures?).
The futuristic telescope (or radar dish) is a tantalizing image of humankind « Read the rest of this entry »
Adventures in Science Fiction Cover Art: The Statue of Liberty on Pre-1968 Magazine and Novel Covers, Part II
August 8, 2013 § 13 Comments
(Richard Weaver’s cover for the 1968 edition of The Monitors (1966), Keith Laumer)
Here’s an evocative collection of SF Statue of Liberty covers from before and after WWII…
Make sure to take a peek at Part I if you have not already. In Part I, I discussed the rationale for my dating restriction i.e. covers on the theme published pre-1968. After Franklin J. Schaffner’s movie Planet of the Apes (1968) became a cultural phenomena, multiple covers paid homage to the famous scene in the film. Hopefully, by examining the ten covers I’ve found depicting the Statue of Liberty from before the movie was released — often in scenes similar to the iconic one in Planet of the Apes (Part I contains a comparison) – the purposeful reference to earlier magazine art is clear…
The Statue of Liberty was not only deployed in some post-apocalyptical « Read the rest of this entry »