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 »
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 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 »
March 1, 2013 § 24 Comments
I love the idea of a community of science fiction reviewers — so I’ve put together a list of a handful of book review blogs focused on classic/slightly more esoteric science fiction. Obviously there are plenty of great blogs I’ve omitted that have reviews of new releases or only occasional vintage science fiction…. Or, blogs that refrain from reviews of vintage science fiction unless participating in certain reading challenges….
Please visit them, comment on their reviews, and browse through their back catalogues.
1] Speculiction….: An under visited /commented on blog with quality book reviews of classic science fiction — however, the reviewer, Jesse, is limited by the lack of older science fiction available to him in Poland. I especially enjoyed his reviews of Ballard’s “beautifully strange enigma” that is The Crystal World (1966) and of course, my favorite science fiction novel of all time, John Brunner’s magisterial Stand on Zanzibar (1968). An index of his reviews can be found here. He also has a good mix of newer science fiction reviews as well.
Adventures in Science Fiction Cover Art: Planetary Rovers + Exploration Craft + Transport Vehicles of the Future
February 6, 2013 § 15 Comments
(Alex Schomburg’s cover for the November 1964 issue of Amazing Science Fiction and Fact)
I’ve put together a vast assortment of futuristic planetary transport vehicles — high tech lunar rovers, personal levitating (by mysterious forces) transport craft glorified cargo tractors, self-propelling robotic brains, large exploration vehicles trekking across vast alien landscapes… Due to the subject matter the art tends to be in the more realistic vein — à la the classic art of Chelsey Bonestell, Alex Schomburg, and other greats. The Paul Lehr’s cover for Robert Heinlein’s Farmer in the Sky (1950) adds a nice fantastical take on the subject.
I found that Chelsey Bonestell’s cover for the April 1955 issue of « Read the rest of this entry »
February 3, 2013 § 17 Comments
(Sandy Kossin’s cover for the 1960 edition)
Beyond This Horizon (magazine publication 1942, novelized 1948) was Robert A. Heinlein’s second published novel and one of the few non-juvenile works he published until the late 50s and early 60s. Interesting tangent: Starship Troopers (1959) was originally conceived as a juvenile but rejected by his normal publisher due to its more serious content.
Unfortunately, Beyond this Horizon is plagued by an utterly contrived « Read the rest of this entry »
January 20, 2013 § 20 Comments
(David Bergen’s cover for the 1978 edition of Sea-Horse in the Sky (1969), Edmund Cooper)
Here’s Part II of my cover art series on the delightfully nebulous theme of mysterious spheres (Part I). I’ve selected a variety of spheres: including spheres elevated in the air (balloon representations of the sun? planets? large scale planetary orbit models?), spherical eggs hatching men?, alien warships, alien (and human) transportation devices, strange atomic technology, obvious Death Star ripoffs, fields littered with the perplexing shapes….
… and even the simple unadorned sphere held aloft to indicate the pure delight of « Read the rest of this entry »
January 16, 2013 § 15 Comments
More Christmas gifts and winter break purchases….
Another Herbert non-Dune novel with a great vat baby fetus cover by the indomitable Lehr…
Another Pohl + Kornbluth 50s satire about worlds sunk into savage degeneration….
A lesser known illustrated utopian space fable by the Pulitzer Prize winning Herman Wouk… I really have no idea what to expect from this one.
And an alternate history sci-fi adventure by Harry Harrison.
1. Tunnel Through the Deeps (variant title: A Transatlantic Tunnel, Hurrah!), Harry Harrison (1972)
(Richard Powers’ cover for the 1974 edition) « Read the rest of this entry »