Category Archives: Science Fiction cover art

Adventures in Science Fiction Art: Haunting Landscapes and Cityscapes: The 1970s Italian SF Art of Allison A.K.A. Mariella Anderlini

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(Cover for the 1973 edition of The City in the Sea (1951), Wilson Tucker)

Mariella Anderlini, under the pseudonym Allison, produced a vast number of surreal and masterful SF covers (between 1969-1988) primarily for the Italian SF publisher Libra Editrice.  Apparently, she went under the pseudonym to avoid damaging her professional painting career.  She was the wife of Ugo Malaguti, editor and author, who founded Libra Editrice and edited Galassia.

As I celebrate the birthdays of a range of SF authors/illustrators/editors from multiple language traditions on twitter (@SFRuminations), I came across Allison’s work while researching her husband’s untranslated SF output.  However, only through the diligent research of @FomahlautStar, whose Italian is far better than mine, were we able to come across her real name.

@FomahlautStar sent me two Italian articles for more details (they are scanty) about her life and SF art: “Libra Editrice: ascess e caduta di un impero”  and  “Nova SF.”

And her art is absolutely gorgeous…. Her work enters the pantheon of my favorite SF cover Continue reading Adventures in Science Fiction Art: Haunting Landscapes and Cityscapes: The 1970s Italian SF Art of Allison A.K.A. Mariella Anderlini

Adventures in Science Fiction Cover Art: The Diagrammatic Minimalism of Donald Crews and Ann Jonas

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(Cover for the 1967 edition of Extrapolasis (1967), Alexander Malec)

Between 1965 and 1971, the husband-and-wife team Donald Crews and Ann Jonas created a handful of fascinating minimalistic and diagrammatic covers for Doubleday.   I should note that their cover for the 1966 edition of Nebula Award Stories 1965 (1966), ed. Damon Knight was reused in different colors for multiple Nebula anthologies (1967, 1971, 1971).  Thus, their new covers for Doubleday appeared only (to the best of my knowledge) in a two-year span from 1965 and 1967.

A while back I explored the idea of the diagram (maps, brain/skull size, molecules, orbits) in SF art.  Donald and Ann Crews take the diagram in more minimalistic Continue reading Adventures in Science Fiction Cover Art: The Diagrammatic Minimalism of Donald Crews and Ann Jonas

Adventures in Science Fiction Art: Cosmic Coral and Eye Trees: The SF Art of H. Lawrence Hoffman

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(Cover for the 1968 edition of Last Door to Aiya (1968), ed. Mirra Ginsburg)

My pseudo-series exploring the more esoteric reaches of SF art continues.  Previous posts include The Brothers Quay and SF Covers, The 1960s Covers of Emanuel Schongut, and A Spotlight on the SF Covers of David McCall Johnston.  You all read my site because of my more esoteric dalliances, right? Hah.

H. Lawrence Hoffman (b. 1911-1977) [wikipedia article]  illustrated a vast range of covers for the major presses such as Popular Library—his mystery novel covers, including those by Dashiell Hammett, are particularly evocative [here is a substantial gallery displaying the range of his non-SF covers].

His use of coral and figures inspired by Central American Art (see his cover for The Gate of Worlds (1967), Robert Silverberg) demonstrate his more experimental moments.  His coral covers are stunning— Last Door to Aiya (1968), ed. Mirra Ginsburg and A Century of Science Fiction (1962), ed. Damon Knight.  And the 1973 edition of Alien Art by Gordon R. Dickson scratches a strange artistic itch…

What are your Continue reading Adventures in Science Fiction Art: Cosmic Coral and Eye Trees: The SF Art of H. Lawrence Hoffman

Adventures in Science Fiction Cover Art: The Brothers Quay and SF covers

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(Cover by the Brothers Quay for the 1977 edition of A Scanner Darkly (1977), Philip K. Dick)

While looking through the cover catalogue to celebrate Octavia E. Butler’s birthday on twitter (@SFRuminations), I found that her first novel Patternmaster (1976) was graced with a cover by Stephen and Timothy Quay—as in, the famous stop-motion (and more recently, live action) film directors know collectively as Brothers Quay!  If you’ve never seen their work, check out The Street of the Crocodiles (1986).

Brothers Quay—along with Guy Maddin, Jan Švankmajer, Wojciech Has, Juraj Herz (for The Cremator, 1969) among others—have long been among my cinematic cornerstones, and to discover that they created SF covers certainly made my day!  I have included a series of stills from their films below—creepy, gorgeous, incredibly well-crafted, (the adjectives could continue for pages).   Continue reading Adventures in Science Fiction Cover Art: The Brothers Quay and SF covers

Adventures in Science Fiction Cover Art: A Spotlight on David McCall Johnston

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(Cover for the 1971 edition of New Writings in SF 6 (variant title: New Writings in S-F 6) (1965), ed. John Carnell)

The American artist David McCall Johnston (b. 1940) [webpage] produced a mere handful of SF covers.  They are striking and somewhat minimalist in comparison to his famous fantasy covers (Orlando Furiosos, Moorcock’s The Chronicles of Corum sequence, etc).  I have included all of his SF covers (that I know of) with a selection of fantasy covers (that do not intrigue me as much as the SF ones).  My favorites: the 1971 edition of New Writings in SF 6, 1971 edition of New Writings in SF 7, and the 1971 Continue reading Adventures in Science Fiction Cover Art: A Spotlight on David McCall Johnston

Adventures in Science Fiction Cover Art: The 1960s covers of Emanuel Schongut

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(Cover for the 1965 edition of All Flesh is Grass (1965), Clifford D. Simak)

On twitter I like to highlight the birthdays of often lesser known SF artists and authors—and today is Emanuel Schongut’s birthday!  The 1960s SF covers of Emanuel Schongut (b. 1936) demonstrate an eye for the simple form, the surrealist twist, the optical trick….  In 2012 I compiled a list of my favorite fifteen (as of then) SF covers [here]—although I suspect some of the list would change, his cover for the 1966 edition of Watchers of the Dark (1966) [below] by Lloyd Biggle, Jr. would retain its privileged place.

Although few of the other covers rise to the heights of Watchers of the Dark, some of his others from the 1960s still transfix and leave haunting impressions!  For example, Continue reading Adventures in Science Fiction Cover Art: The 1960s covers of Emanuel Schongut

Adventures in Science Fiction Cover Art: Max Ernst and his landscapes of decay (on SF/F covers)

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Max Ernst’s Barbarians Marching to the West

Max Ernst (1891-1976) has long been one of my favorite artists.  I had no idea, until browsing through the Penguin SF cover images from the 60s, that his art appeared on a variety of SF/F novels and related literature/nonfiction….  Yes, I had seen the memorable cover for J. G. Ballard’s The Crystal World (1966) [below] but I had not put the two together.

My favorite is without a doubt the use of Ernst’s awe-inspiring Europe After the Rain II (1940-42) for J. G. Ballard’s collection of stories, Memories of the Space Age (1988).  The malaise generated by his landscapes of decay combined with the sheer power of Ballard’s visions evoke are almost palpable shudders of joy…

There are a handful more but I have included most of the 50s to early 80s examples.

And today, April 2nd, is Max Ernst’s birthday!  So, share, if you are so inclined, your favorite of his works of art.  And, feel free to identify any that might appear on the covers below…  Too bad more publishers don’t latch onto the joy that are his collages (do a google search and you will understand).

Enjoy!

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(Max Ernst, Europe After the Rain, cover for the 1988 edition of J. G. Ballard’s Memories of the Space Age, 1988) Continue reading Adventures in Science Fiction Cover Art: Max Ernst and his landscapes of decay (on SF/F covers)