(John Schoenherr’s cover for the 1964 edition of Alien Worlds (1964), ed. Roger Elwood)
Michael Whelan’s cover for the 1979 Dutch edition of Greybeard (1964) by Brian W. Aldiss appeared in a collection of SF art Space Wars, Worlds & Weapons (1977). I remember encountering the collection at a used bookstore, perhaps in Philadelphia when I went to visit my grandparents… It terrified me for years. The bizarre metal construct looming over the destroyed world—and most of all, the strange tentacled hands…
…hence, today’s themed art post!
Tentacles and Other Strange Appendages.
I have a confession: I am warming to the art of Charles Moll—1974 edition of New Dimensions 3 ed. Continue reading Adventures in Science Fiction Art: Tentacles and Other Strange Appendages
(Patrick Woodroffe’s cover for the 1974 edition of Four for the Future (1969), ed. Harry Harrison)
Here is Part II of my sequence on SF and Skulls (morbid I know): Part I. We have a range of skeletal curios—from Charles Moll’s deconstructed representation of an astronaut in mental and physical decay to Patrick Woodroffe’s heart + skull renegade taxidermy-esque construction arrayed against a joyous psychedelic (blotter paper swirls?) Continue reading Adventures in Science Fiction Cover Art: The Skull, Part II
(Uncredited cover for the 1976 edition of Mindfogger (1973), Michael Rogers)
It’s been more than four months since my last Adventures in Cover Art post…. Here is a bizarre, and perhaps less than artistically satisfying, collection of 50s-70s covers. So what do we mean by a multiplication of faces? The multiplication of a single face might be a more apt title. The theme evokes images of mind echoes (whatever they might be), bifurcated realities, abnormal, mental abilities, the manifestation of unusual nightmares, awesome alien might.
I am not sure I have a favorite although Howard Winters’ cover for the 1969 edition of The Man Without a Planet (variant title: Siege Perilous) (1966) by Lester del Rey is genuinely Continue reading Adventures in Science Fiction Cover Art: A Multiplication of Faces
(Vincent Di Fate’s cover for Alien Horizons (1974), William F. Nolan)
I have been gathering this series of SF covers for a while—the human shape contorting, manipulated, transforming into in-human forms (trees, keys, insects, etc). Some are more metaphoric, for example Josh Kirby’s cover for the 1970 edition of A Century of Great Short Science Fiction Novels (1964). While a few are clearly aliens which look “human”—Charles Shield’s incredibly uncanny cover for the 1979 edition of Fireflood and Other Stories (1979) by Vonda N. McIntyre….
All hint at bigger mysteries, and seduce with their uncertain Continue reading Adventures in Science Fiction Cover Art: Human Transformations + Transfigurations
(Richard Weaver’s cover for the 1972 edition of Dreadful Sanctuary (1948), Eric Frank Russell)
THE SKULL. The bones of the dead, the empty sockets gazing at us, a deathly gaze…. I have collected for your [horror filled] enjoyment a vast variety of SF skulls: the moon mutated into a skull, the half-skinned skull as part of mysterious contraptions, photographs of real human skulls interspersed with statuary and wigs, bizarre pink skulls pulsating with green radiation-esque Continue reading Adventures in Science Fiction Cover Art: The Skull (connected to mysterious contraptions + looming above all + the moon mutated), Part I
(Josh Kirby’s cover for the 1970 edition of The Reproductive System (variant title: Mechasm) (1968), John Sladek)
It has been too long since I collated a cover art post… I have a love hate relationship with Josh Kirby’s work. He tends to be on the comedic side, for example, he provided covers for a large percentage of Ron Goulart’s DAW titles (The Wicked Cyborg, etc) and Prachett’s Discworld novels.
However, for a brief window of time in the 60s and 70s he produced some gorgeously surreal depictions of astronauts and and astronaut transformations. His cover for the 1970 edition of The Reproductive System (variant Continue reading Adventures in Science Fiction Cover Art: Josh Kirby’s Astronauts (1957-1976)
(Uncredited cover for the 1968 edition of Operation Terror (1962), Murray Leinster)
Barry N. Malzberg’s depressed/depraved astronauts have inspired me to make a post! (unfortunately, the covers for his books do not really fit the bill).
Guy Billot’s cover for the 1975 edition of Brian Stableford’s Man in a Cage (1975) perfectly embodies the feel of existential crisis—man, hemmed in by a single red line, raises his arms against the star-studded sky in anguish. The nature of the crisis is left oblique. I have selected a variety of covers that convey—with varying degrees of success/precision—this same mental state.
I admit that some might not fit the bill exactly—for example, in the uncredited Continue reading Adventures in Science Fiction Cover Art: Existential Crisis