(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→
(Inside illustration by Vincent Di Fate for the 1973 edition of The Orchid Cage (1961), Herbert W. Franke)
Part II of my SF acquisitions from Dawn Treader Books in Ann Arbor, MI– Part I. In my attempt to acquire more foreign SF (still haven’t managed to read that much of it—but the mood will strike eventually), I found a nice copy with a wonderful interior illustration and cover by Vincent Di Fate of one of Herbert W. Franke’s novels.
An eclectic range of books from my annual pilgrimage to Ann Arbor, MI. Unfortunately, the anthology series I was most excited about—Best of New Worlds and Orbit—were lacking from the shelves of Dawn Treader Books….
World’s Best Science Fiction: 1967 (1967) contains stories famous stories by Philip K. Dick, Roger Zelazny (2xs), R.A. Lafferty, Michael Moorcock, Frederick Pohl, Brian W. Aldiss, and lesser known stories by Dannie Plachta, Paul Ash, Bob Shaw, A. A. Walde….
Also, I also procured a 1967 Nebula-nominated novel by Hayden Howard, more Richard Holdstock, and a collection containing the famous short story “Beyond Bedlam” (1951). Over the next few weeks I’ll post the rest of my acquisitions.
Langdon Jones is best known for his involvement in New Worlds Magazine: he contributed stories (published 16 in various New Worlds venues), cover art, and edited the April-July 1969 issues. One of his stories, “To Have and To Hold,” was slated to appear in the never published Last Dangerous Visions, and languishes unread and unknown. Why Ellison doesn’t relinquish control of the copyright is beyond me… Sadly, Jones’ output had all but dried up by 1969. If anyone knows why, please let me know.
Three of the seven stories in the collection—“The Hall of Machines” (1968), “The Coming of the Sun” (1968), and “The Eye of the Lens” (1968)—form a loose triptych (the religious connotations of the term is purposeful).
An eclectic collection of 70s SF…. Two virtually unknown authors (Gawron + Pfeil) and two authors slightly better known by SF fans (Platt + Cowper).
I’ve not been impressed with Platt in the past—for example, maybe you all remember my review for Garbage World (1966) or Planet of the Voles(1971)? But, nothing peeks my interest more than future urbanization gone amok… [2theD’s review: here].
Richard Cowper’s work intrigues but I often find it on the slight side. See my reviews of The Custodian and Other Stories (1976) and Profundus (1979). The book I procured below is considered his most famous although the premise does little to inspire….
Donald J. Pfeil wrote three novels (SF encyclopedia is somewhat dismissive of all three) and remains best known for editing the short-lived Vertex magazine: according to SF encyclopedia, “in quality [Vertex] was the strongest of the new sf magazines from the first half of the 1970s.” Unfortunately, it ran into financial problems and folded after only a few years…. Might be worth collecting!
“The thought of the vast, utterly silent ship stretching away on all sides of his cubicle, guarded and guided by silent computers, was paralyzing his own ability to make sounds […]” (3)
The crew of a seed ship sent to find a new habitable planet dream the same dreams, dreams of unnatural clarity plagued by pain and death. As a young woman lies dying in her cold cubicle, her final meal at her lips and unaware of her predicament, she whispers to our reluctant hero (Devlin), “All I seem to dream about is being a lady dinosaur” (32). Devlin’s dreams follow some pseudo-evolutionary schema, first he dreams he’s a trilobite in some Silurian sea crushed by the tentacles of a cephalopod, “he went on feeding while the hot, constant flame of hunger was punctuated by explosions of pain as his appendages were tweisted and crushed and torn away […]” (10). Then he dreams he’s a brontosaurus, and then an early primate…
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).