Tag Archives: avant-garde

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

Updates: Recent Science Fiction Acquisitions No. CLIV (Farmer + Shaw + Van Scyoc + Monteleone)

Over the last few months I’ve been reading more of Philip José Farmer’s 50s/60s SF — including the novelization of Night of Light (1966) [unreviewed], his deservedly famous 1968 Hugo-winning novella “Riders of the Purple Wage” (1967) [unreviewed], and the short story collection The Alley God (1962).  I still hold that Strange Relations (1960) contains his most sustained and well-formed short fiction.  For extensive discussion of his work, see the reviews (and their comments) I linked and for my views on his later SF more broadly — i.e.  such as the 1973 novel Traitor to the Living.   I rather not recap here.   But, I have another one of his novels, I appear to be returning to his 70s work…

A novel with Chicago as a character over the millennia?  Might as well give it a go, right?

I might snark occasionally at Bob Shaw, but, yet another one of his early novels enters my collection.  Maybe the Diane and Leo Dillon cover sealed the deal rather than the probably dull contents.

And, I return to Sydney J. Van Scyoc…  Her novel Assignment Nor’Dyren (1973) was one of my earliest reviews—written before the site even started—and I have no idea what I would say about it now.

Thoughts? Comments?

1. The Stone God Awakens, Philip José Farmer (1970)

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(J.H. Breslow’s cover for the 1973 edition) Continue reading Updates: Recent Science Fiction Acquisitions No. CLIV (Farmer + Shaw + Van Scyoc + Monteleone)

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

Updates: Recent Science Fiction Acquisitions No. CLIII (Wolfe + Lichtenberg + Brown + Davidson)

One of the least known works on David Pringle’s The 100 Best Novels between 1949-1984 list and soon to be published as a Gollancz Masterwork…  For reference here’s a link to the list. Hopefully the Gollancz publication will bring the price down! (paperbacks go for ~30$ online).

A collection from a prolific 50s/60s primarily short-fiction SF author who died too young (at 41 due to lymphoma)….

Another Avram Davidson novel…

And a suspicious work by Jacqueline Lichtenberg described as for “admirers of the Early Heinlein”—of which I am obviously not.  But, then again, the way presses marketed new women authors took on strange guises in the period.  It might not feel like Heinlein in the slightest!

Two gorgeous covers by Richard Powers!

As always, thoughts and comments are welcome.

1. A Handful of Time, Rosel George Brown (1963)

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(Richard Powers’ cover for the 1963 edition) Continue reading Updates: Recent Science Fiction Acquisitions No. CLIII (Wolfe + Lichtenberg + Brown + Davidson)

Book Review: Heroics, George Alec Effinger (1979)

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(Gary Friedman’s cover for the 1979 edition)

4.25/5 (Good)

George Alec Effinger’s What Entropy Means to Me (1972), a complex and intense homage to the act of literary creation, ranks among my favorite SF novels.  Heroics (1979), a deconstruction of myth and heroic quest,  treads similar ground but in a more light-hearted manner.  The sheer intensity elevates the former while the latter’s sincere examination of old age and loneliness strikes still strikes with elegiac power.  Both are highly recommended but What Entropy Means to Me or his short story collection Irrational Numbers (1976) might be the place to Continue reading Book Review: Heroics, George Alec Effinger (1979)

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

Short Book Reviews: Theodore Sturgeon’s Venus Plus X (1960), Christopher Priest’s The Affirmation (1981), and Barry N. Malzberg’s Screen (1968)

Cycle: read a book, place it in the review pile, the immediacy of the novel fades slightly or the novel fights every moment of the review writing process (–> Priest’s masterpiece The Affirmation), never review it, feel bad that I never reviewed the novel, read less in order to catch up…

Result: less reading and more pouting.

Remedy: In order to catch up, here are short/less intensive reviews with links to in-depth analysis (if it exists).  Part I + II (books by Budrys, Strete, White, Bishop, etc).

1. Venus Plus X, Theodore Sturgeon (1960)

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(Victor Kalin’s cover for the 1960 edition) Continue reading Short Book Reviews: Theodore Sturgeon’s Venus Plus X (1960), Christopher Priest’s The Affirmation (1981), and Barry N. Malzberg’s Screen (1968)