Tag Archives: ben bova

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

Book Review: As on a Darkling Plain, Ben Bova (1972)

(Chris Moore’s cover for the 1981 edition)

2.75/5 (Average)

Unfortunate title aside (“darkling” sound like a small evil creature in a work of fantasy), Ben Bova’s As on a Darkling Plain (1972) is a middling fix-up novel in every respect.  It is worth noting that Chapters 5 (‘The Jupiter Mission’) and 6 (‘The Sirius Mission’), which comprise a great majority of the novel, appeared earlier in If February 1970 and Galaxy January 1969 as “Pressure Vessel” and “Foeman, Where Do You Flee?” respectively.  I’m not sure how much was expanded or subtracted.  If anyone knows please leave a comment — I find that the act of revising earlier work interesting in itself.

Bova’s novel inspired my recent cover art post on Future Archeology and Mysterious Artifacts.  The premise is a standard one: A mysterious artifact Continue reading Book Review: As on a Darkling Plain, Ben Bova (1972)

Update: Recent Science Fiction Acquisitions N. I

Oh the joys of amazon gift cards… And perusing dusty corners of local bookstores.

Here are my latest acquisitions.

1. Robert Silverberg’s World Inside (1971) (MY REVIEW HERE)

I’ve always enjoyed semi-dystopic works about the social ramifications of overpopulation (John Brunner’s Stand on Zanzibar is my all time favorite sci-fi novel).  I wonder if Silverberg was inspired by Brunner’s work.  I’ve yet to read a Silverberg novel and I’ve read that this is a pretty good effort.  So, those factors contributed to my purchase.

2. Doris Piserchia’s Continue reading Update: Recent Science Fiction Acquisitions N. I

Book Review: The Dueling Machine, Ben Bova (1969)

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2/5 (Bad)

This novel feels like two separate stories connected by the presence of the dueling machine. The story when the dueling machine is a dueling machine and the story when the Bova decides that the dueling machine is also teleportation device and a therapy device and only occasionally used for duels. The first part of the novel Continue reading Book Review: The Dueling Machine, Ben Bova (1969)

Book Review: Star Watchman, Ben Bova (1964)

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1.5/5 (Bad)

Ben Bova’s second novel, published in 1964, was expanded from an earlier short story. It tells the tale of the Star Watchman Emil Vorgens, a representative of the Terran Empire that covers over half the Milky Way, sent to the rebellious planet of Shinar. The Shinarians have invited the Komani raiders (imagine greenish wookies with Continue reading Book Review: Star Watchman, Ben Bova (1964)