(Mati Klarwein’s 1970 cover for Miles Davis’ album Bitches Brew)
Mati Klarwein (wikipedia link) was a German artist of Jewish origin who fled the Nazis to British Palestine. After the fall of the Nazis, he received an art education in Paris and gained French citizenship. Famous for his album covers—notably Miles Davis’ famous Bitches Brew (1970) (above) and Santana’s Abraxas (1969) (below)—Klarwein also created (or his art was used for) SF covers. Characterized by an obsessive eye for the detail (click and zoom in on Lafferty’s Arrive at Easterwine scan I included from my collection), Klarwein’s almost mandalic covers draw on a wide range of artistic influences. Unfortunately, quite a few are uncredited or credited to the incorrect artist—his cover for the 1972 edition of The World’s Desire (1890) by H. Rider Continue reading Adventures in Science Fiction Cover Art: The SF art of Mati Klarwein–the artist behind Miles Davis’ Bitches Brew (1970)
A nice grab bag of used book store finds… I’m nearing completion of my collection of Zelazny’s pre-1980 novels (I do not own nor really want to read any of his purely fantasy works). Also, I couldn’t help but pick up David Gerrold’s 1974 Hugo and Nebula Award nominated novel The Man Who Folded Himself (1973) although I have been utterly underwhelmed with his work in the past—for example, Space Skimmer (1972) and Yesterday’s Children (1972).
I also found the first volume of a trilogy by Leonard Daventry—owned only the third one for some reason. And, who can resist another James White novel. I desperately want to recreate the joy that was White’s The Watch Below (1966).
1. Damnation Alley, Roger Zelazny (1969)
(Alan Gutierrez’s cover for the 1984 edition) Continue reading Updates: Recent Science Fiction Acquisitions No. CXXI (Zelazny + White + Daventry + Gerrold)
In my youth I read Ursula Le Guin like a madman—somewhere in the intervening years I misplaced my copies of her short story collections. So, while voyaging to a nearby city (with Half Price Books) I decided to snag one—The Compass Rose (1982) contains mostly 70s short stories. Excited.
I have been presently impressed with *some* of Philip José Farmer’s work—namely, Strange Relations (1960)—-so I could not resist a “best of” collection.
I am perhaps most excited about David Gerrold’s edited collection Generation: An Anthology of Speculative Fiction (1972). Contains a wide range (and almost equal ratio of male/female authors) of fascinating stories.
I bought C. M. MacApp’s Secret of the Sunless World (1969) due to the title and the amazing Berkey cover. Now that I sat down and transcribed the back cover I rather dissuaded from picking it up anytime soon…
1. The Book of Philip José Farmer, Philip José Farmer (revised 1982, 1973)
(James Warhola’s cover for the 1982 edition) Continue reading Updates: Recent Science Fiction Acquisitions No. CXVI (Le Guin + MacApp + Farmer + Anthology)
(Paul Lehr’s cover for the 1972 edition)
*The 1980 edition, still under the title Yesterday’s Children, was substantially rewritten. In 1985 David Gerrold released it under a new title, Starhunt. This is a review for the original 1972 edition. I have not read the later rewrite so I am unsure how much was modified.
David Gerrold, best known for writing the famous Star Trek: The Original Series episode “The Trouble With Tribbles” (1967), has continuously produced SF novels since the early 70s. I had previously read the disappointing Space Skimmer (1972) which combined a fascinating premise with puff-puppies, annoying princes, and bad poetry. Yesterday’s Children (1972) (variant title: Starhunt) likewise combines a fascinating premise with a less than satisfactory delivery, numerous narrative hiccups, and uneven tone and characterization. I am not surprised that the novel was rewritten due to the slightly rough Continue reading Book Review: Yesterday’s Children (variant title: Starhunt*), David Gerrold (1972)
Part 1 of many: Half Price Books in Dallas, TX (the second best bookstore, after Dawn Treader Books in Ann Arbor, MI for SF I have ever come across). Gift card courtesy of fiancé’s mother = LOTS OF SCIENCE FICTION. There could not be a better gift….
Everyone reads Robert Zelazny’s This Immortal (1966) and Lord of Light (1967), but who has read Isle of the Dead (1969)? Thematically it seems similar to Lord of Light… I have high hopes. James White’s SF is always above average — and a fund cover from Dean Ellis makes that an auto-buy. Although I disliked David Gerrold’s Space Skimmer (1972) my father swears Yesterday’s Children (1972) is somewhat readable.
I enjoyed Joan D. Vinge’s The Summer Queen (1980), tolerated her first novel The Outcasts of Heaven Belt (1978), so I suspect her two novella collection Fireship (1978) will be worthwhile…
1. Isle of the Dead, Robert Zelazny (1969)
(Leo and Dianne Dillon’s cover for the 1969 edition) Continue reading Updates: Recent Science Fiction Acquisitions No. LXXXI (Vinge + Gerrold + Zelazny + White)
(Dean Ellis’ cover for the 1972 edition)
I’ve found that the science fiction trope reconstructing a fallen empire/meandering in the wreckage of an empire one of the most seductive of the genre. The idea of a disconnected landscape filled with the ruins of empire — giant edifice ever more consumed by vegetation, technology unable to be used, spaceships empty in space — is so transfixing that I pick up every example published before 1980 that I find. Unfortunately, works like David Gerrold’s Space Skimmer (1972) and John Brunner’s collection Interstellar Empire (1976) are evidence that seductive trope or not, the delivery is often less than delectable.
I must confess that I picked up the novel because of the cover blurb: “The ultimate spaceship in the hands of a barbarian…” And the intriguing Dean Ellis cover… Little did I know the blurb should read “the ultimate spaceship in the hands of a barbarian who spouts endless streams of bad poetry, an annoying little prince, Continue reading Book Review: Space Skimmer, David Gerrold (1972)