(Bruce Pennington’s cover for the 1968 edition of A Scent of New-Mown Hay (1958), John Blackburn)
2016 saw a resurgence in my cover art adventure posts. However, unlike the curated themed collections that prevailed a few years ago I focussed predominately on individual artists from a variety of countries (Portugal, Italy, Germany): my favorites include Max Ernst and His Landscapes of Decay on SF/F Covers, Haunting Landscapes and Cityscapes of Mariella Anderlini, and The Futuristic Cities of Lima De Freitas. The last themed collection was way back in March 2015 — Tentacles and Other Strange Appendages.
I’ve decided to return to my roots (no pun intended)! Although partially inspired by my 2014 post Human Transformations/Transfigurations (one duplicate cover), I’d been thinking about providing a gallery on the theme after reading “Ganthi” (1958), a disturbing Miriam Allen deFord short story about sentient tree-aliens and their mysterious caretaker Continue reading Adventures in Science Fiction Cover Art: Humanoid Plants and Dendroid Humans
(Cover for Galassia #97, January 1969)
Two of my recent Adventures in Science Fiction Cover Art posts fit (retroactively) into a linked post series on women SF illustrators from the 1960s/70s—which includes The Diagrammatic Minimalism of Ann Jonas and Donald Crews and Haunting Landscapes and Cityscapes: The 1970s Italian SF Art of Allison A.K.A. Mariella Anderlini. This post is a continuation of the latter and explores the twelve covers Alison created for Galassia in 1969 that showcase her vivid creativity.
Galassia was one of the primary Italian SF publications for most of the 1960s (consult Michael Ashley’s Transformations: The Story of the Science-fiction Magazines from 1950-1970, 311) and introduced translations of English-language Continue reading Adventures in Science Fiction Cover Art: Women SF Illustrators of the 1960s/70s, Part III: The Galassia Covers of Allison, A.K.A. Mariella Anderlini
(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 a twitter follower, whose Italian is far better than mine, were we able to come across her real name.
A reader on twitter 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
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.
1. The Stone God Awakens, Philip José Farmer (1970)
(J.H. Breslow’s cover for the 1973 edition) Continue reading Updates: Recent Science Fiction Acquisitions No. CLIV (Farmer + Shaw + Van Scyoc + Monteleone)
(Richard Powers’ cover for the 1962 edition)
3.5/5 (Collated rating: Good)
The 1950s stories in Philip José Farmer’s collection Strange Relations (1960) rekindled my interest in in his earlier work. Yes, I want odd stories about hard-shelled, hilltop living, female-only womb aliens who fertilize themselves via roving mobile “male” objects whom they capture and thrust into their womb-spaces. But, there is not an author whom I have more polarizing relationship with…. Outside of the 50s stories I’ve had no success with his work—readers of the site will know my views on Traitor to the Living (1972), To Your Scattered Bodies Go (1971), and the latter novel’s endlessly bland and bloated sequels. I recently read the novel version of Night of Light (1966), based on the 1957 story by the same name, Continue reading Book Review: The Alley God, Philip José Farmer (1962)
I have been on a short story kick as of late! Three of the following volumes are short story collections (two anthologies). I want to complete the Orbit series, ed. Damon Knight….
And, well, I have a soft spot for Philip José Farmer’s 50s/60s SF after Strange Relations (1960).
- Orbit 12, ed. Damon Knight (1973)
(Paul Lehr’s cover for the 1973 edition) Continue reading Updates: Recent Science Fiction Acquisitions No. CXLIV (Farmer + Anderson + Two Anthologies including Aldiss, Wilhelm, Priest, Disch, etc.)
(Paul Lehr’s cover for the 1968 edition)
3.5/5 (collated rating: Good)
Orbit 3 contains both masterpieces (by Gene Wolfe and Kate Wilhelm) and complete duds (by Doris Pitkin Buck and Philip José Farmer). Damon Knight’s willingness to select a range of known and lesser known authors creates an enjoyable and unpredictable reading experience—but, most of the greats are on their game in this collection, other than Farmer who puts in a lazy shift… Contains two Nebula award winners: Wilson’s problematic “Mother to the World” (novelette) and Kate Wilhem’s “The Planners” (short story). The former was also nominated for a Hugo.
Recommended for fans of 60s SF of the experimental bent. Do not let the collated rating sway you—there are some great stories behind the Paul Lehr Continue reading Book Review: Orbit 3, ed. Damon Knight (1968)