(Cover by the Brothers Quay for the 1977 edition of A Scanner Darkly (1977), Philip K. Dick)
While looking through the cover catalogue to celebrate Octavia E. Butler’s birthday on twitter (@SFRuminations), I found that her first novel Patternmaster (1976) was graced with a cover by Stephen and Timothy Quay—as in, the famous stop-motion (and more recently, live action) film directors know collectively as Brothers Quay! If you’ve never seen their work, check out The Street of the Crocodiles (1986).
Brothers Quay—along with Guy Maddin, Jan Švankmajer, Wojciech Has, Juraj Herz (for The Cremator, 1969) among others—have long been among my cinematic cornerstones, and to discover that they created SF covers certainly made my day! I have included a series of stills from their films below—creepy, gorgeous, incredibly well-crafted, (the adjectives could continue for pages). Continue reading Adventures in Science Fiction Cover Art: The Brothers Quay and SF covers→
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.
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).
M. John Harrison’s collection The Machine in Shaft Tent (1975) contains one of the more humorous inside flap advertisements I have encountered:
Don’t worry, I certainly intend to “see tomorrow today!” I’ll be disappointed if I can’t!
The others are a strange blend… From Edmund Cooper’s apparently anti-Free Love/60s culture Kronk (1970) to a delightful collection of another one of my favorite years of SF.
Also, I seldom accept advanced reader copies due to my limited time/limited interest in newer SF/and incredible mental block when it comes to, how shall I say it, outside forces guiding my central hobby which tends to take me in a variety of directions solely on whim. But, Gollancz was nice enough to send me their new omnibus collection of 1970s Michael G. Coney novels (amazon link: US, UK). Not only did I enjoy Hello Summer, Goodbye (1975) but I recently reviewed and loved Coney’s bizarre and original Friends Come in Boxes(1973). With two out of two successes it’s hardly like I wouldn’t buy his work on sight anyway (another one of my requirements when accepting AVCs)…. I will review two or three of the novels in the omnibus one at a time over the next few months.
1. The Machine in Shaft Ten, M. John Harrison (1975)
(John Schoenherr’s cover for the 1964 edition of Alien Worlds (1964), ed. Roger Elwood)
Michael Whelan’s cover for the 1979 Dutch edition of Greybeard (1964) by Brian W. Aldiss appeared in a collection of SF art Space Wars, Worlds & Weapons (1977). I remember encountering the collection at a used bookstore, perhaps in Philadelphia when I went to visit my grandparents… It terrified me for years. The bizarre metal construct looming over the destroyed world—and most of all, the strange tentacled hands…
Heloise purposefully chose one of Bishop’s lesser known novels. But, from the review, A Little Knowledge (1977) has been wrongly ignored: “even though [A Little Knowledge] never leaves this single place on Earth, in the end Bishop’s novel manages to give more of a sense of what it means for humans to live in a vast, largely unexplored universe than most novels that are filled with large spaceships and far-future technologies.”
I plan acquiring a copy ASAP.
Visit Heloise’s site! Enjoy! Comment!
A Little Knowledge (1977)—Michael Bishop
Michael Bishop’s Urban Nucleus sequence (consisting of the novel A Little Knowledge and the stories collected in Catacomb Years) is unusual among his early works in that it is not an anthropological Science Fiction novel; unlike books like A Funeral for the Eyes of Fire or And Strange at Ecteban the Trees, while reading A Little Knowledge, one is not so much reminded of Ursula K. LeGuin but it rather seems influenced by Philip K. Dick – and not by his largely consensual novels like Ubik or The Man in the High Castle, but his Continue reading Guest Post: A Little Knowledge, Michael Bishop (1977)→