(Alex Schomburg’s cover for the 1965 edition of The Well of the Worlds (1953), Henry Kuttner)
Alex Schomburg (1905-1998) produced only a handful of novel covers in the 60s (his classic 50s covers can be found here). But what a beautiful handful! It’s a shame because they evoke genuine excitement and wonder — especially Kuttner’s The Well of the Worlds (above) and one of my favorites, Moore and Kuttner’s Earth’s Last Citadel (below). They are dynamic, vivid, and occasionally downright disturbing.
(As always, are the books worth reading? I’ve not read any of Kuttner, Norton, Cumming, or C. L. Moore’s works — I will soon! I promise!)
(Alex Schomburg’s cover for the 1965 edition of The Exile of Time (magazine appearance, 1931), Ray Cummings)
(Alex Schomburg’s cover for the 1964 edition of Judgement on Janus (1963), Andre Norton)
(Ale Schomburg’s for the 1964 edition for Earth’s Last Citadel (serialized, 1943), C. L. Moore and Henry Kuttner)
(Alex Schomburg’s cover for the 1965 edition of The Time Axis (serialized 1949), Henry Kuttner)
For more similar posts and artists visit:
13 thoughts on “Adventures in Science Fiction Cover Art: The Best of Alex Schomburg’s 60s Novel Covers”
What I’ve read from Moore and Kuttner has been top-notch, some of the best SF from the ’40s and ’50s. And what I’ve heard about “Earth’s Last Citadel” has been good. That said, I haven’t actually read any of the ones here. And they did have the occasional stinker.
Great covers, at least! Schomburg also did art for pulps and comics, but nothing like these covers for Ace.
Yeah, these Ace covers are fantastic. I’ll track down some of their work soon — yup, Schomburg’s sci-fi output was rather limited when it came to novel covers — there are three or four more from the 60s but they are pretty crummy.
What’s your favorite of Moore or Kuttner (or both working together)?
Moore over Kuttner, but the pair working together was the best. Their collaborations usually went under the pseudonym Lewis Padgett, the most famous (and best) being “Mimsy Were the Borogroves.”
Moore is one of the best writers of her time, amazingly creative and capable. Her style gels with my reading preferences.
That said, Kuttner could write some great stories on his own, and did some solid horror/Lovecraft Circle stuff (“The Graveyard Rats”), and his Gallagher stories (“Robots Have No Tails”) were pretty good.
I have read Ray Cumming’s “Brigands of the Moon,” a straightforward action adventure thing with a hijacked space ship, fire fights with energy rifles, people in space suits rushing to get some where before the pirates get there, etc. Dated, but kind of fun.
I’ve read some of Henry Kuttner’s stories; the ones I recall liking are: “Bells of Horror,” a Lovecraft-inspired thing, “Mimsy Were the Borogroves,” which is very famous, and “The Graveyard Rats,” also pretty famous, a good horror story. I thought “Secret of Kralitz” was quite weak and “Salem Horror” (another Lovecraft thing) mediocre.
I also read one of Kuttner’s novels, The Dark World and thought it was terrible, but I think a lot of people like it. It was, apparently, a big influence on Roger Zelazny’s Amber series. I don’t like those Amber books either, but many people do.
Kuttner has a good reputation and is important, so definitely deserves a look. I plan on reading more of his work myself at some point in the future.
“Mimsy Were the Borogroves” and “The Graveyard Rats” are widely anthologized and easy to find, and I think would give you an idea of what Kuttner’s most popular work is like.
C.L. Moore is also well thought of and important, but the two short stories I read by her I didn’t care for. I should probably give her another chance one of these days. Maybe I should note that some people believe that Moore co-wrote the famous “Mimsy Were the Borogroves.”
This is a great blog. It is exciting to be reminded that there is so much SF I haven’t read yet, and to be inspired to think about the SF I have already read but not thought about lately.
Yeah, Cummings is very 1930s pulp. I’m not going to lie but I kind of want to read The Dark World — haha.
I do want to read C. L. Moore’s most famous (fantasy) work — Jirel of Joiry — and especially Doomsday Morning.
Thanks for the kind words! Yup, the back shelves are endless.
I’m very surprised as to how these book covers actually want to make me go out and find them to read. Just curious, how do you stumble upon these books?
Well, I know a lot about science fiction and have a prodigious memory (especially when it comes to images, authors, and texts)! Hehe, I either scanned in images of the books I own (hundreds upon hundreds) or used The Internet Speculative Fiction Database online to find the images, author publication lists, and edition lists with links to the artists and their work (isfdb.org).
Pingback: This week’s culture round-up « Flaming Culture
Kuttner and Moore were absolute giants in the field. They helped to raise the literary standards of SF considerably, were a huge influence on Bradbury, and innumerable others. FURY is (in my opinion) the best point of entry, but many of the short stories will work as well. They actually met through the Lovecraft pen-pal circle, and produced homages to their distant mentor and friend. Sadly, Moore quit writing after Kuttner’s early death. A potent team.
On my next book buying spree I’ll see if I can find a few! As always thanks for the advice and useful background information.
The Well of The Worlds was probably the first Kuttner I read. I was fifteen at the time. Somehow or other, the book went missing(probably lent it out and it never found it’s way home). I just this week found a like new copy of it and had to hump. Will reread it soon and post on it.
That’s jump. i long ago quit humping my books.
Randy, that was a hilarious comment… I had to laugh, I’m sorry. But yes, I can’t wait for your post!!