(Alex Schomburg’s cover for the November 1964 issue of Amazing Science Fiction and Fact)
I’ve put together a vast assortment of futuristic planetary transport vehicles — high tech lunar rovers, personal levitating (by mysterious forces) transport craft glorified cargo tractors, self-propelling robotic brains, large exploration vehicles trekking across vast alien landscapes… Due to the subject matter the art tends to be in the more realistic vein — à la the classic art of Chelsey Bonestell, Alex Schomburg, and other greats. The Paul Lehr’s cover for Robert Heinlein’s Farmer in the Sky (1950) adds a nice fantastical take on the subject.
I found that Chelsey Bonestell’s cover for the April 1955 issue of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Dean Ellis’ cover for the 1971 edition of Star Light (1971), and especially Ed Valigursky’s cover for the October 1958 issue of If best convey the overpowering wonder of exploring new territory — the rugged landscapes, the dangers, the expanses…
Brian Lewis’ cover for the 1961 issue of Science Fiction Adventures and the August-September 1959 issue of New Worlds Science Fiction) are evocative in a more mundane way — the daily work for a new settlement.
What are your favorites?
(Chelsey Bonestell’s cover for the April 1955 issue of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction)
(Chris Foss’ cover for the 1975 edition of Total Eclipse (1974), John Brunner)
(Alex Schomburg’s cover for the 1954 edition of Trouble on Titan (1954), Alan E. Nourse)
(Ed Valigursky’s cover for the 1967 edition of Trouble on Titan (1954), Alan E. Nourse)
(Curt Caesar’s cover for the 1955 edition of Trouble on Titan (1954), Alan E. Nourse)
(C. Stewart’s cover for the 1956 edition of The Robot Brains (1956), Sydney J. Bounds)
(Dean Ellis’ cover for the 1971 edition of Star Light (1971), Hal Clement)
(Brian Lewis’ cover for the 1961 issue of Science Fiction Adventures No. 23)
(Ed Emshwiller’s cover for the 1961 edition of Moon of Mutiny (1961), Lester del Rey)
(Dean Ellis’ cover for the 1977 edition of Moon of Mutiny (1961), Lester del Rey)
(David B. Mattingly’s cover for the 1982 edition of Moon of Mutiny (1961), Lester del Rey)
(Uncredited cover for the 1970 edition of The Permanent Implosion (variant title: Analog 4) (1966), ed. John W. Campbell)
(Ed Valigursky’s cover for the October 1958 issue of If)
(Gordon C. Davies’ cover for the 1957 edition of Earthlight (1955), Arthur C. Clarke)
(Ed Emshwiller’s cover for the 1958 edition of City on the Moon (1957), Murray Leinster)
(Brian Lewis’ cover for the August-September 1959 issue of New Worlds Science Fiction)
(Paul Lehr’s cover for the 1950 edition of Farmer in the Sky (1950), Robert A. Heinlein)
(Uncredited cover for the 1967 edition of Farmer in the Sky (1950), Robert A. Heinlein)
(E. L. Blandford’s cover for the November 1956 issue of Authentic Science Fiction)
(Peter Elson’s cover for A Martian Odyssey and Other Stories (numerous variant titles) (1977), Stanley G. Weinbaum)
(Vincente Segrelles’ cover for the 1978 edition of Alpha 9 (1978), ed. Robert Silverberg)
(Gordon C. Davies’ cover for the 1982 edition of The Sands of Mars (1951), Arthur C. Clarke)
(Bruce Pennington’s cover for the 1977 edition of Look Back to the Earth (1977), Donald J. Pfeil)
For similar posts consult the INDEX
15 thoughts on “Adventures in Science Fiction Cover Art: Planetary Rovers + Exploration Craft + Transport Vehicles of the Future”
When it comes to spaceships, the more phallic the better. I guess this endearment extends to rovers and tanks as well.
Haha, my favorite phallic cover is probably this Powers’ gem…
+ the book is called The People Maker… I mean, yeah…
And some are just plain stupid….
I love it that you have a favorite phallic cover! Though Powers’ cover is pretty good, the two at the bottom are cowering away from the explosive might of the phallic at hand. And that Carnell (carnal?) book… much too blatant for my tastes.
Last year I stood with Look Back To Earth in my hand for like 5 minutes at a Half-Price Books, trying to decide if I should buy it or not. I finally put it back on the spinner rack.
Haha, it’s probably complete crud — the author published three works — and two were for better presses, but I have my doubts….
There are elements to almost all of these that I like. I am especially interested in the works by Ed Valigursky. I have no doubt you’ve featured his work before but this is the first time the name jumped out at me as someone I need to take a look at.
Yeah, I think he’s best known for his work on Ace doubles… Generally paired with Emshwiller.
I really like the ones by Alex Schomburg. He illustrated some amazing covers for Timely/Marvel Comics in the 1940s, so I am already a fan of his work from that. Nice to see some of the beautiful covers he drew for sci-fi books & magazines here.
Definitely. Some of my very first art posts were about him…. for good reason.
Wow! Those are some awesome pieces of artwork Schomburg did in the 1950s and 60s. Thanks for posting links to your earlier posts on his work.
By the way, I also liked Gordon C. Davies’ cover for Earthlight by Arthur C. Clarke… it’s a really cool-looking, super-retro image. Most of these are pretty good, in any case. Another great selection of images by yourself, Joachim.
One last thing on Alex Schomburg. I did a web search, and located the official website of his estate. There is not a huge selection of artwork to view, unfortunately, but it is still worth a look. Here is the link:
For much much much more of his art consult his isfdb listing 🙂
Some stunning; others from artists who should be stunned (electrically, with mains current).
I love the Chris Foss 1975 Toyota Hi-Ace van with collapsed wheelbase! Brian Lewis’ 1961 JCB digger-with-goldfish-bowl is a chuckle.Elson’s 1977 Martian Odyssey looks to owe more to fact than to fiction, and it’s all the better for that.
Not sure about the Barbara Cartland-esque cover for The Robot Brains though!
Oh Foss… I understand why people like him but, he’s never been one of my favorites.
Yeah, the cover for The Robot Brains is silly to the extreme.