(Virgil Finlay’s cover for the April 1957 issue of Fantastic Universe, ed. Hans Stefan Santesson)
At first glance this is a miscellaneous collection of covers on diagrammatic wonders — the aliens (or “advanced” humans) on Virgil Finlay’s cover for the April 1957 issue of Fantastic Universe conjure an image of earth with colored sand, generals plot invasions via maps and other diagrams depicting troop movements….
While some of the covers are themselves diagrams (Christopher Zacharow’s cover for the 1985 edition of Ancient of Days (1985), Michael Bishop) others place their characters in opposition to each other as pieces of a diagram (Ric Binkley’s cover for the 1957 edition of Solomon’s Stone by L. Sprague de Camp). A few relate the movement of the stories via arrows on a map — raiders sweeping in from the rings or a forecast of an alien invasion.
A few, and I find them the most intriguing, diagram more esoteric movements (mental conceptual, technological). For example, Murray Tinkelman’s cover for the 1955 edition of This Fortress World (1955), James Gunn has a series of hands holding flat ovals that morph into the sphere of the world… Daniel Schwartz’s cover for the 1954 edition of Wild Talent (1953), Wilson Tucker duplicates a character’s visage in silhouette, and, implies a movement of mind?
What are your favorites?
(Daniel Schwartz’s cover for the 1954 edition of Wild Talent (1953), Wilson Tucker)
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