Adventures in Science Fiction Cover Art: A Spotlight on David McCall Johnston

David McCall Johnston1971

(Cover for the 1971 edition of New Writings in SF 6 (variant title: New Writings in S-F 6) (1965), ed. John Carnell)

The American artist David McCall Johnston (b. 1940) [webpage] produced a mere handful of SF covers.  They are striking and somewhat minimalist in comparison to his famous fantasy covers (Orlando Furiosos, Moorcock’s The Chronicles of Corum sequence, etc).  I have included all of his SF covers (that I know of) with a selection of fantasy covers (that do not intrigue me as much as the SF ones).  My favorites: the 1971 edition of New Writings in SF 6, 1971 edition of New Writings in SF 7, and the 1971 edition of Tomorrow I.  The color layers  New Writings in SF 6 melding with the figure of the woman is visually arresting…

What are your favorites?

Enjoy.

For more SF cover art posts consult the INDEX

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(Cover for the 1971 edition of Tomorrow I (1971), ed. Robert Hoskins)

Screen Shot 2016-05-26 at 7.56.26 AM

(Cover for the 1971 edition of The Tsaddik of the Seven Wonders (1971), Isidore Haiblum)

David McCall Johnston  1971

(Cover for the 1971 edition of New Writings in SF 8 (1971, different than 1966 UK edition), ed. John Carnell)

David McCall Johnston 1971

(Cover for the 1971 edition of New Writings in SF 7 (1971, different than 1966 UK edition), ed. John Carnell)

 David McCall Johnston1972

(Cover for the 1972 edition of 13 French Science-Fiction Stories (1965), ed. Damon Knight)

A selection of his fantasy covers

THCHLDRNFL1974

(Cover for the 1974 edition of The Children of Llyr (1971), Evangeline Walton)

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(Cover for the 1971 edition of The Queen of the Swords (1971), Michael Moorcock)

THSNGFRHNN1973

(Cover for the 1972 edition of The Song of Rhiannon (1972), Evangeline Walton)

THBLLNDTHS1974

(Cover for the 1974 edition of The Bull and the Spear (1974), Michael Moorcock)

THKNDTHRMW1974

(Cover for the 1971 edition of The Knight of the Swords (1971), Michael Moorcock)

THSWRDNDTH1974

(Cover for the 1974 edition of The Sword and the Stallion (1974), Michael Moorcock)

12 thoughts on “Adventures in Science Fiction Cover Art: A Spotlight on David McCall Johnston”

  1. That was the ‘psychedelic’ period in cover art – nice! The N.R.I.S.F. were pretty brilliant on the whole, I think they went up to about 30 volumes or something I might even have a coy somewhere, from the early ’70’s – first story is about a talking circus lion.

    1. They are really interesting collections — that said, looking through the publication histories reveals that the US reprints from 7 or so on were actually compiled from multiple volumes of the UK versions.

  2. I read Michael Moorcock’s “The Bull and the Spear” and “The Oak and the Ram” during my early SF reading days.I quite enjoyed them at the time as I remember,but my memories of them are very vague now,and their initial effects didn’t last very long on me anyway.James Cawthorne did the excellent covers for the British ones I had.

    I haven’t heard of this artist before or seen his stuff I think,but quite an enjoyable post.Quite simple,but intricately designed.

  3. Another brilliant collection here from an artist I was previously unaware of. I love the consistency from cover to cover which achieves an incredibly strong design identity, the fact that these are all fantastic examples of post-psychedelic SF artwork really pops my cork too.

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