Adventures in Science Fiction Cover Art: A Handful of French, Italian, and Spanish Editions of Robert Silverberg’s Science Fiction

(Uncredited cover for the 1977 French edition of Tower of Glass (1970), Robert Silverberg)

Robert Silverberg (b. 1935) has long been one of my favorite SF authors. Especially between 1967-1975 (i.e. his shift away from pulp and before his momentary retirement), Silverberg produced a prodigious and thought-provoking corpus of writing. The sheer number of brilliant works crammed into those few years is only rivaled by Barry N. Malzberg (1969-1976) and Kate Wilhelm (1967-c. 1976).

As I’ve been exploring other less known authors, I’ve not read a lot of Silverberg’s novel-length works recently. Tower of Glass (1970), Nightwings (1969), A Time of Changes (1971), The Stochastic Man (1975), Son of Man (1971), and Up the Line (1969) among others remain unread on my shelf. Rather, I’ve restricted my focus to a few wonderful short stories in various collections here and there—“Passengers” (1968), a haunting masterpiece story of alien possession; “When We Went to See the End of the World” (1972), suburban banter about the end of the world; and “Good New from the Vatican” (1971), a quiet story about the election of a robotic pope.

In order to put together a light but fun celebration of his work, I combed through my art files and found a varied collection of non-English language European covers (Italy, Spain, and France). Something about the cityscapes in Karel Thole’s cover for the 1978 Italian edition of The Time Hoppers (1967) and the uncredited cover for the 1977 French edition of Tower of Glass (1970) resonate with me.  It’s hard to shake the sheer horror embodied in Horacio Salinas Black’s cover for the 1981 Spanish edition of Downward to the Earth (serialized 1969).

I’d love to know your favorites,  If you have any personal favorites from the countries I listed (or other non-English language editions of Silverberg) but did not include in the post I’d love to see them.

Enjoy!

For more Adventures in Science Fiction Cover Art consult the INDEX

Earlier Reviews

Here’s a list of all the reviews of Silverberg’s novels and single-author short story collections I’ve written so far on this site (some are old and not up to current standards).

Covers

(Horacio Salinas Blach’s cover for the 1981 Spanish edition of Downward to the Earth (serialized 1969), Robert Silverberg)

(Henri Lievens’ (?) cover for the 1974 French edition of Recalled to Life (1974), Robert Silverberg)

(Karel Thole’s cover for the 1983 Italian edition of Collision Course (1961), The Silent Invaders (1963), and The Man in the Maze (1969), all by Robert Silverberg) 

(Wojtek Siudmak’s cover for the 1986 French edition of The Time Hoppers (1967), Robert Silverberg)

(Manchu’s cover for the 1999 edition of Hot Sky at Midnight (1994), Robert Silverberg)

(Strychman-Lybaert’s cover for the French collection Signaux du Silence (1979), Robert Silverberg)

(Philippe Caza’s cover for the French collection Trips (1980 ), Robert Silverberg)

(Moebius’ cover for the 1991 French edition of Project Pendulum (1987), Robert Silverberg)

(Tibor Csernus’ cover for the 1973  French edition of The Man in the Maze (serialized 1968), Robert Silverberg)

(Cover—there’s a signature but I can’t identify it—for the 1985 Spanish edition of Shadrach in the Furnace (1976), Robert Silverberg)

(Chris Foss’ cover for the 1982 French edition of The Songs of Summer (1979), Robert Silverberg)

(Uncredited cover for the 1978 Italian edition of Shadrach in the Furnace (1976), Robert Silverberg)

(Karel Thole’s cover for the 1962 Italian edition of Starman’s Quest (1958), Robert Silverberg)

(Hampton’s cover for the 1974 French edition of A Time of Changes (1971), Robert Silverberg)

(Jean-Michel Niccolet’s cover for the 1980 French edition of The Feast of St. Dionysus (1975), Robert Silverberg)

(Karel Thole’s cover for the 1978 Italian edition of The Time Hoppers (1967), Robert Silverberg)

(Giraudon’s cover for the 1977 edition of The Masks of Time (1968), Robert Silverberg)

11 thoughts on “Adventures in Science Fiction Cover Art: A Handful of French, Italian, and Spanish Editions of Robert Silverberg’s Science Fiction”

  1. Hi

    You have put together a wonderful series of titles. My favourite would have to be the uncredited cover for the 1977 French edition of Tower of Glass with the Thole cover for Starman’s Quest a close second. I have always liked cityscapes as seen from a distant on SF covers.

    Happy Reading
    Guy

    1. I am a sucker for SF cityscapes as well — and so many utilize the “city on the horizon” visual trope: the explorer approaching the city, the denizen gazing at their futuristic abode, the barbarian Other approaches the gates, etc.

      I also weirdly love Tibor Csernus’ cover for the 1973 French edition of The Man in the Maze (serialized 1968). It certainly channels the feel of the novel — the moody broody undercurrents, the main character’s deep alien-induced apathy…

  2. Bob Silverberg is among my favourite SF authors.Despite this,I’ve neglected to read more of his books,unlike you,although I have read a few you haven’t.I’m glad to say I’ve read some of his shorter fiction though,such as “Passengers”,Born With the Dead” and “Sailing to Byzantine”.

    Most of those covers are excellent.It’s difficult to pick out favourites.It’s a simple,elegant and unpretentious way to celebrate his work.

      1. Yes,I’ve got that one on my wish list.It will probably be the next one of his I’ll read.The last book I read by him was “A Time of Changes”,which was three years ago.

  3. Great idea for a post! While I am a big fan of Thole, among the ones here I like the Tibor Csernus cover for ‘Man in the Maze’. That cover for ‘Trips’ looks like a scene from a 70’s era tanning lotion TV ad.
    Check out the cover for the 1966 German edition of ‘Invaders From Earth’ by Johnny Bruck, with an odd ‘Cabaret’ theme. (I’d offer a link but I’m on my phone and I’m sure it wouldn’t come out right!)

    1. Thanks! Thole almost always intrigues — I found many more of his covers for Silverberg’s novels but thought I’d keep them for later. Same thing for the German editions!

      Any and all links to favorite Silverberg non-English language edition covers are welcome (when you’re able).

  4. Thole was very consistent – month after month of covers for Urania, he must have worked fast, yet his work is almost always very good.

    Johnny Bruck was kind of the German equivalent of Kelly Freas – not that it’s that great, just oddly amusing. (Let’s see here, ** copy, paste, hmm, hopefully this works)

    1. Yeah Johnny Bruck has this dynamic but schlocky feel — screams an earlier decade than the 60s — sort of like Freas’ soft fuzzy stuff…. But yes, Thole’s productivity and quality is downright astounding.

    1. Thanks for the link!

      I assumed, but did not know for certain, he was the artist. But as it’s not credited at The Internet Speculative Fiction Database I put the “(?)” next to his name. I certainly know the press used a lot of his art 🙂

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