Adventures in Science Fiction Cover Art: Crashed Spaceships, Part III

(Detail from Alan Daniels’ cover for the 1980 German edition of Open Prison (1964), James White)

The crashed spaceship — a wrecked hulk spinning in the emptiness of space, shattered metal struts strewn across an alien landscape…. I find few SF scenarios more nostalgic than this one as a younger me was obsessed with books about the societies formed from the survivors of such cataclysms (Anne McCaffrey’s Acorna Universe sequence, of dubious quality now, was a cornerstone of my youth).

I have selected a range of fascinating covers which add to a series I made in 2012 (Part I) and 2013 (Part II). My favorite of the bunch is Tibor Csernus’ cover for the 1973 French edition of Clifford D. Simak’s Time and Again (1951) due to the verdant and wet landscape the spaceship finds itself in. My second favorite is Dean Ellis’ “descriptive” cover for the 1974 edition of Alan Dean Foster Icerigger (1974). It doesn’t try to be surreal but rather depicts a scene straight from novel. I usually prefer when the artist takes a more unusual approach but in this case Ellis narrows in on the wonder of the premise.

Note: Acorna crashes on an occupied alien planet in  a rescue pod (might not fit the premise perfectly but I thought of it right away when selecting the images for this post).

What are your favorites? Why? Know of any other pre-1985 examples for a part III?

Enjoy!

For more cover art posts consult the INDEX

(Uncredited cover for the 1981 edition of Alien (variant title: Alien Quest) (1977), George H. Leonard)

(H. R. Van Dongen’s cover for the August 1959 issue of Astounding Science Fiction)

(John Schoenherr’s cover for the 1969 edition of Out of the Mouth of the Dragon (1969), Mark S. Geston)

(Tim White’s cover for the 1978 edition of Icerigger (1974), Alan Dean Foster)

(H. R. Van Dongen’s cover for the August 1958 issue of Astounding Science Fiction)

(Alan Daniels’ cover art for the 1978 German edition of Open Prison (1964), James White)

(Karel Thole’s cover art for the 1977 Italian edition of Time and Again (1951), Clifford D. Simak)

(Tibor Csernus’ cover for the 1973 French edition of Time and Again (1951), Clifford D. Simak)

(Chris Foss’ cover art for the 1978 French edition of The Long Result (1965), John Brunner)

(Dean Ellis’ cover for the 1974 edition of Icerigger (1974), Alan Dean Foster)

(Terry Oakes’ cover for the 1976 edition of The World Jones Made (1956), Philip K. Dick)

(Uncredited cover art for the 1972 edition of Out of the Mouth of the Dragon (1969), Mark S. Geston)

17 thoughts on “Adventures in Science Fiction Cover Art: Crashed Spaceships, Part III”

    1. Of the two 50s ones I picked, I think H. R. Van Dongen’s cover for the August 1958 issue of Astounding Science Fiction is the most evocative…. The small car driving towards the spaceship in the distance. The figure looking up the ladder at the ship.

      The cover shouts — “Are you not intrigued by the deep of night mystery of it all! Open the pages and find out!”

    1. Thanks for the comment!

      I have yet to read any Murray Leinster. Did you review The Aliens? If so, do you have a link?

      Does the Icerigger cover embody the feel of the story?

  1. Hi Joachim;
    Glad you liked the Ellis cover so much. I did, too. Also Tim White’s interpretation.
    If you like, provide me with an email address and I’ll send you a photo of the original Ellis art. You can contact me directly.

    1. Hi Alan – Joachim encouraged me via Twitter to let you know how much I enjoyed Icerigger. Well – I really enjoyed Icerigger! Seeing the Ellis cover again … 45 years just melted away (was it really that long ago?)

  2. Hi

    From this series I would say it is the H. R. Van Dongen’s cover for the August 1958 issue of Astounding Science Fiction. Overall Walter Brook’s cover for the 1953 edition of First He Died. One you might like is Wonder Stories 1932-10-00 Clark Ashton Smith, Master of the Asteroid. http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/pl.cgi?62262

    Happy Reading
    Guy

    1. Thanks!

      I’m pretty sure I included that First He Died (aka Time and Again) in the first in this series on crashed spaceships (I included links to Part I and II in the post),

      That said, I did not include the Wonder Stories cover you link. For part IV, whenever that may come….

      And happy reading as well,
      Joachim

  3. I like all of the covers, but I also liked the whimsy of H. R. Van Dongen’s fender bender cover for the August 1959 issue of Astounding Science Fiction and the Karel Thole cover. The picture of a crashed spaceship with a spaceman fishing in the foreground is so Simakian.

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