Mariella Anderlini (aka Allison) (d. 1992) was a behemoth of Italian SF art (note 1). Her covers graced entire years of science fiction editions for various Italian presses—for example, she illustrated the complete Slan. Il Meglio della Fantascienza series for Libra Editrice. Her work was ubiquitous and fantastic.
Over the years, loose cover art post sequences emerge from the back catalog of my site (both conscious and unconscious)–and one topic I return to regularly are SF covers by Italian women. Female Italian cover artists in the decades I am most interested in (50s-mid-80s), made up a far larger percentage of covers than in the US or the UK. The majority, including Luciana Tom Matalon and Fulvia Levi Bianchi (post forthcoming), were mainstream artists whose work was used occasionally used by SF presses.
Earlier posts in this sequence (includes two on Allison):
- The Cosmic Glimpses of Luciana Tom Matalon
- The Galassia Covers of Allison aka Mariella Anderlini
- Haunting Landscapes and Cityscapes: The 1970s Italian SF Art of Allison aka Mariella Anderlini
This post combines two of my favorite creators: Tanith Lee–Electric Forest (1979) and Don’t Bite the Sun (1976)–and Allison. While I’m not sure these are Allison’s best covers (see the two posts linked above), the combination weaves a compelling spell. Allison enjoys solitary figures arrayed against an evocative landscape. There’s a brittle isolation that permeates the layers. I am also fascinated by the popularity of Tanith Lee in Italy–most of her early novels were translated and released within a few years in the Italian market.
What are your favorite covers from the bunch?
Note 1: I do not know much about her biography — including her birthday and whether she is still alive. Let me know in the comments if you know more!
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