On twitter, I recently learned from Jay O’Connell (cover artist and author) that all of Roger Zelazny’s work will be back in print. What exactly “everything back in print” means in reality I’m not entirely sure–will it include only the best known novels? All the short stories? Are works Zelazny wanted to “kill off” like To Die in Italbar (1973) really going to get reprints? Regardless, I was inspired to look back at the non-English language covers his work has received over the years. Naturally, as I moved to the fantastic Italian presses, I re-encountered and fell in love (again) with Allison’s evocative take on Zelazny’s Chronicles of Amber (Corwin) five-novel sequence.
What are your favorites?
The covers of Mariella Anderlini (Allison) have long fascinated me. She was a gigantic force (along with Karel Thole) of Italian SF art–her work was almost as ubiquitous as Chris Foss in the UK or Richard Powers in the US. I know few details about biography other than she died in 1992. For those who might not seen my earlier posts on her work, her visions graced entire publication sequences for multiple presses over many years. For example, she illustrated the complete Slan. Il Meglio della Fantascienza series for Libra Editrice. Unlike Karel Thole, none of her covers appeared on American editions.
In the course of more than a decade of browsing the catalogues of non-English language science fiction presses, I’ve come to the conclusion (tentative) that Italy had the highest percentage of covers created by female artists between the 1960s and the 1980s. Far more than Germany, France, or the UK… The United States–with Diane Dillon, Anita Siegel, Rowena Morrill, Wendy Pini, Kinuko Y. Craft, among others–might be a close second. In Italy Luciana Tom Matalon, Paola Pallottino and Fulvia Levi Bianchi were mainstream artists whose work was used occasionally by SF presses.
Earlier posts in this sequence (includes three 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
- Italian Tanith Lee Covers by Allison (aka Mariella Anderlini)
For book reviews consult the INDEX
For cover art posts consult the INDEX
For TV and film reviews consult the INDEX
10 thoughts on “Adventures in Science Fiction Cover Art: Mariella Anderlini’s Covers for Roger Zelazny’s Chronicles of Amber (Corwin) sequence”
I like the top two, they evoke the most mystery. “Nine Princes in Amber” would probably have been the best Zelazny novel I read, if it had been a whole piece, but none of the other books were equal to it.
Perhaps strangely enough, I’ve just reread his “Jack of Shadows”. It contains good concepts and is daring in the way it fuses science fiction and fantasy tropes, but unfortunately, very little of it is properly examined or realised, and would only give it a borderline average/fairly good rating.
I thought Jack of Shadows was very average as well and never managed to review it. I like the first two covers the most, too.
Yes, there was a lot there, but it failed to really come to life. I reread it for someone who has a YouTube channel called Kenny RH, in which he shows and discusses his SF collection and recent purchases, and commenting, said he owns but hasn’t read “Jack of Shadows”.
Those covers are strange and haunting.
I agree. I love the architectural forms in the background.
The first two, indeed. They are the most evocative of a concrete yet mysterious place, not merely non-descript nature.
Yeah, the mysterious buildings — especially in the first cover — hint at so much. They’re lovely stuff.
Hello, Joachim Boaz.
I really enjoy your wonderful newsletter, as I’m a devoted fan of science fiction artwork (especially the work of Chesley Bonestell.)
I am trying to find out who the artist was for the fabulous cover illustration for Arthur C. Clarke’s short story collection, The Other Side if the Sky (see attached image), published in 1959 by Signet Books. The paperback edition I have is Signet #1729.
The cover illustration reminds me of the work of Kelly Freas; but in its own, early steampunk way, it has the feel of a Soviet artist/illustrator.
Of course there is no credit identifying the artist anywhere — inside or out — on my paperback.
If you could help me discover the name of this artist, I would be most grateful.
In the meantime, many thanks for your illuminating and worthy posts for the “Science Fiction and Other Suspect Ruminations” newsletter! It’s a great pleasure to receive the newsletter.
With thanks in advance, and much appreciation,
Pell Osborn Boston, MA
Thanks for stopping by. You are correct, the cover is uncredited on The Internet Speculative Fiction Database. Here’s the listing: http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/pl.cgi?189533
I’d wager the artist is Stanley Meltzoff: http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/ea.cgi?1392
He created quite a few covers for Signet around the same time. He stopped making covers in the late 50s. And some of his 50s work has a very similar feel to the cover you mention:
That said, I don’t have any corroborating evidence one way or the other.
Thank you for the kind words!
Compare your cover:
To this one
I now think it’s 100% Meltzoff. This is a cited cover of his from 1958 and the contraptions and pose are VERY VERY similar.
The only other possible choice might be Paul Lehr. His earliest covers (a few with Signet as well) are quite similar to Meltzoff’s: http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/ea.cgi?1391