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)
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