Adventures in Science Fiction Cover Art: Mariella Anderlini’s Covers for Roger Zelazny’s Chronicles of Amber (Corwin) sequence

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):

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

  1. 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.

      • 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”.

  2. 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

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