(Ed Valigursky’s cover for the 1962 edition of Cosmic Checkmate (1962), Charles V. DeVet and Katherine MacLean)
Queue Ed Valigursky’s cover for the Cosmic Checkmate (1962): a chessboard arrayed against a background of stars, men stand on different colored squares, as much pawns of some distant player as the pieces nearby. Spaceships flash across the vast expanse of space — remember, the game has galactic ramifications — with our characters arrayed, the game opens, and the battle (of wits and secret weapons) begins. Although I have not (yet) read Charles V. DeVet and Katherine MacLean (whose later novel Missing Man (1975) I highly recommend) is explicitly about Chess, or more precisely, a similar alien game, and the ramifications are indeed, galactic in scope. Other covers are more metaphoric Continue reading Adventures in Science Fiction Cover Art: Chess/Checkers (with people + planets)
A mixture of a few clearance section novels from Austin bookstores (Chandler and Siodmak) and three recent purchases from a nice used bookstore (for science fiction) in my current town… I can’t wait to read another Leigh Brackett novel (one of the most renowned pulp sci-fi writers of the 50s) — I’ve only read her novels, The Big Jump (1955) and was pleasantly surprised.
One can never have too many Brunner novels (I have 21 at the moment and I’ve read a majority of them) — even average works from the early 80s….
And Wilson Tucker’s The Year of the Quiet Sun (1970) — yes, I generally dislike time travel, but I’ve yet to read one of his works so I might as well start with what is generally considered his best novel.
(*note: I include images of what I consider the best cover for the novel if it has multiple editions because I enjoy good examples of sci-fi art. I own perhaps half of the exact editions shown. A few readers have expressed confusion.)
1. The Long Tomorrow, Leigh Brackett (1955)
(Ed Emshwiller’s cover for Continue reading Updates: Recent Science Fiction Acquisitions No. XXXIV (Brunner + Tucker + Brackett + et al.)
(Ed Valigursky’s cover for the 1957 edition of Doomsday Eve (1957). Robert Moore Williams)
The nuclear scare produced some of the best dystopic visions ever put to paper — the devastation would be utter, complete, and the radiation, oh what fun science fiction authors and filmakers had with the effects of radiation. A red spectrum! Mutations! Hybrid bug people! Godzilla! Women with two heads! An endless assortments of monsters… I’ve selected a wide range of covers depicting the actual nuclear explosion — not the after effects. Families gaze from caves in dispair, watching the bomb incinerate their world. People run helter-skelter away from the explosion. Or, artists take a more stylized approach to the explosion — figures are cast upward amongst the wreckage of buildings. Continue reading Adventures in Science Fiction Cover Art: Nuclear Explosions + Mushroom Clouds
As always Half Price Bookstore in Northern Austin, TX yielded a wonderful collection of sci-fi paperbacks… I bought Doomsday, 1999 (1962) solely on the cover art — cool looking city exploding… Richard Cowper’s Profundis (1979) on recommendation of my friend 2theD at Potpourri of Science Fiction Literature who waxed prophetic (hopefully)/intellectually about to joys of this seldom read author (well, his fantasy at least). I personally, do not have high hopes considering the questionable nature of the back flap blurb. My previous Williamson experiment, Trial of Terra (1962), had promise so I picked up one of his supposedly best works, Bright New Universe (1967). And well, Vance is Vance and thus almost always worth reading….
1. Doomsday, 1999 (variant title: Midge), Paul MacTyre (1962)
(Uncredited cover for the 1963 Continue reading Updates: Recent Science Fiction Acquisitions No. XXXII (Cowper + Vance + Williamson + MacTyre)
(Uncredited cover for the 1959 edition of We Who Survived (1959), Sterling Noel)
One of many ways science fiction authors speculate about the end (or beginning of the end/or an apocalyptic hurdle) of the human race is the coming of an Ice Age. Such an occurrence (induced by us or the arrival of a natural cycle) would cover our cities with layers of ice — conjure the disturbing images from Gilliam’s film 12 Monkeys (1985) or Roland Emmerich’s egregious The Day After Tomorrow (2004) — forcing us to evacuate to the more inhabitable zones. Those left behind might eek out an existence, revert to a primitive state, or die out completely…
I have a review for John Christopher’s The Long Winter (1962) in the works — Continue reading Adventures in Science Fiction Cover Art: Ice-Covered Cities
A return to old familial haunts yields a heart warming stash of gems and a few radiating a more dubious aura…
And more Richard Powers’ covers for my growing collection….
Most importantly, I picked up my fourteenth or fifteenth Philip K. Dick novel! I will acquire ALL of them eventually.
And another Ace double — little did I know (but I should have guessed considering the egregious art and interior images) that is was sci-fi of the more comic variety. But, I wanted at least one of Lafferty’s novels after reading a few of his impressive short stories.
1. Star Surgeon, James White (1963)
(Richard Powers’ cover for the 1963 edition) Continue reading Updates: Recent Acquisitions No. XXIX (Dick + White + Harrison + et al.)
(Paul Lehr’s cover for the 1968 edition of Conquerors from the Darkness (1965), Robert Silverberg)
A cornucopia of underwater sci-fi cover art images! As always, Paul Lehr’s covers are among my favorite for he masterfully renders the green-blue depths and textures of water inundated worlds (especially above, Conquerers from the Darkness). Watery worlds evoke unusual underwater life, a place fraught with danger where humans and aliens meet, unusual cityscapes (domes, water impervious shields, a plethora of transport craft) and of course, the vehicles for transportation (for example below, the futuristic submarine in Treasure of the Black Flacon and 21st Century Submarine, etc) evoke the same giddy sense of adventure as when first reading Jules Verne’s Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (1870) or watching Richard Fleischer’s surprisingly good 1954 film adaptation of the novel.
There are countless films, sci-fi TV shows, novels, short stories Continue reading Adventures in Science Fiction Cover Art: Underwater Expeditions (futuristic submarines, unusual sea life, underwater cities) Part I