Adventures in Science Fiction Cover Art: Chess/Checkers (with people + planets)

(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