Adventures in Science Fiction Art: Cosmic Coral and Eye Trees: The SF Art of H. Lawrence Hoffman

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(Cover for the 1968 edition of Last Door to Aiya (1968), ed. Mirra Ginsburg)

My pseudo-series exploring the more esoteric reaches of SF art continues.  Previous posts include The Brothers Quay and SF Covers, The 1960s Covers of Emanuel Schongut, and A Spotlight on the SF Covers of David McCall Johnston.  You all read my site because of my more esoteric dalliances, right? Hah.

H. Lawrence Hoffman (b. 1911-1977) [wikipedia article]  illustrated a vast range of covers for the major presses such as Popular Library—his mystery novel covers, including those by Dashiell Hammett, are particularly evocative [here is a substantial gallery displaying the range of his non-SF covers].

His use of coral and figures inspired by Central American Art (see his cover for The Gate of Worlds (1967), Robert Silverberg) demonstrate his more experimental moments.  His coral covers are stunning— Last Door to Aiya (1968), ed. Mirra Ginsburg and A Century of Science Fiction (1962), ed. Damon Knight.  And the 1973 edition of Alien Art by Gordon R. Dickson scratches a strange artistic itch…

What are your Continue reading

Updates: Recent Science Fiction Acquisitions No. XCIX (Vinge + Randall + McIntyre + Wylie + Brunner + Sohl)

A nice mix with some gorgeous Powers’ covers—some 30s + 50s pulp, three novellas in one of only a handful of female SF author anthologies ever published, and another John Brunner novel for my extensive collections (it’s an expanded novel from one of his earlier pulp works, hopefully he improved the original version).


1. After Worlds Collide, Philip Wylie and Edwin Balmer (1933)


(Richard Powers’ cover for the 1963 edition)

From the back cover: “When the group of survivors from Earth landed on Bronson Beta, they expected absolute desolation.  This Earth-like planet from another universe had been hurtling through space, cold and utter darkness for countless millennia.  All life should have perished millions of years ago.  But the Earth-people found a breathtakingly beautiful city, encased in a huge, transparent metal bubble; magnificent apartments filled with every luxury; food for a lifetime in the vast, empty kitchens; but with no trace either of life—or death.  Then the humans learned they were not alone on Bronson Beta…” Continue reading

Book Review: Costigan’s Needle, Jerry Sohl (1953)

(Richard Powers’ cover for the 1954 edition)

2/5 (Bad)

In countless Star Trek episodes a shattered piece of technology is miraculously resurrected (or a non-related piece of technology is transformed into an inter-dimensional portal) rescuing stranded one-time antagonists who learn, through their shared struggles, to finally get along.  Jerry Sohl’s Costigan’s Needle (1953) takes this classic scenario to an even more preposterous level.

Related Tangent

As a kid I adored Jules Verne’s Mysterious Island (1874), disliked Robinson Crusoe (1719), and despised Perseverance Island; or, The Robinson Crusoe Continue reading

Updates: Recent Science Fiction Acquisitions N. XLI (Sheckley + Sohl + Cooper + Silverberg)

A selection of gems sent to me by one of my friends 2theD at Potpourri of Science Fiction Literature…  Don’t worry at least eight books are being sent his way….  And a few left over Marx book purchases…  I have two of Sheckley’s short story collection — now I have one of his short satirical novels!  Sohl’s Costigan’s Needle (1953) has spectacular early Powers cover art AND Sohl isn’t supposed to be half bad either.


1. The Status Civilization, Robert Scheckley (1960) (MY REVIEW)

(Uncredited cover for the 1960 edition) Continue reading