1. I adore the SF Rediscovery series published by Avon (full listing with covers here): the large size, the font and formatting, the framing of the art, and the general feel of the volume in my hand. If there’s a downside it’s the so-so quality of the art itself. I own and have reviewed two in the series previously: Barry N. Malzberg’s brilliant Revelations (1972) and E. C. Tubb’s generation ship novel The Space-Born (1955).
I have yet to read any of Eric Frank Russell’s SF—The Great Explosion (1962) seems to fit the satirical anti-Imperialism mode… we shall see!
2. A book an author whom I know little about…. Tony Roberts’ cover and the back-cover blurb intrigue!
3. Tim Powers’ first two novels were science fiction for the Laser Books imprint. I do not have high hopes (the imprint was notoriously low quality) but always enjoy exploring the early visions of authors. Miserable cover aside, it has a fun (if silly) premise!
4. A generation ship novel! (with a few unusual twists?)
Let me know what you think of the books and covers in the comments!
1. The Great Explosion, Eric Frank Russell (1962) (MY REVIEW)
(Chris Foss’ cover for the 1975 edition) Continue reading
(Uncredited cover for the 1982 edition)
3.5/5 (collated rating: Good)
Fresh off Terry Carr’s novel Cirque (1977), I decided to return to his original Universe series of anthologies. I’ve previously reviewed Universe 1 (1971) and Universe 2 (1972). As with the majority of SF anthologies, Universe 10 (1980) is sprinkled with both good and bad. I selected it from the veritable sea of anthologies on my shelves due to the presence of authors I wish to explore further and those who are foreign to me: Michael Bishop and James Tiptree, Jr. in the former category; Lee Killough, Howard Waldrop, Carter Scholz, and F. M. Busby in the latter.
Michael Bishop’s “Saving Face”, James Tiptree, Jr.’s “A Source of Innocent Merriment,” and Carter Continue reading
I had a choice, one of the worst SF covers I have ever seen vs. a standard Richard Powers cover. Despite my undying Powers love, I chose the worst (weird white face bathed in purple/pink strangeness)…. you know…. a conversation starter? As I have read little of Simak’s non-novel SF, I was quite happy to I come across one of his collections at the local bookstore.
Ward Moore’s 1953 alt-history classic fetches quite the price online. Perhaps due to a renewed interest as it was recently published in the Gollancz Masterwork series. Regardless, I found a 70s edition (alas, a bland cover) for a few dollars. I’ve been listening to his humorous satire of salesmen Greener Than You Think (1947) as an ebook while at the gym and thought I’d give his most famous novel a go…
My Universe anthology series grows and grows–and, this one contains authors new to me, including Howard Waldrop, F. M. Busby, and Lee Killough.
Thoughts/comments welcome! I doubt many will support my choice of picking the hideous cover over Powers, but, I can submit a picture of it to our esteemed purveyor of trash covers, Good Show, Sir!
1. Bring the Jubilee, Ward Moore (1953)
(Jeff Jones’ cover for the 1972 edition) Continue reading
(Cover for the 1972 edition of Recalled to Life (1958), Robert Silverberg)
“I think the 60s and 70s were probably one the most creatively interesting periods for everyone. Art, music, film all pushing the envelope. New York City was affordable and fun, fertile in its influences. Book cover art, book jacket art was fun concept art, a bit more free than other illustration work” — Emanuel Schongut
Back on May 19th, I showcased Emanuel Schongut’s 1960s SF covers [link]. His nephew found my post and put me in touch. Over the last few weeks I have had a wonderful discussion via email about his time creating covers for Doubleday under the direction of Margo Herr (art director + cover illustrator/artist). Emanuel graciously agreed to a short interview. He gives a behind-the-scenes look at SF cover illustrating in the 60s/70s, reflects on his own career, and discusses his artistic process. If you have any questions, I will be more than happy to relay them to the artist.
Also included after the interview is a delightful selection of his 1970s covers–a double post! I also recommend visiting his online portfolio for his more recent non-SF work.
As always, thoughts and comments are welcome.
Note: I have made only minor edits for clarity and inserted publication dates where necessary.
Thank you so much for agreeing to do an interview on your 60s/70s science fiction covers. Over more than two decades of producing SF covers for Doubleday, you put together an impressive body of work. They graced novels by some of the most esteemed authors of the genre, including Kate Wilhelm, John Brunner, Clifford D. Simak, Robert Silverberg, Keith Laumer, among others.
1) First, can you say a little about yourself.
Thank you for your interest Joachim.
(Cover for Galassia #97, January 1969)
Two of my recent Adventures in Science Fiction Cover Art posts fit (retroactively) into a linked post series on women SF illustrators from the 1960s/70s—which includes The Diagrammatic Minimalism of Ann Jonas and Donald Crews and Haunting Landscapes and Cityscapes: The 1970s Italian SF Art of Allison A.K.A. Mariella Anderlini. This post is a continuation of the latter and explores the twelve covers Alison created for Galassia in 1969 that showcase her vivid creativity.
Galassia was one of the primary Italian SF publications for most of the 1960s (consult Michael Ashley’s Transformations: The Story of the Science-fiction Magazines from 1950-1970, 311) and introduced translations of English-language Continue reading
M. John Harrison’s collection The Machine in Shaft Tent (1975) contains one of the more humorous inside flap advertisements I have encountered:
Don’t worry, I certainly intend to “see tomorrow today!” I’ll be disappointed if I can’t!
The others are a strange blend… From Edmund Cooper’s apparently anti-Free Love/60s culture Kronk (1970) to a delightful collection of another one of my favorite years of SF.
Also, I seldom accept advanced reader copies due to my limited time/limited interest in newer SF/and incredible mental block when it comes to, how shall I say it, outside forces guiding my central hobby which tends to take me in a variety of directions solely on whim. But, Gollancz was nice enough to send me their new omnibus collection of 1970s Michael G. Coney novels (amazon link: US, UK). Not only did I enjoy Hello Summer, Goodbye (1975) but I recently reviewed and loved Coney’s bizarre and original Friends Come in Boxes (1973). With two out of two successes it’s hardly like I wouldn’t buy his work on sight anyway (another one of my requirements when accepting AVCs)…. I will review two or three of the novels in the omnibus one at a time over the next few months.
1. The Machine in Shaft Ten, M. John Harrison (1975)
(Chris Foss’ cover for the 1975 edition) Continue reading
A very odd selection today… Some Christmas gift card holdovers and one volume I purchased online. Including Edgar Pangborn’s most famous novel, a bizarre anthology of future artistic visions (with stories by Ellison, Clarke, Effinger, Zelazny, Dickson, Kornbluth, et al.), a collection of Lloyd Biggle, Jr.’s SF stories on music, and a most likely horrible pulp slave planet rebellion type novel by Laurence M. Janifer.
1. Davy, Edgar Pangborn (1964)
(Robert Foster’s cover for the 1965 edition) Continue reading
I’m a proponent of book store traveling (travel where bookstores are the first target). Two Half Price Books and a quality independent used books store yielded what will be the first of many acquisition posts of worthy SF.
Who could resist a $5 signed copy of Spinrad’s masterpiece Bug Jack Barron (1967)? Or a normally pricey edition of Naomi Mitchison’s Memoirs of a Spacewoman (1962) for $2? And some Vonnegut, Jr. and a quality anthology containing the best of New Worlds….
1. Bug Jack Barron, Norman Spinrad (serialized 1967)
(Alex Gnidziejko’s cover for the 1969 edition) Continue reading
Part 4 of 5 acquisition posts covering my haul from the marvelous SF bookstore Dawn Treader Books in Ann Arbor, Michigan (Part I, Part II, Part III).
Three of the five books have been on my to acquire list for long time. I adore Brian Aldiss’ early work (Non-Stop is one of my favorite SF novels) so I snatched up Starswarm (1964) without a moment’s hesitation. Lloyd Biggle, Jr. writes very unusual (not sure if it’s good) SF — The Light That Never Was (1972) certainly had potential despite its flaws. Regardless, The World Menders (1971) is supposedly his best work (despite the egregious Freas cover it was “graced” with). After reading some good reviews of some of Alan E. Nourse’s 1950s medical themed stories, I’ve been looking for a copy of the fix-up novel The Mercy Men (1955). The remaining two novels in this post were in the 50 cent clearance section — both have stunning covers (Powers + Lehr) and are probably absolutely atrocious reads.
1. Starswarm, Brian Aldiss (1964) (MY REVIEW)
(Uncredited cover for the 1964 edition) Continue reading