(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 the 1965 edition of All Flesh is Grass (1965), Clifford D. Simak)
On twitter I like to highlight the birthdays of often lesser known SF artists and authors—and today is Emanuel Schongut’s birthday! The 1960s SF covers of Emanuel Schongut (b. 1936) demonstrate an eye for the simple form, the surrealist twist, the optical trick…. In 2012 I compiled a list of my favorite fifteen (as of then) SF covers [here]—although I suspect some of the list would change, his cover for the 1966 edition of Watchers of the Dark (1966) [below] by Lloyd Biggle, Jr. would retain its privileged place.
Although few of the other covers rise to the heights of Watchers of the Dark, some of his others from the 1960s still transfix and leave haunting impressions! For example, Continue reading
One of Robert Silverberg’s most famous 70s novels…
Barry N. Malzberg’s first published novel (more speculative fiction than SF)…
Lloyd Biggle, Jr.’s best known novel…
And Roger Zelazny’s first published collection of SF shorts…
And some great covers!
1. The Book of Skulls, Robert Silverberg (1971)
(Dean Ellis’ cover for the 1971 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
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