Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Science fiction cover art

My collection of vintage pbs tends heavily to the mystery titles, and thus the postings on this blog are dominated by the mystery genre. However, as the sci fi covers are among the most interesting and technically accomplished of all in the vintage canon, I thought I would post a few. -- BCS

Merritt, A. The Moon Pool. N. Y. : Avon, 1956. No. T-135. 'Compete and unabridged.' Art Sussman’s cover art is a good example of the mid and late fifties stylized, collage-like and vaguely expressionistic aesthetic favored by cover artists and art directors. If the present cover doesn’t quite have the GGA panache of the earlier Avon #370, it nonetheless can be appreciated as a well-heeled representative of the late vintage style. The cover of Avon T-135 also scores points by sneaking in a fully unclothed naked woman, quite a coup even considering the science fiction context which somewhat muffles the shock value.

Three Times Infinity. Edited by Leo Margulies. Greenwich, CT : Fawcett Publications, Inc. 1958. Gold Medal s726. Cover art by Richard Powers. 3 novellas: Lorelei of the Red Mist by Ray Bradbuiry and Leigh Brackett, The Golden Helix by Theodore Sturgeon, Destination Moon by Robert A HeinLein.

Lewis, C. S. The Tortured Planet. N. Y. : Avon Publications, Inc, 1957. No. T-211. (Originally titled That Hideous Strength). Highly effective, phantasmogoric cover art, alas uncredited.

Lewis, C. S. Perelandra. N. Y. : Avon Publications, Inc, 1950. No. 277. (Subtitle : World of the New Temptation; sequel to Out of the Silent Planet). Yet another anonymous Avon cover, this one of classic cover art of giant humanoid creatures partially obscured by strategic cloud covering.

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