Book/Magazine Covers (All) · Illustration Art · Look Here · Steele Savage

Look Here: Two editions of Heinlein’s RED PLANET

Here’s a cover scan of a paperback picked at random from the piles in the room that serves as my study/studio. The artist here is Steele Savage, known to longtime readers here at RCN for his illustrations for Catharine F. Sellew’s Adventures with the Giants:

[CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE]

The Ace paperback edition of Heinlein’s Red Planet, 71140, does not include a publication date, but according to ISFDB, the book was published in 1971. Now, according to Wikipedia, Steele Savage was born in 1898 and died in 1970. So on the face of it, it would seem that that Heinlein cover was among the last illustration assignments that Savage ever worked on. Nice, clean, precise work for a 70-something year old artist!

And a nice touch that the design of the “outdoor costumes” of the colonists in Savage’s illustration is more or less faithful to Clifford Geary’s cover and illustrations for the 1949 first-edition hardcover of Red Planet. Here, for the sake of comparison, is a scan of the front cover of my copy, which I rescued from a library discard sale a number of years ago:

Red Planet was one of the first two science-fiction novels I ever read (the other was Heinlein’s Rocket Ship Galileo, which I didn’t like anywhere near as much), and I read it in the exact hardcover edition that you see above. But it’s not that I am so ancient. It’s that our rural school library at the time — a tiny room lined with shelves with a table in the middle, and no librarian — was very badly out of date. As I recall, it was shortly after I read those two Heinlein novels that our school miraculously received boxes of new paperbacks in a variety of genres that were shelved at the back of the various classrooms. That was a big deal!

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