More cover scans this morning! Vincent Di Fate is a big name in SF illustration — he was inducted into the SF Hall of Fame in 2011 — but his work has never been featured on RCN. My problem with Di Fate’s work is that, generally speaking, I find it lacking in originality and oomph, but I’ve tried to keep an open mind, and now I finally have three in hand that I think are interesting, though I still can’t shake the feeling that the images have been cobbled together in an impersonal, stylistically nondescript sort of way:
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Keywords:Arslan by M. J. Engh, To Your Scatted Bodies Go by Philip José Farmer, The Other Side of Tomorrow by Roger Elwood, ed., Vincent Di Fate.
Back in the 1970s, beginning (I think) with the first-edition paperback of Dhalgren, Bantam Books initiated a project to (re)print Samuel R. Delany’s novels under a unified design, which they also used for some other SF novels, such as Walter M. Miller’s A Canticle for Leibowitz. I have seven of Delany’s novels that were published under the new design in my collection, and of those seven my four favourites just happen to be among the ones for which I have been able to determine, with a tiny bit of sleuthing, the identity of the cover artist. My favourites are Babel-17, with cover art by Vincent Segrelles (well-known in comics circles for his series, The Mercenary); Nova, with art by Eddie Jones; Dhalgren, with art by Dean Ellis; and Triton, with art by Mitchell Hooks.
And here’s a fun bit of observational trivia. If you look closely at the cover of Triton, you’ll find that the artist, Hooks, has painted his dramatic, futuristic moon base from a model constructed of mundane props from around the house — small oil cans, chess pieces, a feathered dart, a dart tip, ink bottles, a shaving mirror, and so on — cleverly arranged on a tabletop.
Anyway… enough with the preamble! Here are my scans, displayed in order of their original publication; please note, however, that the dates in the file names are not the first-publication dates but the dates of the editions/printings of the books that I own:
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As you can see above, I have two copies of Triton in my collection. What I find interesting here is that the earlier printing, from 1976, has the title printed in a sort of metallic ink, while the later printing, from 1979, does not. Was this an aesthetic choice or a cost-saving measure for a book that was not selling as well as had been expected, given the runaway success of Delany’s previous novel, Dhalgren? I suspect the latter.
Dhalgren, The Einstein Intersection, and The Ballad of Beta-2 also have titles printed in “metallic” ink; The Jewels of Aptor, Babel-17, and Nova do not.