Time for some more cover scans from the library of yours truly! This time around, I’ve got three SF paperbacks with art by British illustrator Chris Foss, whose airbrushed visions of massive starships, architecture, and hardware spawned a legion of imitators back in the 1970s (and beyond):
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Keywords:The Reality Trip and Other Implausibilities by Robert Silverberg, The Caves of Steel by Isaac Asimov, Midsummer Century by James Blish, Chris Foss.
Today RCN has got four freshly scanned selections from my personal archive of disintegrating SF paperback pulp for your viewing pleasure:
I don’t know much about John Schoenherr’s career in illustration, but I must say, Schoenherr’s painting for the 1961 Ace edition of Brunner’s Meeting at Infinity is a surreal stunner that even the universally acknowledged king of surreal SF cover art himself, Richard Powers, must have envied when he first laid eyes on it. For a minute or two. Maybe.
To view all of the scans of covers with art by Richard Powers that I’ve posted here at RCN, click here. And don’t forget to click the “Older posts” link when you get to the bottom of the page.
Keywords:The Star Dwellers, The High Crusade, A Far Sunset, Meeting at Infinity.
None of the following three covers with art by Paul Lehr really hits the mark. The painting on the cover of Hellstrom’s Hive (1982) is especially anemic; as far as I am concerned, it has very little of interest to say about Frank Herbert’s novel, the SF genre, Lehr’s chosen subject matter, or anything else other than, perhaps, the vain hope that slick technique alone would be enough to fulfil the brief. (Yes, I understand the idea here is that the viewer is supposed put together the visual clues to realize that the red barn, farm house, windrows of hay, etc., are actually located on a planet that is not earth, and that the tiny figures on the hill are not merely your typical human farmers but something more sinister; however, when such a simple idea is so blandly and schematically worked out, how can the viewer’s reaction be anything but boredom?) The fact that Lehr’s hypothetical hope turned out to be not so vain after all — the painting, obviously, was published — seems to me to have been less likely an endorsement of the painting as an effective cover illustration and more likely a tribute to Lehr’s long track record as a distinctive, reliable, and admired SF cover artist.
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Click here to view all of the covers with art by Paul Lehr that I’ve posted so far.
Keywords:A Life for the Stars, Close to Critical, Hellstrom’s Hive.