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:
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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library at the time — a tiny room lined with shelves with a table in the middle, and no librarian — was very badly out of date.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!
A couple of really ratty old SF paperbacks, from the collection of yours truly:
[CLICK IMAGES TO ENLARGE]
To view three Heinlein paperbacks with cover art by Szafran that are from the same reprint series as the above titles but are are in very good condition, click here and scroll down. To view all of the covers with art by Szafran that I’ve posted so far, start here.
Keywords:Assignment in Eternity, The Menace from Earth, Robert A. Heinlein, Gene Szafran.
Notice that the publication dates of these covers by Paul Lehr, scanned just this morning directly from the library of yours truly, range from 1969 to 1980. I’m sure some people think of Lehr as a bit of a one-trick pony, but with this little group of four, one gets a nice sense of Lehr’s quiet versatility as an image maker, in a nutshell, as it were. Oddly enough, Frazetta later painted an image, entitled Torment (1986), of a guy impaled on a curvilinear structure that would not look out of place in the future city hinted at in the Gunner Cade cover — which perhaps tells you all you need to know about Frazetta’s attitude to modernity — but Lehr’s flamboyantly attired, bubble-helmeted hero is about as far from the half-naked, heavily muscled, hard-charging Frazetta archetype as one can get. Yes, the Glory Road and Power of Blackness covers are fairly typical Lehr productions; however, with the cover for The Centauri Device, Lehr charges boldly into John Berkey territory, and acquits himself very well indeed.
Keywords:Gunner Cade, Glory Road, The Power of Blackness, The Centauri Device.