Sorry about the lack of updates of late. I’ve been a little bit behind. Here’s a nice image to try and make up for it–the Summer 1945 cover of Planet Stories, a great magazine that ran from 1939 into the mid-1950s and which usually featured some great cover art. This issue was no exception.
This was the second and final book in Avon’s Fantasy series–Jack Williamson’s The Green Girl, published in 1950 with uncredited cover artist. To further confuse defitions of science fiction and fantasy, the book is clearly part of the Fantasy series (see the logo) but is touted as science fiction in the cover blurb. It takes place far in the future (1999) and follows the adventures of a scientist who discovers an underground world with all sorts of strange creatures in it.
This week’s cover is the first of Avon’s Science Fiction Reader series, which had a run of only 3 issues. This digest-sized pulp is from 1951 and was edited by Donald A. Wolheim, who later go on to edit at Ace books and eventually start his own publishing house, DAW books. Oddly enough, Wolheim included one of his own stories in this issue of Science Fiction Reader. Must have been tough.
Avon’s short-lived 10 Story Fantasy from Spring 1951. The magazine lasted only 1 issue and was edited by Donald A. Wolheim who would soon go on to be an editor at Ace books. Other than the fur-lined bikini on this cover by James Bama, this magazine is most famous for containing the first printing of Arthur C. Clarke’s “Sentinel of Eternity”–usually reprinted as “The Sentinel” and the basis for 2001: A Space Odyssey.
Here is one of the more infamous covers from the science fiction world, Charles Neutzel’s illustration for George H. Smith’s The Coming of the Rats, a post-apocalyptic novel published by Pike Books in 1961.
This copy of Manly Wade Wellman’s first published novel, Sojarr of Titan, got a bit sun damaged but it doesn’t take away from the great cover art. This is from 1949, a Prize “scientifiction” digest.
The good news is that this cover was painted by Frank R. Paul, the brilliant artist responsible for the look of the early Amazing Stories and for shaping in many readers’ minds the “look” of the future as they imagined it in the 1920s and 30s. The bad news is that the cover story really is titled “Planet of the Knob Heads.” Stanton A. Coblentz, what were you thinking? Other interesting items between the covers are an article on the development of television and another on fandom that mentions Forrest Ackerman and the first World Science Fiction Convention. Cool stuff.