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.
Category Archives: Vintage Paperbacks
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.
What would poor George Orwell have said about this Signet paperback cover of 1984? Published in 1950, just a year after the book’s hardcover publication and the same year as Orwell’s death, for all I know he was aware of it. While no one would call the book itself pulp fiction, the cover certainly gets the pulp treatment with its highlighting of the “Anti-Sex League” and the knowing looks of the man and woman who don’t seem very “anti” about each other.
This week’s cover is from Avon’s early run of science fiction novels. An Earth Man on Venus by Ralph M. Farley was originally published in the 1930s in the pulp magazines as “The Radio Man.” In Avon’s 1950 rendition, the “Kewpie-Doll Princess” was given some rather interesting treatment. The plot seems very derivative of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ first Martian novel. Here’s the back cover:
Up this week is Border Town by Carroll Graham, published by Dell in 1952. This paperback reprints the first Vanguard edition published in the 1930s. Along with his brother, Garrett, the author is better known for having co-written Queer People, one of the most famous novels about Hollywood. In this book, Graham provides readers with a Latino character trying to build his reputation and empire on both sides of the California/Mexico border. This book was the basis for a film of the same name starring Bette Davis and Paul Muni.
Before he was writing I Am Legend or Somewhere in Time, Richard Matheson wrote some hardboiled pulp mysteries. This one, Someone Is Bleeding, was his first. Published by Lion in 1953, it’s the story of a femme fatale and a guy who gets mixed up with her. You’ve also got an icepick involved and some men (pigs! according to the cover) who meet a grisly end.