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.
Tag Archives: book covers
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.