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.
Tag Archives: Science Fiction
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.
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.
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.
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: