It’s not a Sunday here at Unsubscriber Towers without a piping hot cup of mid-morning tea ready to be sipped through a haze of ascending steam and another pot luck pick from the Badger shelf that has served me so well over the past twenty weekends. You shall be pleased to know then that all is well here then, brew and book in hand just looking at that cover and wondering how the art department did it week after week.
But first, let’s have a look at what the tagline gives us;
Inside the glowing sphere a human form was crystallising
And there on the cover is a literal interpretation with a human figure indeed gaining strength inside his glowing spheroid embryo. This of course takes place far out in space in front of one of Badgers favourite recurring design devices; the looming disembodied head! A vast galactic baldy with a seemingly benevolent demeanour keeps a close eye on goings on.
This a novel which Fanthorpe actually put his own name to – along with the other eighty or ninety odd he wrote without using one of his many beloved pseudonyms during his Badger tenure. No partners in crime here watching the ass kickin’ Rev’s back then, just lone gun style all the way with this one.
Now, before I mix my metaphors any further it’s time to look past that sterling Emsh cover and plunge headlong into the yellowing pages therein. Oh, I decided that the back cover of this volume warranted a photograph too as it wasn’t the usual cut ‘n’ paste hack job that Badger usually cobbled together for most of their output. Enjoy the covers, happy reading and join me next weekend for more of the same from the good Rev. and his friends.
Flame Mass by R. L. Fanthorpe
(Serial Number SF49)
This version was published in 1961 by Badger Books
The cover artist is Ed Emshwiller