From The Library Of The Unsubscriber No.16, A Trio Of Penguin Progressives

Over the past few weeks I’ve written about those more progressive and experimental or psychedelic covers I have in my collection (herehere here) and so I wanted to carry on that theme a little longer with a trio of new acquisitions from the Penguin stable.

Penguin have long been a favourite SF publisher of mine and have boasted some of the finest covers I have ever seen by the likes of David Pelham, Franco Grignani and Alan Aldridge amongst many others. I rather luckily saw these three books in one evening whilst idly flicking through eBay on my trusty iPad and decided to pick them up as the prices were pleasingly low. They all seemed to fit in with this theme and so I thought I’d continue on with it and include them here for your viewing pleasure, let me know what you think in the comments as always.

Connoisseur’s S.F. edited by Tom Boardman
This version was published in 1964 by Penguin books
The cover artist is uncredited although the back cover states “The photograph on the cover is reproduced by permission of Esso Research”.

Connoisseur's S.F. edited by Tom Boardman

Deathworld by Harry Harrison
This version was published in 1964 by Penguin books
The cover shows Citron from a series of Celestial Physiognomies painted in 1952-57 by the Russian-born surrealist painter Pavel Tchelitchev.

Deathworld by Harry Harrison

Lambda I and Other Stories selected by John Carnell
This version was published in 1965 by Penguin books
The back cover states “The cover shows a detail from a painting, ‘Rassegna Medica’, by Giorgio Gondoni”.

Lambda I and Other Stories selected by John Carnell

A Badger Book On Sunday With The Reverend R. L. Fanthorpe, Chapter 36

Rev Fanthorpe Frame

I promised last week that I’d be here again this Sunday with more Badger goodness and so let’s have a look at which title I’ve selected from the library to read today. It’s another book by John E. Muller – pen name for the trio of R. L. Fanthorpe, John S. Glasby and A. A. Glynn. Ready for the tagline?

They came in a surge of shock and agony… The radiant mind Gods

The cover is another classic Badger painting depicting a rather stern-faced chap wearing a matching helmet/headphone/choker combo of sorts and holding on to two crackling electrodes. Sparks of electricity are issuing from the whole setup although I have to say he looks merely determined rather than shocked or agonised as the tagline suggests he would be. I don’t normally mention the back cover blurb in these articles but couldn’t resist drawing your attention to the last line;

Another piece of superlative science fiction from today’s top British science fiction.

What? Is that a typo or are my eyes and addled mind deceiving me? I’ll let you, dear reader decide for yourself whilst I delve into the pages of this novel. More from the good Reverend next week, please feel free to drop your comments in the box as usual.

The Mindmakers by John E. Muller
(Serial Number SF58)
This version was published in 1961 by Badger Books
The cover artist is uncredited

Badger - Muller, The Mind Makers

The Mindmakers - Back

From The Library Of The Unsubscriber No.15, The Unidentified

Ah, the 60s & 70s. They gave us so many worthwhile things (far too numerable to mention here in a rather brief blog post naturally) including sci-fi book covers which made absolutely no sense whatsoever. I’ve previously covered Shapes & Symbols (here) and Psychedelics (here) in this mini-series but now it’s the turn of the downright unintelligible to take centre stage. Here is my humble offering of five titles with covers that communicate absolutely nothing to the potential buyer, just a strange photograph of… well, something.

Is it just me or am I missing a very obvious point here, answers in the comments or on a good old fashioned postcard if you’d rather.

The Seedy by Robert Ray
1969 – Panther
Cover artist uncredited

Ray The Seedy

Time In Advance By William Tenn
1966 – Panther
Cover artist uncredited

Tenn Time In Advance

The Screaming Face by John Lymington
1965 – Corgi
Cover art by Sir George F. Pollock

Lymington The Screaming Face

Needle In A Timestack by Robert Silverberg
1967 – Sphere
Cover artist uncredited

Silverberg Needle In A Timestack

Gather, Darkness! by Fritz Leiber
1966 – Four Square Books
Covert art by James Holt

Leiber Gather, Darkness

A Badger Book On Sunday With The Reverend R. L. Fanthorpe, Chapter 35

Rev Fanthorpe Frame

I must apologise for my sporadic posts on Sundays, it’s this weather you see. This sticky fingered heat isn’t conducive to ideal reading conditions for me in general, particularly with the fan running at my side. It affects my concentration too and so I’m painfully aware I’ve missed a few weeks just recently, I hope to redress the balance in the coming weeks though and give you the Badger satisfaction I know all you regular Sunday readers crave!

This week then has been given over to a title by Pel Torro who is none other than R. L. Fanthorpe and Harry O. Mansfield writing in tandem. Incidentally, I do wonder how these books got written by two or more people, I can’t help but think it would be a major distraction to have someone else working on a book at the same time. Just a side thought really…

And so here’s that front cover tagline in all its glory;

The robot’s claws, the death gas… but there was worse to come

What could be worse than those two untimely ends I wonder! The cover is a beauty and one of the rare Badger titles to feature a named artist of the day – and it shows! The robot in question is fabulous, his helmet and outfit in general are stunning examples of sixties design… and those claws too, great stuff! Utterly brilliant work from the always reliable Ed Valigursky. The robot stands menacingly over his victim who appears to be struggling in a miasma of sickly yellow death gas vapours. And what of the mystery which is locked away in that great steel cylinder in the background? I’ll just have to read on to answer this question and others raised by the back cover blurb.

I do hope you enjoyed this return to the weird and wonderful world of Badger books, I promise I’ll be back next week whatever the weather throws at me with more of what you love with your Sunday roast. Comments are, as ever welcomed and encouraged. I’ve a feeling that robot will spur a few of you on to share your thoughts!

World Of The Gods by Pel Torro
(Serial Number SF45)
This version was published in 1960 by Badger Books
The cover artist is Ed Valigursky

Badger - Torro, World Of The Gods

World Of The Gods - Back

A Little Gem From Corgi Books

I spotted this little gem on Ebay a few days ago and being a bit of a fan of Arthur C. Clarke’s work decided to pick it up as it was going for only a couple of quid. It arrived yesterday in the post and what a dinky little thing it is too, measuring as it does 16cm by 10.5cm making it a good centimetre shorter than standard paperback size.

The covers are great too with their two-tone block colour scheme, rocketships and molecular graphics – very fifties! I liked it so much that I thought I would sneak in an extra post this week and share it with you dear readers, hope you like it too. Let me know what you think in the comments.

The Sands Of Mars by Arthur C. Clarke
This version was published in 1958 by Corgi Books
The cover artist is John Richards

Clarke, The Sands Of Mars

The Sands Of Mars - Back

From The Library Of The Unsubscriber No.14, Psychedelic Covers

Last week I wrote about books which had progressive, experimentally minded covers (here) and chose ’Shapes And Symbols’ as my opening article on this subject. This week I’m moving deep into the psychedelic underground to present five covers which may well expand your mind, rearrange your chakras and then go and ruin everything by playing a bloody tambourine!

Here’s the latest batch of cosmically inclined goodies, feel free to share your thoughts.

Moons Of Tiopus by John Rankine
This version was published in 1969 by Paperback Library Books
The cover artist is Richard Powers

Rankine Moons Of Triopus

Moonbeast by A. E. van Vogt
This version was published in 1969 by Panther books
The cover artist is uncredited

van Vogt Moonbeast

The Thirst Quenchers by Rick Raphael
This version was published in 1968 by Panther Books
The cover artist is uncredited

Raphael The Thirst Quenchers

The Hour Of The Phoenix by Richard Saxon
This version was published in 1972 by World Distributors Books
The cover artist is Josh Kirby

Saxon The Hour Of The Phoenix

Miners In The Sky by Murray Leinster
This version was published in 1968 by Corgi Books
The cover artist is uncredited

Leinster Miners In The Sky