Six Ballantine Originals With Cover Art By Richard Powers

Ballantine Books is a major US publisher which was founded in 1952 by husband and wife team Ian and Betty Ballantine. The imprint quickly gained recognition soon after it was established for its science fiction originals, early editions of which are now highly sought after by collectors the world over.

I’ve been a huge fan of these wonderful books myself for some time now and have been lucky enough to assemble a fairly sizeable selection over the years. I tend to go for these versions for two reasons; firstly, the lure of tracking down first editions of original SF novels but more importantly the fact that many of these fine paperbacks had cover art by the outrageously talented Mr Richard Powers.

My love for Powers artwork is probably well known to regular visitors of this blog as I have featured quite a number of his covers over the past three years. Indeed, my last Powers-related post was only a few months ago (here).

So, here are a half dozen Ballantine Originals pulled from my library shelves which all have fantastic cover paintings by the great man himself. I’m sure that I shall be posting more like these in the near future as and when I manage to find them. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments, I’m sure I’m not the only Powers obsessive out there!

The Climacticon by Harold Livingston
This version was published in 1960 by Ballantine Books
The cover artist is Richard Powers

The Climacticon by Harold Livingston

Out Of My Mind by John Brunner
This version was published in 1967 by Ballantine Books
The cover artist is Richard Powers

Out Of My Mind by John Brunner

30-Day Wonder by Richard Wilson
This version was published in 1960 by Ballantine Books
The cover artist is Richard Powers

30 Day Wonder by Richard Wilson

Needle In A Timestack by Robert Silverberg
This version was published in 1966 by Ballantine Books
The cover artist is Richard Powers

Needle In A Timestack by Robert Silverberg

So Close To Home by James Blish
This version was published in 1962 by Ballantine Books
The cover artist is Richard Powers

So Close To Home by James Blish

The Girls From Planet 5 by Richard Wilson
This version was published in 1955 by Ballantine Books
The cover artist is Richard Powers

The Girls From Planet 5 by Richard Wilson

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15 thoughts on “Six Ballantine Originals With Cover Art By Richard Powers

  1. Lestaret 23/03/2016 / 6:25 pm

    A great set of covers, but what an opener: the Climacticon is a real corker!

    Liked by 1 person

    • unsubscriber 27/03/2016 / 12:53 pm

      Why thank you Mr Lestaret, I suspected you might enjoy this batch of covers.

      Like

  2. Guy 23/03/2016 / 10:14 pm

    Hi

    I am a real Powers fan. My tribute is here

    http://ajaggedorbit.blogspot.ca/2015/12/one-of-events-that-propelled-me-from-sf.html

    I was surprised that you had so many in one post that I cannot even remember seeing. I have the Blish but the others, wow. I love the use of the crumpled paper head on 30 Day Wonder. And the space cowboy is great.. The colour choices on a number of them are also really striking and seem a bit different from his other, slightly more restrained covers.

    A wonderful post.
    Guy

    Liked by 1 person

    • unsubscriber 27/03/2016 / 1:01 pm

      Thanks for your comment Guy, great to read your thoughts on Powers too – a lovely selection of covers you’ve chosen there also. I’ve been a huge fan of his work since I first became aware of him and now actively seek out everything I can find. The covers here are all fairly early examples of his work and are markedly different from his later efforts, the colours in particular make these very special I think. I’ve written quite a few pieces on Richard Powers over the years so there are many of his paintings on the blog if you search. All the best as always Guy.

      Like

  3. Joachim Boaz 24/03/2016 / 11:27 am

    That The Girls from Planet 5 cover…. not my favorite! Have you read the story? I recently read Wilson’s 1969 Nebula-winning and Hugo-nominated novelette Mother to the World — talk about a problematic/controversial story. But, I get a sense a lot of his stuff is much more comical — a la The Girls from Planet 5.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Joachim Boaz 24/03/2016 / 11:30 am

      Thank you so much for these high-quality pictures — I did not realize his collage covers had so much depth of field (i.e. the crunched-up piece of paper head–which is great!– on the 30-Day Wonder cover).

      Liked by 1 person

      • unsubscriber 27/03/2016 / 1:07 pm

        Thanks Joachim, I always strive to get the best possible shots when photographing my books. The 30 Day Wonder is terrific isn’t it, Powers did quite a few interesting things with collage techniques in his time. All the best.

        Like

    • unsubscriber 27/03/2016 / 1:04 pm

      Hope you enjoyed the other covers though Joachim, I thought Girls from Plant 5 was a real oddity in the Powers canon which is why I picked it up. It’s grown on me over the past few weeks though. I haven’t got round to it yet unfortunately nor have I read the novelette you mentioned. Sounds pretty intriguing though so I’ll have a look for it. All the best.

      Like

  4. John C Nash 24/03/2016 / 11:58 am

    I think you posted a Powers cover recently which I really liked, these ones are magnificent. I particularly like the Needle in a Timestack with those sketches in the border. And ‘acidulous’, what a great adjective that is!

    Liked by 1 person

    • unsubscriber 27/03/2016 / 1:18 pm

      Thank you my friend, glad to hear you enjoyed these covers too. Timestack is a particular favourite on mine, I already had a copy of the book when I spotted this version and bought it without a second thought! The power of a great cover… All the best Mr Nash.

      Liked by 1 person

    • unsubscriber 27/03/2016 / 1:22 pm

      You don’t see a word like acidulous bandied around very much at all these days do you – more’s the pity!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. lcmt 24/03/2016 / 8:20 pm

    I love this selection of covers, it’s a jumble of jazz and psychedelia. This is my favorite era of commercial graphic art, when they were breaking the rules and being adventurous.

    Liked by 1 person

    • unsubscriber 27/03/2016 / 1:21 pm

      That’s a great description Lin, very evocative and sums up the design aesthetic here perfectly. This is my favourite period too before designers became too afraid to really express themselves for overly conservative publishers. All the best x

      Liked by 1 person

  6. John Davis 04/04/2016 / 4:52 pm

    Howdy! I’ve enjoyed looking through your blog. I am also a HUGE Powers fan (I am lucky to own many of his original covers). There was a fantastic exhibition of his work at World Fantasy Convention last November. Nearly 100 original works were on display — it was terrific.
    Here is a link to some photos I took…

    https://picasaweb.google.com/100977220068239064990/WFC2015

    Best,
    JOhn

    Liked by 1 person

    • unsubscriber 10/04/2016 / 7:49 pm

      Hi there John, great to hear you’ve enjoyed looking through my humble efforts on this blog. It’s good to know that you’re a big Powers fan as well, there are a few of us around here. I checked out your photos and was amazed, I’d have loved to have seen the exhibition for myself as I recognised quite a few of the paintings from book covers in my library. Hope to see you again soon John, thanks for dropping by and all the best.

      Like

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