A Delivery From The U.S. Part Two

Last week, I wrote about placing an order via eBay for a list of books from my good buddy Otis in the U.S. (here). I then went on to feature the first half dozen of these fabulous titles for you to drool over.

This week I’m presenting the second set of six vintage paperbacks in an attempt to create a much more easy to digest format rather than dumping a whole load of covers in front of you to sift through. Once again, do let me know your thoughts in the comments.

Time Trap by Keith Laumer
This version was published in 1970 by Berkley Medallion Books
The cover artist is Richard Powers

Time Trap by Keith Laumer

Day Of The Beasts by John E. Muller
This version was published in 1971 by Macfadden Books
The cover artist is Jeff Jones

Day Of The Beasts by John E. Muller

Notions: Unlimited by Robert Sheckley
This version was published in 1968 by Bantam Books
The cover artist is uncredited

Notions Unlimited by Robert Sheckley

The Stars Around Us edited by Robert Hoskins
This version was published in 1970 by Signet Books
The cover artist is Gene Szafran

The Stars Around Us edited by Robert Hoskins

The Ruins Of Earth edited by Thomas M. Disch
This version was published in 1972 by Berkley Medallion Books
The cover artist is Richard Powers

The Ruins Of Earth edited by Thomas M. Disch

All The Colors Of Darkness by Lloyd Biggle, Jr.
This version was published in 1968 by Paperback Library Books
The cover artist is uncredited

All The Colors Of Darkness by Lloyd Biggle, Jr.

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The Strange Case Of The Ballantine Job Lot

It all started some time ago now, I was happily browsing eBay on my iPad sipping a cup of tea when an auction caught my eye. It was for a job lot of fifteen Ballantine books in excellent condition with a starting price of just £10. There were no bids and only a few hours to completion. This had to be too good to be true!

I scrutinised the photos of the books in the ad, they were nearly all by Richard Powers. I knew I might have to bid hard in the closing stages and so planned my strategy meticulously. My head was full of calculations, how much would this collection go for if the books sold separately? I had plenty to think about whilst the clock ticked.

With a minute to spare there was a solitary bid which surprised me greatly given the rarity and usual quality of decent Ballantines around these days. I won’t disclose what I did put in as my final bid but it was a hell of a lot more than my winning price of just £12.16! That equates to approximately 81p for each book – staggering!

When the box arrived and was carefully unpacked, each book was indeed in excellent condition and I was a very happy soul for being the lucky winner of this Ballantine/Powers jamboree. It’s just a shame there are two uncredited covers amongst these beauties so if anyone has any bright ideas as to who they’re by then I’m all ears.

Here’s the haul in all it’s glory for you to enjoy;

Brain Wave by Poul Anderson
This version was published in 1954 by Ballantine Books
The cover artist is Richard Powers

Brain Wave by Poul Anderson

E Pluribus Unicorn by Theodore Sturgeon
This version was published in 1956 by Ballantine Books
The cover artist is Richard Powers

E Pluribus Unicorn by Theodore Sturgeon

Of All Possible Worlds by William Tenn
This version was published in 1955 by Ballantine Books
The cover artist is Richard Powers

Of All Possible Worlds by William Tenn

The Fourth “R” by George O. Smith
This version was published in 1959 by Ballantine Books
The cover artist is uncredited

The Fourth %22R%22 by George O. Smith

Robots And Changelings by Lester Del Rey
This version was published in 1957 by Ballantine Books
The cover artist is Richard Powers

Robots & Changelings by Lester Del Rey

Far And Away by Anthony Boucher
This version was published in 1955 by Ballantine Books
The cover artist is Richard Powers

Far and Away by Anthony Boucher

Beyond Eden by Davis Duncan
This version was published in 1955 by Ballantine Books
The cover artist is Richard Powers

Beyond Eden by David Duncan

The Marching Morons by C. M. Kornbluth
This version was published in 1959 by Ballantine Books
The cover artist is uncredited

The Marching Morons by C. M. Kornbluth

No Boundaries by Henry Kuttner and C. L. Moore
This version was published in 1955 by Ballantine Books
The cover artist is Richard Powers

No Boundaries by Henry Kuttner:C. L. Moore

Turn Left At Thursday by Frederik Pohl
This version was published in 1961 by Ballantine Books
The cover artist is Richard Powers

Turn Left At Thursday by Frederick Pohl

Search The Sky by Frederik Pohl and C. M. Kornbluth
This version was published in 1954 by Ballantine Books
The cover artist is Richard Powers

Search The Sky by Frederick Pohl:C. M. Kornbluth

Wolfbane by Frederik Pohl and C. M. Kornbluth
This version was published in 1959 by Ballantine Books
The cover artist is Richard Powers

Wolfbane by Frederick Pohl:C. M. Kornbluth

The Undying Fire by Fletcher Pratt
This version was published in 1953 by Ballantine Books
The cover artist is Richard Powers

The Undying Fire by Fletcher Pratt

Citizen In Space by Robert Sheckley
This version was published in 1955 by Ballantine Books
The cover artist is Richard Powers

Citizen In Space by Robert Sheckley

Gladiator-At-Law by Frederik Pohl and C. M. Kornbluth
This version was published in 1955 by Ballantine Books
The cover artist is Richard Powers

Gladiator-At-Law by Frederick Pohl:C. M. Kornbluth

A Plethora Of Penguins Part Two

In the first part of this article published last week (here), I talked about the number of unfinished collections of Penguin books I have sitting on my library shelves and how frustrating a situation this is for an obsessive like me. It’s true that I have several success stories which go some small way to redressing the balance but I just have too many gaps otherwise to feel like I’ve achieved any sort of overall cohesion in terms of my Penguin books.

It’s at times like this that I remember the true nature of what I set this blog up to be; a virtual art gallery of book covers which are displayed in a way they can’t be seen when stored on shelves. I’m trying my best to view this situation more about sharing the art and design of the books themselves with other like minded people rather than owning a complete collection which makes me feel a little better about my sorry predicament. It also cunningly leaves the somewhat trickier job of writing reviews to other, far better bloggers than myself and serves to make casual visitors more aware of the visual aspects of these wonderful old books.

Here then dear reader are another eight covers from titles which belong to a number of my unfinished Penguin collections for your enjoyment. Feel free to comment on any points raised in the article or just the covers themselves;

Drunkard’s Walk by Frederik Pohl
This version was published in 1966 by Penguin Books
The cover artist is Kenneth Randall

Pohl Drunkard's Walk

The Joyous Invasions by Theodore Sturgeon
This version was published in 1967 by Penguin Books
The cover artist is Alan Aldridge

Sturgeon The Joyous Invasions

The Robert Sheckley Omnibus by Robert Sheckley
This version was published in 1975 by Penguin Books
The cover artist is David Pelham

Sheckley The Robert Sheckley Omnibus

A Case Of Conscience by James Blish
This version was published in 1963 by Penguin Books
The cover artist is Max Ernst

Blish A Case Of Conscience

The Demolished Man by Alfred Bester
This version was published in 1966 by Penguin Books
The cover artist is Lester Waldman

Bester The Demolished Man

Yet More Penguin Science Fiction edited by Brian Aldiss
This version was published in 1963 by Penguin Books
The cover artist is Matta

Anthology Yet More Penguin Science Fiction

Alternating Currents by Frederik Pohl
This version was published in 1966 by Penguin Books
The cover artist is Erich Hartmann

Pohl Alternating Currents

Into Deepest Space by Fred and Geoffrey Hoyle
This version was published in 1977 by Penguin Books
The cover artist is Peter Tybus

Hoyle Into Deepest Space

From Front To Back, It’s The Return Of The Wraparound Cover

Last week I wrote an article about the limited amount of space an artist has to work with on a book cover, especially now everything has to be designed specifically for reduction to a tiny JPG for the eBook market. In the post I praised those fearless few who didn’t stop where they were supposed to but crossed the spine and extended their vision onto the back cover too. I concentrated on Ian Miller who I think is one of the finest exponents of this particular brand of artistry but I wanted to show some other fine examples I have on my shelves too.

I was browsing my library and was surprised to find a few books with such covers that I had forgotten about and one I had never even discovered and so started making a pile to work through. Once again, I have included a few books that I’ve already featured as front cover photographs only but they’ve never been presented in the full wraparound format before due to my lack of knowledge to enable me to achieve satisfactory results.

The photography part is relatively easy, I use a small light box and tripod for the front and back covers but the spine can be extremely tricky to negotiate given the fragility of some of these books. Once I have these raw materials, the fun starts in post production which is all carried out by hand. It can take an age to complete something with a complicated design or a faded, cracked spine. I’m aware that there are software packages available now which do this work automatically but I think the results look very poor, I’ll do it all by myself thanks very much. I always get the same buzz when I complete a wraparound cover though, three individual photographs morphed seamlessly into a single whole and not a join in sight!

So, it’s from this selection of titles that I present a further eight glorious wraparound covers to feast your eyes on. Once again, I hope you enjoy viewing them as much as I did slaving over a hot MacBook Pro creating them. Don’t forget, clicking on an image will result in a larger view of each cover so there’s more detail to dig around in. If you have any good wraparounds sitting in your collection, let me know in the comments;

Note – I haven’t included any of the glorious wraparounds which were included in an article called Twelve More Richard Powers Covers (here) as that would just be plain cheating, not to mention bone idle of me!

Brain Wave by Poul Anderson
This version was published in 1954 by Ballantine Books
The cover artist is Richard Powers

Wraparound - Anderson, Brain Wave

The Omega Point by George Zebrowski
This version was published in 1972 by Ace Books
The cover artist is Bob Pepper

Zebrowski Omega Point Wraparound

The Duelling Machine by Ben Bova
This version was published in 1977 by Puffin Books
The cover artist is Peter Goodfellow

This one is a bit of a cheat as it pauses at the spine rather than crosses it but when put together like this this I think it looks stunning.

Bova The Dualing Machine

Immortality Inc. by Robert Sheckley
This version was published in 1978 by Peacock Books/Penguin
The cover artist is Peter Goodfellow

Sheckley Wraparound

Rogue Moon by Algis Budrys
This version was published in 1973 by Arrow Books
The cover artist is Chris Yates

Budrys Rogue Moon

Kalin by E. C. Tubb
This version was published in 1973 by Arrow Books
The cover artist is Chris Yates

Tubb Wraparound

The Patchwork Girl by Larry Niven
This version was published in 1982 by Orbit Books
The cover artist is Peter Jones

Wraparound - Niven The Patchwork Girl

Solar Lottery by Philip K. Dick
This version was published in 1972 by Arrow Books
The cover artist is Chris Yates

Dick Solar Lottery

Gimme More Head

When I originally put together the Gimmie Head article (here) back in December last year, it struck me just how many books I had left over with heads on their covers. In fact, I have just received a package containing two more such volumes from my narrowboat dwelling friend this past month so I thought I might as well do a follow up of sorts. I chose eight titles for the original piece and so for the sake of equilibrium I have done the same here, narrowing my original choice down from a dozen.

As I prepared the books for photographing and checked the design of the previous article, I became aware that I had used two volumes by Algis Budrys in the first piece and have somehow managed to repeat that feat in part two. Maybe Budrys’ cover designers just liked heads…

Mindmix by Leo P. Kelley
1972 – Fawcett Gold Medal
“They gave him another man’s brain and forced him to live in a stranger’s nightmare”
A tagline just crying out for a cover depicting a fragmented head populated by surly strangers. The artist is uncredited for this fantastically unsettling piece.

Kelley Mindmix

Who? by Algis Budrys
1979 – Fontana
A brilliant physicist reconstructed by The Russians and now resembling a “ball bearing on legs” is at the centre of this rather nifty little spy-fi thriller. The cover painting is by Alun Hood.

Budrys Who

Prisoner Of Fire by Edmund Cooper
1977 – Coronet
A tale of telepathy and psychological warfare gone wrong when one the gifted trainees goes missing. Orders from the top of Government dictate that she is hunted down by her own kind and destroyed. Sadly no artist is credited for the brilliant cover.

Cooper Prisoner

Our Friends From Frolix 8 by Philip K. Dick
1970 – Ace Books
Great artwork by John Schoenherr from this 1st paperback edition from one of my favourite PKD novels.

Dick Frolix 8

Michaelmas by Algis Budrys
1979 – Fontana
A rather prescient tale featuring Domino, a highly portable computer which allows Laurent Michaelmas to interface with and influence every electronic communications network on the planet. The cover by Alun Hood looks like the titular hero is being fitted with a giant sim card!

Budrys Michaelmas

The Worlds Of Frank Herbert by Frank Herbert
1970 – New English Library
A landscape populated by heads and Salvador Dali-esque upper torsos painted by Jan Parker illustrate this fine collection of Herbert shorts and novellas.

Frank Herbert Worlds

The Inner Landscape – Anthology
1975 – Corgi
An anthology of novellas by Mervyn Peake, J.G. Ballard and Brian W. Aldiss. This superb cover is yet another uncredited piece unfortunately. (Thanks for this one Bernie!)

Inner Landscape

Immortality Inc. by Robert Sheckley
1978 – Peacock Books/Penguin
Excellent story of reincarnation and zombies from Sheckley, the wraparound artwork by Peter Goodfellow is pretty damn good too.

Sheckley Immortality

Gimme Head

After taking such a long break from blogging, it seems only logical to piece together another bumper theme based on cover art due to the large number of books which have been pushed through my letterbox in the intervening period. I was flicking through my library for a few more covers featuring human skulls during the weekend for a continuation of an earlier piece (here) but kept coming across books with whole heads on them and so that’s where I’ll take my cue from. Here’s the chosen selection;

The Whole Man by John Brunner
1970 – Ballantine
A great piece of cover art from Steele Savage to begin with gracing this fine repress of Brunner’s 1964 novel. Not only does the design feature the head of protagonist Gerald Howson, but his cranium is filled with thirteen other heads whose faces stare out unblinkingly at the reader.

Brunner Whole

When They Come From Space by Mark Clifton
1964 – Four Square
One of only three novels by Mark Clifton, this book was recently purchased from a lady who lives on a narrowboat. I initially thought the cover was by Richard Powers but it is sadly uncredited in the book and I can’t find any further clues as to its creator.

Clifton Space

Clone by Richard Cowper
1974 – Quartet
This rather strange image is uncredited in the book but I have read on a SF forum that it could possibly be the work of Jim Burns – although personally I have my doubts. It’s a great painting all the same.

Cowper Clone

The Furious Future by Algis Budrys
1966 – Panther
More uncredited artwork on this great collection. This time the head appears to be materialising from inside some kind of giant psychedelic waffle. Superbly odd.

Budrys Future

The Lost Perception by Daniel F. Galouye
1968 – Corgi
Yet another uncredited piece which has been suggested by one of my knowledgable readers is the work of Josh Kirby, (thanks Bernie!) The cover painting serves to illustrate the effects of an alien epidemic know as ‘the screamies’, or to quote from the rear cover;

“Exploding in a man’s mind in a searing blast of noise and heat… the victims dying in a rigid paroxysm of pain…” This novel was renamed A Scourge Of Screamers for its final reprinting later the same year.

Galouye Perception

Keep The Giraffe Burning by John Sladek
1977 – Panther
A fantastic collection of short stories from one of my current favourite authors which has a brilliantly bizarre cover painting by the always intriguing Peter Goodfellow.

Sladek Giraffe

Can You Feel Anything When I Do This? – Robert Sheckley
1974 – Daw
This excellent collection of Sheckley shorts features supremely twisted head-related artwork by Hans Arnold and came to me in ‘as new’ condition from a book dealer based in Sydney

Sheckley Feel Anything

Rogue Moon by Robert Budrys
1973 – Arrow
Featured on another Budrys title, this final piece of art is not exactly a human head but rather a glass simulacra which begins on the back cover and continues over the spine and onto the front forming a very trippy wraparound photo montage. This striking design is the work of Chris Yates.

Budrys Rogue Moon