Saturday, 26 December 2009


Corgi paperback, 1979 reissue. Cover painting by Peter Jones.

"After the Fallout, when the Atomic Rain had stopped, the plagues and madness began. And after that came the simplification when the people - those who were left - turned against the rulers, the teachers, the scientists who had turned the world into a barren desert. All knowledge was destroyed, all the learned were killed - only Leibowitz managed to save some of the books... 
And the monks of the order of Leibowitz inherited the sacred relics - spent their lives copying, engraving, interpreting the holy fragments, slowly fashioning a new Renaissance in a barbarous and fallen world..."


Mayflower paperback, 1971. Cover artist uncredited.

Christopher Crockett La Cruz (or "Scully") is an actor, an extrovert and a ladies' man. To most of the inhabitants of post-World War III he looks outlandish, even sinister. To their women he looks attractive. Earth looks equally odd to Scully. Hormone treatment has turned Texans into giants and their Mex slaves into unhappy dwarfs. 
To the Mexes, Scully is a sign, a Talisman, a Leader. To Scully the Mexes are a cause. The time is ripe for revolution..."

Friday, 18 December 2009

Dan O'Bannon R.I.P.

Dan O'Bannon and H. R. Giger during the production of Alien, 1979.

Creative genius Dan O'Bannon died yesterday at the age of 63. Dan is probably best known for co-writing the original script for the 1979 film Alien with Ronald Shusett, though he also worked on special effects for Star Wars, Dark Star, Alejandro Jodorowski's abandoned Dune project, wrote the best segment for Heavy Metal (B-17), and served as co-writer for the screenplay of two Philip K. Dick adaptations; Total Recall (again with Shusett) and Screamers (with Miguel Tejada-Flores).

RIP, Dan.

Dan O'Bannon and Ronald Shusett.

Dan O'Bannon's original sketch for the Alien creature.

Thursday, 3 December 2009


Panther SF paperback, 1978. Cover illustration by Peter Gudynas.

When a Russian spacecraft carrying soil samples from Mars crashes on a remote Bolivian village, the Indians who salvage it fall into a mysterious comatose condition. Only two recover, and on re-awakening, they are conscious of a strange new awareness of themselves and the world outside. Julio, indeed, believes himself to be the Inca - the divine imperial ruler - reborn. 
Meanwhile, up in space a manned American vessel is on its way to Mars. After the 240 million mile voyage, tension on the ship is high and when at last Mars is reached, the deadly soil adds an extra dimension to an already explosive situation... 
What constituent of the Martian soil is causing its literally mind-blowing effects? The answer may be the missing clue to a vital discovery about Man's evolutionary potential..."

Friday, 27 November 2009


Cover painting by John Schoenherr.

Interior illustration from Frank Herbert's Dune World by John Schoenherr.
"She sensed a first diminishing of the dark. It began with shadows. Dimensions separated, became new thorns of awareness."
Interior illustration from Frank Herbert's Dune World by John Schoenherr.
 "There was a table. Leto saw the table quite clearly. And a gross fat man on the other side of the table, the remains of a meal in front of him. Leto felt himself sitting in a chair across from the fat man, felt the chains, the straps that held him into the chair."
Interior illustration from Frank Herbert's Dune World by John Schoenherr. 
"She had never before seen the man who entered and stood beside the Baron, but the face was vaguely familiar - narrow and with hawk features."

Wednesday, 25 November 2009


Analog's first photographic cover: polarized light through a microslice of meteorite
by Ralph A. Hall, M.D.

Interior illustration from Frank Herbert's Dune World by John Schoenherr.
 "The Duke Leto Atreides leaned against a parapet of the landing control tower outside Arrakeen."
Interior illustration from Frank Herbert's Dune World by John Schoenherr.
 "A Solido Tri-D projection appeared on the table surface about a third of the way down from the Duke. Some of the men farther down the table stood up to get a better look at it. Scaled against the tiny projected human figures around it, the machine was about one hundred and twenty meters long and about forty meters wide."
Interior illustration from Frank Herbert's Dune World by John Schoenherr. 
 "You have not earned the right to unsheath that blade," the Fremen said."
Interior illustration from Frank Herbert's Dune World by John Schoenherr.

"As he had approached the solitary figure standing near the Ornithopter, Leto had studied him: tall, thin - dressed for the desert in loose robe, Stillsuit and desert boots."

Tuesday, 24 November 2009


Cover painting by John Schoenherr, illustrating Frank Herbert's Dune World.

Interior illustration by John Schoenherr, for Dune World by Frank Herbert.
 "Herbert's last great novel was a tale of men under pressure of war and deep water. This is a story of men under pressure of politics and the dehydration of a waterless world..."
Interior illustration by John Schoenherr, for Dune World by Frank Herbert.
 "In the week before their departure to Arrakis, when all the final scurrying about had reached a near unbearable frenzy, an old crone of a woman came to visit the mother of the boy, Paul."
Interior illustration by John Schoenherr, for Dune World by Frank Herbert.
 "Stamp of strangeness," the old woman breathed, and again she shot a glance at Jessica, returned her attention to Paul. "tell me truly now, Paul, do you often dream a thing and have the dream happen exactly as you dreamed it?"
Interior illustration by John Schoenherr, for Dune World by Frank Herbert. 
 "Before I go, however, I've a gift for you, something I came across in packing."
Interior illustration by John Schoenherr, for Dune World by Frank Herbert. 
 "The key word was Maker. Maker? Maker. Still, Mapes held the knife as though ready to use it."
Interior illustration by John Schoenherr, for Dune World by Frank Herbert.
 "From the carved headboard slipped a tiny Hunter-Seeker no more than five centimeters long."

Tuesday, 8 September 2009


Dragon's Dream paperback, 1981. © Dragon's Dream, Peter Elson, Chris Moore.

Derelict II by Peter Elson

Painting for Stanley G. Weinbaum's short story collection A Martian Odyssey
by Peter Elson.

Cover for Philip K. Dick's novel The Unteleported Man by Chris Moore.
Cover for Paul French's novel The Big Sun Of Mercury by Chris Moore.

Saturday, 15 August 2009


DAW paperback, first printing, 1972. Cover by John Schoenherr.

"They began as manufacturers of electric mood organs and player pianos. Then they improved the line - they started building exact simulacra of famous men. They thought that people would pay a good price to have anyone they wanted made to order - to talk with, befriend and eventually utilize for any purpose they wanted. 
But they ran into trouble. For one thing an exactly programmed reconstruction of a famous man is going to be obstinate and as character complex as the real man was - and nobody's puppet. 
For another, they got involved with a project for settling the moon with their creations. And finally they got tangled up with their own personal identities."


Panther SF paperback, 1977. Cover illustration by Peter Goodfellow.

The time: long after the death of earth. A band of men on a colony planet have gained control of technology. With it, they have given themselves immortality and godlike powers. And they rule their world as the gods of the Hindu pantheon. Kali, goddess of destruction; Yama, lord of death; Krishna, god of lust - all are opposed by he who was Siddartha, and is now Mahasamatman, Binder of Demons, Lord of Light..."

Wednesday, 15 April 2009


Granada paperback, 1985. Cover illustration by Chris Foss.

"The author of more than fifty books - with over 15 million copies in print - Arthur C. Clarke is one of the world's most distinguished figure in modern science and science fiction. He is the inventor of the concept of the communications satellite, a past Chairman of the British Interplanetary Society and a member of the Academy of Astronomics. His novel RENDEZVOUS WITH RAMA won science fiction's three highest honours: the Hugo, Nebula and John W. Campbell Awards. his two 'Odyssey' novels, 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY and 2010: ODYSSEY TWO were both major international bestsellers. 
THE SENTINEL is a magnificent collection of Arthur C. Clarke's finest shorter fiction spanning four decades. Included here, along with revealing new introductions, are The Sentinel (the story that inspired 2001), Guardian Angel (the rarely-glimpsed work that gave birth to CHILDHOOD'S END), The Songs of Distant Earth, a brilliant, haunting story of first contact with an alien world, and other outstanding stories of vaulting imagination. 
Stunningly illustrated with ten plates by internationally acclaimed artist Lebbeus Woods, THE SENTINEL will grace the collection of every Arthur C. Clarke reader and every lover of fine science fiction."


Rescue Party
Guardian Angel
Breaking Strain
The Sentinel
Jupiter V
The Wind From The Sun
A Meeting With Medusa
The Songs Of Distant Earth

Wednesday, 11 February 2009


Sphere paperback, reprint, February 1974.

"The 'astronauts' of ancient Japan, Mexico and the Sahara...the mysterious Great Wall of Peru...the legends of Mu and Atlantis...the astronomical clock at Stonehenge...the extra-terrestrial giants described in the Popol Vuh, ancient bible of the Maya Indians. 
NOT OF THIS WORLD is a revolutionary survey of the evidence that a highly advanced technological people from another solar system had contact with our planet in the prehistoric past. The author backs his argument with an impressive array of fact drawn from history, myth and archaeology, and a unique collection of drawings and photographs."

I've always found the notion of ancient astronauts appealing, and there's some fascinating stuff in this book, especially in terms of mythology and legends. True or not, it's nice to ponder 'what if' occasionally. Kolosimo comes off as more informed and genuine than (contemporary?) Erich von Däniken, whose theories seem to centre around the statement 'This looks like X, therefore, it is...' For me, the excerpts from the Popol Vuh in particular, are worth keeping the book, so is the cover actually.

Tuesday, 10 February 2009


Sphere paperback, 1977. Cover artist uncredited.

"From pre-history Flying Saucers in one guise or another have been seen in our skies. Where have they come from? What are they here for? 
As Earthmen land on the Moon, we ask ourselves Has all this happened before? Could Extraterrestrials from the stars have landed on Earth centuries ago? 
Our ancestors believed they were inspired by the Gods, all-powerful visitors from beyond Earth. How much influence have these Space-Gods had on Man's evolution? Can we hope for some guidance from the past for our own sadly troubled times? 
In this revelatory book, W. Raymond Drake examines the role of Extraterrestrials in Man's development and assures us that in times to come Man will again be visited by Gods and Spacemen from other worlds."

Monday, 26 January 2009


Sphere paperback, 1975. Cover painting by Tony Roberts.

"Now - more than any other time in his history - man has the ability to look back into his origins and, at the same time, look out to the rim of space to...his future? 
Andrew Tomas dares to escape our earthbound views, assimilating biology, archaeology, geology, history and astronomy to make a new assessment of man's destiny in time and space, set in an infinite past and boundless future: on the shores of endless worlds. He finds a continuity between the inorganic and the organic, the human and the 'superman', the legends of the past and the possibilities of the future. Blending knowledge and speculation, liberating the imagination of the reader, Andrew Tomas has produced a book as fascinating as his bestselling WE ARE NOT THE FIRST."


Sphere paperback, 1974. Cover artist uncredited.

"In his new book the author of We Are Not The First and Atlantis turns his attention to the nature and enigmas of time. Time, he argues, is not an abstraction: yesterday and tomorrow are as real as today. To illustrate his thesis, he quotes a number of temporal anomalies and poses some highly provocative questions. 
Is it true that astronauts in an interstellar rocket will travel straight into the future? How is it that when an empty parking lot was photographed with a special infra-red camera, the developed film showed cars which had been there before, thus photographing the past? 
Did ancient Egyptian sages leave a coded forecast of all future events from 100 BC to 2100 AD? How in modern times have prophets from Nostradamus to Jeane Dixon predicted future events with such uncanny accuracy? 
Can the Time Barrier be broken? Is time television a scientific possibility? These and many other equally fascinating problems are answered in this book, written on that thin borderline which separates science from science fiction, fact from fantasy."


Sphere paperback, 1972. Cover artist uncredited.

"The development of modern science during the course of the past 400 years is merely the rediscovery of ancient knowledge. 
was worked out by Democritus 2500 years before Rutherford. 
was used by the ancient Egyptians 4000 years before Fleming. 
were used by the Babylonians 2000 years before König's cells. 
was described by the prehistoric Chinese 4000 years before the Apollo flights."