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Archive for the ‘science fiction art’ Category

I am fully engaged in:

finishing up a short story

developing a new web site

cleaning up the current web site (seems a bunch of the image files got corrupted somehow)

and taking a crash course in mysql/php (or at least decent front end programs for those activities)

As a result, my blogging activities will be a bit curtailed over the next several days.

For those who may not remember, SCWIPs are Scantily Clad Women In Peril. SCWIPs are a frequent occurrence on pulp magazine covers, and not just SF pulps.  Detective and Hero pulps have quite a few also.

I apologize if the subject seems a bit gender-biased.  I suppose if I were bent in a different direction I’d be doing SCMIPs, but first I’d have to come up with a better acronym.   DIMs? (Denuded Imperiled Men. If you think working up an acronym is hard, try finding cover pics to go with it…)

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The article you are looking for can be found HERE on the new version of my blog.

Please update your links and RSS readers.  Thank you.

 

I’m not entirely sure if you can call a Post 1950s SF magazine a ‘pulp’, except in the broader sense of continuing the tradition.  And since I’m continuing the tradition of magazine cover spaceships, I’ll let myself slide a bit on the historical inaccuracy.  You guys shouldn’t worry too much – just enjoy the pictures.

Startling Stories May 1951

Startling Stories May 1951

If ever there was a recognizable pulp magazine cover, this one is it.  I don’t think there’s a single visual history of the SF magazine that doesn’t feature this one.  And the babe is a BABE.  The ship isn’t bad either.

Galaxy September 1952

Galaxy September 1952

Whenever I see an illustration for something from the well-informed mind of Willy Ley I wonder – what happened?  Willy was like Werner von Braun’s explainer, a science popularizer the equal of Carl Sagan. I love this pic: it illustrates what could be – not what ‘might’ have been.

The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Ficton December 1954

The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Ficton December 1954

Ahhh, Chesley Bonestell, from his series of space exploration images.  The vision is astounding, the detail incredible.  I wish someone had produced a Bonestell-in-space playset.

If October 1955

If October 1955

I like it when SF artists go unconventional with their ship designs – you can only be thrilled by cylindrical submarines in space so many times before it wears thin.  These ships are very reminiscent of Kubrick’s 2001 moonbus.

Galaxy May 1957

Galaxy May 1957

The lost spaceship.  Hidden away in the jungle (or buried in the sand, frozen in the ice, lying on the bottom of the ocean…) for decades, if not centuries.  Can you think of anything cooler that discovering an abandoned spaceship?  I can.  Getting to go inside…

Satellite February 1957

Satellite February 1957

Building your spaceship out of an asteroid is just the ultimate in SF fiscal responsibility. 

Amazing Science Fiction April 1959

Amazing Science Fiction April 1959

The crash at the rocket field.  If you look closely underneath the ship, you can see a figure that appears to be trying to hold the ship up.  That’s not gonna work, buddy.

The Original Science Fiction Stories February 1959

The Original Science Fiction Stories February 1959

I said I liked unconventional.  This is about as outlandish as you can get.  On the other hand – consider how small a profile this thing would have. The lack of metal would give sensor systems very little to pick up on.  The bizarre shape (for a spaceship) would create initial confusion for anyone seeing if for the first time.  We may be looking at the first ever successful stealth spaceship design.

Astounding Science Fact and Fiction June 1960

Astounding Science Fact and Fiction June 1960

Speaking of cylindrical submarines in space…

Analog January 1970

Analog January 1970

I think the coolest spaceships are the ones that actually go into space.

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First -

HELP! The Interocitor Has De-Coupled From the

Non-Synchronous Fribulator!

If anyone can offer some help with converting my blog from WordPress.com to WordPress.org (hosted on my own site) I’d appreciate it.  I’m a non-CMS, non-PHP, non-CSS kind of person and I seem to be having some difficulties with: modifying the page template, adding widgets and transferring both comments and links from the old site (here) to the new one.

I will gladly plug you/your services for a suitable period. 

I need to take this blog to the next level – ad support, pinging of technorati and other traffic-increasing services & etc.

In the meantime – I’ll keep posting here.

And now -

THE TOP TEN COOLEST

 

SF PULP MAGAZINE

 

SPACESHIPS

I love spaceships.  Find me a science fiction fan who doesn’t.  Such a creature does not exist. 

Next to B.E.M.s, rayguns and scantily clad women in peril (there’s a new SF acronym for you – SCWIPs!), spaceships are about as iconic as you can get.

I went through a lot of agony whittling this list down to just ten.  I could have put a hundred up here and still had some left over, but whittle I did.  Not enough to get down to only ten though, so I had to break things up into a Pre-’50s Top Ten and a Post-50’s Top Ten (TWO top ten lists for the price of one) and here they both are, starting in chronological order: 

The Top Ten (Pre-1950) COOLEST SF Pulp Magazine Spaceships -

Amazing Stories February 1928

Amazing Stories February 1928

The FIRST death star.  Proportionally about the same size too.  Hmmmm.

 

Science Wonder Quarterly Fall 1929

Science Wonder Quarterly Fall 1929

Pretty – and note the ship’s name – ferryman of the styx.  (The scale is revealed by the astronaut walking ON the hull.)

 

Amazing Stories April 1943

Amazing Stories April 1943

 

I love the sense of scale in this cover.  The robot isn’t too bad either.

Astounding Stories August 1934

Astounding Stories August 1934

You simply CAN NOT talk about spaceships without at least one mention of the Skylark – the worlds first interstellar cruiser!

 

Astounding Science Fiction July 1938

Astounding Science Fiction July 1938

I featured this cover in my Pulp Comic Fairy Tale.  Obviously it has made an impression.  I think there are two elements that do it for me – first, the sheer size of the ship itself and second, the contrast of this enormous space liner dwarfed by the starfield behind it.

 

Astounding Science Fiction February 1939

Astounding Science Fiction February 1939

No gallery of pulp cover spaceships is complete without a CRASHED spaceship.  I like the detail of the grave and the angled escape ladder.

 

Dynamic Science Storires February 1939

Dynamic Science Storires February 1939

I loved this image the minute I set eyes on it.  This is, in fact, the cover for the first pulp I ever purchased.  Nearly 70 years later the colors are just as vibrant as the day it first hit the stands.

 

Startling Stories November 1939

Startling Stories November 1939

What are spaceships for but to escape the dying Earth (or colonize new worlds)? This issue of Startling is most notable for the appearance of Weinbaum’s first (and most famous) story. 

I like how over-sized the lions on the left are.  I guess the people up front don’t have tickets.

 

Astounding Science Fiction May 1945

Astounding Science Fiction May 1945

I think this cover appeals because the story it depicts is one of my all time favorites – THE seminal tale of our first contact with an alien species.  Which of the two ship’s do you think is the Terran one?

 

New Worlds January 1949

New Worlds January 1949

This is such a pulpy spaceship. The sense of power, and the sense of wonder come right through.

Later today – Post 1950s Spaceship covers.

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The cover of the first issue of Cosmos Science Fiction and Fantasy magazine recreates the flag raising on Iwo Jima in a science fictional setting.

I’m very familiar with this cover because that issue is both a Volume 1 Number 1 issue and contains a short story by A. Bertram Chandler.  Which I was pleased to discover when I went on a hunt for ‘everything Chandler’, since I had already owned a copy.  Now I dither over whether to keep it with the magazine section of the library or with the Chandler ‘special collection’.

Anyhow, I was pretty sure I had seen a similar scene elsewhere on another SF pulp magazine and eventually I discovered that I was correct.  More than once.

The Iwo Jima flag raising has been honored on multiple occassions.  So here are those covers:

Jeez.  Looks like EVERYONE wants the moon.

That’s a Soviet Union flag, in case you’re too young to recognize it.  They used to be the bad guys until Ronald Reagan crushed them with beam weapons from space. Kinda. Sorta.

 

The F&SF cover isn’t strictly a flag, but close enough to the theme, I think. The Unknown Worlds cover is also a slight take-off, doing a variation on a scene from the John Wayne film Sands of Iwo Jima (I think).

and now the rest of the flag raisings – whimsy first:

now a bit more patriotic -

 

 And finally, in honor of the anniversary of September 11th, these last three:

 

*The IF cover’s flag says “TANSTAAFL” – There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch. Including freedom.

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The article you are looking for can be found HERE on the new version of my blog

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I was pleasantly surprised when my piece covering pulp magazine covers received as much attention as it did.  I take that interest to indicate that there’s still appeal to be found in those old classics.  Of course it could only be an indication of the internet’s hunger for PIKCHURS!, but I’d prefer to believe that it means that contemporary folks will be interested in this old stuff if only they can be exposed to it.

Interestingly enough, the subject of pulp art also plays into the discussion of free vs not-free fiction/promotion for fiction.

Most kids these days have never seen a real newstand or news store/magazine shop. They don’t know what it’s like to walk through a door and be assaulted by the heady smell of newsprint mixed with chocolate, to be able to feast their eyes on a galleric display of popular art that rivals the Louvre.

And most kids these days don’t realize that those covers were that era’s version of free teasers; you didn’t really need to read any of the magazines, there was plenty of free fiction on display right there on the cover.

But boy could they pull you in.  Which was, of course, the primary purpose of such art – to get you to buy the magazine.

Which brings us to today’s subject.  SF Babes.  More specifically, SF Cover Babes with Whips, and more generally , SF Cover Babes with a decidedly Dominatrix bent.

Of course everyone knows that sex sells. The publishers of pulp magazines were well aware of this fact and they delivered in spades (well, actually, they delivered mostly lily white, but…). Ripped bodices, hints of nipples, short tight skirts, all manners of titillation.

I’m not sure exactly where the S&M connection entered the picture, but it is an element of a lot of pulp art that seems to have been particularly embraced by the SF pulps.

Today, I present a few select images of SF Babes Weilding Whips, a fairly prevalent theme as you’ll see.  (I’ve also thrown in a few images of DOMINANT women who, while not displaying their floggers certainly have a closet full of them somewhere in the background.)  Tomorrow or the next day I’ll present the other side – SF Sex Slave Babes.

Hardly anything else needs to be said at this point, right? Obviously, every woman of the future comes equipped with a whip.  And high heels. And cute little anklets.  Neither are they afraid to use them.

 No whip here but the Dominatrix sensibility – absolute ruler without question, get on your knees and grovel, worm! is in full display.

…treating men like beasts of burden…

putting them in their place when they get a little uppity and take on airs…

or putting other women in their place when they have the gaul to steal diaphenous robes…

even if their victims do sometimes get the better of them

only momentarily though.

It’s amazing how egalitarian and open-minded they were back in those days, isn’t it?

1933!

1933! See what happens when you outlaw recreational drugs? We end up with magazine covers that can’t even show a nipple!

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Now at long last, thrill to the exciting, fantabulous and awe-inspiring conclusion of PULP COMIC FAIRY TALE!

Don’t miss out on a single episode of this galaxy-spanning rollercoaster ride of intrigue, love and betrayal!

PULP COMIC FAIRY TALE – “is a stunning display of science fiction stereotypes and genre tropes” – Iasi Mov, Trantor Literary Review; “I laughed so hard coffee came out of my nose!” – Anson MacDonald, HK Luna Free Press; “Absolutely STUNNING! artwork” Frankrp Aul, Amazing Heavy Metal Stories.

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I’ve finished chapter 7 and have tweaked the online presentation of the story just a tad.  Navigation should now be straight-forward and intuitive.

Here’s the opening panel for Chapter 7 -

 “Oh! Whatever shall I do?” cried the Princess.
“You boys have defeated every last one of my terrors. Boo hoo. Boo hoo.”
For some unknown reason, the brothers didn’t take the girl’s distress seriously.

You can see the entire thing here.

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SFSignal (go there) covered my top 35 magazine covers list and then complained mentioned that they were surprised I had not included Kelly Freas’ Astounding cover – the same one that was re-worked as a Queen album cover (the Giant Robot holding a Dead Human that had been poked to death thing).

Kelly was one of the greats.  Fans who had custom Freas ID badges should consider themselves lucky (jealous!).

However, the point and subject of my list were Volume 1 Number 1 magazine covers, not all SF&F magazine covers.

 I’ve only found three Freas first covers from among those first issues (at least I believe they are all Freas illustrations:  checked as best I could  at this point).  If you visit the website you’ll see that the definition of ‘firsts’ includes both re-issues and foreign editions, which is what gets the Planet Stories and Future SF mags on the list to begin with.  The only ‘true’ V1N1 cover by Freas (as far as I can tell at this point) is the Odyssey cover.  Probably because there were very few folks who could afford Kelly until after they’d been around for a while, which in itself is a kind of tribute to the artist. Here’s the covers -

They’re all cool covers:  I almost included the UK Future edition in the Top 35, but then something else pushed it out.

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