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Sunday, May 11, 2008

Perry Rhodan cover gallery part 1

With science fiction art high on my mind and a deadline starting to loom, I thought I'd put together a little cover gallery to keep you all ticking over until normal service can be resumed.

Back in the 1970s I converted to science fiction—and I choose my words carefully as I read SF religiously for the next fifteen years to the exclusion of pretty much everything else. Like many a lapsed crime novel addict I eventually returned to the fold but still hanker for those glory days when you could walk into a book shop and see 200 different titles currently available. Nowadays you're lucky to see 50 titles—and many of those I'd class as fantasy. When I started reading SF you could wander into Clarks or W. H. Smiths and pick up almost everything written by Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke, A. E. Van Vogt, Jack Williamson, Robert A. Heinlein and dozens of others. I miss those days and the excitement of discovering new authors like Joe Haldeman and John Varley.

Three or four years ago, I suddenly found myself with a stack of 1970s SF paperbacks and, before flogging them off, I scanned some of them. Although I wasn't a fan of the Perry Rhodan novels, I loved the covers by Chris Foss and others. I've just turned up the scans and thought I'd share them.

Chris Foss + original artwork

Chris Foss

Chris Foss

Chris Foss + original artwork

Chris Foss

Chris Foss + original artwork

Chris Foss?

Chris Foss

Chris Foss

Chris Foss

More to follow...

15 comments:

  1. Beautifully presented Steve! Was it Foss who hid his initials in each painting somewhere obscure? Or am I mis-remembering?

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  2. Hi Norman,

    Yes, there was sometimes a little 'CF' tucked away in a corner. Others also signed occasionally (PE, B, PAJ) but others didn't (I don't recall Tony Roberts signing, for instance). It's a shame they didn't because so few paperbacks bothered to carry credits to cover artists.

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  3. "Norman Boyd"? Did you produce the Pink Floyd back in the 60s???!!!!

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  4. This instantly took me back to a book I've had since childhood, a Christmas present from about 1980!

    I've dug it out - it's called Star Quest and was part of a 6 book series entitled Galactic Encounters, published in 1979 by Intercontintental Book Productions. Now even as a kid I knew these were bits of old artwork stuck together with some vague commentaries but all this airbrushed hardware was incredibly exciting to a 10-year old kid! This was a glossy hardback book of all-colour artwork, showing what I would later learn after trawling SF book shops was SF pulp paperback cover artwork. Most of it, in fact the vast majority, was clearly taken from the Perry Rhodan archive.

    The book was edited by Galactic Federation Security Battleforce Commander Steven Caldwell. All the illustrations are printed at full page or double page spread size and are all individually credited.

    The most prolific artist here seems to be Peter Elson (who signed PE) but others include Colin Hay (CH), Jim Burns, Fred Gambino (FJG), Bob Fowkes, Robin Hiddon, David Jackson, Bob Layzell, Chris Moore, Cesare Reggiani and Tony Roberts

    One at least is not from the Perry Rhodan series and is from the 2001: A Space Odyssey poster!

    The five other books in this series were Aliens in Space, The Fantastic Planet, Worlds at War, Settlers in Space and Space Patrol.

    Do you know anything more about these books, Steve? Were they indeed almost all Perry Rhodan art?

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  5. Alistair,

    The Galactic Encounters series was a spin-off from another series known as the Terran Trade Authority Handbooks which ran to four volumes from Hamlyn in 1978-80 and was written by Stewart Cowley. Apparently, according to this website...

    http://www.digitalwaterfalls.co.uk/ttabooks.html

    ... some artwork rejected by Hamlyn was used as the basis for the first of the Galactic Encounters series. These were also the work of Cowley who used the pseudonym Steven Cadwell.

    The origins of both series were Cowley's idea to do a science fiction version of Jane's Fighting Ships and I believe most of the artists worked for the same agency, Young Artists. That's certainly true of the first TTA book, which is the only one I have.

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  6. Thanks for that link, Steve - fascinating to know how these books came about. I've also dug out another very similar book, THE ALIEN WORLD, produced for Octopus Books (this was a Marks and Spencer exclusive imprint was it not?) in 1980 and written by one 'Professor Steven Eisler' - I suspect this may have been Cowley again! I don't see it mentioned at that website. It's an outsize, 96-page hardback with dust jacket.

    It's a similar idea of weaving fictional copy around SF book art and some of the art from Star Quest reappars here.

    The index lists not only the artist and the titles of the pieces but also their agencies (Young Artists, Artist Partners, Sarah Brown Agency, Dream Masters Agency) - that sort of thing might be of use to you Steve for your current project?

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  7. I've attempted to add credits to the artwork so it would be handy if someone could give them a once over and make sure I've not wrongly credited someone. A few of the later (upcoming) ones I'm not certain about. The Terran Authority &etc. books people have mentioned may come in very handy at this point...

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  8. Sorry to do this Steve, but NO, Capt Storm, this Norman Boyd only created the Frank Bellamy website at http://www.frankbellamy.co.uk on the pages of which, the very same David Jackson mentioned on THIS page (keep up at the back!), contributed and kept much information alive during my time away in the Wilderness of No-Comics!
    Thanks for the loan of this space Steve.
    BTW Are you the same Capt Storm who scans a lot of comics?--tee hee--

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  9. Gaah, I read and commented on Part 3 first. See my comments about the TTA books.

    Alistair, I've still got the big The Alien World book, and its precursor Space Wars: Worlds and Weapons.

    Yes, and the sequence that ended up hacked into scrap books was the Galactic Encounters stuff. Why I paid good money for these, and then destroyed them is completely beyond me... twit.

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  10. Ken,

    I'm reminded of Science Fiction Monthly which was an oversized magazine published in the early/mid 1970s. They published lots of posters which I had up on my walls when I was a boy. Years later, I tried to reconstruct the magazines from the scattered bits. At least you have your Galactic Encounters in scrapbooks!

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  11. Steve -

    Bad news: the scrapbooks now, too, ar e long gone.

    Good news: I have all of Science Fiction Monthly intact ;)

    (Confession: I did the sad scrap book thing with the first 50 progs of 2000ad too...)

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  12. ... and the good news for me was that I was later able to pick up an undamaged run of Science Fiction Monthly so I also have them intact. I'll have to dig them out of whatever box they're lurking in...

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  13. 2009-06-06
    Wow. Ran across the Perry Rhodan info by accident. I HAVE the US collection, bought on Ebay a couple of years ago. I also have one or two of those TTA books. Have to go raid the library. What fun- kept scanning book stores and doing chores around the house to earn a book. (Hardy Boys too at the time) Wonderful series, Perry Rhodan. There was an attempt a couple of years ago to re-introduce but it publisher killed it, I think. Check PR website online. ALSO, there is an old BW PR movie AND supposedly a modern re-make. If anyone knows about it, post please. Thanks. And keep up the wonderful work here!

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  14. Very interesting list - I like it, and I will write something on the official PERRY RHODAN-website in Germany!

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  15. http://www.perry-rhodan.net/newsreader-international/items/perry-rhodan-enters-the-english-speaking-world.html


    PERRY RHODAN enters the English-speaking world

    From October 2015, the six »Lemuria« novels will be published as e-books...

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