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Sunday, December 13, 2009

Paperback Cover Cavalcade 9

To prove that Digit Books published some good science fiction alongside their originals, a gallery of classics...

Search the Sky by C. M. Kornbluth & Frederik Pohl (Digit Books D352, May 1960)
Here is another classic Science Fiction yarn by those superb writers in that genre who gave you The Space Merchants and Gladiator-at-Law. Their subject this time is the fate of the colonists who went out from Earth to settle on the far planets beyond our Universe.
__One of the latter undertook a daring and hazardous one-man mission. An odd mission. He didn't even know what he was looking for. But, all the same, he had to go.
__This well-written and ingenious novel gives the story of his fantastic experiences...
Originally published by Ballantine Books in 1954. Not much I can add to this one except to say a belated Happy Birthday to Fred Pohl, 90 years old on 29 November and still blogging.

Assignment in Eternity by Robert A. Heinlein (Digit Books D368, Jul 1960) Cover by Richard Powers
This truly fascinating book is handled with all skill in this genre which is typical of the well-known author.
__An agent of the Federal Bureau of Security, disguised as a commercial traveller, arrives from the Moon, carrying with him an incredibly valuable spool of microfilm. He becomes Captain Gilead, explorer and lecturer. But the transformation fails to deceive those who wish to relieve him of the film... and they close in.
This is an abridged version of Heinlein's Assignment in Eternity as published by Fantasy Press in 1953, containing only two of the four stories of the original, the novella "Gulf" and the novelette "Elsewhen"; the other two stories were reprinted as Lost Legacy (Digit D386, September 1960). The cover is by Richard Powers, who also drew the 1953 Signet edition of Assignment, but that was a different cover entirely. Thanks to RobM (see comments), the Digit cover has been identified as originally appearing on the Groff Conklin anthology 4 For the Future (Pyramid G434, 1959). It also appeared on the 1961 Consul Books (N1018) edition (below) in a slightly altered form: the main figure has been shifted to the left.

Fury by Henry Kuttner (Digit Books D413, Nov 1960) Cover by Ed Emsh
This earth is long since dead, blasted in a self-sustaining chain reaction. Remnants of the human race have settled on Venus, and have finally organized themselves into a static, class-ridden society in huge, marvellously efficient, eventless citadels, buried beneath the Venusian seas. The rulers are Immortals, genetic mutations who live a thousand years or more; their subjects are ordinary people like those who once inhabited Earth.
__Yet this amazing tale is neverthless a novel of violence. It describes graphically the struggle of the human race to aspire once again to the stars.
Originally serialised in Astounding in 1947 under their collaborative pen-name Lawrence O'Donnell, this was actually a collaborative novel written by Kuttner and his wife, C. L. Moore, a sequel to their story "Clash By Night", which had appeared in 1943. Anyone recognise the Ed Emsh cover from its original appearance?

2 comments:

RobM said...

The Heinlein cover originally appeared on a Pyramid anthology from 1959 called "4 for the Future."

Anonymous said...

Ahh... I just got a copy of 4 for the Future. Nice cover. But not nearly so nice as one of my favorite covers ever - First on the Moon by Jeff Sutton. And I had no idea that cover art had been used again.
I prefer to remain anomalous...