This is such a wonderful cover. The look on the lady’s face, the ridiculous zero-G fighting, and the bullets in the ray-gun are all fantastic. As I was looking over all the details on this cover though, I began to see a different story.
Look at their clothing. The style is about what you’d expect from 50’s science fiction, with tight boots and over-alls. Her outfit has some common traits from the 50’s including a shape that lends itself to a bullet bra, and a waistline that looks impossible. That waistline is what shifts the narrative in my mind though. See all those dials and indicators? how the heck are you supposed to read those? Wait a sec! Those guys in the background are probably just reading each other’s belts! That certainly makes her look a tiny bit more malicious with her hand-canon.
Publication: The Original Science Fiction Stories
Issue: March 1957, volume: 7 No. 5
Cover art: Emsh from Saturnalia
The table of contents states that there are illustrations from Emsh, Freas, and Orban. However, I don’t see any stories that carry the illustrator credit for Kelly Freas. Usually there’s a line on the title page somewhere. There are a number of illustrations in this issue that are simply uncredited, and at least one of them bears his obvious signature.
The caption that goes along with this picture is “I saw the other side of the moon…”. This is especially interesting to me. This statement seems so cute and silly, but the fact is, at that time it would be 11 more years before we finally orbited the moon! The Apollo 8 mission wasn’t till 1968, and that was our first manned mission to orbit the moon. You’re probably thinking, “sure, a person didn’t orbit till 68, but what about unmanned craft?”. Well, we hadn’t even done that yet! The Soviets were the first to achieve a lunar orbit with Luna 3 in October of 1959.
Also, that guy’s helmet kicks ass.
It was images like this and the cover that fed into my childhood fascination with planetary rings. Space = Saturn, which was obviously the coolest planet. I later learned that other planets have rings as well, and it shattered my views on Saturn. Still totally my favorite planet based entirely on those glorious rings.
You may have noticed that the previous 3 images look a bit different. I noticed I missed them as I was scanning, so I just shot them with my DSLR that I had sitting next to me. Kind of interesting to see how they come out differently.
Things haven’t changed a whole lot in the language learning world. Even with our super fancy computers most methods are just like this one here. Listen and repeat, that’s it. I’m not really sure what my point is, I guess the only alternative I can think of is a system of gamification. I’m sure that exists.
There are these tiny illustrations spread through the reader’s letters area, and even in some stories. They’re uncredited but I love them! I don’t know if it is the tiny size or what, but they’re truly fascinating. This ship (above) reminds me of the NY State pavilion, built for the worlds fair in 1964
These simple versions are even more delightful in my mind. Maybe it is the allusion to a story without the follow through. What are those 3 balls? Why is there a tinier one? Are they planets in the distance or floating around that astronaut?
It is also interesting to me that these illustrations in the reader input section are completely unrelated to the letters near them. I read for a while trying to draw a connection and it just isn’t there. I think they were just dropped in to break up the pages a bit.
Though this story doesn’t credit Freas in the title page, you can clearly see his insignia in the lower right corner.
The illustration above, and below are both uncredited. Moreover, they’re associated with a poem that by L. Sprague de Camp that isn’t listed in the table of contents. The robots above are very reminiscent of C3PO from Star Wars.
This illustration is by far my favorite. There’s something just hilarious about the posture and facial expression of the robot. It reminds me of when I lived somewhere that I had to walk my dog frequently and I’d stand there thinking “C’mon you jerk, just take a crap… so I can pick it up”.