Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Three sci-fi paperback covers with UFOs (and one with a chimp)

Here are the groovy covers of four vintage sci-fi paperbacks that we picked up (along with a boxed set of Italo Calvino works) last week at the Goodwill Industries thrift store in Shamokin Dam, Pennsylvania.1

I'll start with the one featuring the monkey and then go full-barrel into the flying saucers...

Above: This is the fabulous cover of the 1975 Ballantine Books edition of "Norstrilia" by Cordwainer Smith (a pseudonym for Paul Myron Anthony Linebarger). We have Confident Looking Blond Guy in Gold Suit, Exotic Lady in Pink Outfit, White-Haired Old Guy With Wings and, of course, Chimpanzee Doctor With Hand in Pocket.

Above: The flying saucers start with the Pyramid Books paperback of Poul Anderson's Orbit Unlimited.

Above: A flying saucer filled with Little Green Men casts a shadow over Earth on the cover of Ace Books' 1966 paperback "The Flying Saucer Gambit" by Larry Maddock (a pseudonym for Jack Jardine). The cover illustration is by Sergio Leone, but I'm fairly certain it's not this Sergio Leone.

Above: There are flying saucers and a big floating brain on the cover of the 1967 Paperback Library edition of "Beyond the Spectrum" by Martin Thomas. The back cover states, in part:
"The time is the 30th Century. Somewhere in the galaxy the planet Nihil plots an invasion of Earth. Controlled by a malevolent computer, it begins sending invisible agents to terrorize Earth. The earth's rocketships and atomic weapons are helpless against this hidden foe."

Long footnote
1. The Goodwill store is just a couple doors down from the China House Supper Buffet, which Joan and I consider to be one of the top three Asian-cuisine buffets we've been to. And we've been to a lot, which makes it a surprise that the one in Shamokin Dam would rank so high. Meanwhile, it would be remiss of me not to include some historical information about Shamokin Dam, culled from Wikipedia:
"Shamokin Dam is a small borough in Snyder County, Pennsylvania. ... The name is derived from a 10-foot-tall (3.0 m) dam that was built across the Susquehanna River in the 19th century. The dam supported steamboat ferries run by Ira T. Clement, which transported goods and people between Shamokin Dam and the city of Sunbury on the Northumberland County side of the river. These ferries operated from 1772 until the Bainbridge Street Bridge was built in 1907. The dam also provided water to the Susquehanna Division of the Pennsylvania Canal System which was constructed on the western bank of the river. The dam was destroyed by ice in March 1904."
There is also this Wikipedia tidbit: "Shamokin Dam was founded by George Keen in 1745. At the time it was named Keensville. Most of the residents were canal workers, raftsmen, shad fishermen and eel fishermen."

In passing through Shamokin Dam, the view is dominated by towering Sunbury Generation facility -- a coal-fired power plant that went into operation six decades ago -- along the Susquehanna River.


  1. The saddest thing about 30th century Earth is that we haven't come up with anything newer than rocketships or atomic weapons. A 9 century long drought of innovation....a second Dark Age!

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Completely juvenile!
    Even E.E. Doc Smith could write something higher than this. But if you like science fiction created for youngsters, then I say:"whatever floats your boat"