Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Sci-fi book cover: "Beyond the Stars"

I cannot resist vintage sci-fi and fantasy book covers, especially those from the 1950s through the early 1970s. I just love the artwork, and couldn't care less about the quality of the story, although most of them are, at the very least, fascinating as relics of their era.

  • Title: Beyond the Stars
  • Author: Ray Cummings (1887-1957)
  • Cover artist: Jack Gaughan (1930-1985)
  • Publisher: Ace (F-248)
  • Cover price: 40 cents
  • Year: 1963
  • Pages: 160
  • Format: Paperback
  • First sentence: There is a saying in the Service that when Liner 40 N runs late the whole world waits.
  • Last sentence: From that little earth I stormed forth in body, beyond the stars!
  • Random sentence from middle: "When they discovered that, Leonard, the Einstein theories held good no longer."
  • Back-cover blurb: "Is the entire universe just one of the atoms of some even greater cosmos? Such was the conception of one scientist — and his effort to prove this theory was to take a party of Americans on an expedition to a place that literally BEYOND THE STARS."
  • Notes: The publication date of this novel is misleading. This story by Cummings was first published as a serial in three February 1928 issues of "Argosy All-Story Weekly." So this tale was coming directly on the heels of Robert Goddard's first liquid-fueled rocket and the introduction of Heisenberg's uncertainty principle. ... Prolific author Cummings had a fascinating life that included serving as a personal assistant to Thomas Edison and writing Timely Comics stories about Captain America, the Human Torch and Sub-Mariner. He also might have originated the phrase "time is what keeps everything from happening at once." ... An extensive bibliography of Cummings' works, including those published under pen names, can be found at The Internet Speculative Fiction Database. ... The book is dedicated to Donald A. Wollheim, a key editor/publisher in mid-century science fiction. ... One of the things I love about Gaughan's illustration is the background; some of swirling clouds of cosmic gas seem to be snarling, wolf-like creatures.

No comments:

Post a Comment