Thursday, December 06, 2007

Analog Cover Gallery

A treasure trove...


  1. It is interesting to see the apparent evolution of the images, themes and archetypes over time. I'd like to subject you to some of my impressions of the covers that I both likes, and think I understand - arbitrarily ignoring most "Buck Rogers" stuff.

    May 1930: "The Atom Smasher" (fanciful illustration)

    Jan 1931: even robots must wear loincloths, apparently

    Nov 1933: "Beyond the Sphinx's Cave" (possible wise overlords)

    Jan 1935: "Star Ship Invincible" (possible 4th dimension stuff)

    Apr 1934: "The EinStein ExpreSS" (curious choice of font - incorporating the Nazi SS logo?)

    May 1935: "Earth's Mausoleum" (monument on dark side of the moon)

    Aug 1935: Spherical spacecraft with flashing lights & rows of portholes

    Dec 1935: monster from the id (foreshadowing Forbidden Planet maybe)

    May 1936: shimmering, ellipsoid UFO, long side vertical (unusual for this time)

    Oct 1936: "Godson of Almarlu" (ancient alien? hilariously wrong Saturn in background)

    May 1937: examination table; naked human; large-eyed alien scientists...

    Nov 1937: underground base beneath Yellowstone (the geysers are really smokestacks?)

    May 1938: alien Venus on the half shell; not sure if evil

    May 1940: it's the Battle of Los Angeles, two years early! Kinda.

    Jul 1940: "Crisis in Utopia" (it's Atlantis)

    Jan 1941: Colossus is angry - or perhaps misunderstood, it's hard to say

    Jul 1942: "United we Stand" (special war issue)

    Aug 1942: "Waldo" (by Robt Heinlein, under the pseudonym Anson MacDonald)

    May 1943: giant "Nordic" aliens, tiny humans. Again, not sure if evil

    Nov 1943: giant cathode ray (TV set) used as a weapon. No tube needed in space!

    Apr 1944: "The Changeling" (multiple personalities?)

    May 1944: giant airship; the name is "MAYWINE QUEEN" - or is that "HAYWIRE QUEEN" (evil of technology?)

    Nov 1944: "Killdozer" (looks like a Pacific island battle to me. If so it's the only WWII image seen)

    (The tone seems to change around this time - there's an obsession with all things atomic)

    May 1945: "First Contact" (foo fighter?)

    Jun 1945: "Pandora's Millions" (starting to think about the evil unleashed in the world?)

    Jul 1945: "Guns or Lives?" (Cover is war photography, a first. No idea what this means. Justification of WMDs?)

    Feb 1946: salvaging crashed UFO, decorated with a hammer and sickle! (applied by the new owner, or...?)

    May 1946: "The Nightmare" (looks like an A-bomb destroying Liberty)

    Jun 1946: spherical UFOs with portholes, arriving in our dimension via weather anomalies...

    Sep 1946: "The Toymaker" (post nuclear holocaust, the ancient ones look on in dismay)

    Oct 1946: post nuclear holocaust, zombies roam the streets

    Nov 1946: "Mewhu's Jet" by Theodore Sturgeon (apparent wise and ancient overlord)

    Jan 1947: some evil Manchu is playing nuclear chess

    Feb 1947: "Atomic Power Plant" (no doubt saying "fear not, the atom is also beneficial to mankind")

    Apr 1947: "Home of the Gods" (overlords arrive, post nuclear holocaust)

    Jul 1947: Dr Evil's secret hideout?

    Aug 1947: "The End Is Not Yet" by L. Ron H. (commie traitor destroys US city; ghost seeks revenge)

    Sep 1947: godlike being ascends to the stars, or possibly comes to Earth

    Dec 1947: another scene post nuclear holocaust - it's the new yellow peril I guess

    Feb 1948: godlike being creates (?) atomic power

    May 1948: thanks to the atom, Man rises from primitive Romulan to modern, wired transhuman

    (to be continued)

  2. Jun 1948: conspiracies, code breakers, sabotage

    Aug 1948: atom as key to the universe

    Sep 1948: Holy crap - it's the mothership over Devil's Tower!

    Dec 1948: post technological paradise?

    Feb 1949: "back human being - you were not meant for space!"

    Jun 1949: the Moon is artificial? not sure

    Jul 1949: "Brookhaven Atomic Pile" (science fact - the future is now)

    Sep 1949: War on drugs?

    Oct 1949: godlike being creates (?) atomic power (what, again?)

    Mar 1950: hybrid alien girl holding flower, with "atom", sphinx and something else I can't make out

    May 1950: "Dianetics"

    Jun 1950: "Incommunicado" by Katherine MacLean (first female author's name)

    Jul 1950: fake moon landing

    Sep 1950: effete aliens overlords plotting our doom

    Nov 1950: "Choice" (ghostly/spiritual human with mushroom cloud. I like it)

    Jan 1951: "Achievement" (humans transfigured by the atom, possibly post nuclear holocaust)

    Apr 1951: "Temple Trouble" (it's da bishop!)

    May 1951: spaceship, slide rule, vacuum tubes & an open mind.

    Jun 1951: "And then there were None" (alien apocalypse)

    Jul 1951: "The End of the Line" (alien apocalypse)

    Aug 1951: Nordic with metal headband; assume benevolent overlord

    Sep 1951: "Day of the Moron" (nuclear conflagration)

    Feb 1952: flying trickster hobo - yes!

    Jul 1952: Earth, as scepter, in a coffin; spaceship approaches (or leaves)

    Jan 1953: "Un-man" (Raelians)

    Jul 1953: "Enough Rope" (evil Ferengi type)

    Sep 1953: "What Thin Partitions" (hand & bottle - LSD?)

    Oct 1953: used as Queen "News of the World" album cover

    Dec 1953: "Hide! Hide! Witch!" (persecuted scientist. Not mad, and no goatee)

    Apr 1954: "Fighting Philosopher" (spirit of Terence McKenna in its fierce aspect)

    Jun 1954: "Question and Answer" (priest on trial)

    Jul 1954: "Inappropriate" (beefcake)

    Aug 1954: the queen's a lizard

    Sep 1954: trickster Martian (little green man)

    Feb 1955: Abe Vigoda in sun bonnet, with dagger...?

    (The tone has changed again. Tricksters are commonplace. Still no gray aliens or saucers.)

    Oct 1955: "Follow Me" (Trackless desert. Long-dead human. Robot looks down forlornly. Who lead who astray?)

    Dec 1955: Cheesecake. Formerly commonplace, very rare now.

    Apr 1956: Manipulative old world elites.

    Jul 1956: HAARP, with Eiffel tower.

    Aug 1956: "The Healer" Large-eyed alien empath.

    Sep 1956: Throwback to WWII propaganda posters. Things are going backwards generally.

    Oct 1957: "Thinking Machine" ("system failure")

    (1958-1961: unless noted, pure swashbuckle. All serious thought has fled)

  3. Jun 1959: nice image of a portal

    Sep 1959: Henry VII type behind a desk at the FBI

    Apr 1960: vanishing trickster

    Mar 1961: WTF! Assassin totes rifle wrapped in newspapers. Background: "The Rights of Man"

    May 1961: Insectoid morphs to human.

    Jul 1961: "Heavy Industry 1995" (asteroid mining)

    Dec 1961: "Black Man's Burden - A Novel of Africa Tomorrow"

    Feb 1962: "The Great Gray Plague" (nanotech?)

    Sep 1962: space colony

    (mostly "hard" science covers, less adventure)

    Jun 1963: space shuttle repairs satellite

    Jul 1963: "The Ethical Engineer" (image: post industrial tech)

    Aug 1963: "The Hate Disease" (civil rights theme, no doubt)

    Oct 1963: ring-type space station

    Dec 1963: "Dune World" by Frank Herbert

    Feb 1964: sand crawler from "Dune"

    Jul 1964: "Sleeping Planet" (don't let your guard down, the commies never rest)

    Sep 1964: time traveler (?) Nostradamus (?) at home, with wall mounted telephone

    Mar 1965: Sandworm ("Dune" continues)

    Apr 1965: "Goblin Night" (first paranormal theme since 1960:)

    Jun 1965: photo: "Hydrogen Fusion Reactor"

    Jul 1965: Jar-Jar, kind of

    Oct 1965: intelligent, benevolent octopi. Still no grays.

    Jun 1966: "The Ancient Gods" by Poul Anderson

    Jul 1966: "The Message" (wizened old alien bearing gifts; possible Gray precursor)

    (Back to mostly pulp themes)

    Mar 1968: "The Alien Rulers" effete gray alien, except he's blue

    Jul 1968: SR-71 Blackbird(ish) in WW I

    Jan 1971: tiny women in a glass cube with obligatory evil scientist.

    (Quite few underwater themed covers - post Shag Harbor I guess)

    Nov 1972: "Cemetery World" (Earth as prison planet, mostly dead. The lucky ones have left. Chilling.)

    Jan 1963: Man in tank, wired up ala "Matrix". Robot watches over.

    Apr 1973: Earthquake weapons

    Jul 1973: "A Bridle for Pegasus" (beautiful horsewoman of the Apocalypse)

    Nov 1973: Star Wars cantina?

    Jan 1974: "The Horus Errand" (future, or super-ancient, Egyptians?)

    May 1974: A person of color appears. Where have they been all this time?

    Jun 1974: "Stargate" (as seen in "Cowboy Bebop" etc)

    Sep 1974: Leprechaun in a Bigfoot mobile suit

    Oct 1974: "Special Velikovsky [debunking] Issue"

    Nov 1974: "The Indian Giver" (people still said that in 1974:? I hope it was used ironically)

    Mar 1975: Alien ship attacks White House with weather weapon (see also Jun 1946:)

    Jun 1975: "Doorways in the Sand" (underground bases?)

    Jul 1975: Eeewoks, not as "cute" though

    Aug 1975: Aurora space plane, or a premonition thereof

    Sep 1975: "Rendezvous [with a comet] in 1985:" by Richard Hoagland (pre Mars face brouhaha)

    Nov 1975: C-3PO, not as "cute" though

    Sep 1976: "Weather War"

    Apr 1977: Black triangle gunship

    Nov 1977: "Home computers"

    Jul 1978: "Terraforming Earth"

    Aug 1978: "Recombinant DNA Experiments"

    Sep 1978: psychedelic

    Aug 1979: "The Landed Interests" (landed - get it?)

    Oct 1979: huge flying black ...rectangle

    Mar 1980: ...finally, a saucer; flat on bottom, round on top. Except it's a human future city.

    ...I'll stop now...that's 50 years in one night for me