Thursday, January 26, 2012

Paperback 493: Atoms and Evil / Robert Bloch (Gold Medal s1231)

Paperback 493: Gold Medal s1231 (PBO, 1962)

Title: Atoms and Evil
Author: Robert Bloch
Cover artist: Uncredited [Richard Powers?]

Yours for: $11


Best things about this cover:
  • I like how the title functions like a form-fitting dress on ... whatever that one-eyed creature waving its arms at us is. Now put an all-text dress on your average paperback cover girl, and you've got something.
  • There was probably a time when the title "Atoms and Evil" was evocative of ... something. Considering "atoms" are just the basic building blocks of, well, everything, the title doesn't have quite the situation-specific punch it oughta.
  • Is crazy multi-armed cyclops supposed to be some kind of anthropomorphic approximation of a mushroom cloud. More like a tree-trunk cloud.


Best things about this back cover:
  • Acrostic time!
  • OMG I *love* love love the test tube motif on the left. Brilliant design feature.
  • "Prefontal robotomy!" Rich.
  • If I had to read only two of these, I'd go with Vorm and Mr. Goofy, hands-down.

Page 123~

"I don't really want the world to revert to neurotic or psychotic behavior just so I can have a practice. But damn it, I can't stand to see the way things are going. We've done away with stress and privation and tension and superstition and intolerance, and that's great. But we've also done away with ourselves in the process. We're getting to the point where we, as human beings, no longer have a function to perform. We're not needed."

Anson's right. Futuristic dystopias are for the 'bots.


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DemetriosX said...

I think "atoms" here is supposed to evoke "science", so that we know we're getting both sides of Bloch's repertoire: science fiction and horror. I don't know what the cover is supposed to represent, but it certainly screams late 50s/early 60s modern art. The test tube motif on the back is nice, but the "A is for" thing is kind of stupid. They had to stretch in a couple of places to make it work, especially I where suddenly they don't have a character.

Anonymous said...

I read "Atoms and Evil" as a take on "Adam and Eve"...

Rex, you are insane...and I mean that as a high compliment...Thanks!!!!

Will Errickson said...

I also always took "Atoms and Evil" as a reference to Adam and Eve - except in the modern day science gets all into the mix...