Monday, May 16, 2011

Paperback 413: SF Greats, No. 20 / Various (Winter 1970)

Paperback 413: SF Greats No. 20 (Winter 1970)

Authors: Donald Westlake et al.
Cover artist: Ed Valigursky (titled: "The Space Breed")

Yours for: $5


Best things about this cover:
  • Picked this up at a public library sale for "Only 50 cents!," just like the cover says
  • Apparently on whatever planet this is, kids are allowed to drink and/or do drugs, because *that* kid is wasted, or else hungover—look at those crazy dark eyes. Not right.
  • I love how the dog is like "Fuck off, kid! I'm watching 'Ren & Stimpy.'"
  • I'm a little worried for the dog. The boy's expression says "I love you," but the ominous, pail-holding man approaching from the background says "Dog—it's what's for dinner."

Back cover is just a B&W replica of the front, so ...

Page 123~ (from "Step IV" by Rosel George Brown)

The mother frowned at Juba, a little wearily. "You have decided to forsake the world and become a Watcher of the Holy Flame. Am I not right?"
Here she is watching the Holy Flame (the illustrations throughout this issue are wonderful):



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Unknown said...

I'm also a bit worried that the kid is in a short sleeve space suit. Like, his arms don't need protecting from the alien atmosphere?


Anonymous said...

Donald E. Westlake!

Enough said.

Deniz Bevan said...


Yes, that was my reaction too. What's the story? Would it be really bad copyright infringement if you, um, scanned it and sent us a copy?

Todd Mason said...

No similar love for Henry Slesar? How soon the kids forget.

This, as the date on the cover indicates, was a magazine rather a paperback. One of a plethora that publisher Sol Cohen put out because he'd bought all the reprint rights to stories from Ziff-Davis's fiction magazines FANTASTIC and AMAZING (and FANTASTIC ADVENTURES and probably DREAM WORLD) when he bought F & A from ZD in 1965. And recycled the covers, too, often seemingly the goofier the better.

DemetriosX said...

Recycled covers explains a lot. The illustration is so very 50s, right down to the kid's shirt and haircut. I was having a hard time reconciling it with a 1970 publication date.

borky said...

They say the first sign of a serial killer's they show an unhealthy interest in young animals as a kid.

This kid, though, not only looks like he's wasted on Martian pharmaceutical equivalents of crack and crystal meth, but the unhealthy yet eager way he's staring at the tip of that phallic shaped protuberance atop poochie's head makes me wonder if he's been reading too much of Freud's account of the Rat Man.

Or listening to the rumour's how The Pet Shop Boys got their name!

borky said...


Rexie, a few years back, a British broadsheet newspaper ran a competition to see who could come up with the best copywriting slogan to make a traditional literary classic sound sleazy.

The winner, if I remember correctly, was: Oliver Twist - he asked for more!

But just before, when I was perusing Mr. Door Tree's Golden Age Comic Book Stories blog, I came across this:

Who'd've thought an artist could make two such innocent Mark Twain classics seem like depraved filth?

Deb said...

Did Juba forsake the waorld or just the superfluous "a" in the word world?