Sunday, February 17, 2013

Paperback 609: Beyond / Theodore Sturgeon (Avon T-439)

Paperback 609: Avon T-439 (PBO, 1960)

Title: Beyond
Author: Theodore Sturgeon
Cover artist: [Sussman?]

Yours for: $11


Best things about this cover:
  • It's pretty cool, in an abstract kind of way, even if it does look like the ultrasound of a zebra pregnant with human child.
  • That dude is either dead or in utero. Or he's fallen on a mountain of red velvet cake and is gorging himself, presumably to death.
  • I am in love this title font. The 60s paradoxically brought us the degeneration of cover art and the awesome-ing of fonts.
  • In case you didn't know: Sturgeon rules.


Best things about this back cover:
  • Hierarchy of intelligent worms! I already work for that particular org. (just kidding, employers!)
  • I like how they've highlighted STURGEON. Otherwise, I like pretty much nothing about this back cover.

Page 123~ (from "Largo")
The only thing that detracted from that symphony of lines on the interior wall was a heavy concrete block that jutted out over a stone chair—high over it. On the other side of the chamber was another such chair, but the wall over it was like all the others. At the exact center of the building was a tiny red tile, set into the floor, and this was the only indication of a stage, a place from which to perform. It was certainly a strange creation; but then, it had been built for a strange purpose.
Must. Know. Purpose. Off to read ...


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Dave M said...

Hierarchy of Intelligent Worms is my new alternative band name.

DemetriosX said...

Really, except for the title font and the font for the author's name, this is a terrible cover. And it's badly printed, too. I don't know if they were intentionally going for a drop-shadow, but it makes the lettering look blurred, like a really cheap print job.

And at first I agreed with you about the way they highlighted STURGEON on the back cover, but I've changed my mind. The leading is off and it almost looks like they've filled in the blank on a bit of boilerplate.

All in all, it sort of feels like Avon was a bit embarrassed to be publishing SF, even if it was somebody as literary as Ted Sturgeon.

Anonymous said...

Knowing absolutely nothing about Science Fiction, I truly hoped that Theodore Sturgeon was a nom de plume of L Ron Hubbard, so that in this we could trace his creation of Scientiology back to his original, slightly more believable, attempts to create a religion.

Carrie said...

Oh, c'mon - The protruding block can have only one function. It's where you balance the bucket of blood to drop on whomever is sitting in the stone chair. Everyone knows that!

Tragic Christian said...

I met Ted Sturgeon a couple of years before his death -- we were holding an autograph party at the bookstore I worked in at the time (c. 1982). He wore the first fanny pack I'd ever seen (it held his pipe and tobacco). He was also in dire straits financially at the time, reviewing Hollywood movies for Hustler, of all places. But one of my favorite authors and a gentleman, nonetheless.