Thursday, 2 April 2009


Since 1952, Italian science-fiction magazine Urania has been publishing a novel or short-story collection (usually translated into Italian, rather than by an Italian author) each month. Over that time the covers have ranged from standard 1950s pulp to thuddingly obvious literalism to a sort of thick-eared surrealism that almost approaches genius with the extent of its awkward invention--like the work of a brain-damaged Dali forced to use his left hand only. The shoe-horning-in of a nude or semi-nude woman is also frequently necessary. Just sit back and marvel.

I've read a number of these books in their original English, but these covers make them seem new and strange. As far as I can recall, no Bob Shaw novel I ever came across featured a one-armed woman in her undies and a man in a wheelchair watching the moon explode. It seems like the sort of thing I'd remember.

Much, much more here.


Steerforth said...

Completamente folle!

These covers are completely 'out there' and make the weirder efforts from the Anglophone world look relatively staid.

It's always good to see a gorilla wearing a monocle.

JRSM said...

If you ever read a comic called 'Doom Patrol' (either the original 1960s version by Arnold Drake, or the 1990s version by Grant Morrison, both highly recommended), you can rejoice in a pair of villains who go by the names Monsieur Mallah and The Brain. The first is a super-intelligent French-speaking gorilla who is in love with the second, a super-intelligent brain in a jar.

Natasha Rosen said...

I have nominated you for the SPLASH award.

JRSM said...

Thank you, Natasha! I'm going to have to put some thought into my own nominations. More soon!