Fantastic Plangent

Mid-20th-century science fiction and fantasy illustrations in America

My hard drive indicates that between 10 P.M. on August 22 and 1:20 A.M. on August 23, 2011, I did nothing but scroll through a Heritage auction of mid-twentieth century science fiction and fantasy art. Lest I devolve into a cyber mall rat, I'll not be doing any sequels!

Virgil Finlay (American, 1914–71). "Flight to Forever," Super Science story illustration, Nov. 1950

O'Reilly (American, 20th Century). Science Fiction Plus, story illustration

Virgil Finlay, "Jackpot," Galaxy Science Fiction story illustration, Oct. 1956

Richard M. Powers (American, 1921–96). Alpha 6, paperback cover, 1976

Paul Lehr (American, 1930–98). Best SF 73, paperback cover. Acrylic on board.

Julian Krupa (American, 20th Century). Pulp Back Cover Illustration. Watercolor and gouache on board.

Frank R. Paul (American,1884–1963), Science Wonder Stories, pulp cover, Sept. 1929

Virgil Finlay, Masquerade Digest cover, oil on canvas.

Lee Brown Coye (American, 1907–81). Tales of the Cthulhu Mythos, book cover, 1968.

Virgil Finlay, Astrology magazine, story illustration, circa 1950s

Jon Arfstrom (American, 20th Century). The Dark Other, book cover printer's proof, 1950.

Chesley K. Bonestell (American, 1888–1986).
Double Star System - Beta Lyrae, 1978.

Paul Orban (American, 1896-1974). Science Fiction pulp story illustration

Virgil Finlay, Spaceman Science Fiction, book club illustration cover, 1955

Hannes Bok (American, 1914–64). Woman Dancing, story illustration, 1949

Also see this Bok post on But Does it Float

Frank Kelly Freas (American, 1922–-2005).
Astounding Stories (Double Star), story illustration, Feb. 1956

Mahlon Blaine (American, 1894–1969). At the Earth's Core, book illustration, 1962. Ink on paper.

Richard M. Powers, Man of Earth, paperback cover, 1958

A bit earlier: Four covers for Science and Invention, a Gernsback magazine that ran from 1920 to 1931 (check out the long list of his magazines):

Mark at Boing Boing provided the proper subtitle for this one: Portrait of a Blogger in the 1920s

10/4/2011 update: In a comment on the Boing Boing post, DrDave pointed to a post on A Great Disorder featuring these two photos of the actual Isolator:

"The 'Isolator' is designed to help focus the mind when reading or writing, not only by by eliminating all outside noise, but also by allowing just one line of text to be seen at a time through a horizontal slit."

Gahan Wilson (American, b. 1930). The Illustrated Man illustration. Mixed media on paper.

A few months ago a woman named Patricia sent a kind email about 50 Watts and mentioned: "I spread the word about you to all and sundry, including one of my best guy pals — Gahan Wilson — who also loves your trove." Nice.

Note to self: use more adjectives as nouns.

See all science-fiction related posts on 50 Watts