" In this universe the night was falling; the shadows were lengthening towards an east that would not know another dawn. But elsewhere the stars were still young and the light of morning lingered; and along the path he once had followed, Man would one day go again"

Arthur C. Clarke Against the Fall of Night

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Harry Steele Savage 1898 - 1970 (Heinlein covers) or “The things that make us happy make us wise. ” John Crowley

The other day my buddy Doug and I went to Cabin Fever Books and I picked up some Burroughs (Edgar Rice) and Asimov paperbacks, mainly for the covers. While there I came across a lovely copy of Rocket Ship Galileo.

This is the first (certainly not best) Heinlein novel I remember reading in the public school library in Windsor. The library had a number of Heinlein juveniles in the Scribner Library Editions. I recall providing the librarian Miss Bickerson (your mental image is probably accurate) the required verbal synopsis of the plot, this was intended to prove, we had read the book, not as a critical dissection of the literary merit of a particular title. I do recall she objected to my frequent use of the word guy to describe characters. However reading was possibly the only skill I emerged from Public School with and I still have trouble with names so we both got through the experience relatively unscathed and not much has changed in the almost fifty years since then. To say this in her favour, it was a wonderful library dripping with rocket ships, castles, swiss families, lightning rod salesmen, norse myths, the biographies of great men and women and novels about young people participating in the seminal events in both Canadian and World history. 

Looking at the book today I wanted to see what I could find out about the cover artist and what else they had done that I have on my shelves.

"The earliest known reference to Savage's life as an artist comes from his World War 1 draft card, where he lists his occupation as artist for the J.L. Hudson Company in Detroit, Michigan. He is probably best known for the illustrations in Edith Hamilton's Mythology."

from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steele_Savage

Hamilton's Mythology is another title I remember fondly. ( I cannot find my copy at present) it seems inconceivable that I no longer own one.

J.L. Hudson Company was, according to wikipedia, associated with Hudson's department store in Detroit. Hudson's had the most impressive Christmas displays of any retailer that I can remember. Like many Windsor families, my family visited Detroit specifically to see them. The street level windows were full of toys and animatronic displays, I seem to recall a lot of elves and one floor (the 12th?) was devoted to the North Pole and Santa's workshop. 

If you want to see what Detroit once was see the link below.


So here are some other Savage covers mainly for Heinlein's books (my bias). I love the bright colours and the collections of aliens, rockets and spacesuits featured. The style might be considered a bit childish today, but I was a child then, and as I said earlier, not much has changed. I can see on the isfdb database that there are a few titles I will have to keep my eyes open for.

And a shout out to the Little Red Reviewer who reposted an article on how to get the sticky tags off paperback book covers. (Hair Dryer)


  1. It seemed like it took forever for those Heinlein juveniles to come to paperback. When they did I didn't like the covers because they weren't like the covers on the Scribner editions. But seeing them here makes them look better.

    I'm usually partial to covers from the editions I read first.

  2. Hi Jim

    I am often attracted to the editions I first read as well. I picked up Scribner's first, then I found a couple of Gollancz,editions the Between Planets had a lovely Sir Issac Newton (one of my all time favourite Heinlein characters) on the cover. But lately the graphics on these have really caught my eye. Since it is the juveniles I am most attracted to it is a nice fit. I really have no interest in his later novels.


  3. I haven't a lot of interest in Heinlein's later stuff either, though I've read them of course. However his earlier adult books are certainly worth a look -- Double Star, Puppet Masters, the Past Through Tomorrow collection (which includes Orphans of the Sky, The Menace From Earth, and If This Goes On), Door Into Summer, Glory Road, etc. If you liked the juveniles you'll like some of these as well.

  4. Hi

    I have read many of them and I did like some. The paranoid Puppet Masters was one I quite liked, paranoia was a really hot topic when I first read it. Double Star, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, Beyond this Horizon and The Door into Summer have some issues for today's audiences but I enjoyed them at the time. Starship Troopers ( juvenile or adult?) I liked as well. But now Between Planets, Starman Jones, Have Spacesuit Will Travel, Farmer in the Sky and Space Cadet are among my favourites. I also like his magazine work, I must reread Universe and see how it holds up. Thanks for commenting.

    Happy Reading

  5. By the way, love the banner photo of your collection.