" 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, September 24, 2017

Penguin SF

My wife and I are planning a trip to London shortly and I have been hoping that I will be able to pick up some SF titles while I am there. One thing I wanted to do was look at which Penguin SF titles I already have and which titles I would like to look for in the London bookstores. 

It was also a great excuse to present some of the titles I already own. A quick look at the titles displayed at the link below, will demonstrate that the art directors for Penguin Books have embraced a number of different strategies, since they started publishing SF in 1935 with Erewhon by Samuel Butler.

My earliest Penguin in actually a television script for The Quatermass Experiment published in 1959. As Penguin frequently reprinted with the same covers it is good to look at the copyright page if you want first editions (thus). I am hoping to find some earlier novels, maybe even Erewhon?

A great resource for my search has been

http://www.penguinsciencefiction.org/ .

For a look at some of the travails and triumphs of a collector of Penguins SF titles I recommend searching the Penguin posts on theunsbcribedblog


For some general remarks on collecting Penguins including the SF titles, this article in the Guardian is good.


The Quartermass Experiment, (above) has the horizontal orange and white triband covers I associate with Penguin Books.

Here the triband is now vertical. Limbo 1961.

It gets a bit more stylish below, After The Rain, 1958, cover illustration by Quentin Blake.

Then we also have a movie tie-in complete with scary kids.

The World in Winter, 1965, with a cover illustration by Bruce Robertson.

I have read a number of Hoyle's novels with The Black Cloud being my favourite so far. This cover, where the designer played with the iconic orange in creating a unique image, is one of my favourite Penguins.

A number of illustrators have done the covers for a series of novels by the same author. Here is one of the covers Peter Cross did for a novel  by John Boyd, I would love to find a copy of Boyd's  The Pollinators of Eden. I am hoping to find Penguins with covers by artists Alan Aldridge, David Pelham, Peter Tybus and Peter Goodfellow, and authors like Philp K. Dick, Frank Herbert and some of the Penguin anthologies.

Some of my favourite Penguin covers  are illustrated by Peter Lord, where the central image intrudes into the white border, in this series of novels by one of my favourite author John Wyndham. I will be looking for more of these.

And Penguin had done a number of paperbacks there the illustration covers the entire field.

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