" 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, February 24, 2019

What do you see when you read

Some time ago Emily Asher-Perrin posted an article on Tor.com asking:
"How Do You “See” the Books You Read?"


Based on the fact there were 75 comments, her essay did seem to strike a chord with people. So I am also asking, do you just read the words or do you create visual images of the places and characters the author describes? I was is my late 50's before I realized that other people did (I don't). I attribute some of this to skimming the text, but I have also noticed this inability to form a visual image using my imagination when trying to pick frames for a picture or paint from a sample. (just ask Helen) I need to see the thing complete. 

I wonder if that is part of the reason that science fiction illustration is so important to me. I own multiple copies of the same book because of the covers. I will buy one to read but then be seduced by a "better" possibly more representative cover. They don't need to be representative, I like artists was diverse as Weird Tales alumni like Hannes Bok and Virgil Finlay, the Gernsbeckian Frank R. Paul or the increasingly surreal/abstract stylings of Richard Powers but something just calls to me. That said, traditional SF tropes, space ships and suits, alien landscapes, futuristic cities and powers plants really attract me. I have discussed what conjures up science fiction to me in earlier posts, something I will come back to again and again. 


Here are a couple of new arrivals that are certainly candidates based on the covers. They also have a bit of a WWII vibe (at least to me) based on the style of the suits and equipment, which reminds me of the b&w films of my youth.

Cover by H. Fox (1962)

Cover by Gordon C. Davies (1957)

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