Pulp sci-fi book covers, scanned daily



Via the BB Submitterator, Boing Boing reader calebkraft says, "I was given several large containers of pulp Sci-Fi publications from the 50s-70s. I've been scanning them and posting at least one a day to the pulp archive. The art is fantastic!"

No kidding. My favorite, among the ones posted so far, is above. Analog, September 1968, Vol. LXXXII, No. 1.

It looks like Analog had a decent budget for art. Their cover paintings are usually fairly detailed and high quality. I'm not really sure what is going on here, but the fantasy fan of me approves of giant marmots that play horn instruments.

More: pulparchive.com


  1. I was just reading that story (or at least the version that ended up in one of the Schmitz anthologies from Baen.) The mutant otters look like they’re a bit out of scale (nine foot tall in the text) but everything else is much as you would expect things to be during the middle of an alien invasion on a tropical floating-forest island.

  2. I think that’s a blowpipe – these otters are not musical but deadly!

    Fantastic stuff – who is this lucky person that was “given several large containers of pulp Sci-Fi publications from the 50s-70s”?

  3. I have a few copies of Analog and they are great. I agree w/muteboy I’ll bet they are blowguns – which would work underwater too? I’ve gotta see if they have this one at our local book repository to know the truth of it!

  4. They are ‘giant otters’ and are the working companions of the woman who is a Federation agent. This is the Analog version of the GREAT Schmitz book ‘The Demon Breed’. It’s set on a planet of inimical jungle plants with a small human settlement. Poisonous flowers, dart shooting plants, thoroughly nasty alien invaders (but three dimensional villains with actual motivations, emotions and second thoughts). The heroine is delightful. A powerful, competent female using the planet’s resources to battle the invaders.

    One of my all time favorite authors. Read ‘Witches of Karres’ if you want a wonderful classic Science Fiction read. I loved all of his writing. Xeni, if you are listening, you owe it to yourself to read Schmitz.

    By the way Calebkraft – I envy your good fortune. I grew up reading those very magazines, and loved them. I’m not sure that I would want to be given the same gift though, as I probably would not get anything done for the next six months!

  5. As others have pointed out, these are clearly otters with blowpipes, though I am unclear as to how one would be certain that they are giant, and not simply accompanied by a miniature human.

    Marmots need no horn instruments in any case, as they are natural whistlers.

  6. Great cover! There was a bit of a craze for ‘jungle / ‘vegetation gone crazy’ SF for a while in the 60s, what with some of Ballard’s disaster novels, and Brian Aldiss’s Hothouse… I suppose you could also include Thomas Disch’s The Genocides. Any others?

  7. I am almost as much a fan of giant musical Otters as I am of the deadly but beautiful women in bikinis who travel with them!

  8. My Dad subscribed to Amazing/Analog and Asimoff’s (and assorted Galaxy, IF, etc) for decades. I’ve got literally dozens of giant waterproof plastic boxes of those that I’ve thought of scanning, as well as hundreds of Ace doubles and other pulp fiction.

    Some gorgeous, covers in there. But my assumption is that I’d put tons of work into sharing that stuff and end up getting hit with a C&D order and have to take it all offline.


  9. I was going to say that I didn’t recall this particular Redwall story, but now Dougall has me fired up to find the actual read…

  10. Dougall – You are so right, Schmitz was an amazing author. The otters in “The Demon Breed” are integral protagonists and have wonderful personalities, very like what a talking, thinking otter would be like – especially the wild ones. The villians are wonderful creations, too, but the heroine, Nile, and the mutant otters some of the best creations in speculative fiction. One of his Agent of Vega novelettes, “The Second Night of Summer”, is one great read, like a whole world and everything in it distilled in seconds, so real and complete. And quite humorous, Schmitz had that aspect to almost every tale he wrote.

  11. Now that is the best one in the series so far, in my opinion. The 60ies were a pretty cool time after all, apparently.

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