When I first picked up this issue of Worlds Of IF, I have to admit that I didn't have high hopes. This hodge-podge collage of a cover simply didn't instill confidence that what I would find inside would be of much quality. Boy was I wrong. The illustrations in this issue are simply delightful. The cover is actually attributed to a specific story, so I guess an artist set out to create what, in my mind, looks like an introduction to microsoft powerpoint. Then again, this was the 60s, maybe this layout was new and edgy back then.
Publication: Worlds of IF
Issue: March 1968, volume: 18 No. 3 Issue 124
Cover art: Wenzel from Worlds to Kill
A quick check in on the space programs of the world tells an interesting story for March of 1968. The Russian space program successfully launched the first soviet computer in to space. This was the Argon 11c. Sadly, it did not survive re-entry.
From the Russian Virtual Computer Museum page:
The system architecture: single-address computer with parallel processing. The computer structure and architecture were specially developed to minimize the instruction set. The computer included three functionally independent computing units with separate inputs and outputs. The units were interconnected by channels used for information exchange and synchronization. Information was processed in real time. Information input-output was controlled by software.
Number representation – fixed point. Word length – 14 bits, command length – 17 bits. Number of instructions – 15.
Execution times: addition – 30 ms, multiplication – 160 ms.
RAM capacity – 128 14-bit words, ROM capacity – 4,096 17-bit words.
Number of register single-channel inputs for each channel – 25; calculating information inputs with capacity of 64 signals – 3; register single-channel outputs – 40.
Types of check – program and test.
Excited by this quasi successful launch, the Russians promptly shot some tortoises into space, though I'll save that story for another time.
As soon as I saw this image, my mind jumped to Vaughn Bode. Sure enough, you can see his signature right there, as if his style wasn't signature enough. I got curious what was happening in Bode's life around this time (he had a very short but incredibly prolific career), so I looked it up. This was published in March of 1968, the next year, he moved to New York where he would meet Robert Crumb and publish underground comics. Pretty cool to imagine that these illustrations were on the cusp of such historic events in the comic world.
After seeing the first goofy illustration, then this one, I began to wonder where the women were at. Bode is famous for his little "cheech wizard" and mostly naked ladies.
As usual, Virgil Finlay stands out with his incredible work. I could see many of these as murals on buildings.
This little illustration isn't attributed to anyone. The lines are somewhat vaguely reminiscent of some of Bode's work that I've seen, and it features a cute little creature and a naked lady like tons of Bode, but the style doesn't quite match up. Who knows, maybe it was a quick sketch, maybe it was a different artist entirely.
Our old friends the Rosicrucians are back. they couldn't have been too pleased with this ad placement. that isn't the spine cutting off the print to the right, the entire ad was simply placed at an angle dangling off the edge of the page.