1950s, 1960s, Ace Books, Ed Emshwiller, fantasy, If: Worlds of Science Fiction, Infinity, Lancer Books, pulp, Pyramid Books, science fiction, Science Fiction Quarterly, Startling Stories Magazine, Super Science-Fiction, The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Venture Science Fiction
I really dig Ed Emsh’s style; at his best, his book and magazine covers are vibrant and dynamic, full of vibrant colors and technological bits. I’ll let these high(er)-res covers speak for themselves: an assortment of books (mostly Ace, Lancer, and Pyramid paperbacks), pulps, and digest magazines, from the early 1950s to late-1960s. I put them in rough chronological order. Most of my favorites in this batch are near the bottom—the ones after “Take Me To Your Leader”—but most of them are pretty slick.
Ed Emsh was born in Lansing, Michigan; he got his degree in visual arts from the University of Michigan in 1947, where he met his wife, SF novelist Carol Emshwiller. They then moved to Paris while Ed studied at École des Beaux Arts from 1949-50, then move on to study at the Art Students League of New York from 1950 to 1951). They remained in New York; Ed painted cover art and drew interior illustrations for just about every science fiction and fantasy magazine and paperback there was. He branched out into short films in the ’60s, then got into computer animation (as Dean, he founded the Computer Animation Lab at the California Institute of the Arts) in the ’80s; thus, his cover art output declined after the mid-60s.
Over the course of his career, Emsh won five Hugo Awards for Best Artist, in 1953 (tied with Hannes Bok), 1960, 1961, 1962 and 1964.
As usual, I can’t source each and every one—Pulp Covers was a big one, as was the French portal Noosfere; many were Googled—and I make no copyright claims against the current copyright holders (if there are any)… these are meant for archival/casual reference purposes. Also, because they look awesome.