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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.

“Exploding Forcefield” – Ed Emsh – Fantasy & Science Fiction, Feb 1952

“White Spot” – Ed Emsh – Startling Stories, Summer 1955

“Virgin Planet” by Philip Jose Farmer – Emsh – Venture SF Magazine, Jan 1957

“Hunt the Hog of Joe” – Ed Emsh – Infinity, Feb 1957

“Quick Freeze” by Silverberg – Ed Emshwiller – Science Fiction Quarterly, May 1957

“The Earth in Peril” – Ed Emshwiller – Ace #D-205, 1957

“World Without Men” – Ed Emsh – Ace #D-274, 1958

Untitled – Ed Emshwiller – Venture Science Fiction Magazine, January 1958

“Big Planet” by Jack Vance – Ed Emshwiller – Ace D-295, 1958

“People Minus X” – Ed Emshwiller – Ace #D-291, 1958

Untitled – Ed Emshwiller – Super Science-Fiction, February 1959

“Starship Soldier” by Heinlein – Emsh – Fantasy & Science Fiction, November 1959

“Take Me to Your Leader” – Ed Emsh – If, January 1960

“Swordsman of Mars” by Otis Adelbert Kline – Emsh – Ace #D-516, 1961

“The Incomplete Enchanter” by de Camp and Pratt – Emsh – Pyramid #F-723, 1962

“Speakeasy” – Emsh – Fantasy & Science Fiction, December 1963

“The Currents of Space” by Asimov – Emsh – Lancer Books #74-816, 1963.

“End of Eternity” by Asimov – Emsh – Lancer Books #74-818, 1963

“The Great Explosion” – Ed Emshwiller – Pyramid #F-862, 1963

“Valley of the Flame” by Henry Kuttner – Ed Emshwiller – Ace #F-297, 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.

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