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Virgil Finlay (1914 – 1971) was one of the dominant speculative fiction magazine artists of his day; he started doing illustrations for Weird Tales in the ’30s, spent the ’40s doing an impressive job for low-market reprint mags like Famous Fantastic Mysteries, then worked his way through the surplus of science fiction magazines in the ’50s. When he lost a long struggle with cancer at the age of 56, he had already won a Hugo award for his impact on SF during the pulp era, having created over 2,600 illustrations in a 35-year span. Finlay is best known for his iconic black-and-white interior drawings that make up the bulk of his work, featuring intricate detail and fine crosshatching to create impressive depth and shading. I don’t think his color pieces can hold a candle to his black and white illustrations—you’re welcome to disagree, of course—but many of these are mighty fine. Such as the first two, some of my favorites from this batch. Let me know your favorites—and any I forgot—in the comments.

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