Archive for June, 2009

West of Eden Art

30 June, 2009
Artwork: David Martin

Artwork: David Martin

This has to be one of the oddest choices for a cover for a book in the West of Eden series. This is the Czech edition of Return to Eden published by Straky Na Vrbe (if I’m reading that correctly) in 2000.

I don’t know what the covers for the other volumes in the series looked like, but… the trilogy isn’t really about cute dinosaurs is it? Or maybe I missed the point of the whole series. 🙂

Stainless Steel Art (28)

29 June, 2009
Artwork: Karel Thole

Artwork: Karel Thole

The Stainless Steel Rat Saves the World published by Heyne in Germany in 1974. Karel Thole’s artwork for this series always has a surreal edge to it and, in my view, a 1960s feel to it.

I like these German covers – others have appeared in previous posts – but I wonder how they would have affected my view of the character and the stories if they had been the first covers I had encountered… As I’ve said before, the Peter Elson cover from the Sphere UK edition was the first image of the Rat for me, and I’m sure it coloured the way I imagined the character.

Over the past twenty-odd posts we’ve had a variety of Rat covers from different parts of the world, most very different from each other. And, obviously, the non-English editions have all been translated by different people into their respective languages. But despite all that, there’s some essential element that gets carried through, and keeps these stories in print around the world – more than fifty years after the first story was published.

If I knew what that essential element was, I’d be writing best-selling novels instead of blogs, but if I was to hazard an opinion I’d say the Rat’s popularity is, at least in part, the result of three factors:

(i) Jim diGriz is a character – by which I mean, he’s a fictional person with a life and a personality, rather than just someone who makes the plot happen.

(ii) Jim is a rebel, he gives rules and beauracracy the finger, but at the same time he has a conscience; he’s an individual with a sense of social responsibility. Not a bad role model, I’d say.

(iii) Harry Harrison knows how to tell a damn good story and have fun with it.

Skyfall

28 June, 2009
Artwork: Eddie Jones
Artwork: Eddie Jones

Skyfall – if you haven’t read it – is Harry Harrison’s version of a 1970s disaster novel. There were a few such books, but they were quickly eclipsed by the disaster movie genre, some of which films – Airport, The Towering Inferno – were based on novels. Skyfall also anticipates the techno-thriller of the 1980s, of which Tom Clancy’s The Hunt for Red October is probably the best known example. That too was made into a film. Sadly Skyfall never made the jump to the big screen.

The cover above is from the German edition, published by Heyne in 1978.

The photograph of Harry Harrison below is taken from the back cover of the same book.

Photo: ?

Photo: ?

Technicolor Time Machine Artwork

27 June, 2009
Artwork: ?

Artwork: ?

I couldn’t find an artist credit on this book. The cover is from the Dutch edition published by Prisma in 1969.

Technicolor Time Machine Art

26 June, 2009

Here is a cover from a Polish edition of The Technicolor Time Machine published by Amber in 1994.

Artwork: Steve Crisp

Artwork: Steve Crisp

The artwork by Steve Crisp was previously used on a US edition of the book.

Stainless Steel Art (27)

25 June, 2009
Artwork: ?

Artwork: ?

This volume containes A Stainless Steel Rat is Born and The Stainless Steel Rat Gets Drafted.

This artwork may be one of the Igor Varavin covers – if you know, please leave a comment.

Artwork: ?

Artwork: ?

And this volume contains The Stainless Steel Rat Wants You and The Stainless Steel Rat for President.

As previously mentioned, Harry Harrison’s books are hugely popular in Russia, and as a result they go through many reprints and new editions. Print runs for some of these editions – printed in the back of each book – are phenomenal.

Stainless Steel Art (26)

24 June, 2009

Here are two more Russian book covers from the photocopies Harry sent me a few weeks ago…

Artwork: Jim Burns

Artwork: Jim Burns

The cover above is from ‘The Complete Stainless Steel Rat – Vol.1’ and features the Jim Burns artwork which was used on US editions of A Stainless Steel Rat is Born.

Artwork: Jim Burns

Artwork: Jim Burns

This is volume 2, and features the Jim Burns artwork from The Stainless Steel Rat for President.

I think the black and white image behind the main image in both these covers is from Jim Burns’ cover for The Stainless Steel Rat Saves the World.

Twitter, Tweets and Twits

23 June, 2009

I have been carefully avoiding ‘social networking’ sites because either (a) I haven’t found a use for one yet, or (b) I don’t have any friends. I’ve also been avoiding Twitter, because I don’t do anything interesting enough to send out regular text messages to the world.

But last week, in my job as a library-type person, I was introduced to the search facility on Twitter as a source of information. As I usually do in such sessions, I did a search for ‘Harry Harrison’ and started reading the tweets that came up. Part way through one of them I thought ‘Hang on, I wrote that last week!’ It seems that one of Harry’s US publishers is taking a feed from this blog and posting it out through Twitter. Which is very nice of them. But the way it’s sent out gives the impression that it is Harry Harrison himself who is writing this drivel as opposed to yours truly.

I’ve seen comments posted elsewhere wondering why Harry Harrison writes about himself in the third person — I’m not sure how I can make it clearer that the stuff that says ‘by Paul Tomlinson’ under it is by me and the stuff that says ‘by Harry Harrison’ is posted by the man himself. It doesn’t help, I suppose, that the e-mails go out without the bylines – though they do come from my e-mail address…

I thought about changing the image at the top of the blog to ‘edited by…’ but I’m not sure that would fix the problem. Anyone have any thoughts on this?

Of course, anyone reading this on Twitter will presumably only see the first 140 characters… 🙂

Nebula Awards 2009 – Coverage Update

23 June, 2009

I said I’d keep an eye open for coverage of this year’s Nebula Awards, at which ceremony Harry Harrison was presented with the Damon Knight SF Grandmaster award.

Scott Edelman has posted photographs on Flickr, including several featuring Harry Harrison. I couldn’t find any images of the ceremony itself. If you find any, please add a comment and a link.

The 2009 Nebula Awards Showcase edited by Ellen Datlow was published in May. I couldn’t find a listing of the contents anywhere online, but I believe this contains Harry Harrison’s short story ‘The Streets of Ashkelon’ and a piece about him. I’ll post more details when I see a copy — I just ordered it from Amazon.

Nebula2009

I also understood that the SFWA were publishing an edition of their Bulletin to coincide with the awards, but their website is undergoing a revamp and there aren’t any details listed at this moment.

Stainless Steel Art (25)

23 June, 2009

Harry sent me some colour photocopies of covers from the Russian editions of the Stainless Steel Rat books — most of them are from the publisher Eksmo, I think, though unfortunately I don’t have artist credits for them. Some of the artwork I recognise as Jim Burns work, and some of the others may be by Igor Varavin.

If you know the artist to any of them, please leave a comment…

Here are the first two images:

Artwork: ?

Artwork: ?

The cover above is from the volume which contains, according to the note on the photocopy, the Stainless Steel Rat volumes 1-3.

Artwork: ?

Artwork: ?

This one contains The Stainless Steel Rat Sings the Blues and the short story ‘The Golden Years of the Stainless Steel Rat.’


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