Image of the month: The Space Willies

13-07-01 BLOG The Space WilliesAn Ace Dou­ble cov­er from 1971, a typ­i­cal­ly imp­ish one by artist Kel­ly Freas. This is ACE DOUBLE 77785, a reprint with new cov­er art of D-315 pub­lished in 1958. By this time, ACE Dou­bles had switched to the “tall” for­mat to con­form to stan­dard paper­back racks. ACE Dou­bles had two books bound togeth­er, each upside down in rela­tion to the oth­er. In this case, both sides were books by Eric Frank Rus­sell (the oth­er one was a short sto­ry col­lec­tion called Six Worlds Yon­der). Rus­sell was British, but his style was con­vinc­ing­ly Amer­i­can, and few read­ers of Amer­i­can SF mag­a­zines knew this. In some ways, he was sim­i­lar to Clif­ford Simak, but with a more satir­ic tone. As ear­ly as 1941, Rus­sell was crew­ing his future space ships with mul­ti-racial char­ac­ters. One of the ear­li­est Sci­ence Fic­tion sto­ries that had an intense emo­tion­al affect on me was his Dear Dev­il, which I read as a small child.

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