Tag: 1970s

  • Perry Rhodan

    Perry Rhodan

    I briefly came across the German science fiction series Perry Rhodan in the mid-seventies when Futura/Orbit published the first 38 novels in the series, and later on when I picked up half a dozen of the US Ace translations. Despite its many detractors, the vast sprawling saga consisting of almost 3000 episodes has endured in […]

  • Astral Jewellery and the Mind-Exploding Climax

    Astral Jewellery and the Mind-Exploding Climax

    At the end of his ground-breaking book One Hundred Years of Science Fiction Ilustration, 1840 – 1940 (1974), Anthony Frewin included an appendix on the adverts that appeared in the pages of Amazing Stories, Astounding and Science Wonder in the 1920s and 30s. Unsurprisingly in an America slowly emerging from the Depression, self-help and education […]

  • Sally Oldfield

    Sally Oldfield

    The last thing you probably wanted to be in 1978 was a hippy folk singer with a single about love and light complete with Hawaiian chorus. To be fair, Sally Oldfield’s Mirrors stayed in the UK music charts for thirteen weeks, but along with her brother Mike she ended up trampled Bambi-like under the foot […]

  • Voyage of the Acolyte – Steve Hackett 1975

    Voyage of the Acolyte – Steve Hackett 1975

    I have a huge soft spot for Prog Rock, well – to qualify that, I have a soft spot for a handful of Prog Rock albums that I came across when I was first venturing into Science Fiction and Fantasy. Basically I was after anything that looked a bit spacey – or fantasy-esque, with soaring […]

  • An Interview with Edmund Cooper by James Goddard

    An Interview with Edmund Cooper by James Goddard

    James Goddard has very kindly agreed to let me reprint his interview with Edmund Cooper from Science Fiction Monthly Volume 2 Number 4. This first appeared in 1975 when Cooper’s career as an SF writer had more or less peaked. As individuals, the characters in many of your books lack the identity of singular people […]

  • Edmund Cooper

    Edmund Cooper

    There’s a poignant anecdote that Terry Pratchett once told about a book signing. A young woman in the queue told him that her father was once a famous science fiction writer, but no-one these days had heard of him. When he asked who it was she replied Edmund Cooper.  Certainly in the early 1970s the […]

  • The Final Programme (1973)

    The Final Programme (1973)

    Here’s another film that seems pretty apt for the current state of the UK post-Brexit – Robert Fuest’s end of the world-lite version of Michael Moorcock’s classic novel The Final Progamme (released in the US as The Last Days of Man on Earth). It starred Jon Finch as Jerry Cornelius and Jenny Runacre as Miss […]

  • High Rise and Brexit

    High Rise and Brexit

    I’ve been scrabbling around for an appropriate metaphor for the colossally surreal act of self-harm the UK inflicted on itself 48 hours ago, and early this morning, on the borders between waking and sleeping, the sentence the final collapse will unfold itself amid the cold algebra of a parking lot popped into my head. I […]

  • The Art of Jack Gaughan

    The Art of Jack Gaughan

    Hot on the heels of Peter A. Jones, here’s my tribute to another great SF artist who, sadly, is no longer with us. The vast majority of science fiction art through the ages has been illustrative, which is not particularly surprising as book and magazine artists have usually either depicted scenes from whatever story they’ve […]

  • Caligula – 1979

    Caligula – 1979

    One of the oddest worst movies ever made has to be the Penthouse ‘erotic epic’ Caligula, released in 1979. It’s an extreme example of a massive gap between proclaimed artistic worthiness at the start and a finished result that can only be described as two and a half hours of incoherent drivel. The trajectory of […]

  • The Art of Peter A. Jones

    The Art of Peter A. Jones

    As part of my ad hoc trundle through the greats of 70s and 80s Science Fiction book covers I thought I’d turn my attention this time to the work of Peter A. Jones, or PAJ as he signed himself. Jones came slightly later to the scene than his contemporaries Chris Foss and Bruce Pennington, doing […]

  • Eschatus – Bruce Pennington (1976)

    Eschatus – Bruce Pennington (1976)

    One of the strangest books to come out of the 1970s fantasy art imprint Paper Tiger had to be Bruce Pennington’s Eschatus (1976). I’ve already briefly spoken about Pennington as one of the iconic science fiction book artists of the era, working largely with New English Library. His work stood in stark contrast to the […]

  • Zardoz (1974)

    Zardoz (1974)

    What better way to recover from New Year’s Eve than a leisurely afternoon watching John Boorman’s cult classic Zardoz. Putting aside the seriously disturbing sight of a post-Bond ever so slightly flabby Sean Connery dressed in Vampirella’s swimming costume and thigh length leather boots while sporting a porn moustache it’s difficult to know where to […]

  • Cosmonauts at the British Science Museum

    Cosmonauts at the British Science Museum

    The only mildly interesting scene in that otherwise steaming heap of found-footage nonsense Apollo 18 is when the US astronauts stumble across the Soviet LK Lunar lander sitting in a crater. The real thing was flown unmanned in orbit but never made it to its final destination. Lack of co-ordination and investment in a launch […]

  • Sorcerer – The Game of Magical Conflict

    Sorcerer – The Game of Magical Conflict

    Having cut their teeth on the first ever grown-up science fiction game Starforce: Alpha Centauri in 1974, the US company Simulations Publications turned to fantasy a year later with Sorcerer: The Game of Magical Conflict and managed to produce a singularly odd game that, while fun to play up to a point, illustrated so many […]

  • Tully Zetford – Hook: Whirlpool of Stars

    Tully Zetford – Hook: Whirlpool of Stars

    As I’ve mentioned before, 1974 marked my Looking into Chapman’s Homer moment when on opening Science Fiction Monthly number 2 I had the same feelings as ‘stout Cortez when with eagle eyes, He star’d at the Pacific’. From then on I grabbed any and all SF that took my fancy, usually based on whether it […]

  • Interview with Jim Burns

    Interview with Jim Burns

    Go here for my review of Jim Burns’ latest book The Art of Jim Burns: Hyperluminal. Can you talk us through one of your paintings from concept to finished image – both in terms of the idea and the practical execution. My choice would be Tea From an Empty Cup or Crucible purely because of […]

  • Jim Burns – Hyperluminal

    Jim Burns – Hyperluminal

    For me the golden age of science fiction and fantasy paperback illustration in the UK spanned the 70s and 80s. While 60s covers often favoured a minimalist Pop/Art approach the following decade saw an explosion of wildly imaginative and entrancing art, dominated by a handful of painters, each with a very distinctive style. New English […]

  • The King of Elfland’s Daughter – 1977

    The King of Elfland’s Daughter – 1977

    For years the TV program Top of the Pops and the Sunday Top 40 on Radio One had a stranglehold on popular music in the UK. Bands sank or swam depending on where they were in the charts and how much exposure they got on the BBC on a Thursday evening. Rankings depended entirely on singles […]

  • Patrick Woodroffe

    Patrick Woodroffe

    I’d already planned on doing an article on the fantasy artist Patrick Woodroffe when the news came in that he’d passed away and so, sadly, this has become my personal tribute to his powerful and often frightening imagination. Patrick Woodroffe was one of a small group of painters and sculptors working in the 1970s whose […]