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Proxima Centauri (Illustrations)

More classic pulp illustrations! Last time it was Brown’s illustrations to H.P. Lovecraft’s “The Shadow Out of Time,” in which I made passing reference to Leinster’s “Proxima Centuari.” Well, here are the illustrations to that story as well.

The cover is by Brown, and the illustrations are by Elliott Dold. This story appeared in the March, 1935 issue of Astounding Science Fiction. As always, these scans were made from my own collection.

It’s just a shame that these aliens are so hostile, since they’re awfully cute. Still, it’s no wonder an entire generation of children grew up with an intense fear of vegetables, if they had stories like this one to read in their youth.

About Isaac Walwyn

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5 responses »

  1. Thanks for this! Nice job with the scans. How complete is your Astounding collection?

    And have you been following Jamie Todd Rubin’s “Vacation in the Golden Age of Science Fiction”?

    If Rubin follows his plan, he will cover van Vogt’s entire Astounding career. So far, he’s been very impressed with his first two encounters with A. E. van Vogt— BLACK DESTROYER and DISCORD IN SCARLET.

  2. You’re welcome! Glad you’re enjoying them!

    I have all issues of Astounding from January 1930 (when it started up) to December 1955. Needless to say, I’m in the process of scanning all the covers as part of my new Astounding website.

    If anyone has any requests for covers or illustrations from this period, let me know and I’ll see what I can do. Just be aware that my issues from around 1939 to 1943 are extremely brittle, and sadly those interiors are the least likely to survive scanning. I learned that the hard way!

    I’ve heard of Rubin’s project, but it was one of the several hundred things that I kept intending to “get around” to reading. I’ll probably just skim his posts for items I’ve already read, since I want to avoid spoilers!

    Interestingly, back in 2008 I started reading the Clayton issues from the very beginning, making notes as I went along. Unfortunately, I didn’t make it very far. The Clayton era has a wonderful period quality that I find quite endearing, but in terms of actually reading the dratted things, it’s next to impossible. I made it through the first two-and-a-half issues before I got to the point where I just couldn’t stand it anymore. There’s a horrible sameness about their stories (most are very unimaginative stories about mad scientists). I kept thinking “I’ve already read this story! And it wasn’t any good the first time!” Since then I’ve only read the stories that caught my interest, or were by authors I enjoy (such as Captain S.P. Meek’s Professor Bird stories).

    If anyone’s interested, I could dig up those notes and post them here.

  3. I’d be interested in those notes. Gutenberg has most of the Astounding Stories from 1930-31 available to download.

    The Rubin Project is quite ambitious. Read each issue from July ’39 through Dec 1950. He has just finished the January 1940 Astounding. The comments that follow each review (though not great in number) can be quite interesting too.

  4. I certainly wish Rubin the best in his endeavor. It’s good to see the Golden Age get some attention these days! I feel that SF in general has really lost touch with its roots, and regards its early days with undeserved disdain. I’m always glad to see a modern SF author like Rubin appreciating the old classic era.

  5. I managed to find my old Clayton notes, and am now in the process of making them presentable. They should appear within the next day or so.


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