John D. MacDonald was born on this day in 1916. Although best known for his crime novels, particularly the iconic Travis McGee series, but he wrote three science fiction novels - 'Wine of the Dreamers', 'Ballroom of the Skies' and 'The Girl, the Gold Watch and Everything', collected in the omnibus 'Time and Tomorrow'.
Here’s a selection of cover art comparable to the
femme fatale aesthetic of pulp crime thrillers. They suggest that interstellar
couture never evolved beyond the string bikini, or that the only fashion
designers who ever made it beyond the starts were sexually frustrated and
I love the way philosophical writer Olaf
Stapledon’s ‘Odd John’ – a novel which intelligently debates the concept of the
ubermensch against a backdrop of cosmic angst – has its eponymous protagonist
reduced to a bug-eyed Neanderthal lumbering towards a naked woman whose modesty
is protected by a couple of strategically placed branches. How many people
bought that novel based on the cover only to discover, with mounting horror,
that they were reading a book which required them to think.
If the robot coming through the door in ‘The
Pleasure Model’ is the blonde’s next client, she might want to think about a
We're taking a short break from sci-fi here on Seduced by Starlight to raise a glass to Erle Stanley Gardner, born on this day in 1889; creator of the ever-popular Perry Mason and a man whose books enjoyed their fair share of pulpy covers.
Erle Stanley Gardner (17 July 1889 – 11 March 1970)