Attention, Earthlings of the early 21st century! This is Captain Blastoff, coming to you from the Galaxy Gallery in the future, talking about a great popular art form of the past: Cheap Science Fiction Book Covers!
Most of my communication with Space Cadet Rik Livingston, who transcribes this blog for me, is accomplished via esper transmission. Occasionally, however, I visit in person. Have to “inspect the troops” sometimes, don’t you know.
Travel, from the Mystic Moonbase here in this undisclosed future date, thru’ space/time, to your early 21st century Earth, is not instantaneous. I often have time to read a few of the Cheap Science Fiction paperbacks I have gathered for the Galaxy Gallery, while in transit.
The last time I made the journey, however, I was NOT reading sci-fi (Yes, I DO read other kinds of books, as well!), but a very interesting, if somewhat academically toned, tome named “Jung, Synchronicity and Human Destiny,” by Ira Progoff, New York, Julian Press. ISBN 0870970569. OCLC 763819.
Of course, the noncausal dimension of human experience is accepted and celebrated here in the future, but it’s always interesting to me to read some of the earlier scientific essays from the days when it’s existence was actually questioned.
Many people aren’t aware that the area by Joshua Tree National Park, in the old nation State called “USA,” is actually the center of the universe. We landed our rocket atop Giant Rock, there in the Mojave Desert, turned on the cloaking device and I made my way, disguised in vintage clothes, to a few used book stores.
It was in Raven’s Books (“Never More, Usually Less.”) that I my eyes fell upon “The Secrets of Synchronicity” by Jonathan Fast. (1977, Signet, also called “Prisoner of the Planets”). Not another scholarly essay: This synchronicity book was in the Sci-Fi section! You just don’t ignore such “coincidences.”
Luckily, this is a book dealing (metaphorically only) with concepts by Jung, and not Freud. I can only imagine what ol' Sigmund would have made of a bunch of phallic animals surrounding a naked male!
The cover by Boris is good, tho’ promises a more fantasy oriented read. This is space opera, with rockets and blasters, and robots. Or I should say, it’s a space opera on the surface. The trappings of vintage sci-fi are used as a wonderfully detailed metaphor for the life of the wage slave in the corporate-controlled, money-grubbing times you readers live in. Synchronicity is the name of a drug that gives great luck when ingested. I found the tale witty, wild and the ending very touching. I loved the conversations with the wise snakes.
The Devil in front of the White House; What could be more appropriate?
The second book I’d like to bring to your attention also deals with a concept by Carl Jung – the collective unconscious. I give you “Out of Their Minds” by Clifford Simak (1970).
"'Out of your tree:' (informal) to be crazy or behaving in a strange way." - thefreedictionary.com
In this delightful story, there is a dimension, next door to “reality,” where Bre’r Rabbit, Little Redridinghood, Snuffy Smith, Mr. Magoo, sea serpents and the Prince of Darkness himself, the Devil, all live…and it seems they have a gripe with us and the poor quality of recent additions to the folklore of humans.
This book would make an excellent movie, using a combination of live action and animation. It’s terrific fun!
I’m including a few of it’s covers, but I’d like to point out the one I have, in particular: the Berkeley Medallion Edition, 1970. Herbert Norton Rogoff created this very detailed illustration, featuring Mickey Mouse, Dracula, Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum, Nancy, etc. etc. It’s a shame, really, that so wonderful an image had to be reproduced on such a small “canvas,” so I’m scanning a close up shot of the artwork, instead of the whole book.
A special Captain Blastoff virtual medal and decoder ring if you can name all the literary, comics and folk characters on this nicely done, water-color cover!
Extra: Why does our folklore in your current times seem so shallow and “surfacey” in comparison to the planet’s cultural rich heritage? I’m convinced it is because so much of it is corporate controlled. Check out the “Mickey Mouse Protection Act,” for more information.
A Mindscape? My least favorite of the different printing's covers, tho' it's not horrible. You can tell this was a popular book, I guess, by the number of printings it went thru'...