Tag Archive: Mars


Attention, 21st Century Earthlings! 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!

Space Cadets: Ten-hut! ATTENTION! It’s become clear to me that not all of you junior astro-art aficionados have heeded the advice I gave in the last transmission. Some of you have yet to blast off for that treasure trove of timeless visuals that make up the Flikr Photostream of Hang Fire Books’ Pulp Fiction Cover Gallery!

So just to give you a small sample of the screwball sci-fi you’ll find on Flikr, here, presented with a minimum of my usual mutterings. is a mini-gallery of covers for you to whet you’re appetite with, before you visit Hang Fire‘s massive vault of visuals.

No, sadly, I haven’t read all of these books. It’s good to know there is someone out there in the ether, even more spaced out than your good Captain on this mind altering art. If he’s truly read all of the barmy books he has collected the crazy covers to, well, he deserves a special Captain Blastoff medal and decoder ring, for sure! When you drop by, tell him all of us on the Mystic Moonbase know he’ll have a great future. Hang in there, Hang Fire!

This has been Captain Blastoff, ending transmission.

First on Mars Cover

He went all the way to Mars to ride his hip space-trike.

Attention, Earthlings! This is Captain Blastoff, coming to you from a gallery in the future, talking about the great popular art form of the past: Cheap Science Fiction Paperback Book Covers!

This transmission I present: First on Mars (No Man Friday), Ace, 1957 by Rex Gordon (Stanley Bennett Hough) UK (1917 – ) aka S. B. Hough

The writer liked to create “firsts.” He also wrote First to the Stars and First Through Time.

I like biking, so I bought this book mostly because of the interesting pedal contraption on this great cover. Sure, I love rockets, saucers and time machines, but how often can you buy a piece of art with a great space tricycle??

The cover artist is uncredited and unsigned, unfortunately, but he/she must’ve read the story as there are a lot of details that are shown that are really in the story. I’m all for artistic license but it always impresses me when you can tell the artist cared enough to accurately represent the author’s concepts.

The story starts out a real nuts and bolts, hard science story, explaining in detail how Gordon Holder was the last survivor of a  rocket ship crew that crashed on our red neighbor and how he used science to survive there. But then it gets even more unusual as philosophical aliens, who communicate by generating colored light patterns, are introduced, moving the whole scenario into Eckhart Tolle territory.

This has been Captain Blastoff, ending transmission.