Monday, February 12, 2007

Empire Star

Ace Books (Ace Double M-139), New York, 1966

One of Delany's most complex and satisfying short works which should not be confused with the graphic novel Empire. This novel is exceptionally difficult to illustrate given that it was a time-travel story of great convolutions. This cover which is attributed to Jack Gaughan (see below for the reliability of Ace Books attributions although in this case at least the style looks right) has some reference to the story but any illustrator would have struggled with producing one image for the cover. There are some beautiful illustrations for the story by John Jude Palencar in the 1981 Bantam collection of short Delany fiction Distant Stars. In fact now I have thought of them I may have to include them in a later post. But Palencar had the advantage of being able to produce multiple images which follow the story closely - not an option open to the cover illustrator.

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