Saturday, 24 August 2013

70s Saturday Sci-Fi Scans

Every genre has it's own visual shorthand that makes books easier to spot for the reader - and then along comes one that breaks with convention and makes it easier to spot amongst its own kind. If it works for peacocks, it also works for...

Dominant Species

George Warren - Dominant Species
Not Your Typical Fantasy World...

At first glance the great water world Nuvelkebek seems the perfect backdrop for an epic fantasy. Certainly all the necessary elements are there: vast armadas that must do battle with sea demons; a land church that traffics in miracles and deal with divinities; strange creatures with incredible powers that lurk in the night....

But when onto this stage strides Oak, a young adventurer as strong as his name implies, fantasy becomes reality and all the sacred mysteries profane. Oak may come to regret his success at uncovering the mummery of alien exploiters: for what change have swords against blasters, or bronze-clad armies against atomic weapons? Perhaps humanity would have been better off left to the delusion that it was after all the dominant species.

I just love how the swoops in at a 45 degree angle and the chunky 70s font screams authority. After quizzing Identifont, my best guess is that it is a modified version or cousin of Impact. The bright green is eye catching, and certainly unusual in a world of blacks, blues, grays and maybe purple or orange. Personally I would have put the gold sea demon in front, not back, Generally warm colours advance while cooler and darker colours recede, but both are beautiful specimens of the imagination. This 1979 book seems to be one of only a few works by George Warren, who has a sparse page on the Science Fiction Encyclopedia. Better luck was had in tracking down the illustrator of the cover, Stephen Hickman

Dominant Species looks to be like a wordy saga, and perhaps a bit of a giggler (the callout paragraph before the title page includes this sentence: "Her eyes went back to Oak, who at that moment lost his valiant battle to remain erect, to fight the spell that was overtaking him.") The back cover copy intrigues me!