Another day, another retro futuristic book cover from the 60s. This illustration was created by Ed Valigursky, a very prolific science fiction illustrator who painted over 100 covers for Ace Books from the mid-1950s to the early 1970s. He also was a cover artist for Amazing stories and Fantastic.
The Secret Martians cover is a simple one. It’s not one of Ed Valigursky’s best illustration either, but it is a very good example of the sort of space travel mentality from way back in the day. Your spacesuit had to be fashionable, and skin-tight. Helmets had to look like a giant fishbowl, completely transparent, because why not; that’s all you needed to go travel in space. You didn’t need an oxygen tank, or gloves; not even gloves. This all makes it look easy, even boring, to be stranded in a far away planet, walking on a stone bridge on top of a river of lava.
You can read The Secret Martians for free if you get it from Project Gutenberg. If you do, let me know if it’s any good.
I’ll be somewhere else looking at more nice covers by Ed Valigursky.
By the way, the 35 cents price made me wonder about what else you could buy in 1960 with that kind of money. A little bit of research gave me some answers: you could get a six-pack of American beer for just 99 cents; you could also get a copy of Life, Time or Sports Illustrated magazines for 35 cents. Or you could get a little bit more than a gallon of gas for the same 35 cents. It sounds like science fiction.