Saturday, October 29, 2011

2012 vintage Sci-Fi calendar features "Black Amazon of Mars"

The new 2012 Vintage Sci-Fi Calendar by Asgard Press features 12 frame-ready 11x14 reproductions of Golden Age pulp science fiction covers, including the beautiful Allen Anderson artwork for the March 1951 issue of Planet Stories, which depicts the title character in Leigh Brackett's novella "Black Amazon of Mars."

If you’re not familiar with this cover, here's how Robin Roberts describes the scene in “The Female Alien: Pulp Science Fiction’s Legacy to Feminists,” Journal of Popular Culture (1987):
“As the cover art for her story Black Amazon of Mars, from Planet Stories, March 1951, demonstrates, woman sf writers endorsed the portrait of the strong female alien. In ... Anderson’s painting, the Amazon dominates the cover, swinging aggressively — at first glance apparently at the reader. In the background, lower left, John Stark ... is engulfed by the predatory fronds. His figure is dwarfed by that of the Amazon, Ciara. ... Brackett’s story differs from those by male sf writers; unlike them, she does not cast her hero and heroine’s relationship in terms of a mother-son bond nor even mention Ciara’s reproductive capacity. Brackett can envision a union of equals. At the end of the story, Ciara will rule the city she has conquered and Stark agrees to remain with her, at least for awhile. At the end, as well as the beginning of the story, Stark is silenced by Ciara’s strength and spendor.”
Want a closer look at the cover? Check out this amazing scan!

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