Monday, May 17, 2010

Authentic Book of Space (1954)

Authentic Science Fiction was a monthly science fiction magazine (
They issued an annual with many wonderful paintings. With a forward by Arthur C. Clarke, the contents are a mixture of articles and fictional stories by science fiction writers associated with the British Interplanetary Society (B.I.S.) and the London Science Fiction Circle. It has a number of interesting articles about the history of rockets, navigating rockets, a reprint of a B.I.S. paper on artificial satellites, and how to communicate with aliens. Also the usual comic strips, puzzles, and various games. A amazing treasure of the early British space literature.

These are nice because although they were used as covers for the magazine, they stand out without the text overlays as great inspirational paintings.
Compare this one to the original cover here:
Campbell, H.J. (ed.). Illustrated by Richards, John, Campbell, H. J. The Authentic Book of Space. London : Hamilton and Co, Authentic Science Fiction. (102 p.) 28 cm.

I happily count this as one of the more colorful children's space books of the time and an amazing treasure of early British space literature.


  1. Drop-dead gorgeous art! (Except I won't drop dead yet because then I'd miss your next post.)

    -- Michael S.

  2. I had a copy, in my youth, but I foolishly gave it away. It's definitely a classic.

  3. Ditto. My copy went the way of my Boy's Book of Space and Pictorial Encyclopaedia of Science. Everything I owned then is now collectable.