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11 February 2022

Rayguns & Rocketships Kickstarter closes today

Just a reminder that this campaign finishes this morning at 10:30AM GMT so there' still (just!) time to back it...

Just a shout-out for a brand new Kickstarter campaign (which can be found right here) from Rian Hughes (who I last saw at the opening of the Beano exhibition at Somerset House). As Rian says...

Rayguns and rockets! Spacesuited heroes caught in the tentacles of evil insectoid aliens! Who could resist such wonders? Science-fiction paperbacks exploded over the 1940s and ’50s literary landscape with the force of an alien gamma bomb. Titles such as Rodent MutationThe Human Bat vs The Robot GangsterDawn of the Mutants and Mushroom Men from Mars appeared from fly-by-night publishers making the most of the end of post-war paper rationing. They were brash and seductive – for around a shilling the future was yours.

The stories were often conceived around a pre-commissioned cover and a title suggested by the publisher, and the writers were paid by the word, and sometimes not paid at all. Titles were knocked out at a key-pounding pace, sometimes over a weekend, by authors now lost to literary history (plus a few professionals who could spot an opportunity) who were forced to write under pseudonyms like Ray Cosmic, Steve Future, Vector Magroon, or Vargo Statten.

Despite the tight deadlines and poor pay, the books’ cover artists still managed to produce works of multi-hued, brain-bending brilliance, and collected here is an overview of their output during an unparalleled period of brash optimism and experimentation in publishing. Includes scans taken from rare original art!

There's nearly a month to go on the campaign so there's plenty of time to get behind the project...

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