artwork (c) Frank R. Paul estate

Cover for the 1979 paperback edition of The Science Fiction Encyclopedia, ed. by Peter Nicholls.  This image is based on Frank R. Paul's cover of the Feb. 1933 Wonder Stories.  What an honor for an artist to have one of his pictures selected as a symbol for science fiction, out of the millions and millions of sci-fi pictures created through the ages.

In the same year as the Wonder Stories cover, Philip Wylie and Edwin Balmer published their novel, When Worlds Collide, which raises the possibility that one may have inspired the otherIn their novel, two planets wander into our solar system, the first causing tidal waves and flooding on the earth, the second planet destroying our world.  Chesley Bonestell did a famous painting of flooded buildings for George Pal's 1951 film version of When World Collide:

Note that Chesley's painting has a large Empire State Building-like building in the foreground, just like Paul's, and hapless ships washing about among the skyscrapers, just like Paul's. Coincidence?


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