Twentieth-century genre fiction produced a number of huge talents that liked to try it all — writing across category labels in blissful violation of what would one day become the standard practice of brand marketing. Indeed, for prolific writers of both the pulp and science fiction golden ages of magazine fiction, casting one’s net wide across the flimsy genre partitions of the day was just a common-sense way to broaden your market. Prolific author of short fiction, as well as essayist, editor (including a stint at the helm of the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction), and novelist Avram Davidson stands right alongside genre-hopping giants like Poul Anderson, Isaac Asimov, or Jack Vance as a writer that refused to stay fenced in. Whether in his dozens of undefinable short stories, or his pulpish far-future SF, magic-infused novels of alternate history (the Vergil Magus and Peregrine series), or tales of mystery and weird horror set in imaginary nations of the contemporary world, Davidson demonstrated a roving intellect ever-eager to explore the wild hinterlands of speculative fiction.
Of course, as our Classic Covers series has celebrated many times and the following images prove, this era of explosive creativity in storytelling also overlapped with one of the most dynamically creative periods in commercial art and illustration, all fueling a worldwide boom of interest in science fiction and fantasy.