From Publishers Weekly
Hugo-winner Ed "Emsh" Emshwiller (1925–1990), best known for his covers for the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction
, was one of the most popular SF artists of his day. In this heavily illustrated and meticulously researched survey, Ortiz (Arts Unknown: The Life & Art of Lee Brown Coye
) hits the high points of his subject's career, commenting knowledgeably on such topics as the influence of the surreal artists Dalí and Tanguy on Emsh's work. Filmmaker Stanley Kubrick held Emsh in such high regard he sought his input for 2001: A Space Odyssey
. When Emsh finally put away his brushes and devoted himself to his pet project of abstract stop-motion films, Ortiz makes the cinema terminology accessible to the lay reader. The author also traces the development of Ed's wife, Carol, from an uncertain mother of three to a successful writer of SF (see review above of The Secret City
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Three artists dominated 1950s sf magazine and book illustration. Richard Powers pioneered abstraction in the genre. Frank Kelly Freas excelled at contextually valid humor. Ed Emshwiller exploited both abstraction and humor and, as an excellent figural draftsman, regularly portrayed femaleand malebombshells, as additional detective and men's adventure-mag clients doubtless demanded of him, and as the examples of his art on every page of this tribute attest. Definitely tops in his field, he quit, except for the occasional cover, in the early sixties to make experimental films, which entailed grant hustling and eventual university teaching and program administration but in which he again rose to the top. Meanwhile, his wife and model, Carol, developed into a first-rate sf and fantasy writer, particularly respected by her peers. Ed died in 1990 (he was then creating early nonobjective computer animation), and his film work, especially, needs revival. In her mideighties, Carol still writes, arguably better than ever. Ortiz's survey of their careers covers Ed more extensively than Carol, but both lovingly and, given high-quality art reproduction, beautifully. Olson, Ray