Saturday, March 11, 2017


I've never been on an Amtrak train though I have ridden on a few narrow gauges including the famous one that runs between Durango and Silverton in southwestern Colorado. It parallels the scenic Animas River for 45 miles and it also provides access to the Weminuche Wilderness Area, one of my favorite places to backpack. One time, after just missing a departure, my friends and I were picked up by a maintenance motorcar and given a free ride all the way to the trailhead. That was fortuitous, plus the open air views we had were even better than on the train.

When I was 22 I worked at an Amax molybdenum mine near Leadville, Colorado, and I rode on their underground train daily for the better part of a year.  One day a rather plump man on my crew tried to foolishly squeeze through a narrow gap between a sitting ore train and a tunnel wall and was rolled into a lengthy hospital stay when the train suddenly lurched forward. Ouch! Then, after I nearly tore my foot off by getting it caught between merging rails while stepping onto the back of a suddenly moving motorcar, I wisely abandoned mining and became a desk jockey.

My wife and I once rode the narrow gauge loop between Georgetown and Silverplume, Colorado, which takes more than an hour to complete even though it's only a mere 4.5 miles long. I've also been on light rails in Denver, Boston and London, and lest I forget, my wife and I have been to the top of Pikes Peak by way of the Manitou Springs, Colorado, Cog Railway. It's an 8.9 mile long journey that starts at 6,600 ft in elevation and stops at 14,115 ft, with an average incline grade of 40% and a maximum grade of 68%. It was fascinating to watch the biota change as we went up in altitude. 

So while these train experiences are memorable, none of them constitutes a real railway journey like the kind I would get on Amtrak, or its comparable equivalent in other countries. So until I hear the big whistle blowing my way I'll just have to appease myself by sharing with you some of my favorite train associated paperback cover art.

Our first train is by a prolific pulp illustrator who became Dell's top cover man during the 1950's. Robert Stanley (1918-1996) was noted for pushing the limits of sexual titillation during the Golden Age of paperbacks, but on The Man in Lower 10 (Dell, 1950) he chose to highlight just the man and the train instead, resulting in one of his most atmospherically subjected covers ever.

1950 was the last full year that maps, or cutaway diagrams, would be printed on the back of each Dell. By 1951 these "mapbacks" began to get phased out in favor of advertising blurbs. Chicago artist Ruth Belew is credited with drawing most of the mapbacks starting with the very first one in 1943.

Born in 1876, Mary Roberts Rinehart found immediate success with the publication of The Man in the Lower 10, her debut novel in 1910. She died in 1958, leaving behind a tremendous legacy of more than 30 novels (mostly mysteries), plus four travelogues and hundreds of entertaining short stories.


The cover of Von Ryan's Express, like The Man in Lower 10, is unorthodox in that it has the train moving away from us. This edition of David Westheimer's classic novel was published in 1970 by Signet, and it was their 7th printing overall. The cover artist is not credited.

Von Ryan is actually USACC pilot Colonel Joe Ryan (dubbed Von by the Germans), who gets captured in Italy during World War II. Finding himself to be the highest ranking officer in the Italian prison camp, Ryan sets out to whip his fellow inmates back into military shape, and then when they're all suddenly loaded into boxcars destined for Germany he and his revitalized men attempt to hijack the train and steer it towards Switzerland and freedom. If you've not seen the 1965 film starring Frank Sinatra you should, it's really pretty good, but I prefer the book instead because it doesn't have a bummer ending*.

*SPOILER ALERT:  In 1980, David Westheimer (1917-2005) wrote an excellent sequel to Von Ryan's Express, titled Von Ryan's Return, which by virtue of its title reveals to those who have not seen the film what I was referring to in last sentence in the above paragraph.

Here's a nice montage cover by a talented illustrator who was very active during the the Silver Age but whose name I can no longer place. However, Barth Jules Sussman is a name I do remember; I read both of his excellent World War II thrillers back when they were newly published. Signet released Shanghai in 1981, and then Crooked Cross in 1982. Sussman also produced several screenplays for Hollywood, the most notable being Night Games (1980), which was directed by Roger Vadim.

This telling cover was created by artist Ed Soyka, whose surreal conceptualism was very much in demand by book and magazine publishers during the 1970's and 80's. Soyka (1947- ) graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City in 1967 and then studied at the School of Visual Arts from 1967 to 1969. He's currently employed as a professor at his old alma mater F.I.T.

Distinguished author and Hebrew literature Professor Aharon Appelfeld (1932- ) was only a child during the Holocaust but it's obvious that the event affected his literary endeavors. Yet this novel is more concerned about what it means to be a Jew than in having a Jew contemplate the horrors of the Holocaust. In fact the word Holocaust is not used at all in the text. The Age of Wonders was published in January, 1983, by the Washington Square Press, an imprint of Pocket Books. It was the second of 23 books that Appelfeld has authored thus far.

I was obsessed with reading and collecting Ballantine's Adult Fantasy Series when I was younger, though somehow I managed to miss The Man Who Was Thursday (July, 1971), which is now one of the more difficult titles to obtain in "fine" condition. I had to pay a premium price for the sweet copy you see here.

Mainstream readers might be put off by G. K. Chesterton's eccentric novel, but for fantasy lovers like yours truly it's like lounging in the world's most luxurious coach. I'm also of the opinion that Gervasio Gallardo's stylized art had as much to do with the success of the Adult Fantasy lineup as the prestigious authors themselves. The talented Spanish born Gallardo (1934- ) painted 29 covers for just this series alone, and in his heyday (the Silver Age) his name was practically synonymous with the terms "Adult Fantasy" and "High Fantasy."

This is one of the best train covers ever painted even if it does perpetuate the tired old cliche of trying to avoid an oncoming threat by staying in its path. The Blue Ice debuted in 1948, and in 1972 Avon republished it as a numbered entry in their series of revived Hammond Innes novels. The same artist painted the majority of those Avon covers but so far I haven't been able to clearly establish who that person is, although I do suspect it could be Frank McCarthy. 

Ralph Hammond Innes (1913- 1998) was a former British journalist turned novelist. He published 33 adventure novels between the years 1937 and 1996, his best being perhaps The Wreck of the Mary Deare. At Bouchercon in 1993 Innes was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award, which in my opinion should have been awarded even earlier, but at least he got to savor it while he was still alive.

Okay, I'll admit, there's no train on this cover. But most of us already know that the primary events in Agatha Christie's novel Murder in the Calais Coach all take place aboard a passenger train bound for Calais, France, leaving Istanbul, Turkey. (The story actually begins in Aleppo, Syria, on the Taurus Express train). Christie's classic mystery is better recognized by its alternative title, Murder on the Orient Express. If you've never read this her most famous whodunit you should, it's probably superior to any of the filmed versions that have been made, although I remain a steadfast fan of Sidney Lumet's pivotal 1974 adaptation.

Pocket made up for their lack of a train image by providing a diagram of the Calais Coach, showing each compartment and the name of its occupant. It's hard to discern but towards the front of the coach are two wash rooms and at the rear is the conductor's seat, two important elements in the events of the murder.

This 1974 edition was Pocket's 32nd printing, and it was part of a routine refreshing of the cover art on Christie's titles. The outstanding realist painter and art educator Robert Emil Schulz (1928- 1978) produced this and several other Christie covers during this period. Ironically, not long after this edition came out a movie-tie in was issued, with a new cover that reflected the just released Lumet film. 

Another great Agatha Christie cover by Robert Emil Schulz for Pocket, this time on The Mystery of the Blue Train (July, 1974). Schulz's image of a lean, diminutive Hercule Poirot stayed with me for decades until actor David Suchet came along and supplanted it with his greater girth, albeit falsely padded girth. But truth be told, Suchet is not that far off in looks and height from Christie's actual description, or even what we have here by Schulz.

The ruby necklace held by the beautiful woman is called the Heart of Fire, and it and the train make up the heart of the murder mystery. Le Train Bleu was a luxury night express passenger train, so called because of its dark blue sleeping cars, that ran south from Calais, France, on a nearly straight-line route to the Cote D'Azur, or as the English prefer to call it, the French Riviera.

Yes, finally a train, but not painted by Mr. Schulz. Instead, this illustration is by Mr. Shannon Stirnweis, who was also under contract by Pocket to produce Agatha Christie covers. Same great stylishness and pastel colors as Schulz though. I imagine these two colleagues conferred with each other during the creative process to allow for cover to cover consistency.

Stirnweis did just about everything there was to do in professional art: paperback covers, magazine covers, interior book illustration, advertising, posters, postage stamps, landscapes, portraiture, western art and wildlife paintings. He's still at it too at age 86, with no signs of wanting to retire. The Illustrated Press just published a fabulous book of his art in 2017 and I do recommend buying a copy (it even has the above illustration included).

Pocket's 8th printing of What Mrs. McGillicuddy Saw! was published in November of 1973. The original British title was 4:50 from Paddington, which I doesn't really provoke much feelings of mystery, hence the need for a title change I would guess.

After publishing 12 moderately successful thrillers under his own name and pseudonyms, Michael Crichton finally hit pay dirt in 1975 with the hardcover publication of The Great Train Robbery. His critically acclaimed historical novel reached number 8 on the New York Times bestseller list. Then in June, 1976, the Bantam mass-market paperback was released and it too became a bestseller. This also marked the beginning of Crichton's most potent writing period which resulted in a nearly unbroken string of bestselling novels that lasted even beyond his death at age 66 in 2008.

While the cover art and its matching foldout stepback illustration by an unknown artist are not among my favorites they certainly didn't deter paperback sales any, and they may have in fact helped contribute to the book's overall success. 

I'm not sure Ken Barr was capable of painting a drab picture. He had a rare talent for inserting action, emotion and vibrant color into his illustrations, much like the great Bob Larkin does, his younger confrère. However, it's not the explosion that gives this train picture its punch but rather Holmes's emboldened stance. Ken Barr, prior to his passing away in 2016 at the age of 83, produced art for nearly every market that exists for illustrators, including comic books and comic magazines.

Austin Mitchelson & Nicholas Utechin's Sherlock Holmes pastiche The Earthquake Machine (Belmont Tower, 1976) is generally held in low regard by Holmes aficionados, yet I would beg to argue otherwise. Imagine Holmes and Watson having to witness the detonation of the first nuclear device! and in Russia no less in the year 1926! Sound ridiculous? You bet it does! Is the book wildly fun to read? You bet it is! And I wouldn't want it any other way!

Paul R. Alexander (1937- ) specialized in science fiction art during the Silver Age of mass-market paperbacks. He may have produced as many as 150 paperback covers, with many starting out as hardcovers. He's been referred to as a "gadget" artist, which can be defined as someone being adept at painting hardware, which makes his cover art for The Best of Robert Bloch (Del Rey, 1977) all that more appropriate seeing how it's a locomotive gadget. His painting depicts Bloch's That Hell-Bound Train, the author's only Hugo Award winning short story. Of course the story is not science fiction at all but fantasy, but by 1959 fans at the 16th Annual Science Fiction Worldcon in Detroit were eager to show some appreciation for Bloch, a popular personality who was on his way to becoming one of the most significant writers in the fields of the fantastic.

Paul Alexander also illustrated the paperback cover of the 1979 suspense-thriller The Tunnel (Dell). Robert Byrne's idea of a terrorist attack on the underwater railway system that connects England with France may not seem all that fresh today, but in 1979 when the Channel Tunnel was only an idea and not yet a reality, it most certainly was.

Robert Byrne (1930- 2016) was a respectable novelist, stage magician and champion chess player, but he is best remembered for being the world's foremost authority on billiards. In 1978 he published the definitive book on the subject, titled Byrne's Standard Book of Pool and Billiards, which has since sold more than 500,000 copies. Byrne also produced a series of highly praised instructional videos on pool playing. 

Here's a bonus illustration from Paul Alexander titled "Future Railway." This and many other paintings by Alexander can be purchased at the artist's representative website

Bullet Train is a novelization of a 1975 Japanese disaster movie of the same name. Dell published their mass-market edition in August of 1981, but so far I haven't been able to determine who the cover artist is. I haven't uncovered any information about the author Arei Kato either, but Joseph Rance, his collaborator, may in fact be a pseudonym of Trevor Hoyle, a well known British science fiction writer.

The titular train is the Hikari 109, a super train that can cover the 729 miles between Tokyo and Hakata in just under seven hours, with speeds averaging 130 miles per hour. At full capacity it carries 1500 passengers. Criminals have planted a bomb on the train's underside, and it'll explode if the train slows to 50 mph-- so the train must stay in motion until the ransom demands are met. Sorta sounds familiar, doesn't it? Yup, Bullet Train inspired the 1994 hit movie Speed, only instead of a high-speed super train Hollywood rolled out an extremely low-speed transit bus. 

David Plourde produced book and magazine covers and advertising art for more than twenty years before finally moving on exclusively to fine arts painting and teaching.  Dr. James "Jim" Flanagan (1940- 2012) was also a teacher, and the author of The Crossing, a solidly written but now mostly forgotten suspense novel which was published by Fawcett Gold Medal in August of 1983. I doubt if these two these two men ever met in real life though, but Fawcett did thrust them together at least figuratively when Plourde was commissioned to be Flanagan's cover artist. What I'm curious to know about now is whether Flanagan approved of Plourde's effort, because I think this is one of the most stunning train paperback covers I've ever seen.

I love Warren Adler's Trans-Siberian Express (Pocket, July 1978). I read it at a time when I was trying to rekindle my interest in espionage fiction and Adler's novel exceeded every expectation I had. I also love Roger Kastel's montage that so perfectly embellishes the cover. Kastel was in high demand as a paperback illustrator during the 1970's and 80's and this cover is a prime example of what he could do and did do regularly for client's like Pocket Books.

The Trans-Siberian Express is the longest network of railway lines in the world (5,772 miles), connecting Moscow with Vladivostok, in the Russian Far East. It takes eight days to complete the journey while crossing eight time zones. Built between 1891 and 1916 by the Tsar Alexander III and his son Nicholas, the railway has since been the source for much romanticizing in both literature and movies.

Nobody in their right mind wants to be a passenger on a train when it derails, especially if it plunges into the Hudson River. Not me anyway. Artist Lou Feck recreates the sunken aftermath of such a scenario for Clive Cussler's exciting adventure novel Night Probe!. Bantam published this mass-market paperback in April of 1982, but the illustration was originally commissioned a year prior for the novel's hardcover jacket.

Cussler's fictional event occurs in 1914, and the train itself is modeled after the historic Manhattan Limited Express which ran between New York's Penn Station and Chicago's Union Station from 1903 until 1971. It was then discontinued in favor of the newly formed Amtrak.

Sure, riding in an Amtrak train is on my bucket list, but in no way would I want my ride to end like this!  

Chaos was published by Tor in March, 1987, and it's only the second novel that William K. Wells wrote, the other being the cultish horror novel Effigies (Dell 1980). Digging around on the internet has led me to believe that the author might be an Australian, but currently inactive as a writer or possibly even deceased, but the name could also be merely a pseudonym. I've yet to determine who the cover artist is.

There's more than one train featured in Chaos, but the primary one, the one that becomes the focus of a mad bomber, is the luxurious Southwest Limited, which runs between Chicago and Los Angeles. According to Wells, "it's one of the last vestiges of a fading age." The train is comprised of two mail cars, a transition coach for the crew, a baggage car, three double-decker passenger coaches and a lounge café with a transparent Plexiglas roof. Following the lounge car is a more formal dining car and then two sleepers, both double-decked. Up to four hundred passengers can be accommodated. This is all pulled by two GM diesel-electric locomotives. The trip takes forty-one hours at an average speed of fifty four miles per hour. The distance covered is 2, 243 miles. 

I believe this is a painted illustration even though it looks quite a bit like a photograph of a modern train. The artist is not credited.

Fawcett Crest published Alastair MacNeill's novel Death Train in January, 1990, following Alistair MacLean's death in 1987. A synopses left by MacLean formed the basis of the book although in MacNeill's fledgling hands it became a strictly paint by the numbers affair involving stolen weapons grade plutonium being smuggled out of Germany aboard a freight train. However, someone at the British Lion Film Corporation thought the novel might make a good television movie and so it was filmed as Detonator in 1993. Pierce Brosnan, Alexandra Paul, Patrick Stewart and Christopher Lee were cast as leads. A sequel, Detonator II,  soon followed (based on MacNeill's novel Night Watch), with William Devane replacing Stewart as head of the United Nations Anti-Crime Organization. Alexandra Paul earns respect for performing most of her own stunts in both films, which at least on the surface appeared to be risky and exhausting work.

Scottish born, South African resident Alastair MacNeill (1960- ) wrote 7 novels based on MacLean's ideas before striking out on his own with 6 relatively sturdy novels. His latest surfaced in 2015 as an ebook, titled Facades.


Paul Theroux (1941- ) wrote both The Great Railway Bazaar (Ballantine, August 1976), and The Old Patagonia Express (Pocket, December 1980), which many critics say are the two best train travelogues ever written. Of course in describing Mr. Theroux for you, I feel as if I should take the high road and say that he is not the best travel writer we have but merely the best travel writer of his generation. That said, Theroux would never place his hand unknowingly on a glop of virus imbued bat guano in a cave in a remote area of Borneo like so many of our younger generation travel writers have done while positioning themselves for that aggrandizing selfie because he's just too damn observant of his surroundings-- and smart. So on second thought, maybe he is the best travel writer we have.

Now we switch tracks and roll past Men's Adult Western Fiction. And while I can neither endorse nor dismiss this brand of fiction I will say it never fails to deliver in the things that we are told are entertaining, which are sex and violence. There's also an occasional train, like here on the covers of Longarm and the Railroad to Hell (Jove, July 1991), and Longarm and the Great Train Robbery (Jove, July 1982), No's. 151 and 46 in the long running series that now encompasses 436 titles, plus 30 giant editions and at least 4 double editions. Whew! Will it never end? Probably not because Jove seems duly committed and Tabor Evans is merely their house name. Apparently there's no shortage of people who want to write this stuff as well as read it, and that goes for illustrating the covers too. The versatile Joe Lombardero was the series go-to artist and painted No. 151, but so far I've not been able to determine who painted No. 46.

Signet cut the saddle strings of their Adult Western series Ruff Justice at 28 volumes, but it wasn't to give veteran illustrator Barnett Plotkin a break. Hell, he could've easily have painted twice that many covers without derailing his enthusiasm. In fact Barnett Plotkin (1931-2003) never lacked for steam, and he, like so many of his fellow graduates at the Pratt Institute of Art, was a prolific producer of illustrations for both advertising and publishing.

Blood on the Moon, No. 3 in the Ruff Justice series, The Death of Iron Horse, No. 8, were issued in December of 1981, and March of 1983, respectively. Paul Joseph Lederer (1944- 2016) wrote every volume in the series under his pseudonym Warren T. Longtree. He also authored more than 100 other historical and western novels, including Signet's popular eight volume Indian Heritage series.

More Ken Barr, this time on the 1980's Adult Western series Cimarron. Barr produced every cover for the series (22 in all) and each one is a unique, individual rendering (the same goes for Plotkin's Ruff Justice paintings). Note the subtle differences in Cimarron's face and clothing and even in the shading of the rock bluffs behind him. The sheer dedication that most illustrators have towards their craft is remarkable, to say the least.

Leo P. Kelley (1928- 2002) started out as a science fiction writer, with 10 novels and dozens of short stories to his credit-- I'm particularly fond of his SF novel Myth-Master. However, in 1974 his crime novel Dead-Locked won an Edgar Award in the Best Paperback Original category, and you would think that that would provide enough incentive to keep him deadlocked in that genre, but no, by 1980 he was already moving towards the west. Kelley then stayed with westerns until retiring in 1991, completing 22 Cimarrons novels (No. 3 was published by Signet in April, 1983, and No. 13 was published by Signet in January, 1985), 9 Luke Sutton's novels, and finally 4 standalone novels.

I'm not sure what to make of this cover art and I don't know who painted it, but I do find myself fascinated by it nonetheless.  Breakheart Pass (Fawcett Crest, July 1975), is a terrific suspense novel that's filled with plot twists and turns and it's one of Alistair MacLean's most well regarded titles. At least part of the books prominence was generated by the film of the same name starring Charles Bronson and Jill Ireland, which, much like the book, managed to overlap various genres with resounding success. It's a western; it's a mystery; it's a secret agent thriller! 

Scottish born Alistair MacLean (1922- 1987) is considered to be one of the finest adventure/thriller writers of all time, and although he's not nearly as popular as he once was his 28 novels should still be required reading for anybody who has serious aspirations of becoming a writer. Especially an adventure writer. 

Below is a map of Fort Humboldt, Nevada, where the events of Breakheart Pass ultimately culminate. 

The wonderful montage illustrations here are probably by the same artist who did Shanghai, although I can't be completely certain. 

New Jersey native Paul Roger Rothweiler wrote all four volumes of the Westward Rails series, three of which are pictured above: Volume 1, Railroad King (Dell, September 1981), Volume 2, Fortune's Mistress (Dell, January 1982), and Volume 4, Troubled Empire (Dell, May 1982). I can't find a copy of the fourth volume (Empire Builder) or I would've posted it here too. Rothweiler also wrote several other historical novels under his own name and at least one pseudonym. By day he was an insurance broker and one of the country's earliest computer consultants, so he was not actually a full-time professional writer, but if not for a damn car wreck that killed him in 1986 at the age of 55 he most likely would've become one.

The train on this cover is rather small, as are other details, but the artwork is still exquisite, as rendered by master illustrator and fine arts painter Charles C. Gehm. Born in 1929, Gehm attended the Columbus College of Art and Design, studying under Joseph Canzani, and then enjoyed great success as an illustrator, providing cover art for most of the major publishing houses in America. He also produced movie posters, limited edition prints & collector plates, and for many years he taught illustration at the Western Connecticut State University in Danbury. Gehm passed away in 2015, but he left our world a more beautiful place for his having made art in it. 

Pastora was published by Avon in November of 1981. The events of the novel take place in San Fransisco during California's tumultuous Gold Rush era. Joanna Barnes (1934- ), the book's author, is an American actress, writer and former columnist. If Pastora is any indication she's also an extremely gifted novelist. Barnes is credited with 20 film roles and too many television roles to even begin to list. 

Jules Verne published his adventure novel Around the World in Eighty Days in 1873. Currier & Ives officially started lithograph printmaking in 1857. When Bantam decided to merge these two iconic presences together in May of 1984 it seemed like a brilliant idea, especially if the goal was to make their paperback edition as attractive as possible to customers. I'm guessing it was a success although I don't have any sales numbers to back up my claim.
Currier & Ives called this train the American Express. The engine is actually a 4-4-0 coal burning American, initially fitted as a wood burner. The numbers indicate the arrangement of four leading wheels on two axles, four powered and coupled driving wheels on two axles, and no trailing wheels. Americans were owned and operated by almost every major railroad during the Nineteenth Century. In Verne's now classic novel, Englishman Phileas Fogg and his French valet Jean Passepartout are pulled by an American as they travel across the United States via the Pacific Union Railway (also known as the transcontinental railroad), during their valiant attempt to circumnavigate the globe in less than 80 days. 

Here is their itinerary, as originally planned, which surprisingly doesn't include any balloon rides:
London, United Kingdom to Suez, Egypt, by rail and steamer: 7 days
Suez to Bombay, India, by steamer: 13 days
Bombay to Calcutta, India, by rail: 3 days
Calcutta to Victoria, Hong Kong, by steamer: 13 days
Hong Kong to Yokohama, Japan, by steamer: 6 days
Yokohama to San Francisco, United States, by steamer: 22 days
San Francisco to New York City, by rail: 7 days 
New York to London, by steamer : 8 days
Total: 79 days -- with one day left to spare.  


Here's an interesting cover by an unknown artist for The World Is Made Of Glass (Avon, June 1984), Australian writer Morris West's most unusual novel. Rather than try to explain what the cover art implies I'll just quote the last section of the first chapter, as written by the novel's female protagonist who is being analyzed by psychiatrist Dr. Carl Jung:
    "That night, for the first time, I had the nightmare: the dream of the hunt through the black valley, the fall from my horse and then being locked naked in a glass ball which rolled over and over in a desert of blood-red sand.
     I woke tangled in the sheets, sweating with horror and shouting for Papa. But Papa was long dead and my cry was drowned by the wail of the train whistle, echoing over the farmlands of Hanover."
Morris West (1916- 1999) wrote radio dramas and plays and eventually 26 novels, six of which were made into feature films. His The World Is Made Of Glass fictionalizes a true case history, albeit a brief one from Carl Jung's autobiography. Here is Morris's reasoning behind his novel:
"The time frame is 1913, the period of Jung's historic quarrel with Freud, the beginning of his lifetime love affair with Antonia Wolff and the onset of his own protracted breakdown. The character of the female patient is a novelist's creation; but it conforms with the limited information provided in Jung's version of the encounter. The character of Jung, his personal relationships, his professional attitudes and practices are all based on the voluminous records available. The interpretation of this material and its verbal expression are, of course, my own."  

Sometimes larger is Laager, and Lesser is more!
Artist Ken Laager painted the knife fighting railroad scene for the cover of L. J. Martin's historical novel Blood Mountain (Pinnacle, February 2003), and veteran artist Ron Lesser painted the Old West train montage for Gerald Canfield's Power and Glory, Volume One of the Robber Baron series (Dell, August 1992). Both novels swirl around the building of the transcontinental railroad that connected the Eastern U.S. rail network to the Pacific Coast in California. The tracks were being laid out from their prospective starting points in San Francisco, CA, and Council Bluffs, IA, by competing companies, and they converged in an area known as Promontory Summit, north of the Great Salt Lake in what is now the State of Utah. On May 10, 1869, a ceremony was conducted at that spot to celebrate the completion of the project*. Representative locomotives from each line met nose-to-nose and at 12:47 p.m. the final "Golden Spike" was hammered home amid much ballyhoo. A nation was united. Now instead of taking six arduous months to travel to California the time was reduced to a mere two weeks.  Power and glory indeed!  

I'll take a window seat please!

*Below is the actual transcontinental ceremony at Promontory Summit as superbly rendered by artist Bob Larkin (derived upon A.J. Russell's historic photograph), for Dana Fuller Ross's novel Utah!, the twelfth volume in his epic Wagons West series for Bantam (January, 1984).  

[Copyright © March 2017, The Paperback Pilot, all images copyright their respective artists, designers and publishers]