JF Ptak Science Books Post 1116
Well, no, this isn't quite the case, but it does look as though Manhattan was mysteriously transformed into a spaceship of some sort, an island in the sky (that it already is), hurtling towards a destiny with the sun. But in sci-fi
fact, Manhattan was being ripped straight out of the Earth, swallowed along with other Earthly goods and Solar System fixtures by an advancing and ravenous Sol. (I should note that there is a battleship floating upside down over Manhattan--this is the second image of an upside-down above-Manhattan hovering battleship I have seen this week from Mr. Paul, an earlier version seen here.) .Physics problems aside, this cover was just too spectacular to not merit its own post, so that it is easily findable (even amidst the rest of the NYC swallowed/missing/in space/attacked/duplicated posts).
For example, there is the following case of Manhattan being missing, submerging itself into the bedrock under the weight of its skyscrapers (in 1902):
Frank R. Paul did the cover art for the story "An Invading Sun" that appeared in Science Fiction for August, 1939, and that's as far as I got with this issue--anything more is destined to be a shrinking denouement. There would've been plenty in the air, as it were, in the summer of 1939 to put the artist and the author in a foul prognosticating mood. The Japanese had already been scourging China for several years now, and Nazi Germany had moved into Austria and Czechoslovakia, and were just about to begin WWII in earnest with their attack on Poland, just weeks away. The 1930's were a glorious decade for physics (and included the Miracle Year of 1932 spiked by Fermi, the Joliot-Curies and Carl Anderson; Oppenheimer and gravitational collapse, the overwhelmingly better-understood quantum theory, nuclear physics, and all the rest...a very busy decade). So the world was coming into a landing of some sort in 1939, what with densely compacted collapsing stars, the discovery of subatomic particles, the real birth of QM and nuclear physics, Nazis, the Japanese running amok in Asia, the death pangs of the Depression panging away, deep anti-involvement attitudes int he US, and so on. No wonder the Earth was being consumed in science fiction fires.
Cover art by Frank R. Paul for August 1939 Science Fiction magazine source: Frank Wu's Frank R. Paul Gallery.