This is the second post in a potential series of posts showcasing the science fiction cover art by Richard Powers (1921-1996). My first post discussed a few surrealist cityscape covers from the 1950s. Here I’ve selected a variety of surrealistic, composite, conglomerated, and masked faces from his 1970s covers.
A delightful green human shape — mouthless — replete with translucent hollows? emerging occupants or surfacing memories?
(Cover for the 1973 edition of All Flesh is Grass (1965), Clifford D. Simak)
The Eternal Frontiers utilizes another interesting technique — paper cutouts. The cutouts give a stylized outline of a landscape which Powers’ haunting and ethereal figures inhabit. The face in the foreground is the least ethereal… A disturbed gaze.
(Cover for the 1973 edition of The Eternal Frontiers (1973), James H. Scmitz)
Powers’ third cover for Poul Anderson’s fun novel Shield is the most successful. The shield opens showing the man (and a reflection?) and the horrors that he has been protected from/caused surround him.
(Cover for the 1974 edition of Shield (1963), Poul Anderson)
Layered faces… Powers has perfected the haunting gaze…
(Cover for the 1976 edition of StarMother, Sydney J. Van Scyoc)
Vaguely humanoid ALUMINUM MEN!
(Cover for the 1975 edition of The Aluminum Man (1975), G. C. Edmondson)
A spectral multi-headed humanoid Hydra…. eyeless…
(Cover for the 1975 edition of Future Corruption (1975), Roger Elwood)
My favorite of today’s bunch. An unusual object (and accompanying objects) levitate above the plain. Humans gather into some stretched human (ish) skin out of sight…. Beautiful!
(Cover for the 1976 edition of Pavane (1968), Keith Roberts)
Blood red clouds, man orbited?
(Cover for the 1972 edition of Night of Light (1966), Philip José Farmer)
(Cover for the 1972 edition of The Shape Changer (1972), Keith Laumer)
Mask = definite human form. Vague human outlines gather.
(Cover for the 1975 edition of Missing Man (1975), Katherine MacLean)
Measuring your spectral form….
(Cover for the 1972 edition of The Infinite Cage (1972), Keith Laumer)
Tangent: Are any of these novels/collections worth reading (especially Katherine MacLean’s Missing Man)? I’ve only read Poul Anderson’s Shield.