(Walter Popp’s cover for the August 1952 issue of Fantastic Adventures)
The sphere — as a manifestation of the perfectly round geometrical shape or replete with various derivations and modifications (tentacles, slight elongations, eye sockets, limbs both fleshly or mechanical) — holds a particular fascination for sci-fi artists and authors. The possibilities are endless: spherical aliens, spherical ocean descent vehicles, spherical spaceships, spherical robotic doctors, wizards levitating spherical objects, and spherical legged war vehicles…
I’ve selected a delightful variety of these spherical manifestations. In my favorite (above) female scientists alternately shout about, gaze at, and document descending spheres — Walter Popp’s fantastic cover conveys unbridled enthusiasm and wonder. I find the menacing mass of a crumpling spheroid downright frightening in Emshwiller’s visual feast of a cover for Andre Norton’s The Defiant Ones!
What are your favorites?
(Ed Emshwiller’s cover for the 1963 edition of The Defiant Agents (1962), Andre Norton)
(Hubert Rogers’ cover for the April 1950 issue of Astounding Science Fiction)
(John Schoenherr’s cover for the January 1973 issue of Analog Science Fiction/Science Fact)
(John Schoenherr’s cover for the 1967 edition of Against the Fall of Night (1948), Arthur C. Clarke)
(Robert Fuqua’s cover for the March 1939 issue of Amazing Stories)
(Leo Morey’s cover for the March 1935 issue of Amazing Stories)
(Uncredited cover for the 1965 edition of Crashing Suns (collection published 1965, stories from the late 20s/30s), Edmond Hamilton)