Adventures in Science Fiction Cover Art: The Domed Cities of the Future Part I

(Uncredited cover for the 1965 edition of Beyond the Sealed World (1965), Rena M. Vale)

While browsing through my collection of cover images I’ve collated over the last few months for science fiction art post ideas, I came across the uncredited cover for Rena Vale’s Beyond the Sealed World (1965) and was transfixed!  The angle of the text, the mountain, the dark expanse of space, the little spaceship, the figures silhouetted against the night, and the surreal shape of the domed city connected to other distant domed cities… If anyone knows the artist (or has a good educated guess) please let me know!  The second edition cover (below) still has beautiful domed cities but the caveman, helmeted soldier, and white-clad (not for long, the dress is slipping) woman tableau ruins the feel.

Particularly noteworthy is Jack Gaughan’s elevated domed city cover for the 1969 edition of the short story anthology Time to Come (1954) (see below)…

Without doubt this will be a multi-part science fiction cover art series considering the amount of images on this theme I’ve found — there’s nothing I like more than visually stunning future cities, and visually stunning cities with domes are even better.  And good story is always a plus!

Are the domes simply to keep space out?  Or to keep people locked inside?  Do the inhabitants of these domed prisons know that there’s even a world beyond the walls?

(are any of the works worth reading?  I’m tempted by Rena M. Vale’s Beyond the Sealed World but then again she had a sordid career ratting out various Communist party members as an investigator for the House Committee on Un-American Activities!)


(Uncredited cover for the 1968 edition of Beyond the Sealed World (1965), Rena M. Vale)

(Jack Gaughan’s cover for the 1969 edition of Time to Come (1954), ed. August Derleth)

(Richard Powers’ cover for the 1963 edition of After Worlds Collide (1934), Philip Wylie and Edwin Balmer)

(Ed Emshwiller’s cover for the 1962 edition of Dome World (1962), Dean McLaughlin)

(Richard Powers cover for the 1957 edition of City at World’s End (1951), Edmond Hamilton)

(Jack Faragasso’s cover for the 1969 edition of Alien Earth and Other Stories (1969), ed. Roger Elwood and Sam Moskowitz)

(Jack Gaughan’s cover for the 1967 edition of Eight Against Utopia (1967), Douglas R. Mason)

(Richard Powers cover for the 1964 edition of Star of Stars (1960), ed. Frederik Pohl)

For similar posts see, Adventures in Science Fiction Cover Art INDEX

5 thoughts on “Adventures in Science Fiction Cover Art: The Domed Cities of the Future Part I

  1. I read City at World’s End when I was in my early teens, and then searched and searched for it for years as an adult. An online friend finally found it for me in a garage sale and mailed it to me. I enjoyed it just as much as ever (getting past the sexism of the time, of course). I got a thrill the moment I opened the package and saw that cover again.

    The cover is actually a good representation of that part of the story. And as the abandoned city was described, I felt it sounded fairly plausible, and the place might actually have been livable.

    It’s probably hard for me to get around the fascination I felt for the story in the beginning. That was one of my very first science fiction books, and I didn’t read a lot of them in those early years.

    • I read the book recently (but I would have loved it as a kid) and found that it was atrocious. BUT, yes, the sequence is straight from the novel. Unfortunately the art is so much cooler than the book 😉

  2. Pingback: SF Tidbits for 5/11/12 - SF Signal – A Speculative Fiction Blog

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