(Uncredited cover for the 1960 edition of The 22nd Century (1954), John Christopher)
There’s no better way to start off the new year than a gallery of science fiction covers depicting rampant imagination, unlimited promise. Some of us probably wish for mechanisms that conjure extraordinary feats of telepathy or the throbbing delights (avoiding all the pitfalls, of course) of a wisdom inundated supermind (well, I do at least).
Regardless, depicting extraordinary intelligence — whether harnessed for nefarious schemes or not — is a common trope: gigantic brains! unusual metal helmets! exploding heads replete with spectral fires! rays darting from eyes! otherworldly auras encircling heads, emanating symbols and shapes and diagrams….
(as always, are the books worth reading? Silverberg’s The Stochastic Man (1975) is on my radar as is the Theodore Sturgeon short stories collection but I know very little about the others — I’ve read John Christopher’s Tripod trilogy but haven’t delved into his earlier corpus)
(Bob Hilbreth’s cover for the December 1946 issue of Amazing Stories)
(Victor Kalin’s cover for the 1967 edition of Beyond the Spectrum (1964), Martin Thomas)
(Mel Hunter’s cover for the 1953 edition of Man of Many Minds (1953), E. Everett Evans)
(Gray Morrow’s cover for the 1968 edition of Man of Many Minds (1953), E. Everett Evans)
(John Schoenherr’s cover for the 1963 edition of Supermind (magazine 1960), Mark Phillips i.e. Randall Garrett and Laurence M. Janifer)
(Jack Gaughn’s cover for the 1969 edition of Path Beyond the Stars (1969), Emil Petaja)
(Ed Emswiller’s for the 1964 edition of Sturgeon in Orbit (1964), Theodore Sturgeon)
(Uncredited cover for the 1976 edition of The Stochastic Man (1975), Robert Silverberg)
For similar posts, consult the Adventures in Science Fiction Cover Art INDEX