Adventures in Science Fiction Cover Art: Disembodied Brains, Part I

(Gerard Quinn’s cover for the December 1956 issue of New Worlds)

Disembodied brains — in large metal womb-like containers, floating in space or levitating in the air (you know, implying PSYCHIC POWER), pulsating in glass chambers, planets with brain-like undulations, pasted in the sky (GOD!, surprise) above the Garden of Eden replete with mechanical contrivances among the flowers and butterflies and naked people… The possibilities are endless, and more often than not, taken in rather absurd directions.

I’ve cobbled together a large variety of images from pulp magazines to covers from the late 70s.  My favorites include Valigrusky’s cover for Moon Base (1964) (brain = psychic power), Podwil’s cover for The Cybernetic Brains (Magazine 1950) (unsure of the strange jumping toad creature with red eyes), and Gerard Quinn’s rather crude cover for the December 1956 issue of New Worlds (the 50s clothes clash in a bizarre way with the bulbous monstrosity containing THE BRAIN).

Enjoy!

(Uncredited cover for the 1950 edition of Donovan’s Brain (1943), Curt Siodmak)

(Howard V. Brown’s cover for the February 1937 issue of Thrilling Wonder Stories)

(Gene Szafran’s cover for the 1972 edition of Gray Matters (1971), William Hjortsberg)

(Uncredited cover for the 1979 edition of Gray Matters (1971), William Hjortsberg)

(Ed Valigursky’s cover for the 1964 edition of Moon Base (1964). E. C. Tubb)

(Lloyd Birmingham’s cover for the January 1963 issue of Amazing Stories Fact and Science Fiction)

(Ralph Brillhart’s cover for the 1962 edition of The Memory Bank (magazine publication 1951), Wallace West)

(Jerome Podwil’s cover for the 1969 edition of The Cybernetic Brains (magazine version 1950), Raymond F. Jones)

(Ed Emshwiller’s cover for the 1962 edition of The Cybernetic Brains (magazine version 1950), Raymond F. Jones)

(Victor Kalin’s cover for the 1967 edition of Beyond the Spectrum (1964), Martin Thomas)

(D. A. Daily’s cover for the 1976 edition of Energy Zero (1976), Gary Brandner)

(Gene Szafran’s cover for the 1972 edition of The Organ Bank Farm (1970), John Boyd)

(Uncredited cover for the German edition (date?) of The Altered Ego (1954), Jerry Sohl)

(For an amazing collection of German science fiction covers consult Micky the Pixel’s amazing flickr photostream)

(Uncredited cover for the 1977 edition of Camp Concentration (magazine 1967), Thomas M. Disch)

(Paul Lehr’s cover for the 1976 edition of Shakespeare’s Planet (1976), Clifford D. Simak)

(George Underwood’s cover for the 1979 edition of The Mind Thing (magazine 1960), Fredric Brown)

For similar cover art posts consult the INDEX

4 thoughts on “Adventures in Science Fiction Cover Art: Disembodied Brains, Part I”

    1. I don’t own all the books (I do own hundreds and hundreds but not the thousands I post — hehe). I periodically look through online catalogues of images and either take the ones I like OR look for particularly themes I remember seeing when browsing through the images.

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