Adventures in Science Fiction Cover Art: Spaceships Under Construction

(James B. Settles’ cover for the October 1948 issue of Amazing Stories)

A spaceship rearing from the plain, scaffolding surrounds its lithe form…  A classic image (the new Star Trek movie for example)!  Often utilizing a very traditional science fiction trope which I’ve dubbed Rocket Field Figure, cover art concerning spaceship construction is often more stylized than realistic.  My favorite is Carlo Jacono’s cover for the Italian edition of The Stars are Ours (1954).  I’m not sure that he is actually the artist due to the fact that MANY foreign editions use the work of American or British artists  modified slightly (this is not a hard fast rule, the work of Karel Thole for example is original).  Richard Powers’ early 50s non-surrealist work is worthwhile as well….

If you know of any I’ve missed (I don’t have many in my art collection on this theme), especially newer books or magazines, please please let me know!


(Carlo Jacono’s cover for the 1958 edition of The Stars are Ours (1954), Andre Norton)

(Richard Powers’ cover for the 1954 edition of Dark Dominion (1954), David Duncan)

(John Richards’ cover for the 1961 edition of Dark Dominion (1954), David Duncan)

(Stanley Meltzoff’s cover for the 1951 edition of The Man Who Sold The Moon (1950), Robert A. Heinlein)

(John Richards’ cover for the 1955 edition of Revolt of the Humans (1955), Jonathan Burke)

(Victor Kalin’s cover for a 1970s issue (?) of The Stars are Ours (1954), Andre Norton)

(Bernhard Borchert’s cover for Der Tag Null(date?), Claus Eigk)

(Julian S. Krupa’s cover for the April 1947 issue of Amazing Stories)

For similar posts consult the INDEX

11 Replies to “Adventures in Science Fiction Cover Art: Spaceships Under Construction”

  1. The Italian one jibes fairly well with my (televised) memories of rockets on the launchpad in the Mercury and Apollo days.

      1. NO – Thank you for finding all these cool books! I know others are interested in the books for reading, where I LOVE the art. I love your blog.

      2. Well, book reviews are the core of my blog but I like to mix it up 😉 I have way more book reviews than art posts.

        Thanks so much for the kind words!

  2. I love these old-school science fiction covers! A number of months back, my wife bought me an old-school calendar full of pictures just like this from the pulp-fiction days, it’s wonderful!

  3. I just discovered your blog and I absolutely love it. We seem to have very similar tastes in books as well as vintage SF art. Thank you for all the reviews and other content you’ve posted here. And keep up the awesome work.

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