Bob Watkin’s cover for the 1955 issue of If Magazine depicts an old man regaling stories of futuristic domed cities. His fantastic visions are reduced to their key elements in sketch form — a translucent dome, buildings. I’ve selected a variety of images from pulp 50s works until the late 70s depicting more fantastic/futuristic domed cities than the old man’s imagination conjures. Ed Emshwiller’s cover for the 1953 edition of City at World’s End (1950) depicts two futuristic metropoli — a trend in future city development? The first is a planned circular city spreading horizontally across the plain. The other, an incredibly stylized “futuristic complex” which abandons many current notions of a possible “city.”
Many domed cities are colonies on foreign worlds, the atmospheric conditions or extreme cold the reason for such cityscapes….
Others, for example the uncredited 1977 cover for Ian Wallace’s The Sign of the Mute Medusa (1977) and the the uncredited cover for The Wounded Planet (1974), imply a polluted world where the domes — rising from the ruins of older cities — now protect their inhabitants from manmade destruction.
I have a part IV in the works….
What are your favorites?
(Bob Watkins’ cover for the February 1955 issue of If)
(Uncredited cover for the 1972 edition of Agent of Chaos (1967), Norman Spinrad)
(Jack Gaughan’s cover for the 1965 issue of Alpha Yes, Terra No! (1965), Emil Petaja)
(Ron Turner’s cover for the 1954 edition of The Master Weed (1954), John Rackham (i.e. John T. Phillifent)
(Uncredited (can’t make out the signature — Richardson?) cover for the 1954 issue of Journey to Mars (1954), E. C. Tubb)
(Uncredited cover for the 1974 edition of The Wounded Planet (1974), ed. Roger Elwood and Virginia Kidd)
(Uncredited cover for the 1977 edition of The Sign of the Mute Medusa (1977), Ian Wallace)
(Uncredited cover for the 1962 edition of The Diploids (1962), Katherine MacLean)
(Brian Lewis’ cover for the 1979 edition of The Wall of Years (1979), Andrew M. Stephenson)
For similar covers consult the INDEX