Adventures in Science Fiction Cover Art: Cosmic Fetuses + Other Uterine Spaces (+ levitating baby parts)

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(Paul Lehr’s cover for the 1970 edition of The Eyes of Heisenberg (1966), Frank Herbert)

Stanley Kubrick’s iconic baby in a balloon image at the end of his film 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) spawned a handful of intriguing cosmic fetus science fiction covers.  Even the famous artist Paul Lehr crafted perhaps the most artistically interesting version for Frank Herbert’s novel, The Eyes of Heisenberg.  Other artists, for example the uncredited creator of The Adam Experiment‘s cover, render incredibly hokey + spooky rip-offs.  Because I’ve found only a few on this particular theme I’ve included a variety of other baby related covers — hovering baby heads in space, mini-holograms of babies, adult men in uterine spaces, and babies in artificial wombs à la Huxley’s Brave New World (1931).

I suspect there are more out there (especially of the floating baby head variety) but I’ve only recently started looking for covers on this theme.  As always, if you happen to know any more I’d love to make a part II.  I have a follow up post on spectral adult humans floating across the cosmic wastes in spheres or dazzlings cascades of “glitter” (a more snazzy title will be conjured eventually) in the works….  Perhaps, their stoned parents….


(Still from Stanley Kubrick’s 1968 film 2001: A Space Odyssey)

(Uncredited cover for the 1983 edition of The Eyes of Heisenberg (1966), Frank Herbert)


(Ed Emshwiller’s cover for the September 1952 issue of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction)


(Uncredited cover for the 1975 edition of Backdrop of Stars (1968), ed. Harry Harrison)

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(Uncredited cover for the 1979 edition of The Adam Experiment (1978), Geoffrey Simmons)


(Tim White’s cover for the 1977 edition of The Mind of Mr. Soames (1961), Charles Eric Maine)


(W. F. Phillipps’ cover for the 1970 edition of Windows on the Future (1966), ed. Douglas Hill)


(Chris Achilleos’ cover for the 1976 edition of Time Out of Mind (1973), Richard Cowper)

THTWLGHTFB1976(Chris Achilleos’ cover for the 1976 edition of Twilight of Briareus (1974), Richard Cowper)

For similar posts consult the INDEX

9 thoughts on “Adventures in Science Fiction Cover Art: Cosmic Fetuses + Other Uterine Spaces (+ levitating baby parts)

  1. Yikes, those are some scary covers!!! The Lehr is certainly the best, but I cannot say that I actually “like” it. Actually Ed Emshwiller’s cover is pretty good, although I could do without the naked dude.

    Many of these covers remind me of similar conversations I’ve had in the past in which I imagined, or perhaps can’t imagine, those behind closed conversations: “hey, we published a book! Yes, there’s a good image for the cover, let’s go with that one!”.

      • I’ve also been thinking of making the post for multiple weeks — so I’ve been on the lookout. Also, I’ve browsed through the entire publication histories of most of the major sci-fi presses over the years — so I know what types of art are out there from around 1940-1979…

    • Haha, I think they are sort of fun… And of course, the baby in a vat (or or more precisely, genetic manipulation etc.) is one of the central sci-fi themes — just think the beginning of Brave New World.

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