(Paul Lehr’s cover for the 1979 edition of Crompton Divided (variant title: The Alchemical Marriage of Alistair Crompton) (1978), Robert Sheckley)
Paul Lehr’s cover for the 1979 edition of Robert Sheckley’s Crompton Divided (1978) was the inspiration for this post. I found the cover many years ago while looking through Lehr’s entire (mostly brilliant catalogue) and was intrigued. The man, comprised of puzzle-like pieces that slowly morph into the swirls of his clothes, stares at us with hybridized eyes — a planet, a pupil — while one missing puzzle piece allows the viewer a glimpse of a barren landscape. His brain, entirely a puzzle, is complete, but are his senses crumbling?
Dean Ellis’ cover for the 1971 edition of Larry Niven’s collection All the Myriad Ways (1971) is even more fantastic — the puzzle pieces (bones, faces, limbs) dangle in the air in surrealist fashion with an unusual portal, or gate looming on the plains. The complete puzzled would include both the external features of man, his face, his ears and his internal bone structure.
John Holmes’ cover for the 1972 edition of Piers Anthony’s Chthon (1967) is another intriguing example — a man struggles against his enclosure but simultaneously unravels. Although the delivery is less than perfect the uncredited cover for the 1969 edition of Kenneth Bulmer The Doomsday Men (1968) is strangely alluring — a woman’s skin, upon closure examination, is fractured and earthen, her mouth, a maw into an unknown interior…
And the novels, are they worth reading?
Enjoy! (what are your favorites? Can you divine any hidden meanings?)
(Uncredited cover for the 1959 edition of The Isotope Man (1958), Charles Eric Maine)
(William Timmins’ cover for the June 1949 issue of Astounding Science Fiction, ed. John W. Campbell, Jr.)
(Richard Powers’ cover for the 1975 edition of Chthon (1967), Piers Anthony)
(Ed Emshwiller’s cover for the April 1956 issue of Galaxy Science Fiction, ed. H. L. Gold)
(Virgil Finlay’s cover for the September 1957 issue of Galaxy Science Fiction, ed. H. L. Gold)
(Dean Ellis’ cover for the 1971 edition of All the Myriad Ways (1971), Larry Niven)
(Richard Powers’ cover for the 1966 edition of New Dreams This Morning (1966), ed. James Blish)
(David Davies’ cover for the 1968 edition of Counter-Clock World (1967), Philip K. Dick)
(Richard Clifton-Dey’s cover for the 1977 edition of Rork! (1965), Avram Davidson)
(Uncredited cover for the 1969 edition of The Doomsday Men (1968), Kenneth Bulmer)
(Virgil Finlay’s cover for the May 1957 issue of Fantastic Universe Science Fiction, ed. Hans Stefan Santesson)
(McInnery’s cover for the 1972 edition of The Müller-Fokker Effect (1970), John Sladek)
(Uncredited cover for the 1968 edition of The Mercy Men (1968), Alan E. Nourse)
(Dennis Rolfe’s cover for the 1971 edition of The Naked Sun (1956), Isaac Asimov)
(Uncredited cover for the 1971 edition of The Anomaly (1971), Jerry Sohl)
(Karel Thole’s cover for the 1962 edition of The Wind From Nowhere (1962), J. G. Ballard)
(Karel Thole’s cover the 1962 edition of The Blue Atom (1958), Robert Moore Williams)
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