Adventures in Science Fiction Cover Art: Human Transformations + Transfigurations

LNHRZNSEB1974

(Vincent Di Fate’s cover for Alien Horizons (1974), William F. Nolan)

I have been gathering this series of SF covers for a while—the human shape contorting, manipulated, transforming into in-human forms (trees, keys, insects, etc).  Some are more metaphoric, for example Josh Kirby’s cover for the 1970 edition of A Century of Great Short Science Fiction Novels (1964).  While a few are clearly aliens which look “human”—Charles Shield’s incredibly uncanny cover for the 1979 edition of Fireflood and Other Stories (1979) by Vonda N. McIntyre….

All hint at bigger mysteries, and seduce with their uncertain implications.  Despite the strangely kitsch feel (the colors?) generated by Vincent Di Fate’s cover for Alien Horizons (1974), William F. Nolan it remains my favorite encapsulation of the theme….

What are your favorites?  I’d love to make a second post on this theme so be sure to point any out to me that I did not include.

Enjoy!

For more cover art themed posts consult the INDEX

1

(Richard Weaver’s (?) cover for the 1967 edition of Never the Same Door (1967), Douglas R. Mason)

(John Schoenherr’s cover for the May 1961 issue of Analog Science Fiction / Science Fact, ed. John W. Campbell, Jr.)avon53-04-1

(Leo Manso’s cover for the April 1953 issue of Avon Science Fiction and Fantasy Reader, ed. Sol Cohen)

BRNDNWW19XX

(Vincent Di Fate’s cover for the 1976 edition of A Brand New World (serialized 1928), Ray Cummings)

CNTRFGRTSH1970

(Josh Kirby’s cover for the 1970 edition of A Century of Great Short Science Fiction Novels (1964), ed. Damon Knight)

fantastic_195909

(Taylor Oughton’s cover for the September 1959 issue of Fantastic Science Fiction Stories, ed. Cele Goldsmith)

FRFLSTRSA31979

(Charles Shield’s cover for the 1979 edition of Fireflood and Other Stories (1979), Vonda N. McIntyre)

LNGNMRRWBD1971

(Brad Johannsen’s cover for the 1971 edition of Alone Against Tomorrow: Stories of Alienation in Speculative Fiction (1971), Harlan Ellison)

 NBLDFGRSSQ1975

(Michael Presley’s cover for 1975 edition of No Blade of Grass (1957), John Christopher)

Screen shot 2012-03-23 at 7.11.15 PM

(Anna Montecroci’s cover for the 1979 edition of Way Station (1963), Clifford D. Simak)

13 Replies to “Adventures in Science Fiction Cover Art: Human Transformations + Transfigurations”

  1. Great post as always Joachim, a few too many good covers here to pick a favourite but the John Christopher novel probably takes it for me too. Very stark.

  2. I like the fourth one down. The rose headed astronaut. Even though the flower isn’t a face, it still seems to have its own expression. I guess these strange and random things speak to the soul in some unknown way. I have read mostly fantasy, but I like Michael Moorcock in the Corum and Elric sagas. What would you recommend for a newcomer?

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