(Uncredited cover for the 1969 edition of The Fortec Conspiracy (1968), Richard M. Garvin and Edmond G. Addeo)
Humans and aliens in glass vials of all shapes and sizes waiting to be measured, matured, tested, analyzed, exposed to a variety of chemicals and emulsions. The artists often combine the iconic laboratory scene filled with the tools of the trade with sci-fi speculation on human experimentation (queue babies grown in containers in Brave New World). The result, humans in tubes. The effect is downright terrifying and one suspects, evokes a certain moribund fascination. As with the famous introductory sequence in Brave New World, the reader is horrified by birth entirety regulated by machines. Or, we are simultaneously titillated Continue reading Adventures in Science Fiction Cover Art: Imprisoned in Glass Vials (of the metaphoric + medical + experimental variety)
(Gerard Quinn’s cover for the December 1956 issue of New Worlds)
Disembodied brains — in large metal womb-like containers, floating in space or levitating in the air (you know, implying PSYCHIC POWER), pulsating in glass chambers, planets with brain-like undulations, pasted in the sky (GOD!, surprise) above the Garden of Eden replete with mechanical contrivances among the flowers and butterflies and naked people… The possibilities are endless, and more often than not, taken in rather absurd directions.
I’ve cobbled together a large variety of images from pulp magazines to covers from the late 70s. My favorites include Valigrusky’s Continue reading Adventures in Science Fiction Cover Art: Disembodied Brains, Part I
(Paul Lehr’s cover for the 1968 edition of Conquerors from the Darkness (1965), Robert Silverberg)
A cornucopia of underwater sci-fi cover art images! As always, Paul Lehr’s covers are among my favorite for he masterfully renders the green-blue depths and textures of water inundated worlds (especially above, Conquerers from the Darkness). Watery worlds evoke unusual underwater life, a place fraught with danger where humans and aliens meet, unusual cityscapes (domes, water impervious shields, a plethora of transport craft) and of course, the vehicles for transportation (for example below, the futuristic submarine in Treasure of the Black Flacon and 21st Century Submarine, etc) evoke the same giddy sense of adventure as when first reading Jules Verne’s Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (1870) or watching Richard Fleischer’s surprisingly good 1954 film adaptation of the novel.
There are countless films, sci-fi TV shows, novels, short stories Continue reading Adventures in Science Fiction Cover Art: Underwater Expeditions (futuristic submarines, unusual sea life, underwater cities) Part I
(Alex Schomburg’s cover for the 1955 edition of Secret of the Martian Moons (1955), Donald A. Wollheim)
Spontaneously conjure with but a meer glance — Excitement! Wonder! Adventure!
The best of the covers of old 50s/60s juveniles (sci-fi for younger readers) always stirs the recumbent inklings of adolescent wonder… Intrepid boy/men (sadly, rarely women) trek across the “expanses” of the space — rarely expansive, more like puddle jumping from planet to planet with the phrase, “and the hyperdrive shook the ship but John wasn’t afraid because he had once ridden a farm cart with one of them spooked horses back home in Smalltown, US of A” — discovering planets, setting up colonies, angering some weird looking Continue reading Adventures in Science Fiction Cover Art: The Best of Alex Schomburg’s 50s Novel Covers