It’s Friday; here’s a lazy post of some old sci-fi book covers

I went to the bookstore this afternoon, looking to maybe find something I hadn’t read by my favorite author Garth Marenghi, or at least to pick up something from the so-called Bizarro fiction genre. I wound up spending about 75 minutes perusing old sci-fi and fantasy titles, occasionally taking a pic or two. I love old sci-fi covers (Daw covers in particular); looking at so many this afternoon, I noticed that certain prestige-style covers that attempted to “transcend genre” (e.g. certain editions by authors like William Gibson and Neil Gaiman) actually end up looking really dated and generic. Anyway, I hadn’t initially intended to do a post, and what I’m presenting here is hardly representative as a sample (there are literally tens of thousands of sci-fi books in the store). At a certain point I got dizzy.

I’m sure that there are some really great blogs out there that do this sort of thing properly—take real care with scans and bother to credit artists and designers properly. Forgive me. Forgive the bad lighting and my fat thumbs. I’ve included some details from the book covers too. So, as promised by my title: It’s Friday; here’s a lazy post of some old book covers.


Cabu by John Robert Russell. There were a couple of Russell titles with unreal covers.



The Gods of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs is the only book in this post that I’ve actually read.


Masters of Time by A.E. Van Vogt. This seems like a very special book.



Do You Have an Owner’s Manual for Your Brain? by Marina Raye. I recall the book’s blurb suggesting that this is a work of “science faction.”

I love the wolf’s smile.



The Eyes of Heisenberg by Frank Herbert. The design meeting for this was probably something like, “Oh, I don’t know, just make a lazy collage. And make sure it’s really fucking gross looking too.”



Patterns of Chaos by Colin Kapp. I kind of regret not picking this up right now. What a great title! It’s like a paradox or somethin’. The cover has a lovely dark Bosch vibe.


Mutant Hell by Mark Grant is, as you know, the second entry in the landmark Mutants Amok series.



Little Fuzzy by H. Beam Piper. I said that the Burroughs was the only title I’d read in this post, but I have a vague recollection of reading this (not this edition) as a kid. (It took everything in me to write “vague recollection” instead of “fuzzy recollection” just now. And damn, I did it anyway. I conclude I have no inner resources).



Norstrilia by Cordwainer Smith. Why didn’t I pick this up? Look at this team! “Cordwainer” is a great first name for a writer too.


Mandrill by Richard Gardner. Behold the Mandrill’s stare!



Runts of 61 Cygni C by James Grazier. It’s like, uh, I don’t, like a very specific sex novel (?).



Wonderful Ballard vibe with this cover for The World Inside by Robert Silverberg.



The Dimensioneers by Doris Piserchia. Flying alligators.



Garbage World by Charles Platt actually has a kinda generic cover, but, c’mon: Garbage World! Kind of sums up the year we’re having.


Pig World by Charles W. Runyon has both a great title and a great cover.


With a little bit of editing, M.A. Foster’s The Morphodite becomes the cover of the self-titled album of your favorite lost psych-prog band, The Genetic Time-Bomb Person:


Shards of Space by Robert Sheckley. The monster seems sad.img_3097-1


Love the aesthetic here for Land of Unreason by Fletcher Spratt and L. Sprague de Camp.


The Jonah Kit by Ian Watson. What can I say, I’m a sucker for white whales.


7 thoughts on “It’s Friday; here’s a lazy post of some old sci-fi book covers”

  1. It really is odd that such a hot writer as Herbert at the time couldn’t get better artwork for that cover of “The Eyes of Heisenberg,” which was the first edition of the novel (beyond Galaxy magazine’s serialization). Later editions were improved but none were all that impressive. Bad book cover, but a good book!


  2. That looks to be the best bookstore in Luzon! Could you please tell me
    its name and location? I am getting by now with Book Sale, Nat Bookstore, and Power-Books, but this looks to have more stuff than any of them!
    Salamat po, Lee Cronbach, Palocpoc, Mendez Cavite


  3. It is sad to see how painters and authors who appropriate cultural icons don’t even research a little about what they are endorsing or trying to emulate. The Pyramid of Chichen-Itza represented in the cover of Marina Raye’s “Do you have a manual for your brain? is the worst example of the notion that pyramids belong to all “exotic” cultures of America. This pyramid not only is one of the most common touristic destination site in Mexico known by all “Beach-Breakers” but has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO years ago, a few glimpses into research would be enough to be aware that is one of the most visited and photographed, Mayan Culture pyramids, numerous TV documentaries have been made about it. How can the painter relate this to the Native American culture? The worst part I guess beyond the appropriation of the cultural icon by a clearly white representative that has nothing to do with the Mayan culture that flourished 2000 years ago on the Mexican peninsula, Guatemala, Belize and other countries of tropical South America, is the image of a white wolf from North America. Double, Triple No-No !!! Learn History, read geography, consult, research before doing such Kitsch art monsters. Sorry for Maria, because we love her music! Thanks.


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