Thirteen David Pelham Covers

Putting together a collection of anything can be a frustrating and disheartening endeavour before indulging in the pleasure afforded by it’s eventual completion. I’ve spent many years tracking down records and books which I still haven’t managed to obtain despite having an endless list of internet resources to draw upon. Personally speaking, when a collection is left in a state of incompleteness for an extended period of time it becomes a monument to compromise – I am an owner of fractions but never of the whole.

When I began picking up books belonging to this series, they seemed to be both plentiful and reasonably priced. I was lulled into a false sense of achievement by these early acquisitions and rapidly obtained the first eight titles without much effort. The next four were a much tougher proposition, availability was extremely limited and the prices noticeably higher. After several more months of searching I required just a single volume, this is when the problem became apparent. The elusive book was The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch by Philip K. Dick. Not only is PKD a highly collectable author but Stigmata is undoubtedly one of his best works therefore making my task of finding a copy twice as difficult.

A few months ago however, I stumbled on a US bookseller with a copy up for sale, the price he wanted almost made me pass it up but I decided to contact him anyway. After making a few sensible offers, the dealer declined to negotiate his price and I returned to thinking that my collection would remain at a round dozen. It therefore came as quite a surprise when the dealer contacted me again a few weeks ago and accepted my previous best offer.

When the book arrived safely yesterday, I could hardly believe it. I had finally managed to assemble a complete set. Here are all thirteen covers from this fine series of books published by Penguin in 1972-73. Each title boasts a stunning David Pelham cover, the whole series is unified by a number of thematic design and typography cues.

Dick Three StigmataStapledon SiriusPohl Space MerchantsVonnegut Cats CradlePenguin SF OmnibusFarmer Night of LightBlish Black easterMoorcock Cure for CancerApeman SpacemanHenderson The PeopleStapledon Last MenStapledon StarmakerPohl Plague of Pythons

Dedicated to Frederik George Pohl Jr.
(November 26, 1919 – September 2, 2013)


10 thoughts on “Thirteen David Pelham Covers

  1. Joachim Boaz 05/09/2013 / 8:45 pm

    These are almost all great — I have never enjoyed his Moorcock cover….


    • unsubscriber 05/09/2013 / 8:50 pm

      It seemed at odds with the rest of the series at first but I now see it as a precursor to his next work – the Ballard Box Set. It’s grown on me over time… and it features a skull which always helps!


  2. Postcard Cafe 05/09/2013 / 10:07 pm

    Congratulations on getting the set! I guess we are quite privileged to see all the books in one place. The photographs are great and I’ll keep nudging you to do more with them. You have found a great niche for your photography. Keep up the good work and have a great weekend when it arrives 🙂


    • unsubscriber 05/09/2013 / 10:46 pm

      Thanks for the kind words N, I’ve never seen all thirteen titles together in one place before so I thought I’d share them here. Glad you’re continuing to enjoy my humble offerings, there are plenty more to come! Hope you have a good weekend too.


    • unsubscriber 16/09/2013 / 10:24 am

      Thanks for the comment, glad you enjoyed the covers. There are plenty more to come! All the best.


  3. Guy 13/07/2015 / 8:09 pm


    You were right I love this series. I have found Dick can be hard to find I have some, my favourites are the early Ace Doubles covers. I do have a few of the Stapleton’s from this series but there are a few others I would love even if I do not get all thirteen.

    Thanks Guy

    Liked by 1 person

    • unsubscriber 15/07/2015 / 11:16 am

      I thought you might like this one Guy, Pelham’s designs are most striking! I did actually find most of these through eBay and other online resources fairly quickly so you may be in luck! All the best.


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