Gimme Head

After taking such a long break from blogging, it seems only logical to piece together another bumper theme based on cover art due to the large number of books which have been pushed through my letterbox in the intervening period. I was flicking through my library for a few more covers featuring human skulls during the weekend for a continuation of an earlier piece (here) but kept coming across books with whole heads on them and so that’s where I’ll take my cue from. Here’s the chosen selection;

The Whole Man by John Brunner
1970 – Ballantine
A great piece of cover art from Steele Savage to begin with gracing this fine repress of Brunner’s 1964 novel. Not only does the design feature the head of protagonist Gerald Howson, but his cranium is filled with thirteen other heads whose faces stare out unblinkingly at the reader.

Brunner Whole

When They Come From Space by Mark Clifton
1964 – Four Square
One of only three novels by Mark Clifton, this book was recently purchased from a lady who lives on a narrowboat. I initially thought the cover was by Richard Powers but it is sadly uncredited in the book and I can’t find any further clues as to its creator.

Clifton Space

Clone by Richard Cowper
1974 – Quartet
This rather strange image is uncredited in the book but I have read on a SF forum that it could possibly be the work of Jim Burns – although personally I have my doubts. It’s a great painting all the same.

Cowper Clone

The Furious Future by Algis Budrys
1966 – Panther
More uncredited artwork on this great collection. This time the head appears to be materialising from inside some kind of giant psychedelic waffle. Superbly odd.

Budrys Future

The Lost Perception by Daniel F. Galouye
1968 – Corgi
Yet another uncredited piece which has been suggested by one of my knowledgable readers is the work of Josh Kirby, (thanks Bernie!) The cover painting serves to illustrate the effects of an alien epidemic know as ‘the screamies’, or to quote from the rear cover;

“Exploding in a man’s mind in a searing blast of noise and heat… the victims dying in a rigid paroxysm of pain…” This novel was renamed A Scourge Of Screamers for its final reprinting later the same year.

Galouye Perception

Keep The Giraffe Burning by John Sladek
1977 – Panther
A fantastic collection of short stories from one of my current favourite authors which has a brilliantly bizarre cover painting by the always intriguing Peter Goodfellow.

Sladek Giraffe

Can You Feel Anything When I Do This? – Robert Sheckley
1974 – Daw
This excellent collection of Sheckley shorts features supremely twisted head-related artwork by Hans Arnold and came to me in ‘as new’ condition from a book dealer based in Sydney

Sheckley Feel Anything

Rogue Moon by Robert Budrys
1973 – Arrow
Featured on another Budrys title, this final piece of art is not exactly a human head but rather a glass simulacra which begins on the back cover and continues over the spine and onto the front forming a very trippy wraparound photo montage. This striking design is the work of Chris Yates.

Budrys Rogue Moon


6 thoughts on “Gimme Head

    • unsubscriber 19/12/2013 / 11:04 am

      Thanks for the comment Joachim, I’ve just had a look at your article – similar indeed. It’s good to know there are a few like-minded people who still love these old books with their odd cover art. The concept may well be creepy but I do have a lot of love for these old covers. Hope you’re keeping well and still reading.


      • Joachim Boaz 19/12/2013 / 3:47 pm

        I meant creepy as in the visualization of holding objects in your mind (for example, some of the ones I had are women trapped inside of a guys head). But yes, I too have tons of loves fro these covers.

        I’ll have a bunch more reviews up when I get home for the Christmas break. I am frantically grading, writing, applying for grants at the moment…


  1. Bernie 19/12/2013 / 10:55 am

    Great article! I can tell you that the cover for The Lost Perception by Daniel F. Galouye, is by Josh Kirby, 100% definitely, I haven’t time right now to find an attribution online but can refer you to the book by David Langford entitled “A Cosmic Cornucopia”. Can’t help with Clone except to agree that it’s extremely doubtful that it’s Jim Burns.


    • unsubscriber 19/12/2013 / 11:01 am

      Thanks for the comment Bernie, very kind words. I’ll update the article accordingly as per Lost Perception, thanks for the lead on this one. Clone is an odd one alright, I’d love to know how did the cover but some issues can never be resolved. Speak to you again soon.


  2. Pingback: Gimme More Head |

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