When I originally put together the Gimmie Head article (here) back in December last year, it struck me just how many books I had left over with heads on their covers. In fact, I have just received a package containing two more such volumes from my narrowboat dwelling friend this past month so I thought I might as well do a follow up of sorts. I chose eight titles for the original piece and so for the sake of equilibrium I have done the same here, narrowing my original choice down from a dozen.
As I prepared the books for photographing and checked the design of the previous article, I became aware that I had used two volumes by Algis Budrys in the first piece and have somehow managed to repeat that feat in part two. Maybe Budrys’ cover designers just liked heads…
Mindmix by Leo P. Kelley
1972 – Fawcett Gold Medal
“They gave him another man’s brain and forced him to live in a stranger’s nightmare”
A tagline just crying out for a cover depicting a fragmented head populated by surly strangers. The artist is uncredited for this fantastically unsettling piece.
Who? by Algis Budrys
1979 – Fontana
A brilliant physicist reconstructed by The Russians and now resembling a “ball bearing on legs” is at the centre of this rather nifty little spy-fi thriller. The cover painting is by Alun Hood.
Prisoner Of Fire by Edmund Cooper
1977 – Coronet
A tale of telepathy and psychological warfare gone wrong when one the gifted trainees goes missing. Orders from the top of Government dictate that she is hunted down by her own kind and destroyed. Sadly no artist is credited for the brilliant cover.
Our Friends From Frolix 8 by Philip K. Dick
1970 – Ace Books
Great artwork by John Schoenherr from this 1st paperback edition from one of my favourite PKD novels.
Michaelmas by Algis Budrys
1979 – Fontana
A rather prescient tale featuring Domino, a highly portable computer which allows Laurent Michaelmas to interface with and influence every electronic communications network on the planet. The cover by Alun Hood looks like the titular hero is being fitted with a giant sim card!
The Worlds Of Frank Herbert by Frank Herbert
1970 – New English Library
A landscape populated by heads and Salvador Dali-esque upper torsos painted by Jan Parker illustrate this fine collection of Herbert shorts and novellas.
The Inner Landscape – Anthology
1975 – Corgi
An anthology of novellas by Mervyn Peake, J.G. Ballard and Brian W. Aldiss. This superb cover is yet another uncredited piece unfortunately. (Thanks for this one Bernie!)
Immortality Inc. by Robert Sheckley
1978 – Peacock Books/Penguin
Excellent story of reincarnation and zombies from Sheckley, the wraparound artwork by Peter Goodfellow is pretty damn good too.