A Plethora Of Penguins Part One

I love Penguin Books. I think it all started at secondary school because we had so many of them in our library – rows and rows of orange, blue and green spines. Somehow the smell of musty books takes me right back there and I’m sat at a long table on an uncomfortable steel framed chair reading a Penguin Book. It comes as no surprise then that I should have picked up a fair few Penguin Science Fiction books in later years.

Some time ago, I was sent a link to a website listing all the Penguin SF books to date (here) and I was off again, clicking on thumbnails and attempting to complete whole collections of fantastic looking books. This site has been a great tool in helping me decide what I want to find but also a source of unhappiness as it taunts me with pictures of those books which continue to remain unobtainable to me.

I’ve written about a couple of my major Penguin triumphs (here and here) but also about my biggest failure to date (here). I was wondering the other day how to deal with my remaining Penguin-related fragments in terms of displaying them on the blog when I decided I should just gather up some of my favourite covers from the tangle of incompleteness and present them here simply as a plethora of Penguin Books for your viewing purposes. As stated before elsewhere, these covers are just far too good to be sat on a shelf displaying their spines, their beautifully designed covers should be shared with the world.

So here they are, the first batch of eight rather excellent covers from various unfinished Penguin collections which sit forlornly on my library shelves. It’s a testament to my defeat that this article has been written but one from which I hope you will at least derive some enjoyment. Let me know your thoughts on the covers and your own collection failures in the comments;

Final Stage Edited by Edward L. Ferman and Barry N. Malzberg
This version was published in 1975 by Penguin Books
The cover artist is David Pelham

Penguin Anthology Final Stage

The Day It Rained Forever by Ray Bradbury
This version was published in 1966 by Penguin Books
The cover artist is Romek Barber

Bradbury The Day It Rained Forever

Telepathist by John Brunner
This version was published in 1968 by Penguin Books
The cover artist is Carl Struwe

Brunner Telepathist

Wolfbane by Frederik Pohl and C. M. Kornbluth
This version was published in 1967 by Penguin Books
The cover artist is uncredited

Pohl Kornbluth Wolfbane

Mission Of Gravity by Hal Clement
This version was published in 1963 by Penguin Books
The cover artist is Yves Tanguy

Clement Mission Of Gravity

The Pollinators Of Eden by John Boyd
This version was published in 1978 by Penguin Books
The cover artist is Peter Cross

Boyd The Pollinators Of Eden

The Man In The High Castle by Philip K. Dick
This version was published in 1976 by +Penguin Books
The cover artist is Peter Goodfellow

PKD The Man In The High Castle

Gunner Cade by Cyril Judd
This version was published in 1966 by Penguin Books
The cover artist is Ian Yeomans

Judd Gunner Cade

15 thoughts on “A Plethora Of Penguins Part One

  1. Postcard Cafe 03/12/2014 / 11:11 am

    Great stuff 🙂 The Final Stage is definitely a 1970’s “Hello boys…” cover. Cheeky and funny – It made me smile when I saw it. Thanks for sharing… Best wishes, Mr C

    Liked by 1 person

    • unsubscriber 03/12/2014 / 11:15 am

      Glad you enjoyed the covers Mr Cafe, I always thought the cover of Final Stage looked like one of those ‘pleasurebots’ of the future might – definitely a tongue in cheek piece from David Pelham there. Hope you’re well, still looking at your B&W pics of the new Phlegm piece from yesterday – stunning!


      • Postcard Cafe 03/12/2014 / 11:21 am

        Perhaps there is a potential theme for one of your posts. Tongue in cheek / funny covers? I have no idea how much humour is used on science fiction book covers so maybe it would be a challenge. We could call it Challenge Unsubscriber but you don’t have to run round like Anneka Rice! Cheers…

        Liked by 1 person

      • unsubscriber 03/12/2014 / 11:26 am

        Unsurprisingly there’s very little humour in SF covers! I’ll have to have a dig through my collection and see what I can come up with although I’m not running around the place with my big arse constantly in shot like Anneka bloody Rice did.


      • Postcard Cafe 03/12/2014 / 11:23 am

        PS. Did you take a look at the colour shots on LBoS? I was wondering if you preferred the B&W over the colour?


      • unsubscriber 03/12/2014 / 11:29 am

        I did check out the colour shots, they were great but didn’t have that eerie, otherworldly presence of the B&W pictures. They were a really stunning collection, Phlegm should hire you are his official photographer! I guess I just find the monochrome world you capture that bit more evocative and mysterious.


      • Postcard Cafe 03/12/2014 / 11:37 am

        Thank you. You are right the colour vs B&W present two very different views of the same subject. I was pleased with the colour but my preference is with the B&W. I actually shot in B&W rather than converting later. Many would say always shoot in colour and convert in post procressing. Personally I think shooting in B&W helps you to think and see the shot differently. Composition often ends up different because colour can be distracting. Your encouraging comments are always welcome and I’m sorry if I’ve taken your comments off topic from your blog post.
        So getting back on topic – I think it sounds like humour in science fiction covers is a definite challenge. Given that there are probably few for you to choose from it will be interesting to see what you can come up with. You have 17 minutes remaining……


      • unsubscriber 03/12/2014 / 11:42 am

        It’s always fascinating to hear about your photography techniques Mr Cafe, especially when you present such an excellent collection as the B&W Phlegm shots and the recent ‘misty’ photographs. Sublime.

        As for the book hunt, I’m still drinking my tea here, besides – I haven’y got a massive enough arse required for an Anneka Rice jumpsuit…


  2. Bernie 03/12/2014 / 12:55 pm

    I’ve always loved Penguin books, they’re so much better than other publications in respect of their production values. They can be read comfortably without worrying about pages coming loose, and their heft is proof of better quality materials. And that’s before you even start on the writers they publish and the covers!! I must say it’s unusual to find a cover uncredited, even if it’s only a photograph of a portion of an existing artwork. That uncredited Pohl + Kornbluth cover resembles their 1966 edition of Alternating Currents.

    Thanks for these, I’m already looking forward to the next selection!

    Take care, Bernie xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • unsubscriber 03/12/2014 / 1:01 pm

      I couldn’t agree with you more Bernie, the Penguin books just seem to have last better too which I suppose a testament to their production values. They alway (mostly) blessed with great art directors so their cover designs are second to none.

      That Pohl/Korbluth title is a bit of a mystery as the Penguin site doesn’t list an artist which it does in 99% of other cases. I think Alternating Currents is in the next batch but well spotted for the similarity,

      Be sure to tune in next week for part two!

      Best wishes xx


  3. johncnash 03/12/2014 / 11:19 pm

    Penguin certainly are the classiest of paperbacks. I love that surealist Tanguy cover.

    Liked by 1 person

    • unsubscriber 03/12/2014 / 11:27 pm

      I agree totally Mr Nash, very well presented and classy paperbacks. The Tanguy cover is fantastic, almost like some of Richard Powers works. Glad you enjoyed this selection of covers, there are more coming next week. Best wishes.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Guy 14/07/2015 / 2:32 am


    Love this post. I know I just got Boyd’s the Rakehells of Heaven, I cannot remember if I have the Pollinators as well or if I have just eyed it wistfully on the web so often I am confused. I really like the vivid images against the black background. The Bradbury gives me the willies, the Penguin covers for Ray seem much darker than those from US publishers but if you read the stories you realize how dark they are. The Dick has me drooling it is so much better than the Powers cover even though I am a big Powers fan.

    Thanks again

    Liked by 1 person

    • unsubscriber 15/07/2015 / 11:50 am

      Why thank you Guy, I do have a passion for Penguins it has to be said. You’re right about the Bradbury cover of course – very creepy, but then he did often stray into pure horror which I also love. The Boyd & Dick titles were pure eBay stumbles happily to report, although I had been outbid a number of times on The Man in the High Castle. I struck luck with this one and only paid £8 for it! Very iconic looking design work. There are plenty of powers covers across the site for you to check out too as I am also a huge fan! All the best Guy.


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