From Front To Back, It’s The Return Of The Wraparound Cover

Last week I wrote an article about the limited amount of space an artist has to work with on a book cover, especially now everything has to be designed specifically for reduction to a tiny JPG for the eBook market. In the post I praised those fearless few who didn’t stop where they were supposed to but crossed the spine and extended their vision onto the back cover too. I concentrated on Ian Miller who I think is one of the finest exponents of this particular brand of artistry but I wanted to show some other fine examples I have on my shelves too.

I was browsing my library and was surprised to find a few books with such covers that I had forgotten about and one I had never even discovered and so started making a pile to work through. Once again, I have included a few books that I’ve already featured as front cover photographs only but they’ve never been presented in the full wraparound format before due to my lack of knowledge to enable me to achieve satisfactory results.

The photography part is relatively easy, I use a small light box and tripod for the front and back covers but the spine can be extremely tricky to negotiate given the fragility of some of these books. Once I have these raw materials, the fun starts in post production which is all carried out by hand. It can take an age to complete something with a complicated design or a faded, cracked spine. I’m aware that there are software packages available now which do this work automatically but I think the results look very poor, I’ll do it all by myself thanks very much. I always get the same buzz when I complete a wraparound cover though, three individual photographs morphed seamlessly into a single whole and not a join in sight!

So, it’s from this selection of titles that I present a further eight glorious wraparound covers to feast your eyes on. Once again, I hope you enjoy viewing them as much as I did slaving over a hot MacBook Pro creating them. Don’t forget, clicking on an image will result in a larger view of each cover so there’s more detail to dig around in. If you have any good wraparounds sitting in your collection, let me know in the comments;

Note – I haven’t included any of the glorious wraparounds which were included in an article called Twelve More Richard Powers Covers (here) as that would just be plain cheating, not to mention bone idle of me!

Brain Wave by Poul Anderson
This version was published in 1954 by Ballantine Books
The cover artist is Richard Powers

Wraparound - Anderson, Brain Wave

The Omega Point by George Zebrowski
This version was published in 1972 by Ace Books
The cover artist is Bob Pepper

Zebrowski Omega Point Wraparound

The Duelling Machine by Ben Bova
This version was published in 1977 by Puffin Books
The cover artist is Peter Goodfellow

This one is a bit of a cheat as it pauses at the spine rather than crosses it but when put together like this this I think it looks stunning.

Bova The Dualing Machine

Immortality Inc. by Robert Sheckley
This version was published in 1978 by Peacock Books/Penguin
The cover artist is Peter Goodfellow

Sheckley Wraparound

Rogue Moon by Algis Budrys
This version was published in 1973 by Arrow Books
The cover artist is Chris Yates

Budrys Rogue Moon

Kalin by E. C. Tubb
This version was published in 1973 by Arrow Books
The cover artist is Chris Yates

Tubb Wraparound

The Patchwork Girl by Larry Niven
This version was published in 1982 by Orbit Books
The cover artist is Peter Jones

Wraparound - Niven The Patchwork Girl

Solar Lottery by Philip K. Dick
This version was published in 1972 by Arrow Books
The cover artist is Chris Yates

Dick Solar Lottery


From The Library Of The Unsubscriber No.3, This Week’s Latest Additions

I needed a bit of cheering up last weekend and so I put the kettle on, helped myself to a couple of chocolate biscuits and settled down with eBay on my iPad. I was hoping she wasn’t going to be in a fickle and obnoxious mood as is sometimes her inclination. As I sipped my tea however I had a good feeling about this session and before long I had quite a few books on my ‘Watch’ list. Before the hour was over, I had bought several titles and was bidding on quite a few more. Cheered on by this lucky streak I helped myself to another cup of tea – in a much more cavalier style than I had done before!

It was only a few days later before my hallway started filling with those lovely bookish parcels ready to have their sealed flaps gently teased open to reveal their beautiful, delicate contents. (steady on now old chap! This is starting to sound like an exercise in literary eroticism now so I’ll end these thoughts right here!) The following five titles were amongst the first batch to arrive but I have had more parcels arrive this morning already and am expecting next week to bear similar fruit.

I just wanted you, my kind readers and fellow vintage paperback cover aficionados to be the first to enjoy these brand new additions to my humble library. I’ll post more newly acquired books when time allows, I have plenty more great covers to share with you all yet.

Your erudite comments on these matters are as ever always welcome;

Budrys’ Inferno by Algis Budrys
This version was published in 1963 by Berkley Medallion
The cover artist is Richard Powers

Budrys Budrys' Inferno

Babel 17 by Samuel R. Delany
This version was published in 1969 by Sphere
The cover artist is Bill Botton

Delany Babel 17

Player Piano by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.
This version was published in 1969 by Panther
The cover artist is Alan Aldridge

Vonnegut Player Piano

Fourth Mansions by R. A. Lafferty
This version was published in 1975 by Panther
The cover artist is Leo Dillon and Diane Dillon

Lafferty Fourth Mansions

The Sentinel Stars by Louis Charbonneau
This version was published in 1974 by Corgi
The cover artist is Josh Kirby

Charbonneau The Sentinel Stars

A Scottish Haul

Last week I visited my good friend Mr Anderson and his rather wonderful family in Aberdeenshire. My trip has become a yearly fixture in both our calendars now as is a trip to Leakey’s bookshop in the city of Inverness. We called into the former Gaelic church located strangely enough on Church Street on Thursday after a stout lunch and began the serious business of browsing the hundreds of shelves crammed with books.

Leakey's 1

The building seems to made from books with shelving reaching up to a mezzanine floor (which also houses a cafe and coffee bar) and up to the roof. It’s a veritable treat for the eyes.

Leakey's 2

I was lucky enough to find almost a dozen titles which just had to be purchased, here are a few of my favourite covers;

Imagination Unlimited edited by F. Bleiler and T. E. Dikty
1966 – Mayflower-Dell
Cover art by Richard Powers

Bleiler & Dikty Imagination Unlimited

Twilight World by Poul Anderson
1964 – Panther
Cover artist uncredited

Anderson Twilight World

Toyman by E. C. Tubb
1973 – Arrow Books
Cover art by Chris Yates

Tubb Toyman

The Winged Man by A. E. van Vogt and E. Mayne Hull
1970 – Sphere
Cover artist uncredited

van Vogt The Winged Man

Who? by Algis Budrys
1964 – Penguin Books
Cover art by Raoul Hynckes

Budrys Who?

Beyond The Barrier by Damon Knight
1970 – Macfadden
Cover art by Jack Faragasso

Knight Beyond The Barrier

Then on Saturday prior to my return back to Rotherham, we visited Books and Beans on Belmont Street in Aberdeen which is a coffee shop, cafe and secondhand bookshop rolled into one. We ate breakfast, drank coffee and indulged in a little more browsing before wandering over to the train station. Once again, I was fortunate to find a few more titles to add to my Leakey’s selection and so here are a couple more covers;

The Other World by J. Harvey Bond
1964 – Mayflower-Dell
Cover art by Richard Powers

BB Bond The Other World

The Isotope Man by Charles Eric Maine
1959 – Corgi
Cover artist uncredited

BB Maine The Isotope Man

Night Of The Saucers by Eando Binder
1972 – Five Star (UK)
Cover art by John Cayea

BB Binder Night Of The Saucers

Operation Terror by Murray Leinster
1968 – Tandem
Cover artist uncredited

BB Leinster Operation Terror

Both shops are wonderful places to visit and spend some time in if you’re looking for books whilst in Scotland. I can’t recommend these places highly enough as there is nothing even remotely like them where I live. Let’s hope shops like these continue to grow and flourish in these harsh times as they surely deserve to.


“The eyes! The eyes… how they stare. I cannot escape from their demonic gaze for but one moment. The heavy curtains are drawn to ward off their attempts to spy on me during the hours of daylight but when sleep comes, no one can save me. They loom and gape hideously, gigantic orbs all around me, suffocating me with their leering presence. I awake and retreat into the sanctuary of my library with a tumbler of whisky but still they glare at me from the books on my shelves. They are driving me to the very edge of madness itself…”

Only joking! Or am I? Meanwhile, here are eight books which feature the titular optic organ on their covers as proof there maybe something to this story after all.

“Beware those damnable eyes!!”

(Fade to black.)

The Cosmic Eye
1972 – Five Star (UK)
Cover artist uncredited

Reynolds The Cosmic Eye

Eye In The Sky by Philip K. Dick
1971 – Arrow Books
Cover artist uncredited

PKD Eye In The Sky

Kalin by E. C. Tubb
1973 – Arrow Books
Cover art by Chris Yates

Tubb Kalin

The Mind Cage by A. E. van Vogt
1963 – Panther
Cover artist uncredited

van Vogt The Mind Cage

The Ticking Is In Your Head by Leonard Daventry
1970 – Curtis Books
Cover artist uncredited

Daventry The Ticking Is In Your Head

The Iron Thorn by Algis Budrys
1969 – Coronet
Cover artist uncredited

Budrys The Iron Thorn

Now Wait For Last Year by Philip K. Dick
1976 – Manor Books
Cover artist uncredited

PKD Now Wait For Last Year

The Flying Eyes by J. Hunter Holly
No publication date printed – Priory
Cover artist uncredited

Holly The Flying Eyes

Gimme More Head

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.

Kelley Mindmix

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.

Budrys Who

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.

Cooper Prisoner

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.

Dick Frolix 8

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!

Budrys Michaelmas

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.

Frank Herbert Worlds

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!)

Inner Landscape

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.

Sheckley Immortality

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