Adventures in Science Fiction Cover Art: Imprisoned in Glass Vials (of the metaphoric + medical + experimental variety)
July 20, 2012 § 31 Comments
(Uncredited cover for the 1969 edition of The Fortec Conspiracy (1968), Richard M. Garvin and Edmond G. Addeo)
Humans and aliens in glass vials of all shapes and sizes waiting to be measured, matured, tested, analyzed, exposed to a variety of chemicals and emulsions. The artists often combine the iconic laboratory scene filled with the tools of the trade with sci-fi speculation on human experimentation (queue babies grown in containers in Brave New World). The result, humans in tubes. The effect is downright terrifying and one suspects, evokes a certain moribund fascination. As with the famous introductory sequence in Brave New World, the reader is horrified by birth entirety regulated by machines. Or, we are simultaneously titillated and taken aback that someone would imprison a gorgeous heroine against her will.
I’ve selected a large range of covers from the 1920s (Amazing Stories) all the way to the late 70s (’78 edition of Brunner’s 1968 classic, Stand on Zanzibar). This is only a small portion of the covers along this theme I’ve found — I plan on a Part II in the new future.
If you know of any I’ve missed please let me know.
What are your favorites?
(Frank R. Paul’s cover for the November 1927 issue of Amazing Stories)
(Robert Foster’s cover for the 1970 edition of Daughters of Earth (1968), Judith Merril)
(Uncredited cover for the 1964 edition of The Duplicated Man (1953 magazine publication), James Blish and Robert Lowndes)
(De Soto’s cover for the November 1950 issue of Fantastic Novels)
(Ed Valigursky’s cover for 1957 edition of The Cosmic Puppets (1956 magazine publication), Philip K. Dick)
(Howard V. Brown’s cover for the March 1940 issue of Startling Stories)
(Uncredited cover for the January 1939 issue of Startling Stories)
(Hannes Bok’s cover for the May 1951 edition of Other Worlds)
(Malcolm H Smith’s cover for the December 1952 issue of Other Worlds)
(Walter Popp’s cover for the August 1953 issue of Startling Stories)
(David Plourde’s cover for the 1972 edition of Earthstrings (1972), John Rackham)
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