Adventures in Science Fiction Cover Art: Underwater Expeditions (futuristic submarines, unusual sea life, underwater cities) Part I

(Paul Lehr’s cover for the 1968 edition of Conquerors from the Darkness (1965), Robert Silverberg)

A cornucopia of underwater sci-fi cover art images!  As always, Paul Lehr’s covers are among my favorite for he masterfully renders the green-blue depths and textures of water inundated worlds (especially above, Conquerers from the Darkness).  Watery worlds evoke unusual underwater life, a place fraught with danger where humans and aliens meet, unusual cityscapes (domes, water impervious shields, a plethora of transport craft) and of course, the vehicles for transportation (for example below, the futuristic submarine in Treasure of the Black Flacon and 21st Century Submarine, etc)  evoke the same giddy sense of adventure as when first reading Jules Verne’s Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (1870) or watching Richard Fleischer’s surprisingly good 1954 film adaptation of the novel.

There are countless films, sci-fi TV shows, novels, short stories on the subject.  This is but a minute sampling of covers from 50s-early 90s.  I’ll have a part II up in the next few months….

I’ve read the prequel to T. J. Bass’ The GodwhaleHalf Past Human (1971) and was unimpressed, so I probably won’t read it any time soon.  White’s The Watch Below (1966) was a flawed but inventive and enjoyable read.  I’ve not read the others and any comments about their readability would be greatly appreciated!

Enjoy!

(Paul Lehr’s cover for the 1974 edition of The Godwhale (1974), T. J. Bass)

(Dean Ellis’ cover for the 1972 edition of The Watch Below (1966), James White)

(Uncredited cover for the 1967 edition of Treasure of the Black Falcon (1967), John Coleman Burroughs)

(Gino D’Achille’s cover for the 1971 edition of Undersea City (1958), Frederik Pohl and Jack Williamson)

(Lloyd Birmingham’s cover for the January 1961 issue of Analog Science Fact)

(Ken Fagg’s cover for the January 1954 issue of If, Worlds of Science Fiction)

(Art Sussman’s cover for the 1956 edition of 21st Century Sub (variant title: Under Pressure; The Dragon in The Sea) (1956), Frank Herbert)

(John Schoenherr’s cover for the 1967 edition of The Dragon in the Sea (variant title: Under Pressure; 21st Century Sub) (1956), Frank Herbert)

(Dean Ellis’ cover for the 1978 edition of Attack from Atlantis (1953), Lester Del Rey)

(Uncredited cover for the 1963 edition of They Found Atlantis (1936), Dennis Wheatley)

(Uncredited cover for the 1953 edition of They Found Atlantis (1936), Dennis Wheatley)

(Mel Hunter’s cover for the February 1956 edition of If, Worlds of Science Fiction)

(Gerald Grace’s cover for the 1983 edition of A Transatlantic Tunnel, Hurrah! (variant title: Tunnel Through the Deeps) (1974), Harry Harrison)

(Gordon C. Davies’ cover for the 1976 edition of A Transatlantic Tunnel, Hurrah! (variant title: Tunnel Through the Deeps) (1974), Harry Harrison)

(Wayne Douglas Barlowe’s cover for the 1991 edition of A Transatlantic Tunnel, Hurrah! (variant title: Tunnel Through the Deeps) (1974), Harry Harrison)

(David B. Mattingly’s cover for the 1982 edition of Attack from Atlantis (1953), Lester Del Rey)

For similar posts, consult the cover art INDEX.
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19 thoughts on “Adventures in Science Fiction Cover Art: Underwater Expeditions (futuristic submarines, unusual sea life, underwater cities) Part I”

      1. I love that you post the old cover art; I prefer paintings/drawings over digital art on book covers. It’s so much more imaginative.

    1. Thanks for visiting! As always, I continue to be inspired by your original posts… This is just a small selection and I wanted to have different ones from yours 😉

    1. Yup, this is but a small selection of the plethora of editions/and works on the subject. Thanks for stopping by! And yes, that one might be better than some of the other Harrison covers above 😉

  1. I’ve wanted to get my hands on Half Past Human because I have The Godwhale in my collection. I think a swap is in store if I can’t find it!

    1. I was annoyed to no end by Half Past Human (I think you’ve read my review before)…. I didn’t find the annoying use of scientific terminology to describe everything as either “poetic” or “charming” as some reviewers have claimed.

      I already have a copy of The Godwhale — with a horrid later cover…

  2. Well that was a whole lot of fun! I have always been intrigued by the mysteries of the sea and have a fondness for sf art set in the depths. Several books there that I’d love to add to my own collection, and not just for the covers but also because the stories grab my attention. Despite my affection for Harry Harrison I have yet to read Transatlantic Tunnel. Need to remedy that.

  3. Thanks for the great post. I loved the underwater stuff most, especially the covers, sometimes better than the book itself. You might want to get a jpg of “Tom Swift and his Jetmarine” from the Grosset and Dunlap series to add.

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