The Science Fiction paperback is a natural evolution from the Pulps of the 1930s and 1940s. They overlapped a bit in the 50s and then the Pulps pretty much disappeared while the paperback carried on the tradition. The Pulps, and specifically Earle Bergey, spawned the SciFi cover staple of the woman is the brass bra. She's usually scantily dressed while the men around her are in space suits and helmets. Then add the BEM (Bug Eyed Monster) and the image is complete. The cover on the left is a beauty from England that pared the brass bra down to brass pasties. This book is from the Lost Land or City genre of Fantasy and not hard core Sci Fi. After a few good years of SciFi GGA covers, the art became much more abstract and stylized. However, I think we can still find a few good ones.
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|This Century Book GGA cover added an eye and a heat lamp and voila! - a Science Fiction Cover. As it comes from a small publisher and is so bizarre, it is quite scarce and is highly prized among collectors of this stuff.|
|A variation on the BugEyedMonster with a big ant. I think the two little feelers coming out of her head (and possibly wings) make her a Venusian moth or butterfly the ant wanted to have his way with. The guy in his skivvies took care of that. Another classic and desirable cover.|
|Wow!! Talk about your male fantasies run amock. Here he is manufacturing Love Slaves that want nothing but his body. Trouble is she has an electronic chastity belt. This comes from a short run of Avon Fantasy Readers. Avon was in the early forefront in Fantasy literature.|
|Kurt Vonnegut's earliest and best books were published as Paperback Originals. The Sirens of Titan is a Dell First Edition with cover by Richard Powers who led the Sci-Fi cover illustration evolution into a more abstract and stylized form. This is a typical Powers cover, except for the girl, not his strong suite. I wouldn't be showcasing this book except that it is an important first edition from one of the most original writers of our time.|
|There is a small sub-genre in Sci-Fi of girls and plants. This is one of the best such covers from a short Avon Fantasy series of two titles. Into Plutonian Depths shown below was to be the third title but ended up in their regular series. Take a look at Fantasy Reader No. 9 below where the girls are the plants.|
Here are a few more:
And, since there are so many great pulp covers, I couldn't resist a few:
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