Penguin science fiction covers past and present

The Art of Penguin SF is a beautiful thumbnail gallery of the covers of every (?) science fiction novel published by Penguin UK, starting with the 1935 edition of Butler's Erewhon. I grew up on these, and just seeing them there makes me want to tile my bathroom with them.

The Art of Penguin Science Fiction (via Warren Ellis)


  1. I always liked the old 1930s Penguins where they just had the title on a label on an orange background (like the first few in this list). Very simple and classy. Not sure if they count as “cover art” though.

  2. Wow.

    This is the most awesome thing I’ve seen, well, today. But it’s still completely frickin’ awesome.

    Hey Mr Penguin…reissue series with classic covers, plz.

  3. I collect penguin orangenacks. I buy them in second hand fairs and then stack them in the corners of my studio where they make perfect bass traps. They’ve therefore contributed to all the soundtracks recorded in here… The other thing about penguin books is that each novel has a unique sequential number on the spine. there’s always a rush when you find one under issue 100… maybe that’s just me!

  4. Damn, those are beautiful. In this age of quickie publishing gimmicks, print on demand, etc., why can’t these lovelies be ushered back into print en masse?

  5. Especially the JG Ballard ones with the cartoonish instruments of war, shaded in the kind of Gilliam-esque way. They’re amazing, and much better than the hideously clinical covers the Ballard editions have at the moment.

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