It reminds you how lucky we are to live here on earth, where the battle of the sexes is nearing the end and completely explicable.
4. Mission to the Stars by Phillip Kent
With a spacesuit straining in all the right places.
5. The Secrets of Synchronicity by Jonathan Fast
I’ve unlocked the mystery of the universe, but I can’t find my pants.
6. The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction
The magazine’s been around for over 60 years, publishing work by the biggest names in sci-fi and fantasy — Stephen King, Ursula K. Le Guin, Ray Bradbury, Isaac Asimov, and more. We’re not sure what sort of throes this ginger-haired woman is in — maybe she’s just sleeping? — but obscuring nipples with star mist leaves just enough to the imagination.
7. The Space Merchants by Frederick Pohl and C.M. Kornbluth
Finger rocket sounds like a discreet name for a vibrator. Also, and more innocently, this cover reminds us of the trippy “Capital I” clip from the heyday of Sesame Street.
8. The World of Null-A by A.E. Van Gogt
In the year 2650 people have joysticks growing out of their skulls.
9. The Dancers at the End of Time by Michael Moorcock
If this had a soundtrack, it’d be by Led Zeppelin.
10. Times without Number by John Brunner
Is this shield-wielding, torch-headed warrior feathered? Beware of the master of subtitles.
11. Humanity Prime by Bruce McAllister
Translucent two-finned merman magic and turtle power is a winning combination every time.
12. Ubik by Philip K. Dick
Prolific, beloved sci-fi master Philip K. Dick returns to reality unraveling. The skull looks half-laughing, half-horrified, which is exactly as PKD provokes.
13. Rebels of the Red Planet by Charles L. Fontenay
This cover asks the timeless question: man, mutant, or martian. Take off your spacesuit and lemme get a look atcha!
14. UFO 517 by Bron Fane
That’s the first question we’re going to ask when we’re being chased by flying saucers: oh god, no, whence did they come? WHENCE DID THEY COME???!?!?
15. The Caves of Steel by Isaac Asimov
Part Dalí nightmare, part Grateful Dead album cover art, this guitar-necked, wrench-handed creature looks like it’d be hard to ride.
16. Roscannon’s World by Ursula K. Le Guin
Is anyone else suddenly wondering why He-Man’s Battle Cat didn’t have wings?
17. Star Maker by Olaf Stapledon
Ranked as a classic in the sci-fi cannon, the tarot-cardish cover has an ominous feel.
18. The Terminal Beach by J.G. Ballard
Simple, striking, understated. A bomb at twilight.
19. The Probability Man by Brian N. Ball
High probability of horned weirdness and alien balling.
20. The Eighty-minute Hour by Brian Wilson Aldiss
Was this winged eggshell the real inspiration for Lady Gaga’s grand entrance at the Grammys?