Skip

Over 650 Philip K. Dick book covers
January 30, 2010 10:19 AM   Subscribe

Over 650 Philip K. Dick book covers

It's interesting to see how these change over time, and from country to country. I like the Japanese Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, for example, and the Finnish Ubik, and the Hebrew Martian Timeslip.
posted by carter (39 comments total) 27 users marked this as a favorite

 
I haven't checked on this site in a while - their collection has grown enormous!
posted by SmileyChewtrain at 10:24 AM on January 30, 2010


Bulgaria gets to the point
posted by The Whelk at 10:25 AM on January 30, 2010 [5 favorites]


And such a reminder that the Vintage covers of the past 10-15 are so lame.
posted by SmileyChewtrain at 10:26 AM on January 30, 2010


10-15 years, that is.
posted by SmileyChewtrain at 10:27 AM on January 30, 2010


Is the guy on the cover of that Finnish version of Ubik supposed to be the protagonist or the reader?
posted by The Card Cheat at 10:28 AM on January 30, 2010


Wow. Someone's been keeping busy with their scanner (darkly)!

sorry.
posted by sourwookie at 10:37 AM on January 30, 2010 [4 favorites]




The lousy SF cover of the present era, I suspect, are the result of the demise of most of the monthly SF magazines. When there was a consistent outlet for SF-themed art, a pool of SF artists developed and were available to SF editors to do cover art. But now, it seems, the artists are just run-of-the-mill professionals who turn in something bland and collect their money.
posted by Jimmy Havok at 11:22 AM on January 30, 2010


Of the ten or so of these I owned as a kid, I fail to recognize only The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch (the one that made me feel like my brain was the original model for those eversion of a sphere videos).

The cover that gave me the deepest chill then (and now) was the vast, demented, insectile Einstein orbiting over a devastated world Ace gave its Dr. Bloodmoney, even though the book itself did nothing for me (or to me).
posted by jamjam at 11:24 AM on January 30, 2010


Wow. So neato.

It's interesting to see how different cultures interpret a work, at least based on the jacket designs that correspond with each book. Some of these jackets seem to be for totally different novels (yes, judging by the cover. Har har.)

Maybe one thing, besides obvious cultural differences, is the small changes done when translating. I noticed, for instance, that this translation says "Man in the Castle" instead of "Man in the High Castle." Could have just as easily said "castillo alto," which is pretty literal, but the translator chose not to.

Small, but I wonder about these things with books all the time.
posted by joechip at 11:26 AM on January 30, 2010


This cover for Man In The High Castle is probably the worst book cover I own.
posted by sixacross at 11:35 AM on January 30, 2010 [2 favorites]


Wow. So neato...

Eponysterical!


They seem to be missing the rather nice Gollancz edition of Ubik, but they do have the lovely Penguin Man in the High Castle with the embossed dots world map on the cover.
posted by permafrost at 11:44 AM on January 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


Bulgaria gets to the point

I don't know what kind of point Denmark was trying to make.
That they want to play darts on a purple-haired robot camel with breasts, wearing Janet Jackson's Superbowl outfit?
posted by chococat at 11:48 AM on January 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


Has anyone else bought another copy of a book you own because you know you'll reread it, and you like the cover that much more? I sure have.
posted by mikeh at 12:05 PM on January 30, 2010 [4 favorites]


That Gollancz Ubik is fantastic.
posted by kenko at 12:11 PM on January 30, 2010


I wonder why the French title of A Scanner Darkly is Substance mort.
posted by kenko at 12:14 PM on January 30, 2010


Has anyone else bought another copy of a book you own because you know you'll reread it, and you like the cover that much more?

That's how I found this in the first place - I was looking for illustrations of cool versions of Dick novels that I could track down on Abe. The whole thing gives a synaesthetic whiff of jumble sales and secondhand bookshops.
posted by carter at 12:16 PM on January 30, 2010


This tickles me in a pleasure spot. Thank you.
posted by item at 12:20 PM on January 30, 2010


That Gollancz Ubik is fantastic.

Part of Gollancz's 'rounded corner edition' sub-series of their SF Masterworks range. See also:

I am Legend
Flowers for Algernon
Cities in Flight
Gateway
Lord of Light
The Dispossessed
The Forever War
The Sirens of Titan
The Stars My Destination

However, to paraphrase Terry Pratchett, if you want 'the real heady wine' of SF cover porn, look no further than their space opera series, which I've banged on about before I think.
posted by permafrost at 12:25 PM on January 30, 2010 [3 favorites]




This tickles me in a pleasure spot.

As one would expect from such a large amount of Dick.



Yes, I am twelve.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 12:32 PM on January 30, 2010 [3 favorites]


This confirms what I suspected: There are an awful lot of bad Phillip K Dick covers.
posted by fuq at 1:19 PM on January 30, 2010 [2 favorites]


I found the Hungarian cover for Man in the High Castle to be particularly nice. It's evocative of a scene in the book, while the incorporation of Japanese kanji as a design element touches on another aspect of the story.

Contrast it with Das Orakel vom Berge (The Oracle from the Mountains), the German edition, which seems to entirely miss the point.
posted by Jimmy Havok at 1:30 PM on January 30, 2010


I wonder why the French title of A Scanner Darkly is Substance mort.

Probably because the drug that features prominently in the novel is called "Substance D" or "Slow Death."

posted by googly at 1:31 PM on January 30, 2010


fuq: "This confirms what I suspected: There are an awful lot of bad Phillip K Dick covers."

Salinger had the right idea about covers.

Whatever else you want to say about him as a writer, he let the work speak for itself.
posted by Joe Beese at 1:34 PM on January 30, 2010


Writers have so little say over covers, even within their own country, so I'd say anything that happens overseas is just a Cosmic Crap Shoot of the Most Random Sort (Which was the Chinese title for Radio Free Azimuth translated back into English or Engrish ..ha..ha..ga-zoinks!)

Part of Gollancz's 'rounded corner edition' sub-series of their SF Masterworks range.

British editions of books are so cool. Man.

Probably because the drug that features prominently in the novel is called "Substance D" or "Slow Death."

How about that animation in that movie? Pretty nice or what? I need to see that again. Think I'll bust out the substance D and invite some friends over.....except honestly who wants to watch a movie while hyper-pulsating on Substance D, anyway
posted by Skygazer at 2:43 PM on January 30, 2010


Jimmy HAvok: I found the Hungarian cover for Man in the High Castle to be particularly nice.

Pretty awesome, not to mention the particular irony and relevance to be found in that book, by an ex-soviet bloc nation, occupied by a nation that helped to win WW II.
posted by Skygazer at 2:47 PM on January 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


Philip K. Dick: A 'plastic' paradox. The Berkeley boho spent his final years in Orange County, which suited him fine, his daughter says.

homunculus, thanks for that link. I gave serious thought to FPPing it a few days ago but got lazy when it came to digging up some relevant contextual links, or perhaps even something completely fresh and cool ... like this FPP.

My only serious issue with Philip K Dick is that, to my experience, no other sci-fi (or whatever you want to call it) writer has come close to him since his death.

Any suggestions?
posted by philip-random at 4:29 PM on January 30, 2010


Some of Murakami's novels have a phildickian feel to them.
posted by kenko at 4:48 PM on January 30, 2010


Jeez, I had a first edition paperback of Time Out of Joint and some student stole it from my desk, trying to meet a deadline, unaware of its value (I'm guessing it was valuable).

I've had two nearly complete editions of his work, collected in the 70's, sold, and then bought again in the 80's. Still before he was in the ultra-collectible realm.

I'm not a bibliophile, though, so I don't really know what I have. I just like the guy's books.
posted by kozad at 4:50 PM on January 30, 2010


This cover of The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch belongs to the one on my bookshelf. I don't know why but it features in my nightmares every now and then. (Not the book, the cover image.)
posted by immlass at 5:25 PM on January 30, 2010


I somehow always found this one to be evocative - and it was a comfort to see it when wandering in a bookstore, like an old friend.
posted by newdaddy at 5:26 PM on January 30, 2010


Has anyone else bought another copy of a book you own because you know you'll reread it, and you like the cover that much more?

Oh man, I thought I was the only one who did that!

Checking my shelves, I see duplicates of: 1984, Ubik, Dangerous Visions, Solar Lottery, Foundation; three different versions of The Martian Chronicles; I, Robot in Portuguese... and somewhere in a box I'm pretty sure I still have The Restaurant at the End of the Universe in Czech, a language I will most likely never learn!
posted by otherthings_ at 10:32 PM on January 30, 2010


Wow. This really serves to underline how poor the current Vintage edition covers are – sort of abstract designs that only relate to the contents vaguely, if at all. Seriously, I think it probably turns people off from reading him, because his section in bookstores is this mess of ill-conceived abstract black and gold and disgusting. Which is a shame.
posted by graymouser at 5:48 AM on January 31, 2010





Has anyone else bought another copy of a book you own because you know you'll reread it, and you like the cover that much more?


yes yes yes. The cover makes all the difference. I wont even buy one with crappy cover art, which pretty much includes only the ones after 1982.
posted by Liquidwolf at 9:22 AM on January 31, 2010


Gets it
posted by wobh at 1:40 PM on January 31, 2010


Wow ... my collection of Dick covers has fallen way behind. How will I ever Phil my needs?
posted by Twang at 5:52 PM on January 31, 2010


You know, it's been a while since I've read Deus Irae, but I don't remember any big-titted robots in it.
posted by Target Practice at 9:21 PM on January 31, 2010


« Older Set the controls for the heart of the sun   |   America: A Personal History of the United States Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments



Post