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There's been a lot of talk about cover art lately, some negative and some good. In fact, here's Jim Hines on fantasy covers that do it right.

I figured it was time I do my part for y'all so here I present to you part one of...

The Top 100 Speculative Fiction Magazine Covers

#100

Photobucket

Name: Sybil’s Garage
Issue: #5
Cover artist: Unknown
Reason it rocks: The use of color to highlight the weird works perfectly here. We’re inside a white-washed room, with wonderful lighting from off the page. The focus is on the television smack dab in the middle. In fact, the first thing my eyes focused on was what the TV was showing: some sort of colorful fireworks display though it is a bit too small to truly tell. Slowly, I noticed the out-of-place mushroom and Medusa-like tentacle switching the channels. There’s a lot going on in this cover, but it never feels crowded. It accomplishes being odd and perfectly normal at the same time.

#99

Photobucket

Name: Fantasy and Science Fiction
Issue: January 2005
Cover artist: "Megara" by Max Bertolini
Reason it rocks: Futuristic cities are a dime a dozen. They come in all shapes and sizes, but most often than not they are in the clouds with tall, phallic structures. However, this cover gets my attention for its soft purples and pinks, the beautiful clouds and sunlight amidst the billowing smoke and destruction. It’s a common image, but done quite well.

#98

Photobucket

Name: If
Issue: January 1970
Cover artist: Unknown
Reason it rocks: I absolutely love the unfinished look of this. The thick globs of blue and orange mesh surprisingly well with each other, framing the shot of a…spaceman. It’s not really clear, but that’s okay. We are, after all, allowed to use our imagination and fill in the voids.

#97

Photobucket

Name: Albedo One
Issue: #31
Cover artist: Is this actually a Dali piece or just an homage?
Reason it rocks: Salvador Dali love.

#96

Photobucket

Name: Interzone
Issue: #194
Cover artist: Unknown
Reason it rocks: Don’t be scared, it’s only manga-influenced! No, really. This is a good thing. For one, it’s definitely not the traditional art style used for genre magazine covers, and there’s also no spaceships in this one (something Internzone adores). The hand poses is pretty unique, too, with the lightning looking bright and ready to sizzle any it touches.

#95

Photobucket

Name: New Worlds
Issue: April 1969, #189
Cover artist: Unknown
Reason it rocks: I’m all about negative space and incomplete artwork. It does wonders for the imagination, and the dogs’ mouths are full of rage and uncertainty. Something lurks off to the left. Me likes.

#94

Photobucket

Name: Electric Velocipede
Issue: Fall 2006, #11
Cover artist: Unknown
Reason it rocks: Given its namesake, the magazine’s earlier issues focused on velocipedes. Silly looking bicycles don’t really scream to me speculative fiction, but this issue’s cover is much more attention-grabbing. The silhouette of the boy’s head fills the cover, and the words telling us what is what make the outline of his brain. Well done, I’d say.

#93

Photobucket

Name: Analog
Issue: February 1972
Cover artist: Unknown
Reason it rocks: I could do without the cliché spaceships, but I love the grittiness of this cover. It’s like the soldier is stuck on the ground in the middle of a terrible storm, where everything is blurred and windy and dusty and just sweltering. Granted, that could just be the cover fading, but I like how it looks nonetheless.

#92

Photobucket

Name: Fantasy
Issue: Fall 2006
Cover artist: Unknown
Reason it rocks: Back in the heydays, Fantasy was a print magazine with big names and excellent production qualities. Its covers also had a theme: women. Whether they were performing dark rituals or slipping through scenery, they were tastefully done and always evoked a sense of magic and foreboding. This one’s great for all the details in the girl’s reflection.

#91

Photobucket

Name: On Spec
Issue: Fall 2005, #62
Cover artist: Unknown
Reason it rocks: On Spec’s covers are some of the best, most vividly imagined covers in the field, and you can expect to see a couple more pop up on this before the end. For now, embrace the goodness that is whatever this is. A giant rooster monster born from Picasso’s mind? I don’t know. But boy does it hold my attention.

That's it for now. Stay tuned for more covers next week.

Comments

( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
buymeaclue
Jul. 24th, 2009 03:59 pm (UTC)
Wow, I liked the New Worlds one.
pabba
Jul. 24th, 2009 05:04 pm (UTC)
It's pretty awesome for what little is actually there.
j_cheney
Jul. 24th, 2009 04:15 pm (UTC)
I look at that copy of If and immediately wondered why they'd put a Cone of Shame on a human....
pabba
Jul. 24th, 2009 05:04 pm (UTC)
He's been a bad, bad boy.
79semifinalist
Jul. 25th, 2009 03:42 am (UTC)
Man! I can't tell if you stole from me or I stole from you or we're just sharing a brain. How weird for our cover posts to go up almost at the same time. Bizarre.

Also, I'm super impressed with these. Sybils Garage is good but that Worlds of If cover is unbelievable. The New Worlds and Electric Velocipede are also fantastic. If these are the bottom 10 I can't wait to see more.

Nice work Paul
pabba
Jul. 25th, 2009 03:52 pm (UTC)
Heh, well you definitely kicked the idea into full gear for me. I've got a ton more cool magazine covers coming up, too. :D
(Anonymous)
Dec. 18th, 2009 11:13 pm (UTC)
I think the NW cover is Peake . . .
kaolinfire
Jan. 20th, 2010 11:27 pm (UTC)
Some lovely covers. Watching with bated breath to see if GUD pops up further down the list, but I like where you've started (for the most part--the F&SF cover doesn't do anything for me; very few of theirs have (since I started reading them, anyway--I don't know their history), even when the idea is interesting they tend to feel too... bland, somehow).

Really enjoying the "Reason it rocks" segment. :)
(Anonymous)
Feb. 18th, 2011 02:28 pm (UTC)
Nice blog
It is very interesting for me to read that blog. Thanks for it. I like such themes and everything connected to them. I definitely want to read a bit more soon.

Brandy Swingfield
London indian girls (http://indianescortmodels.com/)
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )

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