John Berkey · Philip K. Dick

Look Here: Two more SF novels with cover art by John Berkey

Well, folks, here I am again, poised to post two more covers scanned from my personal stash of SF “classics.” This being the first post of 2015, I probably should have made the effort to dig out something really unusual or rare for your visual delectation, but then again, John Berkey is no slouch, and hey, at least it’s a post, right? Baby steps…


Keywords: Tiltangle by R. W. Mackelworth, Valis by Philip K. Dick, John Berkey.

Book/Magazine Covers (All) · Illustration Art · Look Here · Philip K. Dick · Richard Powers

Look Here: THE MAN IN THE HIGH CASTLE, with cover art by Richard Powers

I can’t remember when I bought the sixth printing of the 1974 Berkley Medallion edition of Philip K. Dick’s The Man in the High Castle for a long time — it was a long time ago — but I do remember being both happy to have the novel to read and unhappy with the cover. Specifically, I’ve always been irritated by the wide red banner that the folks at Berkley Books rudely slapped across the face of Richard Powers’ lovely cover art in order to have a spot to brag about their decision to re-print a much-admired novel and to inform/remind readers that Philip K. Dick’s book had won the Hugo Award for “the best S-F novel of the year” — in 1963! But I am irritated about that no longer, because today I found a copy of the novel with the same cover but without the red banner — Berkley Science Fiction, 1982, tenth printing — in lovely condition, and it only cost me ninety-nine cents and tax to add to my collection.


Do you see now what was obscured by the red banner? Ironically, it is none other than a little silhouette of “the man” standing ramrod-straight in a void (or hole, or window, or empty eye socket) in Powers’ oddly sculptural, strangely forbidding “high castle.”

Book/Magazine Covers (All) · Illustration Art · Look Here

Look Here: An obscure SF cover with bizarre art by John Cayea

Before today, I had never heard the name John Cayea, but thanks to the Internet Speculative Fiction Database (ISFDB), I was quickly able to find out that Cayea created the expressive but bizarre art featured on the cover of Eando Binder’s Night of the Saucers, which I purchased earlier this morning for a dollar and four cents:


One’s first impression of the above cover is of an attractive human couple about to kiss, but closer inspection reveals that what we’ve got here are two severed heads, each of which is suspended from a flying saucer by lines lashed to its hair. And what’s more, each dead head has not one but two faces, one human and the other bestial, that look in opposite directions like the two faces of the Roman god Janus. Judging from the copy on the back cover, I would venture to guess that image is intended to convey the idea of hidden identities, of aliens masquerading as humans, or maybe aliens as the puppeteers of human hosts, although I must admit that don’t intend to read the book any time soon to find out for sure. I just sampled a couple of pages at random and that’s quite enough for me: the writing is dreadful.

Anyway… turns out that Night of the Saucers, published in 1971, is the earliest listing for Cayea in the ISFDB; the latest is his Bosch-inspired cover for Stephen King’s The Stand, published in 1990. Since I can’t find any earlier work by Cayea on any other sites, I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that Night of the Saucers was (probably) one of the first cover illustration jobs of John Cayea’s career, and as such, I’d say it was a fine effort.

ISFDB has a small selection of covers with art by Cayea, published between 1971 and 1980 (although someone should tell the site admin that not all of them display properly). What one notices immediately as one browses through the images is that Cayea’s later covers are quite far removed, both technically and stylistically, from the cover displayed above; in fact, if one didn’t know better, one might think they were done by a different artist. To give you an idea of what I am going to call Cayea’s “mature style,” here are three of the best that ISFDB has to offer:

My favourite of the three is the cover of A Wreath of Stars — excellent work!

Keywords: Night of the Saucers, Deus Irae, A Wreath of Stars, Unto Zeor, Forever.

Heads Up! · Philip K. Dick

Heads Up: “The Exegesis of Philip K. Dick”


Once again, I’m a bit late to the party…


Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Acquires the Philip K. Dick Library

Global education publisher plans to launch program with two-volume unpublished master work, The Exegesis of Philip K. Dick

NEW YORK, NY — April 28, 2010 — Houghton Mifflin Harcourt has acquired North American publishing rights to Philip K. Dick’s two-volume unpublished masterwork, The Exegesis of Philip K. Dick. Edited by Jonathan Lethem and Pamela Jackson, The Exegesis “serves as the foundation for ideas and themes that would appear throughout the work of this visionary author,” notes Bruce Nichols, Publisher of Adult Trade at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. HMH has also acquired rights to 39 titles from the author’s backlist, which will be published in paperback under their Mariner imprint beginning fall, 2011.

During his lifetime, Philip K. Dick won both the prestigious Hugo Award and the John W. Campbell Award, which honor excellence in science fiction. Inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame in 2005 and with publication in three volumes in the Library of America in 2007, Dick’s 45 novels and 120 short stories have been adapted into numerous films, including, most notably, “Minority Report” and “Blade Runner” (based on Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?). Other films based on his work are forthcoming.

“Philip K. Dick’s books remain as provocative and cutting-edge today as ever.” said Nichols. “Each generation wants to claim him as its own and we look forward not only to the landmark publication of The Exegesis in fall 2011, but to inspiring a new generation of readers with his significant backlist and its potential in all formats.”

Dick’s daughters, Laura Leslie and Isa Dick Hackett added: “We are excited by this opportunity to work with Bruce and his team at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. We look forward to the re-launch and reinvigoration of our father’s backlist. The publication of The Exegesis of Philip K. Dick has been a goal of ours for years, and we’re thrilled to find a publisher who shares this goal, embracing Jonathan Lethem’s and Pamela Jackson’s edit.”

Jonathan Lethem, winner of the National Book Critics Circle award and recipient of the MacArthur Fellowship, is the critically praised author of eight novels, including Motherless Brooklyn and his latest, Chronic City. He has published and spoken widely on Dick and is the editor of the Library of America editions of Dick’s novels.

Pamela Jackson, is the author of a doctoral dissertation examining 2-3-74 and Dick’s Exegesis in the context of Dick’s life and fiction (The World Philip K. Dick Made), and has been working with the Philip K. Dick Estate since 2008 to develop a publishing and preservation plan for The Exegesis.

About Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Boston-based Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company is a global education leader and the world’s largest publisher of educational materials for pre-K-12 schools. The Company publishes a comprehensive set of best-in-class educational solutions, ranging from research-based textbook programs to instructional technology to standards-based assessments for students and educators. The Company also publishes an extensive line of reference works and award-winning literature for adults and young readers. With origins dating back to 1832, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt combines its tradition of excellence with a commitment to innovation. To learn more about Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, visit

Lori Glazer
Vice President, Executive Director of Publicity
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
(212) 420-5840


From Weirdo #17: “The Religious Experience of Philip K. Dick” by R. Crumb

Book/Magazine Covers (All) · Illustration Art · Look Here · Philip K. Dick · Richard Corben

Look Here: Three paperback covers by Richard Corben

From the library of yours truly:

Keywords: The Penultimate Truth, Deus Irae, West of the Sun.

Alfred Bester · Book/Magazine Covers (All) · Illustration Art · Look Here · Paul Lehr · Philip K. Dick

Look Here: Nine Paperback Covers by Paul Lehr

From the bookshelves of yours truly, here are nine paperback covers (ten, actually; a bonus image was added at a later date) by Paul Lehr, along with one Lehr-ish cover by another hand:

Keywords: The Anome, The Enemy Stars, Andromeda Gun, Isle of the Dead, Counter-Clock World, Earth Abides, Pebble in the Sky, The Stars My Destination, Grimm’s World, The Cosmic Rape, Conquerors from the Darkness.