10 Striking Sci-Fi Book Covers

, September 10, 2013 Let's face it: The vast majority of the time, it isn't the title or premise of a book -- especially a science fiction book -- that draws us in. It's the cover art. And sci-fi has a long and venerable history of cover art that catches the eye and turns the head, even if what's inside hasn't always lived up to what's on the outside. Here's a gallery of 10 of our favorites, from classic painted cover art to the modern-day trends of Photoshop-plus-stock-photo work that in the right hands can also be striking.
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"Armor" -- John Steakley (James Gurney)

John Steakley's military sci-fi adventure has been a perennial favorite on the order of "Starship Troopers" or "The Forever War" -- not just a story about guns going off, but about the human toll of war. Its original 1984 DAW printing displayed a wonderfully tongue-in-cheek James Gurney painting, one that manages to be in a classic pulp-sci-fi vein while also as cocky and thoughtful as the book it was designed for. The reprints are far more generic and uninteresting.

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