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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"The Left Hand of Darkness" -- Ursula K. Le Guin (Alex Ebel)

Few book covers manage to be iconic and a good encapsulation of the book's conceits at the same time. Le Guin's story dealt with a frozen world where the inhabitants are genderless save for two days of the month, during which time they manifest a gender randomly and mate. Alex Ebel, who also painted the cover for Le Guin's The Dispossessed (and the classic "Friday the 13th" one-sheet movie poster), devised a striking and beautiful image that has survived any number of reprints.

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