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 "Foundation" Trilogy -- Isaac Asimov (Michael Whelan)

There have been any number of cover designs over the years for Isaac Asimov's classic, but the very best of the bunch were courtesy of longstanding fantasy and sci-fi illustrator Michael Whelan. Instead of the usual spaceship-and-planet art, Whelan went character-centric and depicted three pivotal people from the series: the prophetic Hari Seldon, the infamous Mule, and the clever Arkaday Darrell.

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