I hear the sirens calling
As the rain is gently falling

Waddling birds and little green men

I’ve been spending way too many hours at The Art of Penguin Science Fiction website, which charts the history and cover art of science fiction paperbacks published by Penguin Books from 1935 to the present day. All of the early Penguin covers featured three horizontal bands, with the book title and the author’s name in black type across the middle band, but the designs became more individual from the late 1950s onwards. I remember taking a battered, sellotaped-together copy of this 1962 edition of George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four out of my school library. The other covers shown above are the 1974 edition of Ray Bradbury’s The Day It Rained Forever, Kurt Vonnegut’s Cat’s Cradle (1985), John Wyndham’s The Day Of The Triffids (1999) and Yevgeny Zamyatin’s We (2007).

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