verve; noun, [vurv]

  1. enthusiasm or vigor, as in literary or artistic work; spirit:
  2. vivaciousness; liveliness; animation.
  3. (Archaic) talent.

sci-fi covers, ardently picked

I should be working on my LitHum essay, but The Iliad can wait—this is a more pressing matter. (If college is the time to sort out your priorities, then I’m on the right track. I think).

I came across a wonderful poem by Catherynne M. Valente, and in turn, that led me to her book of short stories by the same name, The Melancholy of Mechagirl, which led me to its gorgeous book cover, which led me down a rabbit hole search of beautiful and terrifying science fiction book covers. Here is the final result: an enthusiastically compiled list of memorable covers (again, beautiful, striking, or just plain-bagel weird).



Yuko Shimizu is an incredible illustrator. There’s so much to love about this cover—the kabuki mask, the girl’s hair rising from the texture of the waves, the ukiyo-e style, the intertwining wires, the title font!


Open Road Media’s redesigns of Clifford Simak’s works are wonderful—the cosmic filters and colors are a lovely touch.


The weird creatures and landforms in the background! Serif and sans-serif fonts! (Look at those “R”s in the title, they’re so aesthetically pleasing).

The new Night Vale book covers—they’re… artistically satisfying, if that’s a good way to describe what I’m feeling. I don’t know. I can’t stop looking at them. No, seriously, my eyes are glued.



This one’s unsettling yet mesmerizing—I love the layering of human stages and the gently parted mouths.


I don’t know why but this one gives me the feeling of infinite tenderness with a hint of anxiety (which might explain why I resonate). I like that his hair is in bold.

I can’t pass over Dean Ellis’s illustrations—look at the stars, the detail!


(Snorts in an amused manner).


It’s just… seriously? Is the creature in the bottom left corner supposed to be some version of a long-nosed monkey?


Vintage Bradbury covers are often riveting and haunting. This one’s no exception.


A human in the face of the cosmos: it’s a cliche but I always fall for it.