Science fiction paperbacks exploded over the 1940s and ’50s literary landscape with the force of an alien gamma bomb.
Titles such as Rodent Mutation!, Beyond the Galaxy, Dawn of the Mutants and Mushroom Men from Mars appeared from fly-by-night publishers making the most of the end of post-war paper rationing.
The stories were often conceived around a pre-commissioned cover from an artist, and a title suggested by the publisher.
Despite the punishing deadlines and poor pay, the books’ cover artists managed to produce artworks of multihued, brain-bending brilliance, and collected here is some of the best of their output during an unparalleled period of brash optimism and opportunism in book publishing.
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