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I remember seeing a sci-fi book cover back in about 1980/81 at my public library that was likely based upon an earlier painting. It depicted an arid desert scene with the landscape dominated by a group of mesas in the distance. The nearest mesa had a gleaming city-ship atop it. In the distance you could see an identical city-ship just arising from another mesa.

I remember thinking that this was an awesome painting and I wish I could locate what the title of the painting was and its artist, if at all possible. I would love to see this painting again, but I never have.

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Sounds like something you could see on the cover of Dune. Does any of this ring a bell? –  Goran Jovic Feb 26 '13 at 11:11
    
Sounds very "Cities in Flight"-esque to me, but I'm not able to find anything that matches the description. –  Jimmy Shelter Feb 26 '13 at 18:58
    
Do you remember how old the book was? Paperback or hardback? Do you remember anything about the content of the book? –  Gilles Feb 26 '13 at 22:01

2 Answers 2

What you are describing sounds very like the City Ships of Alpha from Spacecraft 2000-2100AD: Terran Trade Authority Handbook by Stewart Cowley

City Ships of Alpha

enter image description here

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Looking through the cover images for books by Stewart Cowley on LibraryThing doesn't reveal anything like the image the OP described. The closest is a cover where there are ships landing/taking off from some burning high-rise buildings. –  Martha Mar 5 '13 at 16:28
    
The book is presented as a spacecraft recognition guide so contains many pictures that may have not made it too book covers. The city ships themselves can be seen in a picture at bisbos.com/sf_tta_u_cityships.html –  CdMnky Mar 5 '13 at 16:42

Could it have been the cover of Clifford D. Simak's "Time and Again"?

(Follow the above link for larger versions of the image below.)

Book cover of Simak's "Time and Again"

(From the gallery of Flickr user citizen3xx24j.)

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