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.

  • 2
    Sounds like something you could see on the cover of Dune. Does any of this ring a bell? Feb 26, 2013 at 11:11
  • Sounds very "Cities in Flight"-esque to me, but I'm not able to find anything that matches the description.
    – user8719
    Feb 26, 2013 at 18:58
  • Do you remember how old the book was? Paperback or hardback? Do you remember anything about the content of the book?
    – user56
    Feb 26, 2013 at 22:01

3 Answers 3


What you are describing sounds very like the painting "The Thrall of Hypno" by Angus McKie most famously published as "City Ships of Alpha" in Spacecraft 2000 to 2100 AD: Terran Trade Authority Handbook by Stewart Cowley.

City Ships of Alpha by Angus McKie

The image was originally painted as a cover for The Thrall of Hypno (Perry Rhodan #20) and also used for The Complete Science Fiction Treasury of H.G. Wells among others.

  • 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, 2013 at 16:28
  • 1
    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, 2013 at 16:42

This is the book cover I believe you are referring to. Artwork is by Angus McKie and does indeed feature in Stewart Cowley's Spacecraft 2000 to 2100 AD.

The Thrall of Hypno (Perry Rhodan #20) Cover


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

Cover of "Time and Again" by Clifford Simak

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