Here’s the cover for The Colour Out of Space edition (Penguin Science Fiction) due in August 2020, ready for what would have been the ‘I got my student-grant!’ season. At first glance it seems a prime example of how marketeers think that slow cerebral science-fiction can’t be sold to the masses — except by misleadingly implying ‘there’s steamy sex inside!’ Eager readers hoping for ‘hot romps in the hay-loft’ may be disappointed.

Penguin may claim it’s actually a mutant seed-grain, if you sort-of squint hard at it. But that’s obviously not how potential readers are intended to see it on the shelves of the bookstore. Still, I suppose we and the designer should be grateful — at least there’s no Stephen King quote spoiling the cover. And the penguin trademark is actually kind of Lovecraftian, if you recall the giant-penguins in At The Mountains of Madness.