Attention, 21st Century Earthlings! This is Captain Blastoff, coming to you from the Galaxy Gallery in the future, talking about a great popular art form of the past: Cheap Science Fiction Book Covers!

VIRGIL FINLAY, American, 1914-1971, is probably one of the best known of Science Fiction cover artists. Now on auction at Heritage (ha.com) is a couple of very nice works by Mr. Finlay.

Astronauts in an avalanche? You have to wonder about the story line - which is exactly what a cover image should make you do!

One is just described as “Science Fiction Magazine Painted Cover Original Art (c. late ’50s-early ’60s).” I don’t recognize the “rocket in the snow” scene myself. Any guesses what publication this graced? The narrative implied is rather interesting…

An imaginative, radiant and exotic image. Oil on board, 13.75 x 10 in.

The second, and most impressive painting is from “Famous Fantastic Mysteries”, a pulp magazine cover published December 1942. An original copy of the pulp accompanies this lot. Estimate: $6,000 – $8,000. Your opening bid is a mere $3,000.

So much for CHEAP Science Fiction Book Cover art, huh?

This has been Captain Blastoff, checking my bank account and ending transmission.