Science fiction and fantasy book cover designs are as fashion fickle as an emo kid’s dress sense, and produce the same kind of response. Like some sober-suited middle manager tutting over his son’s electric blue spiky haircut, the literary reader sees the genres’ gaudy covers and wonders how they can go out in public looking like that. Why can’t they be more like a Penguin classic, or that nice Faber poetry collection next door? Boring, says genre as it slouches out of the door to meet its friends. It wouldn’t want to be seen in public with the olds anyway. But behind the lurid illustrations hide some masterpieces of fiction.