Hi everyone,

I just want want to start this out by saying I do not own the rights to any of these images (except the last one I took).

Also stars above, there are SO MANY DIFFERENT EDITIONS OF DUNE.

Therefore, I tried to find all the different covers I could and then cross referenced them with Goodreads to check the date and make sure I wasn’t finding any fan illustrated versions.

I also tried to list them by the first publishing date I saw on Goodreads so some of these might be wrong!

I listed the dates in the captions underneath each book cover, please correct me if I got any wrong!

1965

I believe this to be the very first cover of Dune that should be a hardcover. Science fiction wasn’t widely considered a reputable genre like it is today, so they published it in hardcover. The book cover also doesn’t show a lot of the science fiction elements.

The type treatment for the title screams more fantasy which honestly isn’t that bad for the story. While it certainly is science fiction, it has a lot of other elements as well.

The author’s name looks slapped on at the last minute in the corner.

There I said it.

Fight me.

5/10 – It’s nice but I don’t love it.

1965

I believe this to be one of the first paperback editions of it which starts to incorporate the science fiction elements into it.

It’s not horrible but I still don’t love it although it does a better job of conveying something related to the story and a sense of mystery. What’s behind the rock?

The type treatment is a hallmark of its time, it has the vibe a lot of fonts did at the time.

The award on it is a little interesting but takes up a lot of room compared to the title and author name.

6/10 – Better

1965

I couldn’t find any information on this cover although it finally starts to incorporate a lot of the story elements.

I believe this is where the focus on the sand worms comes in because almost every cover for a while after this tried to lean hard into it.

The typeface begins to be a little bit more adventurous here but is really heavy for the book. They tried though.

7/10 – Interesting

1970s? 2007?

I couldn’t exactly figure out when the first publishing date using this cover was but I think it’s more 1970s but the type treatment leans more towards the 2000s. It reminds me of a textbook title honestly.

I think the cover here with the focus on the sand worm like this is a bit more interesting then the other one.

You finally get a sense of scale of the worm vs the people around it and just how massive they are.

7/10 – the type treatment ruins it

1978

The 80s were a wild time (this cover I think was originally first used in the late 70s but the first movie came out in the 80s).

I mean this cover I would say is bordering racist to me just because it relies on some heavy middle eastern stereotype garb here. I mean the books lean heavily on middle eastern influence but it makes me feel some type of way.

The type treatment is wild honestly, it’s something else. It screams groovy to me, like they wanted to keep it like the original cover they published. I can barely read it though.

6/10 – The cover art is wild here but at least they got a machine in it finally

1984

Still going for the groovy type treatment here. The illustrated cover art continues to be the focus point though.

I see in this edition, they decided to step away again from the sand worms and just went straight to modern blocky skyscrapers.

6/10 – It’s alright

1984

Was this supposed to be the movie tie in to the first film? I’m not sure, but it isn’t very interesting to me. They got away from the groovy type treatment which I think is a plus, however the cover art is generic AF. No originality to it.

5/10 – Boring

1990

I’m sorry, I hate this.

It’s just…so boring. Like you went from wild and interesting to…this.

It reminds me of the opening animations to some films on tape.

I just…I cannot.

So sorry.

3/10 – No

2003

I think this is one of my favorites honestly.

It’s vibrant.

Eye catching.

The type treatment is interesting and I’m so glad someone finally made it take up the full vertical width.

I really like the white guy walking in the middle, it reminds me of the other 1980 cover. It’s a bit more minimalist in a way that is attractive like paper cut outs but not boring.

I enjoy the sand sweeping over the title.

8/10 – Great Job

2013

This might be the B&N edition but I just want to say that I love the B&N fancy hard cover books. Those are so nice and wonderful collector’s editions.

I love that it has science fiction elements but also the details around the edges I think make it feel like fantasy as well which is a nice touch.

Love the gilded edges. So beautiful.

The guy on the spine reminds me of the older covers but I think is a bit more respectful way to handle it.

9/10 – I love gilded edges

2016

I believe this was the penguin edition and I think it’s really beautiful with the type treatment.

However, I dislike that background color, it almost looks like a puke brown and I don’t like the type in the middle of the title.

It’s nice but kinda boring. I’m sure in person it’s nicer.

7/10 – They tried.

2019

This cover is by FAR my favorite. The illustration on the cover is stunning, I love how the type treatment plays off the moon in the background and it looks like a setting sun.

I love they brought in the blue eyes from the characters in the illustration.

If you haven’t seen the images of the illustration on the inside of the cover too, it’s simply stunning. I love it when publishers do illustrations all over book covers like that.

10/10 – Fantastic all around. I want to buy this edition

2021

I took this image last night.

Ya know, I don’t hate movie tie in covers. This one is nice, but it’s not stunning. They did a good job of blending the characters and I like that the planet is on top with falling spice. That’s a nice touch.

The type treatment is nice, I think they could have been more adventurous with it, however it calls back to previous covers which is a nice touch.

8/10 I don’t hate it, it’s nice, but movie covers are never truly amazing.


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5 thoughts on “Rating all of the Dune book covers I can find.

  1. Thanks for posting this. I’m not a collector by any means, but I love Frank Herbert’s books and when my kids started reading my old paperbacks, the 1984 (Berkley) series, and they fell apart, I took a hard look at available replacements. I really didn’t care for the newest Penguin paperbacks but found the hardback Ace edition that you have here and really liked it. I found a recent paperback edition of Dune Messiah from Hoddard & Stoughton that looked like a good follow up to the Ace, but when I received it, it had the “Sequel to the major motion picture” inset, which was not shown in the product information and which I really hate. I’ll be sending it back. Thanks again.

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    1. You’re welcome! Glad you were able to find a replacement to your copy of Dune that you liked! That sucks that they sent the movie cover version, I hate it when they do that! The Ace edition is really nice! Eventually I think I’ll upgrade my movie cover version to the pretty blue page version.

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