I know one should not judge a book by its cover. However, a beautiful cover that entices you into its pages, tempts you into diving into its story, or courts you into its adventure - well that is a cover that deserves your attention.
Case in point - the SF Masterworks collection. Science Fiction covers used to be works of art on their own, but I feel, over time their aesthetic quality dwindled and did not live up to the original covers or for newer fiction their predecessor's covers.
Luckily over the pond -we have SF Masterworks (currently published by Victor Gollancz Ltd under UK based Orion Publishing Group). This series of science-fiction reprints started in 1999, but was relaunched in 2010. The publishers focus on literature from 1950 onward and feature beautiful paperback editions of such authors as Philip K. Dick, Arthur C. Clarke, Brian Aldiss, Connie Willis, to name a few. Here are some of my favorite examples and, although I have not read all of them, I now plan to thanks to these striking covers.