Don't forget but The Abode Of Life had Kirk and Spock holding The Cage-era lasers on the cover which was really odd...
Those weren't Cage
-style lasers, but a generic sci-fi raygun design. Presumably the cover artist had no photo reference for phasers and just made something up. Again, remember, it wasn't as easy back then to come by photo reference for any given detail from Star Trek
(I realize that Spock did handle a laser in The Cage, but Kirk was never in that pilot and when Kirk did show up in Where No Man Has Gone Before he never held a laser, instead he held that big heating coil-looking rifle---which would be cool to see on a cover someday!)
Although they used the same prop in the second pilot, they'd renamed them phasers by that point, because Roddenberry realized that it had been silly to call them lasers since lasers couldn't do what they did.
I see that, but at the same time I wonder if that was maybe a decision by the artist, since it's down below the white lines on the cover (and in the 99 cover, it is blacked-out all together), so I wonder if the artist maybe painted it blue just to go with the rest of the colors knowing that it might've been cut off at that point?
I think it's most likely a photo reference issue again. Something's fishy about the choice of reference there, since it's strictly a 5-year mission novel and it makes no sense to show TWOK-era Spock on the cover. (Although several 5YM novels from the period had TMP uniforms on the covers, including Abode of Life
, which was no doubt for promotional reasons.) Maybe that photo was just all Boris Vallejo had available to work from, or was what he was required to work from for the same promotional reasons -- and maybe he corrected the colors to something resembling the uniform Spock should've been wearing in the timeframe of the novel. Note that the shoulder strap is also missing and has been replaced with just a bit of silver piping. (Maybe the use of a TWOK-era uniform is what misled TenLubak
into thinking it was Time for Yesterday
, which was set shortly pre-TWOK.)
In fact, the image of Spock used on the Yesterday's Son cover
is an identical pose to the one used on the TWOK novelization cover
! I can't find out whether that cover was by Vallejo too, but clearly both covers used the same reference photo. Funny, those books have been around for three decades and I don't recall if I ever noticed that before.