covers

minnow at belfry.org.uk minnow at belfry.org.uk
Wed Mar 2 18:16:21 EST 2005


>Talking of hideous covers, the one on my recently acquired from Amazon.co.uk
>copy of The Blue Castle is truly hideous. Very offputting indeed.
>Mind you, at least the romance covers are a bit better drawn than some
>scifi/fantasy ones. Can anything compare with the sheer awfulness of the
>early covers of Jordan's The Wheel of Time (it turns... and turns... and
>turns... very... slowly... indeed... ) Gah! (to covers and series both!)
>
>Ania

The worst sf cover I've owned was appalling not for the draftsmanship but
for its complete lack of any relation whatever to the book's contents.

Alexei Panshin's *Rite of Passage* (1968) is the story of a small,
dark-haired girl with little or no figure, aged fourteen, who is dropped
from her high-tech "ship" environment for her "Rite of Passage": to survive
alone for a month on a sparsely-settled, heavily-wooded planet, with
nothing higher-tech than a small handgun and wearing ordinary cloth attire.

The cover of one edition I had showed a huge blonde creature bursting out
of a metallic basque (or maybe a spacesuit she'd undone to the waist),
carrying a futuristic gun almost her own size, and standing on the top of
an outcrop of rock in the middle of a sandy desert.

It affronted me, it was so completely irrelevant.  I now have a different
copy, whose cover shows a space-ship utterly unlike the one described in
the text, hovering over a planet  -- which the deep-space
hollowed-out-asteroid Mia lives on simply wouldn't ever do -- but for all
that it's nothing to do with anything much, at least it isn't quite so
offensively *wrong* in terms of what it might mislead one to expect from
the contents.

Minnow


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