minnow at minnow at
Wed Mar 2 18:16:21 EST 2005

>Talking of hideous covers, the one on my recently acquired from
>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!)

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.


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