Not one of ours • 30 April 2010 • The SnowBlog
Not one of ours
Really bad book covers? Thanks to BoingBoing I've just stepped up to my neck in them. Good Show Sir is full of awful sci-fi/fantasy covers like the one you're looking at now.
It really takes me back to when I used to stand in my local bookshop after school, trying to decide which ripsnorting sci-fi yarn to buy, with only horribly written blurbs and horribly designed covers to guide me. And later I could never figure out why the front cover might contain, say, a space gunfight with aliens that turned out not to occur in a story which might have been set, say, entirely on Earth with no aliens anywhere. And I can honestly say that it never occurred to me that the reason might be a publisher who didn't really care that much. Or to be charitable, a publisher who suspected they were a little out but didn't have the time or money to do anything about it. I have to say, looking back, that I see it now as a low-level sort of contempt. I wonder how many publishers thought sci-fi readers were so undiscriminating that it didn't matter. Whereas the truth was that I pored over books the same way I pored over album covers for favourite bands (which, back in the days of Roger Dean, might have contained exactly the same artwork). I'm pretty sure I even read 'The Star Beast' back in the day. If I remember rightly, it's a sort of precursor to ET, if ET were more like a brainy elephant than a brainy monkey. Good times.