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Apr 01

Face it John, you can't draw trees!

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WEELLL!! How about a guy in a space ship pointing at some futuristic map.  Hmmm, yeah, you are right, it’s just not sci-fi enough! How about putting in someone with a straight bowl hair cut, and a huge werewolf creature with botox lips?!

Actually, that cover IS a classical work of artI would touch it without protective glovesI have seen worse. Far, far worseInteresting, but I would still read it in publicMiddling: Neither awful nor awfully goodWould not like to be seen reading that!Awful... just awful...That belongs in a gold-lamé picture frame!Gah... my eyes are burning! Feels so good!Good Show, Sir.... Good Show! (Average: 5.90 out of 10)
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7 Responses to “Miles Errant”

  1. CSA Says:

    Ouch. why are they starring so intently at that “map”, its a big dirty honking blocky outline of a continent! what valuable information can they possibly get from it…

    … I also love that the best review they could get to stick on the cover was “boy can she write” from Anne McCaffery, thats a pretty vague review.

  2. Nix Says:

    Well, it *is* a combination of two and a half rather different books. It must be hard to describe, so I suppose we could forgive McCaffrey her vagueness: also, she’s over eighty now, cut the poor woman some slack. (But, hell, one of the stories in this anthology was the awesome and disturbing _The Borders of Infinity_, surely they could have found someone to say something good about that? I suppose we’re lucky they didn’t choose to depict something from *that* on the cover. Tags: naked, starving, glowy sky, imaginary hat, religious loon)

    The huge werewolf creature is plainly meant to be Taura, a supersoldier engineered by those capitalist-feudal nutballs on Jackson’s Whole. Her appearance is given quite precisely (although in another book): she looks pretty much nothing like that, you will be unsurprised to know.

    There is no scene anywhere in the book which could possibly be described as being remotely like the cover. (Let’s see: _The Borders of Infinity_: prison camp; _Brothers in Arms_: set entirely on Earth and in Earth orbit, no space combat; _Mirror Dance_, no space combat, but some rather gruesome torture scenes so I suppose I’m glad they didn’t show that either. The cover they chose might have fitted _The Vor Game_ if you didn’t read it too closely, but that’s not in this anthology.)

    Bujold’s an author of wide-ranging talent with fine control of character, plot, and pacing, but Baen really likes to make her covers look like she’s the second coming of David Weber. I wonder how many people buy her stuff expecting a Weber clone and go away disappointed? I mean, look at this one; we have explosions, sexy girls, spaceships, planets, some hunk firing a laser (God only knows who). But excepting a catastrophic screwup at the start, the whole book is a slow-motion study of loss and adjustment of expectations, set entirely in one city, with a whodunnit thrown in. FAIL.

  3. SI Says:

    Wow great info. And yes, she does have a certian Weber’ness about her! haha

    Checked out that cover, it’s amazing once you zoom in. So much crammed right in that outline of th head. Genius! I might need to add that to my collection at some stage if I can find it someplace.

  4. Nix Says:

    There are several variations on the same cover: all editions I’ve been able to find have the stuff-jammed head. It was widely printed until recently, but it may have been absorbed into an omnibus by now and lost its independent cover.

  5. Pixelfish Says:

    Well, I know I bought a David Weber book once hoping for something to tide me over between Bujold books and was horrible disappointed.

    The McCaffrey quote is on there because A) it’s Anne McCaffrey, and that still sells shit-tonnes of books and B) it’s short and not wordy. They’re not trying to sell this specific book so much as the author, by getting AM’s fans to glom onto LMB.

  6. Anke Says:

    This probably says more about Baen covers in general than this one, but, I gotta say, this is the best cover I’ve seen on a Vorkosigan book so far. It is the ONLY cover where I’m reasonably sure I can tell who the characters on it are supposed to be, even if they are not really on-spec when you compare them to detailed descriptions.
    All others I’ve seen had just completely random/generic people (or stuff).

  7. Tom Noir Says:

    Blurb could be shorter: “ME LIKEY!!!” -Anne McCaffrey

    Also, you know it’s THE FUTURE when everyone has gravity-defying hairstyles!

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