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May 07

Leather-clad, slightly camp biker warrior to C6 please.Click for full image

Richard’s Art Direction: Ok, I want the devil playing chess on a life-size board with warriors from different periods of history.  Don’t forget to throw in a few other random characters, at least one man must clad in leather and a scarf and find a spot for a woman in a bathing suit with a parasol.  Then make it from the perspective of an opposing chess piece.  Yeah, those should all come together nicely.

Excellent! Thanks to Richard!

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: 8.70 out of 10)
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21 Responses to “Masters in Hell”

  1. SophaLoaf Says:

    What is that in the back? Is that a skeleton in a Hawaiian shirt serving drinks?

  2. Richard Palmer Says:

    Baen seem somewhat over-represented on this site. How the hell to they stay in business? I can’t imagine that the casual browser would be tempted to get as far as picking up one of their books, given the unrelenting awfulness of their cover art.

  3. SI Says:

    Yea certainly here in the UK I would agree. I think they are normally only picked up by people who know the genre and are quite into it. Each Baen book I have bought, for the cover, has always got me a strange look and comment from the shop assistant.

    Unfortunately they hide some amazing stories. Well… sometimes. But the same can be said for a bland cover. They sometimes mask the terribleness that is inside.

    Anyway back to the cover. I like the dragon on top of the Baen logo! :)

  4. anon Says:

    When was this published?
    Because the leather-clad man is straight (perhaps not the best word here) from Max Mad!

  5. James Lovegrove Says:

    Leather Guy is definitely from a 1980s post-apocalyptic future, because back then that’s how all badasses were going to look after civilisation collapsed … and the Village People took over.

    What’s up with Swimsuit Girl, though? Bit incongruous among all the hardnut types.

    And does Bill Kerby know he’s been double-barrelled and become Bill Kerby-More?

  6. JustinLeego Says:

    @Richie – Baen? It’s because they’re awesome. Sometimes it’s a struggle for GSS not to go all-out Baen.

    So are all the people on the cover in fact the same person then? As in, having the same face. Intruiging.

  7. Richard Palmer Says:

    I think the scariest dude might actually be the bloke in the business suit at the back.

    The red-faced horned devil is a diversion.

  8. DeadRobot Says:

    AAA!! Guy with sword! He’s Sharon Stone-ing me!!

  9. Adam Roberts Says:

    I take it the huge sunburned dude in the background is Janet Morris. Quite a masculine looking lady. Cherryh on one knee, Drake with the parasol, Kerby in leather. I think I’m reading that right.

  10. Adam Roberts Says:

    I’d be more scared of the leather-clad gent with knife and chain if he didn’t appear to be suffering from such raging toothache.

  11. anon Says:

    Just noticed the leather-clad guy has freakishly short arms. No wonder he’s pissed.
    The skeleton with the drinks and a Hawaiian shirt seems like a cool guy.

    (PS. s/Max Mad/Mad Max/)

  12. tyrone Says:

    Prussian soldier to Caveman 7. Hellmate!

  13. Phil Says:

    “What is that in the back? Is that a skeleton in a Hawaiian shirt serving drinks?”

    I think so. In fact, I think it’s the Scotch VHS tape skeleton. Having lost his job due to the popularity of DVD, he has taken to serving cocktails.

    …re-record, not fade away…

  14. e.lee Says:

    @ Phil

    If that’s the Scotch VHS skeleton at the back, then that must be the Quality Street major on left

  15. e.lee Says:

    I meant to type; ‘then that must be the Quality Street major on right’.
    (The cover has already affected my spatial orientation…)

  16. Adam Roberts Says:

    James: “And does Bill Kerby know he’s been double-barrelled and become Bill Kerby-More?

    That’s what happened to Mary Tyler, before her TV career got off the ground. She contributed a story to a collection of ‘chess in hell’ themes sf-horror, and it so happened her name was listed the bottom of the cover …

    e.ll: Scotch VHS skeleton? That dates you, you know!

  17. Tom Noir Says:

    I had no idea that Osama Bin Laden went through a biker-gang phase in his youth!

  18. Hex Says:

    As Anon comments, the leather guy’s costume is ripped off wholesale from Mad Max 2, right down to the ripped sleeve – just with some studded bracelets and a scarf added on. Even the thing on his leg is where Max has a busted knee.

  19. Bard Says:

    The devil doesn’t look so much “demonic manipulator” as “fat, beer-swilling uncle who doesn’t realize you use one piece at a time”.

  20. DW Says:

    Ha! Read this one back in high school. Cannot recall a single thing about it… besides the fact that it was set in hell.

  21. Sorcha Says:

    “New from the Wizarding Franklin Mint: The ‘Surrealist Wizard Chess’ set! You’ll receive one piece by Floo every other month – we have to space the shipments that way to give you time to figure out what the hell each piece is supposed to do!”

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