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Jun 20

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Wes Comments: I recently went to Hay-on-Wye in Wales for the first time, which is famous for it’s bookshops. There’s something like 28 second-hand bookshops in one tiny town, it’s incredible! So many obscure titles, such a rich vein of stunningly cheesy covers, I honestly felt a bit dizzy.  So anyway, I only bothered snapping a few and this is my favourite.
Published 1987

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: 8.85 out of 10)
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20 Responses to “Chrome”

  1. Phil Says:

    Is he wearing those things over his hands, or are they prosthetic limbs? I’m not going to say what they look like, but I will say I’ve never seen any quite that big. Good show, Sir!

    Wot, no ‘font problems’ tag?

  2. Wes Says:

    I haven’t read it, but i read a little bit about it out of curiosity – apparently it was the first mainstream gay scifi novel! In it’s very sexually liberated society, the only taboo is loving an android. Why the android looks human except for the metal ‘arms’, and what exactly the function of those is, and why you’d need 2 of them, and, well if anybody can explain it to me, then… actually don’t, i don’t think I want to know lol.

  3. Jaouad Says:

    Heh, I have this book, albeit with a slighlty more tasteful cover. IIRC, those things on his arms are medical devices, and the guy in blue is his physical therapist.

    George Nader was a famous Hollywood movie star in his day, and this book from 1978 is interesting for being an early ‘gay SF’ novel with actually quite a few homoerotic scenes. Of course, all it needed was a cover like this to make it an instant smash hit.

  4. Tom Noir Says:

    And Homoeroticism Week continues at GSS!

    Today’s game is ‘Spot the Phalluses’! How many do you see on this cover, boys and girls? I counted eight!

  5. A.R.Yngve Says:

    The cover art is not so much homophobic as “homo-deterring” — as in: “This will scare you straight!”

    Or maybe the cover artist was working out some deep-seated issues. I have NO idea.

  6. Adam Roberts Says:

    Feet are hard to draw aren’t they.

    The pillar on the left bothers. At what point does it stop being a pillar and start being a hooded-figure holding aloft a bare skull?

  7. Dead Stuff With Big Teeth Says:

    Thank goodness Cuddles an android. What would he do if he got a cold and had to wipe his nose?

  8. Tom Noir Says:

    Pickup Line: “So, what else have you got that’s sheathed in chrome?”

  9. SI Says:

    “My metal space hand restraints say no… but my topless shaved chest says yes…”

  10. Alessandra Kelley Says:

    What I find interesting is the use of empty signifiers as symbolism. This cover conveys that the story is erotic with symbols which are assembled together like, and about as erotic as, Egyptian hieroglyphs. It’s anti-erotic.

    I mean, I’m not in the target audience and I don’t claim to understand tastes, but this strikes me as the visual equivalent of a highway exit sign that says “Gas – Food – Lodging,” only it says “Gay – SF – Erotica.”

    The expressionless chunk faces, the clumsy hands, the vaguely ignored feet, the sorta displayed but oddly sexless guy, the alarming cocktail-shaker forearms, all seem coldly distant from, even disapproving of the erotic. The hooded figure with the skull just seems like the final stamp of disapproval.

  11. Alessandra Kelley Says:

    Yikes! this cover is not more tasteful.

  12. THX 1138 Says:

    “Just the back massage today, thanks.”

    George Nader starred in Robot Monster! I hope that classic’s dialogue was reflected in this book: “I must… yet I cannot!” Is there a bubble machine too?

  13. Jaouad Says:

    For the life of me I can’t remember what the hood and the skull had to do with anything.

    I was referring to this cover:
    http://ca.pbsstatic.com/l/61/6061/9781555836061.jpg
    Which has its problems, and is also very much targeted at a certain demographic, but is the least horrifying I’ve seen.

  14. Scott B Says:

    I think Alessandra’s link beats this one, as hard as that was to imagine before I clicked on it…

  15. anon Says:

    Seriously, what’s with this romance/soft porn fascination all of a sudden?

  16. Hep C Says:

    I don’t understand… what’s the point of wearing both belt and suspenders? Especially when your clothes are skin-tight like that?

  17. Anti-Sceptic Says:

    Just when the Reaper was about to strike he noticed that he forgot his scythe at the other tower….doh!

  18. Stevie T Says:

    What is really disturbing is that it was propped up in front of the more…er…”kid-friendly”…Doctor Who books for its mug shot. Please tell me it wasn’t actually shelved near them.

    Parent: “Oh look at this, “Chrome”, it’s shelved next to the Doctor Who books, it must be good for younger readers!” (Pulls book off shelf, sees cover) “Yikes!” (Hair falls out, bans Junior from going into the science fiction section, ever again).

  19. Jaouad Says:

    Well, unless Junior had two daddies, in which case the reaction would be a more reasonable: “I don’t trust a book in which one of the protagonists has no forearms. Maybe in a few years time, kid.”

  20. A.R.Yngve Says:

    “Honey, can you PLEASE help me open the door?”

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