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Oct 19

Don't let looks deceive you... this chair is actually incredibly uncomfortable.Click for full image

Mirrie’s Art Direction: Sci-fi villians must be as campy as possible. Hmmm, maybe give him a chair made of antlers like Jareth from Labyrinth had, and have him wearing a gold suit. 70’s babe on the left of him, sinister chimp-surgeon to the right. And behind them all looms the Angel of Death, looking like if Peter Capaldi played Grandpa Rick.
Published 1975

Actually, that cover IS a classical work of art!I would touch it without protective gloves.I've seen worse. Far, far, worse.Interesting, but I would still read it in public.Middlng: Neither awful nor awfully goodWould not like to be seen reading that!Awful... just awful...That belongs in a gold-lame picture frame!Gah... my eyes are burning! Feels so good!Good Show Sir! (Average: 7.83 out of 10)
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29 Responses to “Norstrilia”

  1. THX 1138 Says:

    The title’s a bit on the nose.

  2. Dead Stuff With Big Teeth Says:

    Norstrilia…so…Darwin? Cairns?

  3. Perry Armstrong Says:

    Early production art for a more subtle, tasteful version of Goldmember.

  4. Bibliomancer Says:

    Norstrilia = North Australia

    In the future, Australian chimps will be doctors because they’re the only ones sober enough to perform surgery.

  5. Bibliomancer Says:

    Yes, that is definitely Peter Capaldi wearing the Victoria’s Secret wings outfit.

  6. Tom Noir Says:

    Oh god, what have those bastards done with space sheep?!?

  7. B. Chiclitz Says:

    There ought to be a “smug” tag, Tag.

  8. fred Says:

    http://www.fourth-millennium.net/cordwainer-vr/norstrilia.html
    More Norstrilia. Kinda like Dune, only with GIANT sheep providing the wonder drug.

  9. Tat Wood Says:

    B.Chiclitz is right: the guy acting like a Bond villain is actually the protagonist, the lady to his right (our left) is a Cat-Person (hooray!) and the angel behind them is E-Teli-Keli, a manifestation of the Civil Rights movement and Kuomintang as articulated through the allegorical medium of talking animal space opera. As Tom Noir points out, space-sheep are the source of Rod’s unimaginable wealth on the planet Old North Australia (as Perry Armstrong suggests). The cover tells us that this is the first one-volume version of a book originally published as two volumes, our old friends ‘The Boy Who Bought Old Earth’ (L’Homme Qui Achete La Terre’) and ‘The Underpeople’. The author wasn’t as buttock-obsessed as those covers suggest.

    It’s hard to invent anything crazier than Cordwainer Smith.

    (And Peter Capaldi did play the Angel Islington in the original ‘Neverwhere’ but he was still ginger then.)

  10. Tat Wood Says:

    @Fred: Sheep!

  11. B. Chiclitz Says:

    This cover is an excellent object lesson for the entire raison d’être of GSS. Cordwainer Smith is, in my opinion, one of the greatest (c’mon, “Scanners Live in Vain”—how many better SF stories, or just stories and forget the genre, have ever been written, by anybody?), yet, I put this aside when I go into “GSS” mode and detach the cover from the text—as all who pass through these gates should do, and as most do, excepting the occasional misguided troll who assails the site for “hating” the great literature inside these godawful-wonderful covers.

    Ok, op-ed over, soapbox stashed away, thank you for the indulgence.

  12. SI Says:

    How I imagine a visit to the doctor might turn out:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tA1YujjDE9s

  13. THX 1138 Says:

    Incidentally (or not) that’s not a monkey, it’s an ape. They hate it when people get them mixed up.

  14. Tat Wood Says:

    B. Chiclitz is right (continued): one thing worse than doing flagrant attempts to appeal to teenage boys regardless of the contents (most generic fantasy covers and ‘Young Flandry’, for example) is a clunkily literal depiction of the contents that makes it look stupid out of context.

    Everything on this cover is in the book but the picture here isn’t any indication of what it’s like reading it. Except maybe the pseudo-Art Nouveau font.

  15. Anna T. Says:

    @Bibliomancer: How do we know it’s him? I’m saying it: THE GODDAMN EYEBROWS. Naturally.

    It’s nice to know how many people have noticed this resemblance. And laughed.

  16. THX 1138 Says:

    Anyone for a game of Mastermind?

  17. Dead Stuff With Big Teeth Says:

    ‘Have I shown you my iPod? I made it myself, out of an old CDC 6600 and my conscience. It can play most of a Trio MIDI, and I hope to have the Shuffle feature worked out as soon as I can rout a hole in the floor.’

  18. anon Says:

    @THX 1138: For what it’s worth, I missed the first R, too..

    This petty cereal suit’s in print now for the first time – a classic!
    Warden Rico Smith
    Raisin trol / Sir on trial
    Tim Rothi’s witty claim to mostly prunes. How butch!

  19. A.R.Yngve Says:

    Have you noticed that the people who write these cover blurbs are obsessed with hidden expenses? I guess this is a side gig, and they really work in the Accounting department:

    “The aliens offered immortality… but had they made a long-term cost analysis?”

    “In the future, anything is possible… but at what cost to the energy budget and why wasn’t Accounting consulted first?”

  20. RachelJ Says:

    Actual Space Sheep? I am loath to accuse the distinguished Dr J.R. Asimov of plagiarism, but this does sound *suspiciously* similar to “Good Show Sir: the Book”.

    Does the floating head of C.S. Lewis feature in the plot at all?

  21. Dead Stuff With Big Teeth Says:

    He reminds me of the babe.

  22. GSS ex-noob Says:

    The one with the power, or the one in the bubble gum outfit?

    This is a terrible, terrible cover on its own, and even more so for this book. It makes me sad. Even Peter Capaldi in clown white makeup, a fright wig, and wings can’t save it for me.

  23. Dead Stuff With Big Teeth Says:

    What power?

  24. GSS ex-noob Says:

    Hmmm? Did you say something, DSWBT? I was thinking of Bowie in an 80’s wig and extremely tight trousers.

  25. Dead Stuff With Big Teeth Says:

    Ah, the power of YOU DO! 😍 👨🏻‍🎤

  26. B. Chiclitz Says:

    @DSWBTeeth—Hoo Doo? You do? Do what?

  27. Dead Stuff With Big Teeth Says:

    @BC: Did you say something? I’ve been thinking of Bowie too. 😉

  28. GSS ex-noob Says:

    I was actually watching a documentary about Bowie when I made my last comment, and it had just done the early-80’s poppy Top 40 era, which closely preceded a certain puppet fillum.

  29. B. Chiclitz Says:

    “I think we’re all dreaming the same dream!”
    ~~Sigmund Floyd

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