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Oct 22

All ready for the stud farmClick for larger image

Ryan Comments: Hair, the musical equine fantasy.

Published 1985

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: 6.25 out of 10)
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19 Responses to “Knight Moves”

  1. Francis Boyle Says:

    Is this a novelisation of a weird fantasy episode of Knight Rider where they go back in time and Michael Knight is an actual knight complete with shining armour but made of brass for some reason and KITT is a centaur, and for some other reason, female and they fight fantasy crime and stuff because that’s the only thing I’m getting from this cover?

  2. THX 1139 Says:

    You’ll have to excuse the artist, he’s been feeling a little horse.

  3. DonPaul Nogueira Says:

    Nothing says “science fiction” like an 8 segment led display.

  4. fred Says:

    Two covers in one. Bob Seger and GSS,

  5. Bibliomancer Says:

    @fred ♫ Workin’ on our Knight Moves
    Trying to lose the awkward centaur blues ♫

  6. Tat Wood Says:

    The one problem with casting Meryl Streep as a centaur is that she spent six months working on the accent and it still sounded silly.

  7. JuanPaul Says:

    @tat Still, you have to respect her versatility. She made that transformation without the use of any special make up or cgi.

  8. Tor Mented Says:

    Imagine how much she must spend on shoes.

  9. Anna T. Says:

    I don’t see what this has to do with knights, although she definitely looks like she could make music that would inspire people to legendary moves.

  10. B. Chiclitz Says:

    “When my agent told me I’d have to play the back half of the horse, I was really bummed out, as it were, but, you know, this gig ain’t half bad, except for having to listen to that music all day.”

  11. A.R.Yngve Says:

    It could have been somewhat more awkward, I guess. It could have been a centauress with Vladimir Putin riding bare-chested on it.

  12. Bruce A Munro Says:

    Harp-playing female centaurs seems a bit…fluffy for Walter Jon Williams. Perhaps the combination of centaur and electronics is meant to signal “virtual reality” or something of the sort? But the mechanical thingy, besides looking like it’s wood paneled (?), seems uninformative and merely decorative.

    Did someone not bother to tell the artist until after he drew the centaur “oh, you have to add high-tech?” And then they just half-assed it, and drew in some meaningless curved and angular shapes (with a little brassy “ting”) around the unicorn and the cover lettering?

    @DonPaul: according to Douglas Adams, digital watches were still considered “cool” at this time.

  13. Raoul Says:

    All that scrolly woodwork makes this one bitchin’ lookin’ trophy!

  14. B. Chiclitz Says:

    Given the pub date, I think that wooden stand might be an early offering to the steampunk genre. It’s actually not bad, just hard to see because of the distractions of the rest of the cover, especially the Casio-watch type font, and, oh yeah, the Centauress.

  15. Alessandra Kelley Says:

    Aw, I *like* Stephen Hickman’s art, including this piece.

  16. Bruce A Munro Says:

    @Raoul: trophy? You mean this is actually a combination clock and display stand for someone’s stuffed and mounted Meryl-Centaur?

  17. GSS ex-noob Says:

    @Tat: Indeed, it IS Meryl! Even she got more ridiculous in the 80s. I guess it was quite the palate cleanser after “Out of Africa”

    @Raoul: It looks like a trophy one would get from an overpriced mall store of the time, so good call. Either that or from a deeply tacky convention.

    @Bruce: it even has Walter’s name on it, didn’t know he was a centaur hunter. It is fluffy and non-cyberpunk; I think it might have all been in place as a fantasy cover and someone added the LED segments to sci-fi it up a bit at deadline.

    @Tag W: does it count for Sir Mix if the buttocks aren’t particularly overlarge for the species?

  18. DaveM Says:

    A Lyre playing female Centaur does play a part in the book, but she’s more a subplot than part of the main narrative (so naturally she gets the cover for this version).

    I remember quite liking the book itself, it has quite a “early Roger Zelazny” vibe about it, and despite it reading like a set of connected short stories and having a bit of a “dues ex machina” ending, it was a fun read.

  19. Ryan Says:

    @DaveM – My guess is that this is one of those times when the illustrator read the first couple of chapters and went to work, not bothering with the rest of the story.

    Early WJW stuff does indeed partake of the Roger Zelazny vibe, both in that WJW’s stuff becomes much more polished as he publishes additional books, and that his storylines seem much more non-linear in the beginning of his career.

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