Feb 23

How long we going to pose like this? I can't feel my legs.Click for full image

Nothinggets the attention ofwomen more than standing in the midst of an ice cavern with little clothes and showing off your bare chest. Holding your short sword in an inspiring way while standing by your Viking boat sleigh. That’s right. A boat sleigh.

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: 5.58 out of 10)

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30 Responses to “Were Blood”

  1. CSA Says:

    There is just so many things wrong with this cover; awful tag line, nude dude, authors name is invisible, the title of the book and the eh… boat sleigh…

  2. James Lovegrove Says:

    “Only Gerin the Fox could vanquish the evil sorceror Balamling’s barbarous Trokmoi hordes.” Priceless. Do you think maybe the editor submitted that blurb on a dare? “Hmm, how close can I make this to absolute gibberish while still sounding vaguely like English?”

    And why is WERE BLOOD two words? Surely it should be WEREBLOOD, as in werewolf, which is presumably the derivation.

    It really looks as though everyone gave up on this one at the design meeting stage.

  3. Adam Roberts Says:

    Is this one of those cash-in cheapy DVDs? ‘Call it There Were Be Blood and the producers can’t sue …’

  4. CSA Says:

    lol I think you could be right James, it’s a Harry Turtledove novel. But it looks like he decided to use a different pen name (or possibly his real name).

    Also, the cover was originally designed for a Micheal Moorcock novel
    Ice Schooner and strangely enough “Ice Schooner” makes a little more sense than “were blood”. That cover is a total fail

  5. little mi Says:

    Looks damn chilly to me. She’s got bare feet, surely that’s a recipe for some nasty frostbite.

  6. SI Says:

    ‘uh does anyone have some water, she’s actually frozen to me.’

  7. Nix Says:

    Oh, James, I wish it was Balamling. That actually sounds slightly exotic to an English ear. But read more carefully, through the pounding headache, and it turns out to be ‘Balamung’ (or rather ‘BALAMUNG’), which sounds… less exotic. To me it sounds like some sort of fictional fish. An *ugly* fish. Probably a bottom-feeder.

  8. Karl Says:

    I had to double-check to make sure I was reading the author’s name right. Oh, I thought it was “Allen Iverson” that wrote this.

    Also: shrinkage.

    “Trokmoi hordes” — Sounds like those swarthy ethnic orks are closing in on our white-bread heroes. Or something.

  9. James Lovegrove Says:

    @Nix. You’re right. Kind of reminds me of how, in the old days, comics writers were forbidden from using the words “flick” and “Clint”, because when lettered in capitals, and with the smudgy printing processes they used to use, the L and the I would merge and the words would end up reading as something ENTIRELY different…

  10. Robert Boyd Says:

    This is going to sound weird, but I had a completely different book with the same cover image when I was a teenager (late 70s). Back then, it was a Michael Moorcock book, and it really did feature sled-boats.

  11. Grey Bard Says:

    Actually Harry Turtledove *is* his real name, CSA. But his editor thought no one would think “Turtledove” was a real name so he might as well have a macho Norse pen name if everyone was going to think it was fake anyhow.

    It’s a good book, actually! Got republished collected together with the sequel Prince of The North as Wisdom of the Fox

  12. Mark Says:

    Were Blood? There Blood! (apologies to Young Frankenstein)

  13. Bookworm Bas Says:

    Hey why does it matter if it’s a boat/sleigh. All the better when the rivers/fjords defrost. Personally I can live with scantily clad women adorning the cover of my fiction. However, just set up like a photo shoot. I doubt it is a scene from the book…Bas

  14. Stevie T Says:

    At first glance I thought this said WE’RE BLOOD

    Oh, really? How interesting….Backing slowly away….Then it hit me, there was no apostrophe…

    Somehow, that just made it worse.

  15. A.R.Yngve Says:

    “But his editor thought no one would think “Turtledove” was a real name so he might as well have a macho Norse pen name if everyone was going to think it was fake anyhow.”

    Considering how godawful the cover blurb is, I’m surprised the editor didn’t go for a pen name like “ERIC ROCKHARD” or “ERIC TOUGHSON.”

  16. anon Says:

    “Were blood. Were Trojan.”

    Is trok something filthy in French, by any chance?

  17. Tom Noir Says:

    Shouldn’t this be ‘WAS BLOOD’?

  18. A.R.Yngve Says:

    Only Grignr the Barbarian could vanquish the evil sorcerer Wangsack’s barbarous barber hordes!

  19. Jon K. Says:

    They WERE BLOOD, but now they’re not? How does that happen?

  20. Bruce A Munro Says:

    The crew of that ice schooner should achieve some impressive air time once they hit a pressure ridge. (Floating ice: often not smooth!)

    So, does the Fox turn into an actual fox, or is his name and the title just red herrings, which would be fishy rather than foxy?

    Those look suspiciously like regular business shoes he’s wearing, and the pants could be regular slacks as well: did the Moorcock novel this cover was stolen from feature a Modern Man thrown into A Barbarian World he Never Made?

    “Balamung”: sounds like a Filipino dish to me.

  21. fred Says:

    The Moorcock cover has a blurb worthy of GSS.
    ‘Aboard a lust-plagued ship they crossed a frozen hell to a city of legendary doom.’

  22. B. Chiclitz Says:

    @fred—looks like @ARY’s Randomized Adjective-Noun Pair Generator Device is working at full steam!

  23. GSS ex-noob Says:

    This is actually an entertaining book, which features exactly zero ice-boats or Vikings.

    Gerin’s called “the Fox” because he’s very clever (not a were-fox) and the setting is Northern Europe around the fall of the Roman Empire with the serial numbers filed off and magic added. It’s often funny.

    My favorite part is during the battle climax when the people with were blood turn into their ancestral animal forms, and conservation of mass is held. You’ve got giant hawks squawking angrily because they’re too heavy to get off the ground, 150 lb. salmon flopping ineffectively, and tiny camels. The wolves and wildcats make up for it though.

    My copy’s got Harry’s real name on it and is from BAEN! lurid and snarling which means it’s the aforesaid, but does more-or-less depict an actual scene in said climax.

    It also means that when I picked it up just now, the cover fell off.

    @ARY: GSS!

    @Bruce: it’s definitely some Filipino delicacy that white people gag at.

  24. THX 1139 Says:

    Knee in the bollocks in 5…4…3…

  25. Tor Mented Says:

    I must go down to the skiing ships
    To the lonely ski and the sky
    And all I ask is a tall chick
    Who will press up ‘gainst my thigh.

  26. B. Chiclitz Says:

    @Tor M—GSS!

  27. Ryan Says:

    Given the way that the sail is bellied out, the nearly-naked pair gazing off into the distance are about to be mowed down by the onrushing ski-boat.

  28. Bruce A Munro Says:

    @Ryan: hopefully it’s got some sort of anchor out. (It’s gonna need one: with no rudder and only one sail, it’s unlikely to be very maneuverable. )

    And another GSS for @Tor M’s inspired poetry.

  29. Verylatetotheparty Says:

    @GSSxn: Is it possible that the cover fell off because some covers are so unsuitable that over time the book starts to reject the cover?

  30. GSS ex-noob Says:

    @Ryan: It’s their way of committing lovers’ double suicide?

    @Tor: Another GSS! *chef kiss*

    @Vlttp: Mine’s got a different cover which is all right, especially considering the publisher. I wouldn’t doubt that this one’s been rejected by any surviving books.

    No, the cover fell off because along with proofreading and good taste, production value isn’t something GSS’ “favorite” publisher believes in. Cheapest glue possible on a 30 year old book.

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