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Jun 15

I smell something fishy....Click for full image

Don’s Art Direction: This is a humorous novel about an interstellar diplomat. He’s suave, he’s debonair, and everything in the book’s played for laughs. So we want a horrific tentacle-headed, four-eyed, jelly-legged alien leaping at him with a spear. And we can’t afford the tux rental, so just use whatever your model’s wearing when he comes over from his rehearsal of A CHORUS LINE. But add some muscles! Retief is a two-fisted guy, no doubt with mighty thews! We don’t know what “thews” are, actually, but we’ll know ’em when we see ’em and by God he better have ’em! THEWS!
Published 1983

So it’s comedy. But it’s not a joke on the genre. That’s ok right?
Awesome! Thanks the Don!

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: 6.86 out of 10)
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17 Responses to “Retief to the Rescue”

  1. SI Says:

    That squid creature is amazing! I like that they are fighting in a squid persons natural habitat… an exploding volcano!

  2. Dead Stuff With Big Teeth Says:

    “Ah! Crikey! I just stabbed me tentacle with me own damn SPEAR!”

    “Well, that’s what you get for trundling across this lava bed unshod, dear boy. Now, chin up, and help me hold up the cover art.”

  3. A.R.Yngve Says:

    “I say! Is it hot in here, or is it just me? Better take off my tux before it gets burned!”

  4. DeadRobot Says:

    The Flying Spaghetti Monster will smite all with featherback hair!!!

  5. Tom Noir Says:

    I’m glad that Don clarified who Retief was. I thought maybe it was the three-eyed dude with the square codpiece. I’m not up on my xenobiology, but that’s gotta be awkward.

    Also, am I the only one who thinks Squiddy Codpiece’s lower extremities appear to be composed of the smoke coming out of our hero’s gun?

  6. James Lovegrove Says:

    Tragically, this is the best job Jar-Jar Binks’s agent could get him after shooting wrapped on Revenge Of The Sith. The gonk wig, incidentally, is the model’s own.

  7. Parker Says:

    It also seems a young Andy Garcia has turned up for the photo shoot in his best tank top.

  8. Kathleen Says:

    so a tank top tucked into belted chinos is going to be debonair in the future? glad I’ll miss it.

  9. JujuQuisp Says:

    I love the two allen wrenches that are framing the left-hand side of the book. Retief’s wifebeater adds a sort of Al Bundy aura to the whole proceedings. 10 years sure is a long time to wait for a masterpiece like this, but I’m sure it was well worth the wait.

  10. Don Hilliard Says:

    The great irony of this is that it’s probably one of the last Pocket science-fiction covers before they passed almost all their SF and fantasy titles over to a new imprint called Baen Books. (And in weak defense, yes it’s got two allen wrenches, but at least it doesn’t have the clonking “TIMESCAPE” headstone that defaced most of Pocket’s SF in the ’70s-’80s.)

    Funnily enough, the Baen covers for the other Retief books I have are almost perfectly disqualified from Good Show Sir! by dint of their quality and accurate depiction of the contents within…

  11. bob Says:

    The cover may be weird but the Retief series is well worth reading.

  12. Nix Says:

    It’s also largely freely available on Baen’s website. It’s about as serious-minded as Monty Python, but that’s not a bad thing at all. Laumer was a diplomat: he knew just how farcical this sort of thing could get.

  13. Amy Says:

    Nice to see that Jason Priestly got some modeling work after 90210 was canceled.

  14. Tom Noir Says:

    Based on how Retief’s ‘rescue mission’ seems to be going on the cover I’m guessing this was a short book.

  15. Anna T. Says:

    That guy looks like he’s dancing. My good man, it is rather inadvisable to boogie with a gun in hand. You might shoot someone by accident. I suspect that the alien behind him intends to stop him for precisely that reason.

  16. anon Says:

    “That signpost is mine!”

    @TagWizard/admin/whoever: Needs a “behind you”.

  17. THX 1138 Says:

    Thanks to the technical hitch my hilarious comment was lost this afternoon. Pity to waste it:

    “Look out below! These legs won’t support me!”

    I thank you.

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