May 05

Pfft look at all those sails. He's making up for something.Click for full image

Ian Comments: This is not a terrible cover – it quite accurately depicts the book’s contents. It’s the UK edition cover. The US cover follows..

I've been working out all day, take a whiff of this!Click for full image

Ian comments: This is what the US publisher used for the book. It is, incidentally, a steampunk space opera, with Victorians in space.
Both were published in 1993

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: 8.94 out of 10)

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30 Responses to “Harm’s Way”

  1. benny Says:

    the publisher must have a very low opinion of americans.
    “its a story about what……No No No, put a hunky angel with womans hair on there and a woman in period clothes, it will sell a million”

  2. Claire Says:

    So – we’ve got some sort of cream kilt wearing Michael Bolton, with armwings flashing some poor fainting Victorian lady. That’s my kind of book. What do you mean, the actual book has nothing to do with that!

  3. JonCG Says:

    Bet the author of the angel and crinoline classic Heaven Scent was *shocked* by the steam-punky spaceships and planets on her cover 😉

  4. Carolyn B Says:

    How is he able to coif his hair and buckle his swash without opposable thumbs?

  5. Carolyn B Says:

    Also, who remembers MST3K riffs on Commander Cody? “Nipple nipple tweak tweak fly fly fly!”

  6. GK Says:

    Nothing makes me think of steampunk more than angels and sailboats.

  7. Tom Noir Says:

    As an American male sci-fi fan, I can definitively state that I only buy SF novels with covers where shirtless hunks are rocking righteous do’s. This cover really hits my demographic sweet spot!

  8. fred Says:

    Is that a Space Coati on the railing behind Brian Blessed?

  9. Green Says:

    As an American female sci-fi fan, I’d pass up this cover in a second without realizing it probably is a good read. o_0

  10. Smith Says:

    I have the UK edition complete with space coati and a slight deviation from the usual Good Show Sir staple, the catman, where he now has wings. Can’t remember for the life of me if such a creature is in the book although surely for catman and bird to be united like that is against nature?

    Cat and man, yes, but catman and bird? *shudders*

  11. Phil Says:

    The UK cover is for every purist who ever complained about spaceships making banked turns in the vacuum of space. Also for every person who ever walked on Eastbourne pier hoping to meet an armed, winged catperson in a space helmet.

  12. Amy Says:

    As a woman, I will say unequivocally that I think the second cover is better. However, I do wonder how he gets that belt off. Maybe that’s what SHE’S for.

  13. Tom Noir Says:

    I hear he gives great tickle massages.

  14. A.R.Yngve Says:

    U.S. Editor: “For this re-release of the sci-fi classics, I want you to paint a selling cover.”

    Artist: “OK, what’s the book about?”

    U.S. Editor: “Some sob story about a dreary socialist dictatorship run by a guy named Big Brother.”

    Artist: “So what do you want on the cover? A dreary street scene from a socialist dictatorship?”

    U.S. Editor: “I said a SELLING cover. Give me a hunky blond guy in a Gestapo uniform and his shirt open to the waist, holding a curvy dark-haired fainting woman. And make it look like he’s about to tear her clothes off.”

  15. Dalton H. Says:

    That first cover reminds me of the dang hard level (sarcasm) in Super Mario Galaxy.

  16. A.R.Yngve Says:

    Things you can’t do if you look like the dude on the cover:

    – Use eating utensils
    – Drink from a cup
    – “Relieve yourself” while standing up, without making a mess
    – Open a door
    – Lift a lid
    – Pull down a curtain
    – Help a lady undress
    – Pull up (or down) your pants
    – [CENSORED]

  17. Ian Says:

    Yes my dear I do see the speck in your eye, here let me poke it out with a feather…

  18. anon Says:

    “Pray tell, are you, perchance, ticklish?”

  19. THX 1139 Says:

    1: “Aye, ’tis a stormy sea, er, sky, er, stratosphere, look, there’s turbulence, all right?!”

    2: He obviously turning into a bird. It’s the Manimal reboot we’ve been waiting for.

  20. Bruce A Munro Says:

    Having read the book a couple decades ago I can assure people there is in fact a winged dude in the book, but I’m fairly sure there wasn’t much in the way of steamy romance.

  21. Tor Mented Says:

    Cover 2: Too much Red Bull.

  22. Francis Boyle Says:

    Or indeed not enough. If I’m going for wings I want wings not whatever those things are. Judging by the inevitable loss of manual dexterity this is either an illustration or the end result of the effects of that wine only tramps drink.

  23. fred Says:

    Vultan soared in and has something he would like to say.

  24. Ryan Says:

    Can you imagine the middle-aged American housewife in 1993 who buys this book with the bodice-ripper cover, expecting it to be the normal 1990s romance novel?

    How deep into the book does she get before she starts to wonder WTF?

  25. JuanPaul Says:

    1. Looks like the old boardwalk ain’t so boring anymore.

    2. Lady! Run! When he offered to take you out to a romantic dinner, he meant he was going regurgitate his own dinner for you. But it WILL be some where with ambience.

  26. GSS ex-noob Says:

    @FB: Are you perchance thinking of Thunderbird?

    That would tie in with @JuanPaul’s thought about it.

  27. Tat Wood Says:

    @GSS ex-noob: or Buckfast. As opposed to the fast buck the US publishers hoped to make.

    Mind you, both covers remind me of my last trip to Bournemouth. It was September 1990, which may explain a lot.

  28. Bruce A Munro Says:

    Can’t for the life of me recall if he’s hexapodal with arms (as on the first cover) or a quadruped sans. (In the second one, I wonder if the artist left his legs out because they can’t drawn bird feet?)

    If the second cover is Pure Quill romance novel, the first one, if more story-accurate, seems somehow a bit dull given the subject: a picture of 19th century sailing ships! In! Space! Should have more of a wow! factor. Perhaps it’s the rather pale colors and the lack of visible detail in the fairly small picture available? Whatever the reason, I find myself somehow disappointed.

    Colin Greenland seems to like retro settings: his “Plenty” series, IIRC, was set in a sort of 1940s, 1950s SF solar system with a semi-habitable Mars and multiple alien races.

  29. MelMc Says:

    I never thought I’d say this but we need a Fabio tag. I recognize the cover as the most boggling one I turned up when pranking a friend with Fabio book covers.

  30. GSS ex-noob Says:

    @MelMc: Is that actually Fabio or some cut-rate impersonator? And was this picture also found in one of Saddam’s palaces?

    @Tat: I had a friend who lived in Bournemouth at about that time, but she never mentioned anything like this. But then she wouldn’t, would she?

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