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Dec 12

Hey!!! Whoever is grabbing my ass... not cool dudes... not cool!Click for full image

Colette’s Art Direction: I want a colony of giant lavender termites- all with the same goofy facial expression- dragging an extremely khaki couple into their underground nest. Try and make the tunnel seem as reminiscent of a human colon as possible, as subtle subliminal foreshadowing of where a large purple ovipositor may soon find itself.
Published 1980

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: 8.91 out of 10)
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20 Responses to “The Grotto of the Formigans”

  1. Phil Says:

    Human colon, eh? I thought it was Irwin Allen’s TIME TUNNEL.

    Formigans sound ever so slightly Irish. If those critters are on the cover are Formigans, I think I like them!

    Is this the first recorded instance of crowd surfing?

  2. A.R.Yngve Says:

    PLANET OF THE SHMOO
    By Al Capp

  3. A.R.Yngve Says:

    “Hi-ho, hi-ho, it’s off to Earth we go…[whistle] Hi-ho, hi-ho!”

  4. THX 1138 Says:

    That grotto looks grotty. Did the Formigans invent Formica?

  5. Nix Says:

    If the intent was to make the Formigans seem creepy, it failed. They’re *cute*. The Nac Mac Feegle are much scarier-looking (as well as doing the crowd-surf thing to entire herds of cattle at once).

  6. Jaouad Says:

    On seeing this cover I would immediately assume: children’s book.

    On another note, some classic white-washing appears to have been going on here. The male protagonist is black, but you wouldn’t be able to tell from the cover.

  7. Tom Noir Says:

    @Jaouad: I dunno, they didn’t have any problem putting purple people on the cover!

  8. A.R.Yngve Says:

    On a side note: Thank God these little critters are not Hobbits! Because if they were, the comments would quickly degenerate into terminal fan-w***king.

  9. Joachim Says:

    haha, I didn’t laugh until I read the caption — termites, haha… colon…

  10. drlemaster Says:

    And I thought I had trouble getting to Solla Sollew.

  11. Alessandra Kelley Says:

    @drlemaster: Tea spit take. Solla Sollew!

  12. Anti-Sceptic Says:

    All the little Formigans seem to be smiling except for the ones carrying the woman. I wonder why those ones are so upset….I suppose it’s possible that, out of nervousness, the woman released a little pent-up gas?

  13. Dano Says:

    I thought this cover looked pretty cool when I was a kid, but not cool enough to get me to pick up the book and read it.

  14. Tom Noir Says:

    The… Formigian? between the guy’s legs looks a little TOO happy.

    IF YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN.

  15. Dead Stuff With Big Teeth Says:

    @Tom: they like to watch. All of them. AT ONCE.

    And that’s why they’re all slowly going extinct…

  16. anon Says:

    Vealy nob
    Daze in la Curd
    Ty T. wanted lush chews and cheese sweat — what he got was a nightmare!
    OH, THE SOFT ROTTING FROMAGE

  17. Dead Stuff With Big Teeth Says:

    FOR SALE: Formigan
    Height: 1 m Colour: White
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    FOR SALE: Formigan
    Height: 1 m Colour: White
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    FOR SALE: Formigan
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    FOR SALE: Formigan
    Height: 1 m Colour: White
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    FOR SALE: Formigan
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    Answers to the name Joachim
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    FOR SALE: Formigan
    Height: 1 m Colour: White
    Answers to the name Clarissa
    After 7: (0161) 715 5555

    FOR SALE: Formigan
    Height: 1 m Colour: White
    Answers to the name Murgatroid
    After 7: (0161) 715 5555

  18. HappyBookworm Says:

    Just so you know, the word “formica” in Latin means “ant.” I wonder if the writer/cover artist was consulting his old copy of Wheelock’s Latin textbook or just picking syllables out of a hat. Guesses?

  19. GSS noob Says:

    Where’s the lighting coming from?

  20. Michael Edwards Says:

    I’ve read this book, so a few comments on earlier comments (some of which seemed to show that the author hadn’t read the book).

    If you like strong horror fiction, this is a good example of that, and very unusual – definitely not run-of-the-mill. Probably horror more than science-fiction, although marketed as science-fiction – but there is in fact considerable overlap between those two genres.

    “If those critters are on the cover are Formigans, I think I like them!”

    You wouldn’t if you encountered them. They are terrifying!

    “If the intent was to make the Formigans seem creepy, it failed. They’re *cute*.”

    Oh, no they’re not. If you read the book, you’ll find out how totally creepy and completely horrible they are. The book actually plays on their innocent appearance just increasing the creepiness. If anything, this makes the horror more subtle than if they were obviously horrific monsters at first appearance.

    “On seeing this cover I would immediately assume: children’s book.”

    Don’t let your children read this if you don’t want them to have nightmares. This is one of very few books that show how there are *much* worse fates possible than dying, whereas most horror stories are really just variations on ways of killing people. No human deaths happen in this, yet it is far, far more terrifying. Definitely not a children’s book – and the cover doesn’t convey that to me, anyway.

    “the word “formica” in Latin means “ant.””

    “Formigans” was probably drawn from “formica”: the Formigans exuded a smell of formic acid, and their society was organized rather like ant colonies.

    “Where’s the lighting coming from?”

    If I recall, there was luminescence in the tunnels.

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