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May 21

I think he's ok... he could do with a few extra penises though.Click for full image

Good Show Sir’s Art Direction: Look, all I’m saying is I want a women with three boobs on there. It’s every mans dream right? Let’s keep it classy though and make sure she has stars covering her nipples. That way it’s not really smut, it’s… ah forget it, we might as well put our aviator sunglasses on, we’re making nerd porn!
Published 1983

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: 8.77 out of 10)
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53 Responses to “Flexing the Warp”

  1. THX 1138 Says:

    “Look at this guy, always flexing his warp – I knew I should have stuck with Arnold Schwarzenegger!”

  2. Phil Says:

    He’s thinking, “Does she have three boobs? I don’t want to look in case she catches me.”

    She, on the other hand, is thinking, “Why hasn’t he said anything about my three boobs?”

    I, on the third hand, and thinking that “Flexing the warp” just HAS to be a euphemism.

  3. Phil Says:

    PS: I just notice that she appears to be walking, while he appears to be standing still. Maybe he’s on a Heinleinian moving sidewalk, and she’s on a conventional pavement.

  4. Alessandra Kelley Says:

    “And now for something completely different, a man with three buttocks.”

    No fabric in the universe acts like her top does. It looks like she’s wearing a bikini (trikini?) top and has painted her torso.

  5. Dead Stuff With Big Teeth Says:

    The NippleCover Tape’s Flexing the Bosoms!

  6. Dead Stuff With Big Teeth Says:

    I can’t make sense of the background. Yes, there’s a planet ridiculously close to several others–nothing too out-of-the-ordinary there–but it looks as though there’s aurorae sticking off into space in the midst of them all, which is exactly the direction aurorae DO NOT go.

  7. Adam Roberts Says:

    Look out behind you — it’s the USS Dracula. “I vant to suck your blood!’

  8. Adam Roberts Says:

    Do you see how I left the three boobs entirely alone? That’s because I’m classy.

  9. Lilah Says:

    That woman could cut glass with her cheekbones.

  10. Muttley Says:

    Ok, Just because both Warren Norwood and Douglas Adams are dead, it doesn’t mean you can steal Eccentrica Galumbits and put her on the cover.

    Skirt by semaphore from the flag locker, top by Photoshop. That’s real SF. I wonder if she can change the colour. Or perhaps he’s got the control box, and that’s why she’s keeping firm hold of him.

  11. fred Says:

    Has Anne McCaffrey ever been falsely impressed?

  12. Phil Says:

    What is a windhover? And does it rhyme with OVER or HOVER? Or PLOVER?

  13. Smith Says:

    Does the triple breasted woman actually appear in the story and is there any reason for the extra one?

  14. Dead Stuff With Big Teeth Says:

    @Phil: It’s pronounced vihnd-Huu-vehr, like the well-known Dutch session musician. They should’ve specified.

    @Smith: It’s because she’s got three children: Nat, Matt, and Kat. The uncomfortable breeding was eased by the feeding: thank Heaven she’s a spare tit for Kat! 🙂

  15. Dead Stuff With Big Teeth Says:

    Goodness! If any of ‘y’all’ live in Texas, it seems Mr. Norwood’s works–including the previously listed Seren Cenacles–need serious literary study. Observe and learn:

    http://www.library.unt.edu/rarebooks/finding-aids/norwood/norwood/

  16. Jerk of all Trades Says:

    Because a recommendation from Anne McCaffrey is always a mark of quality.

  17. Jerk of all Trades Says:

    Also I am wondering who thought bouncing all these giant Super Balls off the planet was a good idea.

  18. Phil Says:

    Dead Stuff: cor, perhaps when I finish my current PhD I should move to Texas and study the works or Warren Norwood. Or perhaps I should do the washing up and hoover the floor.

  19. Smith Says:

    @Dead Stuff: *applause* Keats, Shelley, Dead Stuff With Big Teeth.

  20. Rachel J Says:

    @Phil. Real answer: a windhover is a kestrel. Only I expect in this case it’s the protagonist’s name, or codename, or else he’s part of a secret experiment or something called “Project Windhover”. (Perhaps he can fly?)

  21. Yoss Says:

    Anyone that has ever had kids in diapers can recognize that stance and the look on the guy’s face. Do you really think that’s just a shadow on the front of his jumpsuit?

  22. A.R.Yngve Says:

    I heard the clerks in the bookshop have a running bet going: 10 bucks to the clerk who can sell this book while keeping a straight face…

  23. Jerk of all Trades Says:

    Later on in the series, she loses a boob.

    What the HELL

  24. Smith Says:

    @Jerk of all Trades: “Fize of the Gabriel Ratchets”???

    Is he just throwing words together at random now?

    Just wtf is or are Gabriel Ratchets? What is its/their Fize? What IS a fize?

  25. Muttley Says:

    Teleport accident. The mass has been redistributed into two larger – er – bumpers.

    Ah, *this* is the man responsible for the title that caused me some hilarity back in the ’80’s. “Fize of the Gabriel Ratchets” brings to mind the impenetrable rustic mumblings of Walter Gabriel, of the long running (some would say too long) BBC radio serial “The Archers” (“an everyday story of country folk” and *nothing* to do with Powell and Pressburger, more’s the pity), inflicted on me in my youth by unfeeling parents.

    A Gabriel Ratchet simply has to be an arcane piece of elderly farm equipment (a description that would fit Old Walter as well), or perhaps a distant relative: and Fize is just old Walter’s toothless attempt at pronouncing “size”.

    What this has to do with scantily clad wenches with a variable number of bazongas is anybody’s guess. I suspect rolls in the hay and lots of inbreeding.

  26. Smith Says:

    @Muttley: I think you must be right. A Gabriel Ratchet must indeed be an arcane piece of farm equipment.

    Which means “flexing the warp” is not a euphemism for some unseemly act perpetrated on the woman-of-indeterminate-chesticles, but a reference to a long forgotten weaving technique still practised down Ambridge way.

  27. Capewood Says:

    This was the second book of a series of 4. I read the first 2 but never saw the others. If I remember correctly Windhover was the name of spaceship pictured on the cover. The stories were ‘reconstructed’ from recordings made by the ship. The chick with the 3 boobs is in the book but for the life of me I don’t remember much about the book except for the cover. I also remember thinking the books were pretty good.

  28. A.R.Yngve Says:

    In the lingerie store:

    “Which size are you, ma’am?”

    “Triple C.”

    “Sorry, we don’t have that one.”

    “Damn it! This ALWAYS happens!”

  29. Smith Says:

    @A R Yngve: on, ahem, closer examination she seems to be two c’s and a d. The extra one is somewhat larger…

  30. Phil Says:

    Rumour has it that she also has three buttocks.

  31. Tom Noir Says:

    I like to think that dad is in the ship following close behind, monitoring their date and making sure that this dude doesn’t make a play for his daughter’s, um, triplets.

  32. Anti-Sceptic Says:

    Man thinking to himself: “I’m not gonna look, I’m not gonna look, I’m not gonna look…”

    Girl thinking to herself: “When is he going to notice my new boob-job!”

  33. Tom Noir Says:

    I find myself less concerned about the fact that she has three breasts and more concerned about the fact that she has attached starfish to each of them.

  34. Dead Stuff With Big Teeth Says:

    And the fourth ta-ta was nae there at a’, on a cold and frosty morning…

  35. anon Says:

    The vampire drone closes in slowly, waiting for an opportunity..

  36. anon Says:

    @DSWBT: I could have sworn the third kid was called Tat and the spare tit was for him..

  37. Tat Wood Says:

    @anon: sadly, no

  38. Dead Stuff With Big Teeth Says:

    And after three years, anon takes the bait! 🙂

  39. anon Says:

    @DSWBT: I’m a slow reader.

  40. A.R.Yngve Says:

    “Trapped on an alien world, in a deadly game of tit-for-tat-for-tit!”

  41. Longtime_Lurker Says:

    In my self-appointed capacity as researcher for GSS into the mysteries of the Windhover Tapes, I decided to start with the first book “An Image of Voices”, of which the cover is probably not GSS-worthy) and see if the confusion cleared itself up that way. Twenty-four pages in, I can now confirm that the young lady on the cover of this book is called ShRil (yep, just so) and she really does have three boobs. No transporter accident. She and Our Hero seem to having carnal knowledge of each other every 2 or 3 pages, so presumably she is anatomically human in other respects. I have also read a number of poems.
    There’s another minor character I’ve just encountered who is a pair of conjoined twins (not human). I am given to understand that their females bear litters of 6 and have the mammary apparatus that is appropriate. Not specified whether conjoined twins were usual.
    I also know that Mr Norwood liked to make up words, not surprisingly, and I’ve been wondering if “Fize” isn’t simply a made-up word (given the context, possibly based on aural memories of “vice” as in vice-captain, and “vizier”.

  42. Longtime_Lurker Says:

    Oh, and the expression “Fize of the Gabriel Ratchets” occurs on page 50 of the *first* book.

  43. B. Chiclitz Says:

    @L_L—Kudos on your vigilance and pain threshold as GSS historian! Can you quote the sentence in which the phrase “Fize of the Gabriel Ratchets” occurs? It is just possible, though unlikely, there is a contextual clue or something.

  44. GSS ex-noob Says:

    @L_L: So “Fize” is a word(?) used often and yet never defined? Not even in context?

    It’s worse than we thought.

    I also can’t figure out the geometry of conjoined twins feeding litters of 6, and I’m not going to try. Although it seems ShRil could feed half a litter. Was she only able to afford either a full name or an extra boob, and decided on the one men would prefer?

    Mr. Norwood’s brain was…interesting.

  45. Longtime_lurker Says:

    BC: I’ll quote you the whole paragraph. It doesn’t help.

    I ought to say first that the books actually aren’t terrible. On the other hand, they aren’t good enough to be hailed as forgotten classics, nor to justify the McCaffrey blurbs. Nor actually to justify me reading them, really, but I’ll do it anyway.

    The setup is that our Hero Gerald Hopkins Manley is a “contract diplomat”, which has not really been explained but it’s clear that he is a roving negotiator of sorts for the Federation (another one!). He wanders the universe in a starship called the Windhover, which is said to be sentient and has a considerable measure of agency of its own. He has a huge chunk of his past missing from his memory, and gets recurrent flashbacks to a time spent with Princess Fairy Peg, the ruler of something called the Riddle Galaxy. (Not clear whether Mr Norwood uses “galaxy” in the same sense I would.) Because he is deeply involved with ShRil, and wants to continue with her, he needs to find out what Princess FP, and the Gabriel Ratchets, were all about. The books are told in the form of journal entries that he is dictating, and the bits about the Princess occur as he gets the flashbacks, so as yet there is no sequence to them.

    I quote (“An Image of Voices”, p 50)–the voice is that of Our Hero dictating:
    “We had a recurring dream during that time which seems to be a touchstone for Self. In it Fairy Peg and I stroll through a garden talking about my status in Ribble. She wants to make me Prince Regent, or Prince Consort, or something like that, but I’m having a hard time concentrating on what she’s saying. I’m too caught up in the complexity of her. Love, beauty, ruthlessness, and power all seem to emanate from her at the same time. I’m captivated. Finally, toward the end of the dream, she insists that I pay attention and tells me that if she makes me Prince whatever, I’ll also be Fize of the Gabriel Ratchets. My response is to kiss her as wildly and passionately as I can. The dream ends very quickly after that in a swirl of spirited lovemaking.”

    GSSxn: As to the extra boob, when Our Hero first meets ShRil, he is not surprised by the extra one; he refers to three teat patches without any apparent surprise; she is called a “homo sapies sylvas”. Assuming that “sapies” is an error for “sapiens”, therefore, she is human, and presumably of a subspecies that has evolved an extra one (don’t ask me how). That’s on page 16. They first get it on on page 19.

  46. B. Chiclitz Says:

    @Longtime_L: You’re right, it doesn’t help much. I guess whoever was speculating somewhere back there that it is some sort of title, like “Vizier” or something is on the right track. Not sure it’s worth much more investigation. It’s a dumb word anyway.

  47. Longtime_lurker Says:

    That was me. I think it’s pretty clearly a title, and I have no real idea where he got it from. There’s a poem in the first book that looks like a shot at G M Hopkins. It has a good few invented words in it. I am not going to type it out because my spell-checker would go bananas.

  48. Bibliomancer Says:

    @BC @LL – Agreed that “fize” will remain a maddening unknown. But I must admit that “Gabriel Ratchets” is an awesome term.

    I did a search in Google Books thinking “fize” might be a one-off term from Shakespeare or someone and gave it up because I hit on too many computer-OCR returns of the word “size” mistaking the medial s ∫ for the lower-case f.

  49. B. Chiclitz Says:

    @Bibliomancer—Thankf! Thif clearf thingf up fmoothly, at laft. I muft fay I am impreffed at your fcholarly laborf.

  50. Bibliomancer Says:

    @B. Chiclitz – Ki∫s me olde a∫s 🙂

  51. B. Chiclitz Says:

    @B’Mancer—I think that’s ar ∫ e 🙂

  52. Bibliomancer Says:

    @BC – Arf Arf. Said Gabriel’s Ratchets.

  53. GSS ex-noob Says:

    Fairy Peg O’Ribble sure had a… way with names, didn’t she? Her own, the Gabriel Ratchets, and the forever-mysterious FIZE.

    Thif if ridiculouf.

    @L_L: 3 boobs, he waited 3 pages, they do it every 3 pages. It’f myftic.

    Presuming Norwood or his proofreader spelled “silvas” right, does that mean ShRil’s some sort of woods-dwelling person? I’m not sure why that’d require an extra boob and a loss of vowels/extra caps in one’s name, but this is SF and tropes must.

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