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Mar 11

Notice the Pretender?

Art direction: So let’s have one guy, all white, in the middle of a group of (let’s say) some “darker coloured” elves. Have one of them looking at him very carefully pondering the question, “Is he the pretender?”

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: 7.15 out of 10)
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22 Responses to “Good show sir… good show: Pretender”

  1. CSA Says:

    There’s clearly a twist, the…darker coloured elves… are the real pretenders, but to find out what they are pretending, you’ll have to read the sequels

    btw is the white dude meant to be a midget? or is the artist just awful?

  2. Michael Says:

    You obviously dont know your artist as this is a work by donato giancola..look him up and then revise your idiotic statement.

  3. admin Says:

    Hey Michael, thanks for posting!

    You are indeed correct, Donato Giancola has some amazing art work. This cover included. Just in case you misunderstand what we are doing you should have a read of our about section:

    “This is simply about the covers that grace them, with their own unique sort of imagination and brilliance. We laugh, yes, but wholeheartedly salute their greatness too.”

    We have never wanted to be cruel against any artist and their work here. Like the books themselves they have an amazing creative edge that just isn’t found many places in life.

    Hope you can enjoy some of the covers that we’ve had the pleasure of posting here!

  4. CSA Says:

    Its not about them being pieces of art, its the fact they somehow get put on book covers.

    In any case, its truely amazing that you think that an artists other work somehow magically makes this cover any better.

    You must be looking at something different from me, because i’m seeing a gang of cyberpunk dark elves chillin’ with their angelic halfling friend.

  5. Heifzilla Says:

    The atevi (the black characters) are very large, at least a foot, maybe two feet, taller than the white guy in the picture (Bren Cameron). The artist got it right.

  6. Nix Says:

    I’m seeing a bunch of people stuck in a meeting. As such this is a very good depiction of the series, which pretty much consists of a very long series of meetings and the setup for same. (Sometimes the setup takes a whole book.)

  7. P. Taine Says:

    Does fidelity to the story count? It is far from the first book in the sequence and anyone with any exposure to Cherryh’s writing would know what is going on. With the exception of the skin color for the atevi (they should be almost jet black) it does a rather good job of illustrating the contents. The fact that the original commenter hasn’t bothered to find this out is rather lame.

    I note that while many of the covers on this site are truly awful, the comments are often not much better, totally missing the point of some of them, as in this case. The whole exercise seems akin to having a 15 year old rock fan write comments on Bach or Corelli.

  8. CSA Says:

    It may surprise you, but people usually buy books they don’t already own. So they dont know anything about the story before buy it. If i went into a bookshop and saw that cover i wouldnt even bother looking for the first book in the series.

    I’ve read a reasonable number of the books featured on this site. Stop being such a fanboy and appriecate the fact you can still enjoy something while acknowledging it cheesy badness.

    The Forgotten Realms, Warhammer 40k, Star Trek, Star Wars covers all have fidelity to the story, they still have horrific covers.

  9. Brian B. Says:

    Odd to me how some people don’t seem to get the nature of this site. It was my impression that, like all great parody, this site all about poking gentle fun at the eccentricities of this genre that we all love in our hearts. Getting angry at a post on this site would be like getting angry at Pratchett’s early Discworld stuff where he lovingly lampoons Conan, Lord of the Rings, Fafard and the Grey Mouser and many, many more. If we can’t laugh at ourselves then we certainly shouldn’t be allowed to laugh at anyone else.

  10. NoWayDude Says:

    First thought-

    It’s the scifi depiction of The Last Supper. See- that’s Judas hanging on The Bright White Jesus.

    Seriously though, has noone else noticed the Charlie’s Angels in the back?

  11. Tom Noir Says:

    I’m SUPER disappointed that a C. J. Cherryh cover doesn’t feature cat people. Could these dark elf guys have been black jaguar people instead? I think there was a real missed opportunity here.

  12. A.R.Yngve Says:

    “Quick! Form a living shield to protect Superwhitey from harm! Are we not Magical Negro Squad?”

  13. Jami Says:

    Okay, I know this post is old and stuff – but I only recently found this site thanks to someone’s comment over on the blog Awful Library Books – and frankly, some of you people need to get the sticks out of your tuchuses and apologize to the owner of this blog. The cover is snark worthy. I mean, one albino looking guy who has a face that could only come by some serious long term first cousin marriages surrounded by a bunch of black guys who look ready for some Blacksplotation version of Lord Of The Rings with a pinch of Star Wars thrown in? Bah! I don’t care what sort of “genius” you think the artist is, my stick figures with lopsided heads would look better.

    Now I love science fiction, my first crush was Mr. Spock, I was 3 years old. But that doesn’t mean I don’t make Star Trek jokes or snark on bad sci-fi covers. In fact, it’s bad covers like this that give science fiction a bad name. It’s just like all those heaving boobs and shirtless dudes on romance novel covers. The writer themselves might be so good even God weeps in jealousy because He/She will never messure up. But bad cover art makes others who see it pick fun.

    I’m also a big Sherlock Holmes fan. That doesn’t mean I don’t snark and make snide remarks when someone draws cover art of him with the deerstalker he never wore and smoking the gooseneck pipe he never smoked.

    Just because you love something, doesn’t mean you can’t pick fun.

    And besides, no one’s put a gun to your head and forced you to read this blog. Don’t like what’s being said? Don’t read it. That simple. Be a grown up and walk away instead of whining like some kid trying to stand up for being a fan of Justin Beiber or Rebecca Black.

  14. GSS Admin Says:

    Thanks Jami! You get a cookie! 🙂

    Though no one needs to appologise! Not everyone gets sarcasm so I understand.

    In the words of Larry Dixon one of Baen’s great artists, responding to some covers we poked fun at here:

    “I have a life philosophy that embraces the humor in all things. As we put it in an interview not long ago, to fully respect something you must acknowledge that all things have an element of the absurd. If you treat something as wholly serious, you’re not respecting its entirety, since you are trimming off and discarding the silly side of it—in other words, to fully love something you must also make fun of it.”

  15. Rags Says:

    Ever feel like you just dont fit in?

  16. Dead Stuff With Big Teeth Says:

    Gentrification: a sci-fi perspective.

  17. Dead Stuff With Big Teeth Says:

    Strike a light, it’s a young Jeremy Clarkson!

    /me ducks to avoid the incipient flame war

  18. Tat Wood Says:

    @ Dead Stuff: he was never young, he’s been having a mid-life crisis since at least 1986. He had a dark poodle-perm then.

  19. GSS noob Says:

    WOW! I have come to the end (or beginning) of the available back issues of GSS!

    This is kind of anticlimactic.

    At least someone else’s name will show up in the sidebar from now on. 😉

  20. DaveM Says:

    @GSS noob, congratulations on surviving a complete archive trawl of bad covers! Your appellation of “GSS noob” is now almost comically inappropriate, you have proven yourself to be at least a GSS regular! Possibly even a GSS veteran (or grizzled veteran, being grizzled is optional).

  21. Dead Stuff With Big Teeth Says:

    @GSS Grizzled Veteran: that’s at least two votes for a changed epithet. Get to work, milady!

  22. GSS noob Says:

    Yes sirs! I’ll think on it! Being a female, I’m going to skip the “grizzled” part. I still moisturize (myself, unlike Lady Cassandra).

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