Sep 30

And this beast is the one I bravely shot with my sniper rifle from a mile away.Click for full image

I’m thinking book covers are normally so unrealistic. They have things that are so unbelievable it would make your mother cry. Not us! I propose, a photographic quality drawing of a military man placing his shined boot on the head of his latest kill: a giant ant insect alien creature. It will be just like they are back in the great war…. with aliens…

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: 4.70 out of 10)

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32 Responses to “Space Captain Smith”

  1. JustinLeego Says:

    Loving this one, only possible improvement would be if the rifle butt was resting on the ant-monster’s head. It looks like the author, Toby Smith, has successfully managed to have his own face used as the model for the main character’s illustration – and even more so in the following books in the series. Well done that man!

  2. CSA Says:

    thats pretty awesome he used his own face!

    I have to say though, a few of my friends have read this series and highly reccomend it, its aparently very funny, verging on a spoof but still has a good story.

    I think the cover is quite accurate at getting across the awesomeness of him.

    This one is actually on my to-read list after i get started on Edward Willet.
    have i bad taste in this one? i think the cover isnt too bad

  3. SI Says:

    It’s not that bad really. It’s a filler 🙂 trying to get rid of the bad but not terrible stuff.

    That is awesome that he used himself on the cover. Luckily he obviously looked not to bad. I’d love to see all authors on the cover posing in fancy dress!!

  4. JustinLeego Says:

    Well, I don’t know for sure, but there is a certain likeness…

    That reminds me, I have some covers to send in, better get on that!

  5. SI Says:

    Oh ok sorry I read it as if it was a fact 🙂

    I found an amazing sci fi shop in Amsterdam yesterday. Couldn’t spend the many hours in there I wanted to but managed to get a few beauties.

  6. CSA Says:

    Id like to think its him, even if its not…

    we did have an author pose for one of my favourites so far:

    Nigel posed for that one.

  7. JustinLeego Says:

    I do admit that I want it to be Toby himself on the cover, and this may be clouding my judgement somewhat.

    Have a look at his profile over at Fantastic Fiction and see what you think. Toby’s close up at the top, series’ book covers further down the page.

    Come on Toby, let it be you. Be a legend.

  8. Roses Says:

    I dunno…I think the font is pretty diabolical.

  9. Toby Frost Says:


    I’m afraid I’ll have to disappoint you: it isn’t me at all. In reality I look much less spiffing than that.

    Otherwise, given that the book is a comedy about space Victorians fighting giant ant-people, it’s fairly accurate (there’s a good deal of parody of old Boy’s Own-type adventures, Dan Dare and the like). I think I would have made the laser gun a bit bigger though. And added some robots, but then there’s a reason they don’t let me do the cover art (and there’s a robot on the cover of the sequel anyway).

    I think the artist did a worryingly good job of depicting the sort of thing that goes on in my brain, and looking at it as objectively as I can, I don’t think the cover is bad at all. For anyone with any remaining doubts, I’d suggest you buy a copy. Or three. Hell, buy five. I’m saving up for a yacht.



  10. SI Says:

    Toby> Darn it! We have been wishing for a while now it was you!

    Thanks for posting! It was a slow day when we posted this one and I had a few of my friends mock me for it, seeing as it is comedy! And it was clear how much they loved it. So a pleasure to see you. Also because it has a low rating and people generally enjoyed it we don’t have to defend ourselves too much!

    Please tell me at some stage you have tried to grow a moustache like that!

  11. Toby Frost Says:

    Hello again,

    I’ve never tried to grow a moustache quite like that, for fear that my efforts would not be manly enough, thus letting the side down. A friend of mine once turned up at a book signing having grown an impressive moustache, but it did make him look as slightly if he’d changed his name to Sven and gone into the washing-machine repair business.

    Perhaps I should grow a handlebar moustache. My author photo would look even more foolish than ever, but it might be good for marketing. Hmm, I see a plan taking shape…

  12. SI Says:

    Exactly. Moustaches, smoking pipe, deer head, a burning fireplace and a glass full of brandy. If that was on the back of your book I’d buy it simply for that!

  13. CSA Says:

    Its funny, i bought a copy just because it has the words “sex toy” and “hamster” in the same sentence on the back.

    The handlebar moustache is due a comeback in fashion any day soon. Capes, canes, hats, pocket watches, robes and full length jackets are on the way back too. Sir Patrick Moore has been couragously single handedly fighting for the monocle for years now.

    Thanks for posting Toby. For what its worth, i think the cover is jolly good. But I think Smiths quirky smile on the covers of the sequels makes them way more epic.

  14. Toby Frost Says:

    Wow, a sale – I knew the rodent/sex toy crossover would pay off! (Ah, I’ll never quite forgive the publishers for that. I don’t get to write the back cover stuff!) Another tiny step closer to my yacht!

    I hope you enjoy the book. In a disgraceful piece of shameless self-promotion, I should add that there is a facebook page and a SCS website, which are no more sensible than the novels. There’s also a film trailer for the second book somewhere, all about tea.

    Anyway, it’s been a pleasure being here – keep up the good work!

  15. K J Bennett Says:

    I know Toby, and he’s far more dashing than the image of Cpt Smith!

  16. Worst book covers - Science Fiction Fantasy Chronicles: forums Says:

    […] literal interpretation of the events of the story, they did retract the comment that it was bad.…captain-smith/ (And I don't know where they got the idea that that was […]

  17. A.R.Yngve Says:

    Hey, this is a good cover.

  18. Tat Wood Says:

    Although we all recall ‘Flash Gordon’, ‘Undersea Kingdom with Crash Corrigan’ and ‘King of the Rocket-Men’, the most successful and plentiful 30s chapterplay subgenre was Mounties. Statistically, therefore, something like this must exist in a film vault somewhere.

  19. Longtime_Lurker Says:

    In a trend that perhaps had better stop (after bloody Fize of the Gabriel Ratchets), I bought this in Waterstones Birmingham today, still with this cover. So far so good. Bought the sequel, God Emperor of Didcot, as well. It does indeed have a robot on the cover. And it’s indeed all about tea. I think the covers are far too good for GSS, although reading them on the bus might get you some odd looks. I’m probably going to be reading the first one on an aeroplane tomorrow—let’s see people move away then. Bwahahaha.

  20. GSS ex-noob Says:

    @L_l: A new copy? Not used? Toby’s still in print working towards that yacht and possibly mustache? Good Show Sir!

  21. Longtime_lurker Says:

    Absolutely a new copy. Well, I did read it on the aeroplane and it was an absolute hoot. I think Toby deserves that yacht.

  22. GSS ex-noob Says:

    Good to hear. It looks like fun and Toby seemed nice here. Staying in print that long (or going back into print) in paperback original is an achievement.

  23. Toby Frost Says:

    Wow! I was just reminded of this after about 5 years and was rather surprised to find more comments here. Cheers guys for reading it – glad you enjoyed it! I hope the plane flight wasn’t too weird…

  24. Tag Wizard Says:

    Hi Toby! Welcome back. Our fans treat these posts like a fine gallery of art; to be browsed and re-enjoyed at their leisure.

  25. GSS ex-noob Says:

    Toby! Our most faithful responding author, who understands and appreciates the kind of fun we have here. Perhaps he’ll let us party on his yacht when he gets it?

  26. Longtime _Lurker Says:

    I hope Toby is getting closer to the yacht. I’m still looking for the rest of the series but they seem to be sold only in England and I’m not there often enough. I may have to buy them on (shudder) Amazon.

  27. Longtime_Lurker Says:

    Toby is a tiny bit closer to the yacht—I’ve just bought the last 2 books, in Waterstones in Birmingham again. They had the full set, which says something. Even a tag on the shelf listing all the titles.

  28. GSS ex-noob Says:

    @L_L: Good for you. And for Toby. Having the whole series still in print after 10 years, in these days of shrinking bookstores, is quite an accomplishment.

    Ooh, SCS even has his own page on TVTropes, another achievement!

    Next time I’m at a con or a bookstore, I must definitely look for these. Sounds like Flashman In Spaaace, and what could be better?

  29. Bruce A Munro Says:

    I’m in the midst of reading it myself, and all I shall say about it is that it has the funniest parody of a certain well-franchised alien race I have seen.

  30. GSS ex-noob Says:

    There seem to be 6 of these books, available new from Amazon in either paperback or Kindle.

    Good Show, Toby!

  31. Longtime _Lurker Says:

    Just noticed (after all this time) that TW didn’t tag the artist. The back cover credits the copyright to Angelo Rinaldi, and this cover is on his website.

  32. GSS ex-noob Says:

    Artist is still not tagged.

    I enjoyed reading through this again. Toby is quite a good sport, and I hope he’s got a yacht to sail away on in these times.

    Maybe I’ll break down and buy one or two, unless someone’s got Kindle and would be willing to share.

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