May 03

Great artwork! Looks like the spittin' image!Click for full image

Mark E Comments: Well the title is “The Saliva Tree” so frankly the writer has brought it on himself. Paint what you like.

Published 1973

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: 8.79 out of 10)

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22 Responses to “The Saliva Tree”

  1. Bibliomancer Says:

    It looks pornographic.

  2. Valerie Coupland Says:

    Gross, just Gross. Just what we want to read on a crowded bus or train ride.

  3. THX 1138 Says:

    I’ve heard of a mouthwatering prospect but this etc. Is the tree a weeping, seeping willow?

  4. THX 1138 Says:

    Oh, and that little fellow is looking down in the mouth.

  5. Dead Stuff With Big Teeth Says:

    Benoit Mandelbrot’s ultimate nightmare.

  6. Dead Stuff With Big Teeth Says:

    Title story “The Saliva Tree” was written to mark the centenary of H. G. Wells’s birth, and shared the Nebula Award for the best novella of 1964. While set in a Wellsian milieu, it contains two plot elements also found in the stories of H.P.Lovecraft: an object from space which causes crops and livestock to grow prolifically, but be unpalatable (The Colour out of Space); and a monster which is visible only when sprayed with an opaque powder (The Dunwich Horror).

    Was it RachelJ who pointed out that the purpose of the cover art was usually to warn off prospective consumers?

  7. Dead Stuff With Big Teeth Says:

    @TW: I approve of the ‘yuk’ tag! Is this also in reference to the puncture marks on the ‘d’ suggesting this cover was chewed???

  8. Mark E Says:

    Everything about this cover just has an air of nastiness about it. From the figure in the mouth to the off-green shade.
    The publisher really wanted to kill this book for some reason. Maybe it is a Lovecraftian plot to protect our fragile minds from the realisations of madness contained within…

  9. Tom Noir Says:

    I note with dismay that it appears something has bitten the cover.

  10. fred Says:

    If Aldiss had waited a couple of more years no doubt the book would be titled ‘The Sativa Tree’.

  11. Mark E Says:

    Can I also say how proud I am to have submitted the first cover to receive a “yuk” tag. Deeply honoured. I’ll be scouring my bookshelves for more hideous delights.

  12. JuanPaul Says:

    Reminds me of one of the dream sequences from Lair of the White Worm.

  13. Tag Wizard Says:

    @Mark E – I was surprised the tag hadn’t previously existed, since it was my first reaction when tagging the cover. I’m sure there a hundred other covers in the archives that would also merit the “yuk.”

  14. Anna T. Says:

    I certainly hope there aren’t any animals in real life that feel the need to drench their prey in spit before chowing down . . . yecch.

  15. Tat Wood Says:

    Snake saliva!

    (old joke (c) ‘Play Away’ c.1974)

  16. JaunPaul Says:

    @Anna T.


  17. Dead Stuff With Big Teeth Says:

    The tryouts for this summer’s Men’s Being Eaten By a Crocodile event continue.

  18. Dead Stuff With Big Teeth Says:



  19. lctwice Says:

    Huge tusks and gobs of spit all for one scrawny guy, really?

  20. Anna T. Says:

    @JaunPaul, DSWBT: I don’t even know why I asked that question. I should have expected this.

  21. Dead Stuff With Big Teeth Says:

    ‘Shush girl, shut your…whatever that is…it’s scaring me…shut it…’

  22. A.R.Yngve Says:

    Judging by the marks on the “d” in “Aldiss”, my guess is someone went apeshit and stabbed the cover with a pencil screaming “Die! Die! Die!”

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