Mar 15

Gamer-of-the-future's got a joystick on his head.Click for larger image

Tat Wood Comments: Painted by Emsh during a Cortico-Thalamic Pause and with an introduction by Forrest J. Ackerman, just in case the cover-art didn’t make you run away fast enough.

Published 1964

You might remember this from here.

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: 7.62 out of 10)

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18 Responses to “The World of Null-A”

  1. THX 1138 Says:

    Tattoos – Piercings – Head Orbiters

    ***Reasonable Prices***


  2. fred Says:

    With his head overcrowded, the aliens decided to try a new probe for the first time.

  3. Bibliomancer Says:

    ♬ First gear, it’s all right
    Second gear, my eyes light
    Third gear, my tongue bite
    Faster, it’s all right ♬

  4. JuanPaul Says:

    I like how the little spaceship is saying: “screw this, I’m out.”

    Also, love the Emsh 🙂

  5. JuanPaul Says:

    This is actually a good depiction of how I feel after a week of SXSW interactive.

  6. B. Chiclitz Says:

    Poor woman’s about to get whacked by a bowling ball.

  7. Anna T. Says:

    That guy really isn’t enjoying what’s happening to him, despite the woman’s promises that it would be painless.

    This isn’t the first cover for this book we’ve had on here, as I recall. There was another one, a while back.

  8. Tor Mented Says:

    This is a painful enough cover, but I’m just glad it wasn’t for “The World of A-Null.”

  9. Leak Says:

    Well, I’m going to hail a cab instead – to get away from that cover…

  10. GSS ex-noob Says:

    Frank Gorshin suffers Excedrin Headache #295.

    (Joke approximately the same age as this cover.)

  11. Anti-Sceptic Says:

    Max Headroom on acid?

  12. A. R. Yngve Says:

    The cover is accurate – it makes as much sense as the text inside.

  13. GSS ex-noob Says:

    I know I’ve read this book (different cover), probably more than once, but I can’t recall a bit of it. It adds up to a null in my memory.

    The background blobs make me think “intestinal villi”.

  14. Bruce A Munro Says:

    What ARY said. What logic appears in Van Vogt stories is dream logic,[1] and “Null-A” is perhaps the most notorious example.[2] It was a settled habit of his to throw in almost at random ~800 word segments in which either a new complication appeared or a previous one was resolved (often in a way unrelated to anything that had gone before).

    [1] Often literally: Vogt religiously wrote down what he remembered of his dreams every night, and his dreams often inspired stories or story elements.

    [2] Inspiring “Cosmic Jerrybuilder” by Damon Knight, an early classic of the Angry Fan Letter genre.

  15. Tor Mented Says:

    He’s seen things you people wouldn’t believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. He watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser gate. All those moments will be lost in time… like tears in rain… Time to die.

  16. A. R. Yngve Says:

    The more I study this cover art, the more certain I become that the artist intentionally made fun of Van Vogt’s nonsensical, paranoid story.

  17. GSS ex-noob Says:

    LSD was still legal back then.

    I’m not saying Emsh did it, but he was very active in the fine art scene (both painting and film) in the 60s and 70s, so he’d probably heard lots of descriptions of trips and this book’s plot made just as much sense.

    For all we know, he painted someone’s trip and then said “yeah, let’s reuse that for this cover.”

  18. Bruce A Munro Says:

    You know how machine intelligences often have a bad reaction to illogic? (See, multiple Star Trek episodes.) Well, Brainiac was incautious enough to try reading this book…

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