Oct 03

All alone. I can eat my turkey drumstick in peace.Click for larger image

Stevie T. Comments: I imagine the conversation went something like this:
Underling: “Sir, we just got Louis L’Amour’s latest manuscript…”
Publisher: “Great! Slap some cowboys on the cover and get it out there!”
Underling: “um…but sir it’s not a Western. It’s a Science Fiction novel.”
Publisher: “What?”
Underling: “You know, Science Fiction, like parallel universes, alien invasions, that sort of thing…”
Publisher: “…. Are there Indians in it.”
Underling: “Native Americans? Um, yes, but—-“
Publisher: “Great! Slap something bizarre and Indian on it and get it out there!”
Underling: “but—“
Publisher: “I said get it out there!”

Published 1987

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: 7.73 out of 10)

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22 Responses to “The Haunted Mesa”

  1. Tat Wood Says:

    It’s a football mascot version of ‘Roots’:

    Behold, baby Chicken-Head, the one thing greater than yourself! A Studio Ghibli Stop-Sign Phantom!

  2. fred Says:

    Shatner be damned. Michael Myers would have been scarier in a full head yam mask.

  3. Bruce A Munro Says:

    The floating thing seems to be shrugging, as if saying “Don’t look at me – I’m not responsible for this crap cover!”

  4. THX 1139 Says:

    Another thing to blame on Jar Jar Binks.

  5. Francis Boyle Says:

    I don’t think that’s how Mr Potato Head works, but, hey, why not.

  6. JuanPaul Says:

    Cheif Brings-us-Icecream goes on a vision quest to reveil the future of human communication: Emojis.

  7. B. Chiclitz Says:

    Don Wing Ding will get a big surprise when he realizes that the ferret he’s got tucked under his belt behind his back is still alive.

  8. Tom Noir Says:

    “Mesa haunted!”


  9. Longtime_Lurker Says:

    I really don’t have any problem with this one. No font problems, cheers!
    … Apart from the sheer oddness of Louis L’Amour writing science fiction, I think it’s fine.

  10. Yoss Says:

    I’m with you, Longtime_Lurker. I knew he’d written a handful of things that weren’t traditional Westerns, but this is a new one on me. This is one I might have to track down. I have something of a soft spot for L’Amour. He was always a big favorite of my mom’s so I’ve read a few of them just by virtue of so many of his books in the house when I was growing up.

  11. Line Noise Says:


  12. Stevie T Says:

    As far as I’ve been able to figure out, L’Amour wrote two science fiction stories, this one and “The Californios”. Both feature aliens from a parallel universe that the Native Americans already knew about and that the white settlers run afoul of. However, The Californios is more like a traditional western (and my copy has a fairly normal western-style cover featuring, yes, cowboys), whereas The Haunted Mesa takes place in the 1970’s and has the alien-invasion plot front and center.

  13. Bibliomancer Says:

    “Forgive me Great Spirit. I sold the Chief Wahoo logo rights to the Cleveland Indians.”

  14. B. Chiclitz Says:

    @B’Mancer—Interesting article, at least to a baseball fan. Thanks. I think that guy above is a Kachina.

  15. GSS ex-noob Says:

    Definitely an author I did not expect to see here.
    IIRC the covers of the Westerns weren’t so WTF or ugly; my grandpa had a bunch of them.

    I have spent rather a long time in that part of the country, and never saw any kachina that looked like that, and certainly never any Natives with tuber heads.

    @JuanPaul and @Line_Noise: Louis was ahead of his time!

    @THX: psst! not pronounced that way!

  16. THX 1139 Says:

    @GSS x-n: As a proud owner of the DVD of Mesa of Lost Women, I feel I must say – oh, yeah, you’re right.

  17. B. Chiclitz Says:

    @Gssxn—Are you sure about that? Check out these folks carefully. Kachinas are associated with the Pueblo mesa dwellers so I don’t think it’s an unreasonable surmise.

  18. GSS ex-noob Says:

    @BC: “The first sign of a fake kachina doll is if it is “garish or crudely made.”[3] An authentic kachina figure will have proper proportioning of the body and no excessive detail.” (same source)

    They’re supposed to have legs, whether people or spirits!

  19. B. Chcilitz Says:

    @GSSxn—Yeah, well you have a point about the legs there. But I don’t think “tuber-headed” is disqualifying, judging from the photo I linked to. I lived out west (U.S. West, that is) for many years, and have visited Mesa Verde a couple of times. I actually own a Kachina doll and you are correct about their proportions, though I am not sure about the no excessive detail. Amazing culture those Anasazi and other Pueblo dwellers created, until they either disappeared or were destroyed by “progress.” And since I’ll likely never read this novel, I don’t know who is haunting this particular mesa.

  20. GSS ex-noob Says:

    @BC: Some of the kachina dolls actually do have tuber heads, being concerned with agriculture (See: Patung). I don’t know as how the kachina dancers find giant-ass tubers to put over their heads, but I only ever saw one dance and have one little bitty rain kachina doll which I got on our visit to the rez the day after Mesa Verde. Sad that climate change and invasion did for the ancestral Pueblo.

    Kachina dolls aren’t wispy and wimpy, though. Even when over-decorated, they have a chunky solidity about them, as befits important spirit beings. Not looking like half-drawn wispy emoji.

    I read the Wiki summary about this book, and looked at reviews; evidently he was still writing this when he died and it wasn’t edited, just run into print. I commend the Goodreads reviews to everyone; the first is titled “What the hell did I just read?” Hopi, the Underworld, Bigfoot, (!) bimbos to save. blah blah.

    I dunno… I grew up in Arapaho territory.

  21. Anti-Sceptic Says:

    “I will call this little potato ‘Mini-Me’.”

  22. A.R.Yngve Says:

    That’s no cover image — it’s a screenshot from PÓKEMON GO.
    The creature above the man’s head is the very rare Turnipozor (CP: 20000; HP: 1).

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