Dec 11

Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man-KzinClick for larger image

Good Show Sir Comments: Breaking News from Baen Books! Our esteemed colleagues at Baen have released an Advanced e-Reader’s Copy of the latest installment in the wildly popular Man-Kzin Wars series and we’d like to be one of the first to give them all the free publicity they can stand.

Lately we have been made to realize that some of us at Good Show Sir have been a bit harsh on the Baen enterprise (looking at you, ex-Noob 😄 ). Some Baen honchos believe we go too far in featuring so many splendid and, I must admit, VERY COMPETENT WORKS OF ART done by their artist minions on a weblog with the temerity to feature the byline “Only the worst Sci-fi/Fantasy book covers”. C’mon guys, you know that by “terrible” we mean “awesome”. Get on fleek with how the kids are slangin’ these days.

We give a tip-of-the-bowler-hat to today’s featured cover artist Steve Hickman. What can we say but IT IS GOOD ART. Not some Unknown Artist Institute™ knock-off. In fact, one might expect to see this hanging in some tony Soho art gallery, except that, you know, it’s a cat-person portrait and all that. But the talent is there for all to see. He looks so real you can almost smell him!

So anyway people, check out Man-Kzin Wars XV! That’s number XV! If they are numbering them like Super Bowls you know they got to be good. Buy more Baen Books! Our future here at GSS depends on far-sighted publishers like Baen keepin’ the faith.

–GSS Admin

[P.S. to our friends at Baen. Don’t feel that sending us free swag like new books and single-malt whiskey is a violation of our Code of Ethics!]


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: 7.14 out of 10)

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24 Responses to “Man-Kzin Wars XV”

  1. THX 1139 Says:

    And as every schoolchild knows, Man-Kzin cats are born without tails. And the ability to pronounce their species’ name.

  2. Bibliomancer Says:

    Who can forget Man-Kzin Wars III when General “Broadway Joe” Namath led the Man squad to their first upset victory!

  3. THX 1139 Says:

    The Man-Kzin Mankini: the perfect Christmas gift.

  4. B.Chiclitz Says:


  5. JuanPaul Says:

    Nothing like a little Man-Kzin spread to go along with my morning coffee.

  6. Ray P Says:

    In Playlion this month … purrrfect pecs, mane grooming tips.

  7. B. Chiclitz Says:

    Letters to Playlion:

    Dear Playlion,
    I have heard that male lions have intercourse every 20 minutes for days on end during
    mating season. My question is—how can I become a male lion?
    Incel in Indiana

    Dear Incel,
    Eat your heart out, bozo.

    Dear Playlion,
    I read that male lions have barbed penises. Does this make intercourse painful for your partners?
    Sensitive in Saskatchewan

    Dear Sensitive,
    I don’t know, I never looked. Nyuk-nyuk-nyuk!

    Dear Playlion,
    Despite your over-the-top hetero demeanor, I understand that male lions routinely copulate with other male lions. What is that like?
    Curious in Cannes

    Dear Curious,
    I don’t know, I never looked. Nyuk-nyuk-nyuk!

  8. Cygnia Says:

    Any luck on the whiskey yet? 😉

  9. fred Says:

    King Conan Schwarzeneggerpuss.

  10. Anna T. Says:

    Even he doesn’t look like he’s enjoying being on this cover, despite being the focal point of it.

  11. Tor Mented Says:

    “Man-Kzin XV: On the Throne.”

  12. Tat Wood Says:

    The Mattel Cinematic Universe expands with BattleCat: the Movie

  13. Tag Wizard Says:

    @Cygnia – Not even an e-book download. GSS Admin is off sulking.

  14. Raoul Says:

    I don’t know about this cover. Needs more cat tits.

  15. Alice Says:

    He looks pained sitting there on the throne. Like he’s passing a Kzindney stone.

  16. fred Says:

    All e-Reader/book covers should be embossed (faux) even if the book won’t be.

  17. MakkaPakka Says:

    Funny name for a rugby team.

  18. GSS ex-noob Says:

    Hello, ladies…! The stained glass window and swagged curtains show this cat is ready for lurrrrve.

    As a piece of artwork, Mr. Hickman has turned out a very nice painting. You want a big fearsome man-cat, here he is, looking at the viewer instead of off to the side. There’s nothing awful that grabs your eye, the detail work is quite good, there’s no weird lighting sources, gratuitous boobs, ridiculous weapons, errors in composition or perspective, and the window is really, really pretty.

    I still gotta give them crap about typography. So many words. And the title, overdone font and mock-metal-shiny coloring. At least it’s not embossed and Ting! Or is it, on the paperback?

    As much as I complain about BAEN! press release and endless series having too much orange, this one doesn’t seem to have enough. I thought kzinti were brighter colored. Also, IIRC from Larry’s originals, they have bare tails and big folding pink ears. And only 3 fingers and a thumb, with retractable claws. And long fur all over. And maybe striped?

    And the cover boy… isn’t any of these.

    Do the Man-Kzin Wars end through, as the saying goes “Make love, not war”? Is this guy an unholy hybrid of both species? Perhaps named “Seducer of Females”?

    He does look like he’s got a headache or some kind of pain, as @Alice and @AnnaT said.

    @B’mancer: Absolutely historical!

    @BC: snerk.

    @Tag: no fair! They should totally put you guys on the eARC list after all these years of featuring them. Free publicity!

    I did enjoy Niven’s own stories and have had many a pleasant conversation with him at cons, and I think I read the first few of this series, but no more because:

    1. Baen (etc.) doesn’t bother editing or proofreading. “Our audience doesn’t care about that”, the head editor openly said. It’s annoying to those of us who still find proper grammar and spelling easier to read.

    2. Brad there*, on the cover, was a main instigator of the “Puppies” attempt to

    be upset that he and his BFF Larry Correia were “only” nominated for Hugos

    get his BFF Larry C. nominated for a Hugo to “make liberals’ heads explode”

    get right-wing works on the Hugo list instead of all those things written by women, PoC, and LGBT authors, who clearly aren’t as talented

    tell people they didn’t actually like what they nominated, it was just “SJW stuff”

    get more Hugo voters from the Gamurgator and neo-Nazi movements

    destroy the Hugos, somehow

    pout and have a toddler tantrum when people didn’t care for any of their ever-changing rationalizations, deny he/they ever said any of it, and stomp off pretending to be the victims of it all thanks to self-inflicted wounds, all resulting in a lot of bad press, many people who won’t read their works, editors who won’t accept them, and boosting even MORE PoC, LGBT, and women writers to prominence.

    “Be best”, indeed.

    Let’s go to the video of Nora and her fabulous outfit, shall we?

    (I was in the 4th row, and this was MAGNIFICENT. So is her trilogy.)

    *I perhaps shouldn’t have been surprised by the childishness when I learned he autographs books, and I quote, “Brad T. ☺️”

  19. GSS ex-noob Says:

    @Tag: Also, It’s Howling Time!

  20. Tag Wizard Says:

    @GSSxN – Epic takedown of Brad T. It’s howling time, indeed.

  21. Monty Says:

    Formulaic a better word. You can spot a Baen cover a mile away.

    @GSS ex-noob I mainlined this series until I got sick of war-fi. They’re pretty much cats now. The Man-Kzin Wars went on too long and explained too much. Now we know the Kzin come in many coats and colors, love catnip, etc, etc, etc. Yes, probably preaching to the choir.

    You can kind of spot the folding ears on this one if you look close though.

  22. GSS ex-noob Says:

    @Monty: I squinted and I see one kinda folding but very small ear. Maybe he really is a half-breed, judging by the rest of him?

    Kzinti are not kitty cats, FFS, they’re tigers with thumbs and guns. Diminishing returns.

  23. A.R. Yngve Says:

    “Furballs… don’t get me started about furballs.”

  24. GSS ex-noob Says:

    Three years later, kitty still looks like he has a headache (along with upset stomach from the hairballs) and IIRC, Brad T. 🙂 isn’t getting published even by GSS’ favorite house.

    He’s down to self-publishing and appearing in self-published crowdfunded collections by fascists/white supremacists/MAGA/add or delete as needed. So are most of his other Puppy buddies.

    Meanwhile, all those women, PoC, and LGBT are still best sellers and award winners. The Hugo awards are being announced this weekend, and all the finalists for Best Novel have traditionally female names, one’s African-American, one’s half-Black, maybe half-Pueblo, married to a Navajo, and at least one’s a lesbian. Best Novella features more non-white, non-male, non-straight, and one or more whose personal pronoun is “they”. Novelette is all female names too. There’s two dudes in Short Story, but one of them’s trans and Korean-American.

    Much Tantruming About Nothing.

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