Aug 21

SWOTHERDS TRILOGY?Click for larger image

JuanPaul Comments: “Please move your hand away from there…no, that’s not okay either. May I borrow your sword for a moment?”

You might remember this from here.

Published 1977

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: 4.48 out of 10)

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40 Responses to “The Swords Trilogy”

  1. THX 1139 Says:

    “Do you suppose we could swap clothes?”

  2. fred Says:

    The horse is the knight?

  3. Bibliomancer Says:

    Oh I get it now. The King of The Swords and The Queen of The Swords are riding on The Knight of The Swords. Meanwhile The Bishop of The Swords is in the Rook of The Swords molesting The Pawn of The Swords.

  4. Tat Wood Says:

    A million spheres. A load of balls.

  5. Ryan Says:

    “Hey, Barney the Blacksmith! I wanted to talk to you about some ornamentation on my breastplate. I feel like my immense helmet of fiery/smoky plumes, incredibly muscular arms and personal habit of persistently carrying both an unsheathed sword and an unclothed maiden aren’t really menacing enough. Please will you ALSO paint a scary demon head on my breastplate to really put the point across?”

    “And while I am here, can you make a metal hat for my horse? I want to make certain he is constantly so hot that his breath steams.”

  6. Ray P Says:

    The Ace of Spades beats them all.

  7. THX 1139 Says:

    I wonder what brand the horse is smoking.

  8. Lillie Awesome Says:

    Books I through III in the Saga of the Noncommittal Unicorn.

  9. Anna T. Says:

    This is The “Swords” Trilogy, yes? Then why is there only one on the cover?

    And get that lady some clothing. She looks terribly uncomfortable.

  10. fred Says:

    The saddle pommel is the most Moorcockian thing about this cover.

  11. GSS ex-noob Says:

    “all things are possible…” Except giving women practical wardrobes, because that’s just crazy talk.

    @fred (2): It’s the only logical conclusion, innit? And @B’mancer has taken it to the limit.

    @Ryan: He does seem to be trying too hard, doesn’t he? And the metal hat has weighed down the horse’s head and neck so far he can’t even lift them. No wonder he’s panting with exertion.

    @TagW: Swotherds. Either a lot of people revising for exams, or people who oversee those doing same. Like, “I’ve got to go be a swotherd in the library today, it’s full of students cramming for finals.”

  12. B. Chiclitz Says:

    Those are truly kick-ass Clydesdale-style hooves on that horse. I guess, unlike you-know-whats, hooves aren’t that hard to draw.

    But I thought a swotherd was just a person who herded swots.

  13. Francis Boyle Says:

    I can only see two spheres in conjunction but I suppose that’s what you get when you hire an artist on the cheap.

  14. Tat Wood Says:

    ‘Swotherd’ rhymes with ‘Bothered’ or, when said by bored schoolkids, ‘hovered’. It was supplanted by the term ‘whatevs’ with a glottal stop.

    And next, Frank Muir with his definition.

  15. A.R.Yngve Says:

    “Okay, so those loser Danes wouldn’t let me buy Greenland… but I’ve got a much greater idea – the greatest idea! Get this: For my next State of the Union speech, I enter riding a fiery steed, all clad in armor, with Ivanka across my lap wearing a golden bikini, and I’m holding a broadsword…”

  16. Verylatetotheparty Says:

    @A.R.Yngve: So that’s not plumes behind his helmet then? That’s what it looks like when a mighty wind blows across the land and unravels his multi-layered combover.

  17. B. Chiclitz Says:

    @Tat W—Perhaps the different pronunciations stem from the differences between British and American English, wot? Do you also pronounce “shepherd” to rhyme with “Hereford”? 😉

  18. Tat Wood Says:

    @B. Chiclitz: Nobody’s ended sentences with ‘wot’ since the 1930s, not that Hollywood’s noticed. They think Don Cheadle can do Laaand’n.

    But there are 150 different British Englishes, all of them correct except Oxford.

    ‘Hereford’ has three syllables so nothing rhymes with it. Not even ‘elephant’. Or ‘terrified’.

  19. B. Chiclitz Says:

    @Tat W—thanks for the update. Been reading too much of that P.G. Wodehouse (pre-Hollywood, of course).

  20. GSS ex-noob Says:

    @Tat: “Hereford” only has 2 syllables where I live. Of course, it only refers to beef cows.

    “Swotherd” is definitely someone who herds swots. Self-evident, innit? (Do people still end sentences with “innit”?) I expect Mr. Moorcock has herded a swot or two in his day.

  21. Tat Wood Says:

    @GSS ex Noob: a prolonged stint in New England has left me with the impression that America is one big Tribute Act (‘New Hampshire’ ‘New Jersey’, ‘New Mexico’), so the fact that they can’t even pronounce all these stolen names doesn’t impress me. The cows originally came from the place and if you went there and pronounced the name as American farmers do you’d be ritually burned in a giant wicker gumboot.

    ‘Swothered’ is manifestly an adjective taken from the verb ‘to swother’, meaning to alternate between caring and not caring.

    (You know where this is leading, offensive on so many levels, which I am legally obliged to follow with

    The ‘innit’ thing’s hanging on in remote areas, much as ‘brill’ persists in rural Yorkshire and some parts of Essex persist in describing things as ‘nang’.’Wicked’ has gone the way of ‘skillamundo’.

  22. THX 1139 Says:

    Personally, I miss people describing things that are good as “magic”. I blame Harry Potter, somehow.

  23. Tat Wood Says:

    @THX: I blame Selwyn Froggatt.

  24. B. Chiclitz Says:

    @Tat W—one big tribute act? Well, certainly not when it comes to game shows, judging by those clips, even the parody one (actually it’s sort of hard to tell which one is the parody). Glad Fry and Laurie actually went on to have careers. Good actors both, though you’d never know from this.

    Well, no time for chatting; it’s time to herd the swots, innit? Wot?

    Hands across the water . . . .

  25. GSS ex-noob Says:

    Laurie had such an atrocious “American” accent back in the day, it was nigh-miraculous how good it became for “House”. Only an occasional vowel slip.

    “Nang”? Having seen clips of TOWIE, I shudder to think. One still hears “wicked” in the Boston area, though often ironically nowadays.

    New England didn’t have much in the way of imagination (still doesn’t), but it got better farther west, when taking the Native names for places along with the places. Oconomowoc. Tujunga. Cahuenga. Mississippi. But even NE managed, what with Massachusetts and Narragansett.

    I was in Hertfordshire for a few days once, but only in the parts which are Tube-adjacent, so no cows were visible. Save the products and parts thereof in Marks and Sparks.

  26. Tat Wood Says:

    @GSSxN: Hertfordshire or Herefordshire? One’s a lot more rural than the other. The cows come from the one that’s on the Welsh border. And according to some sources, the ‘correct’ US pronunciation is just like ours No consensus on ‘Swothered’ but this guy’s ancestors might have been named after the state of being swothery

    I’d say it took less of a feat of imagination to borrow a Native name than to look at a dismal patch of Massachusetts and think ‘this looks like Braintree’ or Taunton, or Hyde Park, or Swansea or Wakesfield or Worcester or Bridgewater… Almost like Captain Cook seeing kangaroos and koalas and thinking ‘let’s call it New South Wales’.

  27. THX 1139 Says:

    High on a hill sat a lonely swotherd
    Ye-oh-de-lay-I Yo-de-lay-ee-hoo
    His lady friend was freezing but he wasn’t bothered
    er… agh

  28. Tat Wood Says:

    Patrick Campbell’s definition: ‘Swothering – a corruption of ‘Mass Wuthering’ as seen every July in major population centres’.

  29. Tat Wood Says:

    Oy, Admin – what became of my finely-wrought Kate Bush joke from Friday?

  30. Tweet Jane Says:

    @Tat – Sorry. GSS Admin and Tag Wizard disappeared on August holiday. I just found Tag’s password on a Post-It note on his monitor.

  31. Cornelius Says:

    “Shouldn’t one of us be steering this horse?”

  32. Leak Says:

    @Cornelius: nah, they got the “fool self driving” add-on that came bundled with the horse armor DLC…

  33. GSS ex-noob Says:

    @Leak: Leading to the “Unexpected Catastrophic Horse Failure of the Swords”. Which is going to be extra-painful and dangerous for the unclad damsel.

    What with the steam coming out of the horse’s nostrils, I’m thinking it’s some sort of metal automaton anyway, which means self-driving would be an option. Not a good one, though. Throws all the gears or punch cards out of whack, and everyone’s so busy at the conjunction of Much Less Than A Million Spheres, you’ll never be able to find a mechanic.

    The woman is going to be seriously chafed in any case, what with the rein passing under her thigh.

  34. JJYoyo Says:

    @ GSSxN: I kinda hope the horse is a machine because the alternative is that the air is cold enough to make the horse’s breath come out as steam. In which case the woman has the expression she does because of hypothermia.

  35. Tat Wood Says:

    @JJYoyo: a Geordie lass wouldn’t consider that cold.

  36. GSS ex-noob Says:

    @JJYoyo: Even worse in the cold, since she’s groped by a metal glove and held precariously against a guy in armor, and she’s wearing only a few pieces of metal. But no matter the temperature, she’s uncomfortable.

    @Tat: So one of the million spheres is Newcastle?

  37. JJYoyo Says:

    @Tat W: She can’t be a Geordie girl. No glass of lager in her free hand.

  38. Bruce Alexander Munro Says:

    The King of Swords, part 37: The Quest for a Decent Pint of Lager.

  39. JJYoyo Says:

    Random search turned up book #7 in the trilogy, wherein Ms Not-Newcastle finally gets some clothes – only now it’s hot AF out there.

  40. GSS ex-noob Says:

    No clothes AND no lager!

    No wonder she looks like that. Lassie’s na alreet.

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