Jan 15

The Naked SunbatherClick for larger image

Good Show Sir Comments: Robo-dick is out to solve “The Case of the Repurposed Artwork”.

You might remember this from here and here.

Published 1964

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: 5.56 out of 10)

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19 Responses to “The Naked Sun”

  1. THX 1139 Says:

    An impossible crime – who left the sugar out of his tea?

  2. A.R.Yngve Says:

    That poor man tried to eat banana pizza, and look what happened!

  3. JuanPaul Says:

    Lower right is a self portrait by Emsh, trying to make sense out of this cover art request.

  4. Bibliomancer Says:

    Zanthar shows up late for interview. Finds out they’ve already hired a robot for the detective job.

  5. Francis Boyle Says:

    I don’t know why but of all the things wrong with this cover it’s the superfluous random rectangle that bothers me the most.

  6. Lillie Awesome Says:

    @Francis Boyle – Lancer Science-Fiction Library just neglected to update their Unicode packs. Clearly what was intended was Ꝥ (That) The Naked Sun.

    Or perhaps not.

  7. fred Says:

    A violation of the Zeroth Law of Cover Art, whatever that may be.

  8. Tat Wood Says:

    In all honesty, the artwork is exactly right for the contents. Asimov’s publishers wanted him to get in on all the Earl Stanley Gardner/ Mickey Spillane action; the author himself was having the natural freak-out of a kid from pre-war Brooklyn seeing 50s South California, this is the result. There’s even a good reason for the word ‘Naked’ in the title. It’s a locked-room mystery where the detective falls for the victim’s, er, uninhibited widow and


    the butler didn’t do it but was the murder-weapon.

    Fond as I am of Chris Foss, this cover at least conveys the sheer 50s-ness of the prose. It has to be read with a Martin Denny soundtrack.

  9. BMunro Says:

    It looks like they had an existing cover with robots, and they decided to add in Zanthar, Starkers Lady and Choking on Godzilla Fart to liven it up a bit.Or maybe “Zanthar” was actually stolen from this cover? It would explain why he looked so unlike himself.

    @Francis Boyle: perhaps they were also going to paste in a little rocket or something and put in that rectangle to show where it was to go but they forgot about it?

  10. Anna T. Says:

    The robot is probably trying to make sense out of what a female nudist (on an inhospitable planet), a guy in a box and attempted Hulk strangulation have in common. For the record I don’t know either.

  11. NomadUK Says:

    Elijah Baley at the Edge of Never.

  12. Tag Wizard Says:

    @BMunro – This cover predates the Zanthar title (1964 vs 1969) so it appears they swiped it from the Asimov book. Lancer was going to get all the mileage they could out of that Emsh artwork.

    (Also note they cropped out the “Emsh” signature. They weren’t going to pay him double for it)

  13. B. Chiclitz Says:

    “Does this outfit make me look naked?”

  14. Tor Mented Says:

    What’s that just below the robot’s waistline?
    Oh … it’s just a hand. Call off the censor-sheep.

  15. GSS ex-noob Says:

    I’d like to send back in time a “Seriously, Emsh?”

    But now I really don’t get them swiping the perfectly serviceable Lije for Zanthar.

    A look at ISFB shows that this beloved classic has had a bevy of terrible covers. The European ones run the gamut from the anatomical issues of the Zagreb publication, to random shapes, to the Obligatory French Tits. (which, to be fair, there is a naked woman in the book for once)

    @Lillie: I thought they were going to put in a little sun dingbat, but didn’t update their Unicode.

  16. JuanPaul Says:

    @Gssxn, I think lsd was invented to that everyone could see the world the way Emsh did.

  17. Bruce A Munro Says:

    @Tat Wood: The Caves of Steel/Naked Sun New York/Los Angeles equivalence didn’t occur to me, but it really does make sense.

    @Anna T: I thought the environmental problem was that Earthmen, like many cave (Of Steel) dwellers, were agoraphobic?[1] (Making the “Naked Sun” thing, per @Tate Wood’s comment, a double joke)

    [1] Probably not the best of terms: Earth dwellers are fine with crowds. Claustrophiles?

  18. Anti-Sceptic Says:

    It looks like the robot is choking that man with his simian shaped foot.

  19. GSS ex-noob Says:

    And someone is watching said foot-choking through telescope.

    Hey, Lije! Interview the person with the telescope! They saw the whole thing!

    @Tat: The NYC vs. LA comparison is brilliant! Original with you or just borrowed, GSS.

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