Jun 15

When cut-and-past artwork used actual scissors and glueClick for larger image

Randall Frost Comments “Steve, I’m cool with indulging the whole scuba fetish thing, but I’m not wearing that dolphin head!”

Published 1982

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: 5.60 out of 10)

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15 Responses to “Startide Rising”

  1. Bruce A Munro Says:

    To follow up on Randall’s theme: “Today, on True Tales of Twisted Romance: My Boyfriend left me for a Dolphin DJ!!”

    Aside from the two scuba divers and the severed head of King Flipper II, not much going on here: a dark, oily looking sea, some lumpy islands, a sun shining through clouds. The artist did have some fun with light on the water, but the cover doesn’t communicate much, aside from “Dolphins! People interacting with dolphins! The future, maybe!” It’s hardly clear that it’s “Dolphins in Space”, let alone that there;s a whole Space War going on. The titles are plain, and the blurb needs updating: Hugo, Nebula awards, fine, but few people remember “Sundiver” and “The Postman” just calls to mind a crappy movie.Overall, it’s more boring than bad.

    (Is it just me, or is that an effin’ huge dolphin? Looks more like a beluga whale.)

  2. THX 1139 Says:

    Bad time for novelty bottle opener.

  3. Francis Boyle Says:


    Well there is, in fact, a bloody great crashing spacecraft but it’s been banished to the back in order to showcase the artist’s handling of light on water (and to distract from the fact that they can’t actually paint water) so apparently our intrepid trio can neither see or hear it.

    Weird thing is, I can remember a relatively non-crappy version of this cover. Hope I’m not going to have to start believing in the Mandela effect.

  4. Bruce A Munro Says:

    @Francis Boyle: I think it may be more a matter of time giving things a rosier glow than of a full blown Mandela effect. I mean, up until I recently saw it again, I thought “The Cannonball Run” was a funny movie.

  5. fred Says:

    Some scuba diving pirate monkeys would Uplift this cover.

  6. A. R.Yngve Says:

    Now, why doesn’t the cover say who exactly wrote this book that’s titled STARTIDE RISING DAVID BRIN…?

  7. Randall Frost Says:

    They are standing in maybe two feet of water, so the dolphin is either a contortionist or very stubby below that giant head.

  8. A. R.Yngve Says:

    The Startide Mafia sent them Flipper’s head as a warning.

  9. Doug Says:

    Actually a decent version of what happens in the book.

  10. B. Chiclitz Says:

    @Bruce AM (1)—Are you sure it isn’t “My dolphin DJ boyfriend left me for a human!!”? An equally twisted tale of romance.

    The look of patent disgust on her face is IMHO the best-rendered feature on this cover.

  11. Tor Mented Says:

    I’ve learned to never post before I read the mouseover text. And I can’t read it. So this is not a post.
    (But I do wonder if a previous owner loved this book so much that she kissed it on the upper right corner. I think she was a Goth.)

  12. GSS ex-noob Says:

    We’ve had this book since it came out, autographed a couple of years ago, and I never noticed the dolphin’s head is cut off!

    Just looked at our copy and yep. But ours says “Author of SUNDIVER and THE PRACTICE EFFECT”, and is a first edition. So this one must be a later edition, printed after THE POSTMAN was published (1985) and before it became the terrible movie.

    But the white-on-gray title is hard to read, and the yellow is even worse. Bad text layout. They redid the credited books on this reprint, why not put them in a better color?

    Is it like the horse in “The Godfather”, as @ARY surmised? What did Steve do? Why is the woman so disgusted (and is it because of what Steve did?)

    @Bruce: I don’t remember the dolphins being so ginormously-headed either. Implants and hands-or-equivalent, but not that big.

    @Randall Frost: maybe the guy’s on a ledge? Holding the severed head?

  13. Bruce A Munro Says:

    @GSS ex-noob: I can understand why they dropped “The Practice Effect”, which IIRC had magical flying monkeys with the ability to reverse entropy.

    @Doug: so could you explain the dolphin? Why is he (or she) so big? And is he (or she) standing with their tail in a hole in the bottom of the sea? (There’s a hole, a hole, a hole in the bottom of the seaa…)

  14. Gazzh Says:

    So long, and thanks for all the augmentation

  15. GSS ex-noob Says:

    @Gazzh: GSS!

    @Bruce: I took a quick look through the book, and the dolphins seem to be the usual size.

    The planet they’re on is mostly metal, even the animals use various metals instead of calcium, so I guess all the shiny was trying to represent that?

    Or, y’know, just bad art.

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