Oct 12

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Bibliomancer Comments: Painted by Unhuman Hands.

Published 1960

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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17 Responses to “Untouched by Human Hands”

  1. fred Says:

    Chewed by unhuman teeth.

    The Herald-Tribune couldn’t come up with a better adverb or phrase than ‘promptly’?

  2. Bruce A Munro Says:

    OK: an astronaut is being chased back to his ship by a crowd of outraged nudists, two men are stuck in a giant ball of space-nougat, a badly drawn giant with a cat-o-nine-tails is trying to reassure the shadowy audience in front, who are no doubt starting to grumble and ask for their money back. (He is unaware of the stick-man about to stab him in the leg.) Meanwhile, Cecil the Space-Sick Space Serpent watches it all in wonderment.

  3. THX 1139 Says:

    The golfer’s a nice touch. “A good cover spoiled” – Mark Twain (probably).

  4. Francis Boyle Says:

    This is like Zooey Deschanel on acid but she’s just acting – badly.

  5. Ryan Says:

    With this cover illustration, this book will be Untouched by Human Hands.

  6. B. Chiclitz Says:

    That drinking fountain is a nice addition to the cover. Presumably at some point it at least will be touched by human hands.

  7. daard23 Says:

    The cover artist Robert Blanchard was defiantly going through his “googly eyes” period. Here’s his other GSS cover:

  8. B. Chiclitz Says:

    @daard23—Blanchard’s towering genius was the inspiration for an entire school of googly-eyed covers, most notably this legendary example.

  9. MelMc Says:

    Kukla, Fran, and Ollie, the unauthorized biography.

  10. Tor Mented Says:

    Just sit right back and you’ll hear a tale
    A tale of a rocketship
    Its crew ran from the nudists
    To start their fateful trip.

    The weather started getting rough
    The rocketship was tossed.
    If not for a nugget of space nougat
    Two members would be lost.
    Two members would be lost.

    The ship’s aground on a shore someplace
    Untouched by human hands.
    With Gill Dragon
    A whipper, too.
    A tiny man with a knife.
    A bright sunrise
    And googly eyes.
    Robert Sheckley is da man.

  11. Bruce A Munro Says:

    Bravo, @Tor Mented

  12. GSS ex-noob Says:

    Never have title and art meshed so perfectly. Art guarantees title; title reflects art.

    It’s a wonder Sheckley promptly became first rank with covers like this.

    Guy on the right always forgets leg day.

    The man-being-chased-to-rocket-by-crowd is tolerable, but so overwhelmed by the sheer gobsmacking badness of the rest of the cover.

    @Bruce: Cecil deserves better than this.

    @BC: Maybe it’s the giant ceremonial drinking fountain of the outraged crowd, who are angry at the astronaut profaning it. Or it’s their sacred hot tub, and they’re angry at him profaning it (with clothes on — bad for the filter).

    @Tor: GSS!

  13. JuanPaul Says:

    It’s a ball made out of Mike Pence’s hair.

  14. GSS ex-noob Says:

    @JP: Best watch out for flies, then.

  15. Alessandra Kelley Says:

    There was a style of science fiction book cover illustration back in the late 1950s, early 1960s, very graphic, almost abstract, surrealist-influenced, aiming for an eerie, otherworldly take on postwar American abstraction.

    This is not that.

    It is, however, reminiscent of the art Barbara Remington made about a decade later for the Lord of the Rings trilogy, where she famously had no access to the books beforehand and yet still produced something far better and more artistic than this.

    Either that or one of the many illustrated children’s books of science floating around at the time.

  16. Bruce A Munro Says:

    @Alessandra Kelley: I had some of those Remington covers!

    A lot of charm, as you said.

  17. Ryan Says:

    Those Remingtons are some of the best covers of Tolkien.

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