Jan 18

Holy crap women, I may be a big floating head but are you actually wearing a cape?Click for full image

Nothing burns a visual greatness of fantasy into one’s mind better than a huge transparent face in the sky. And a woman with a large snake wrapped around her… yes I suggested it, and in fact I insist on it! Just make sure she’s grasping her magical wand.

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: 7.76 out of 10)

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28 Responses to “The White Witch of Spiton and the Serpent of Anata”

  1. Roses Says:

    This to me looks like someone’s vanity publishing project.

    Therefore we can’t mock the publishers…we have to mock the author for his/her (who wrote this?) bad, bad taste.

    Brown is not a good colour. For clothes, carpets or book covers. Really, it’s not.

    And the font? And the floating face? And the damsel with dreds clutching her wand? And the white snake? And the ruins? And the desert landscape? I just don’t know where to start. So many shades of wrong.

    Creative Writing courses should use this site as a resource, writers who self-publish can see what traps to avoid.

  2. SI Says:

    Oh yea, good point. This probably is a self-published book. So I’ll defiantly be fair on it.

    I like that the title is epicly long and there is no sign of the authors name. Almost like they never wanted to be found……

  3. Simon Says:

    Yes this bears the mar of self published. Interestingly (well you know, sort of, but as we’re on this particular site I’ll hazard a guess that my least successful party conversational gambit may have slightly more legs on this accasion) while the awfulness of the artwork is something its difficult to avoid – good art costs (hell, even bad art costs as we have seen) – waht they could fix without spending too much money is the type. Go big! Go san-serif! Compress! But no, inside you get insipid, white, times roman at no larger than 18pt, floating apologetically somewhere on the cover. Do they not look at published books?


  4. Simon Says:

    Oh and author vanity project? Not too much vanity – where’s the author name? Or is this ‘And the serpent of Anata’ by The White witch of Spiton?

    Oh dear God I think it may be . . .

    (Readers of the previous post will be delighted to see that I’ve been making full use of the ‘preview’ feature – ‘waht? ‘mar’? Though actually ‘mar’ is quite appropriate and I could claim that was intentional.

  5. CSA Says:

    Amazon reviews are actually very positive. I think its a Harry Potter sytle book aimed at young teens… So SI you might actually enjoy it.

    The font makes it look just a little unprofessional. As if its some sort of typed up thesis

    Roses is right about the brown. I think tan/beige colour works well but not poo brown. I think the art is suitable given its target audience, but i think its pretty poor if its meant of real people

  6. CSA Says:

    Simon, i agree completely that the art is pretty bad (and the 2nd book in the series seems to be on par with this one) but its arguably no worse that the Harry Potter artwork (which is pretty awful) IMO

    btw is the snake floating?

    And yes Simon a quick google reveals that the author is called “the White Witch of Spiton”, aparently she legally changed her name… some people…

  7. SI Says:

    CSA> Oh you know how much I love teenage wizards and 300 year old vampires dating 14 year olds. I especially love your fan fiction and I am defiantly counting the days to your Harry Potter Versus Predator series.

  8. SI Says:

    Simon > *coughs* I also note you forgot to close your brackets! School Boy error, negative marking, down two points!

  9. CSA Says:

    Sheesh Simon…. gawd!

    SI… Its gonna be a good one, if Danny Glover can take on a Predator armed only with his awesomeness then goddammit Harry Potter can take on one with a broomstick, invisibility cloak and a magic wand…

    “Alien vs. Predator vs. Harry Potter”, or alternatively “Harry Potter and the Alien vs. Predator”

  10. Roses Says:

    Let me get this straight – the book is called ‘And the Serpent of Anata’, the author is ‘The White Witch of Spiton’


  11. Karl Says:

    I think the main fault of fantasy and sci fi books is their cover are too “literal” … although not “literary.” Like some cheeseball movie trailer (“In a world … one man against evil” … etc., etc.) Brings up the valid question, if a fantasy book involves X and Y and Z, why do publishers insist on showing ALL OF THEM? No nuance or hinting or anything involving higher brain functions. Might offend the mouth-breather virgin fanboy demographic I guess.

    Still … brown? Seriously?

  12. Adam Roberts Says:

    The one redeeming feature here is the floating-face-guy’s epic nasal hair.

  13. Roses Says:

    Adam – Eewwwwwww!!!

    That’s just wrong! And with the poo-brown background…

    I’m feeling ill.

  14. Nix Says:

    Personally I’m impressed by the horrendously visible pixellation on the white witch (although since she’s wearing black and the ‘white witch’ is apparently the author’s name, perhaps this is a random person being menaced by the serpent of Anata, which is also known as ‘And the’).

    Her skirt also changes colour *and* direction as it goes behind the snake, turning into a brown blob much like the rest of the landscape: perhaps she’s really really short and is standing on the serpent, or something? In that case, no wonder the serpent looks annoyed…

  15. JustinLeego Says:

    Ok, I felt somewhat bad about submitting this cover. Bit of an apology coming up.

    When I first saw it in a Borders store (now defunct, I understand), I was taken aback by it’s arresting visual nature. The fact that it was a self-published book nestling amongst shelves of BAEN!!1!11 piqued my interest, so I took a photo reasoning that even though the cover isn’t the usual Good Show style, the authorship must be really quite good to get carried by a major chain like that, so perhaps we can give them a bit of exposure.

    Sure enough, it turns out that the author is a lecturer in literature, and one of her other books was an Aurealis Award Best Young Adult Short Story finalist. From the positive reviews on Amazon it looks like this should have been filed under children’s fiction or young adult fiction rather than in with the Webers and Nortons.

    I’ve been checking out the cost of prints and originals for some of the other awesome artists featured on Good Show Sir, and they go for over $200 USD to around $10,000 USD. Clearly a self-publishing penmeister can’t be expected to shell out the cost for that sort of thing. Sometimes you’ve just got to get the book out there and on the shelves.

    And despite its distinct qualities, to my shame the cover’s still better than what my own efforts would have likely produced. So in a way I’m glad it’s gone up – apparently it’s a well written book, hoorah. Good job it’s got an attention grabbing cover, you’ll say 😉

    I should have bought it when I had the chance, especially as this seems to be a rare cover – if I see it again, it shall be mine! Best of luck with the books, Ms Rolfe.

  16. JustinLeego Says:

    By the way, top left on the photo, what sort of epic title is “Calculating God”?

    Picture the scene – two white haired Einstein-a-likes in their ink stained lab coats, in a deserted lecture theatre, papers strewn over the lecturer’s desk. Blackboard filled up with chalked formulae. Profuse sweating and brainthoughts.

    Scientist 1 completes cramming a lengthy formula onto both halves of the blackboard by scrawling ” = ??? ” at the end of it.
    Scientist 2 turns to him and says “But what then shall we do, when we have calculated the answer? What then shall we calculate?”
    “By Jove!” Scientist 1 exclaims, “By Jove. Then we shall move on to….. CALCULATING GODDDDD!!!!”

    At this point the Neo-Jesus bursts up from the concrete bunker housed miles below in a secret military facility, a giant mecha stumbles through walls and roof….

  17. SI Says:

    Karl > Welcome to the chaos! It did seem for quite a while to be pretty obvious with your story archs on the front of the cover. These days, in the UK at least, people tend to go for a dark cover with a single item or person. I think I’ve even noticed a whole section of Terry Pratchett books that now only have black covers.

    Excellent Neo-Jesus reference Justin. You forgot to mention the ion-cannon being primed in space because the military hyper-spirit monitor goes off the scale! Pity only two people will get that….

    There is one thing I have noticed this morning that needs to be noted. The face in the sky has shaved off his eyebrows!

  18. Jess Says:

    Well I can solve part of the question as to why this is so poorly cobbled together. The girl looks MUCH better in the original painting:

    then she looks cropped out and shoved onto this book cover.

    The artist has already been notified and is talking to the publisher right now.

  19. SI Says:

    Though it’s a different picture right? I mean the drawing of the cover above isn’t exactly the same.

    Have we helped discover some sort of publisher copyright infringment? Awesome!

  20. David Cowie Says:


  21. Maxload Says:

    Surely everyone has a cousin or something they can call on to do a drawing better then this, jeez… Also, unfortunatly she’s not called the white witch of spiton, but Tracey Rolfe. Disappointing.

  22. GSS noob Says:

    I read it as “spitoon” too, and thought “at least that explains the color”.

  23. fred Says:

    That’s the floating face from that crappy Trek movie where everything sucked except Sybok., and we’re all Kirk asking “Why does God need a GSS cover?”.

  24. B. Chiclitz Says:

    That’s one wicked mohawk on that snake.

    Those look like TV antennae on top of the pyramids.

    Zardoz seems to be lost.

  25. daard23 Says:

    I can’t believe I wasted my time photo shopping this…but I added “Bow Tie Guy” to the cover. I uploaded it to Deviant art:


  26. Hammy Says:

    I wish I’d been around here in 2010, when JustinLeego left his immortal “Calculating God” comment. I could have used the classic Fortran (or was in FORTRAN back then?) joke:

    Evey Fortran programmer knows GOD is REAL (unless declared INTEGER)….

  27. GSS ex-noob Says:


    Well, I don’t think it quite deserves that, but almost.

    That snake’s got quite the power of levitation, since its weight is resting on neither the ground nor the woman. Is the snake, in fact, the white witch AND the serpent? Or is the levitation due to the ever-popular radioactive powers, since the thing looks glow in the dark color?

    The tiny, tiny type that still somehow didn’t leave enough room in all that expanse of brown for the author’s name.

    Mr. xn noticed the girl’s lack of legs.

    @daard23: It’s much improved! GSS!

  28. THX 1139 Says:

    @fred: ITYM the best Star Trek movie ever.

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