May 25

Of all the weird things around us to attack... you choose the tree?!?Click for full image

Jen Comments: A warlock and his robotic horse battle a carnivorous tree who collects stuffed animals and leprechauns, while farting evil smoke into the mouth of a nearby menacing castle. Meanwhile, a knight and his lady ride past, oblivious. Sadly, a surprisingly accurate depiction of the book. And yes, I paid $5 for it.

Insane thanks to Jen!

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: 7.57 out of 10)

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34 Responses to “The Warlock Insane”

  1. cutmanmike Says:

    Almost looks okay, until you notice the teddy.

  2. SI Says:

    I kinda like this one. It sort of reminds me of the great British kids tv show Knightmare.

    Still would think twice before taking it into public though.

  3. Jim Says:

    Looks like the knight and his lady are about a half-second from riding off that cliff.

  4. Simon Says:

    They were obviously (and rightly) worried that putting a teddy on the front would put-off some potential fans so they cleverly put it on the back. Thereby postponing the return of the book, unbought, to the shelf, by all of two seconds.

  5. Tom Noir Says:

    “Okay, we’ve got the Evil Tree on the cover, along with its cousin the Evil Castle. There’s skull-smoke, a leprechaun and a teddy-bear. Did we miss anything?”

    “Sir, do you think we should perhaps put an insane warlock somewhere on there?”

    “No, too obvious.”

  6. Herm Says:

    That looks like a brilliant book and I would read it openly on a tram or public transport of my choice.

    …wait. That was probably my magpie personality talking.

  7. Jen Says:

    What I should have mentioned was a short summary of the plot: Rod Gallowglass eats some bad chestnuts which make him hallucinate for the rest of the book, while his family tries to find him and keep him safe from himself.

    That teddy bear, though…it really seems like he’s looking at the reader and waving, doesn’t it?

  8. Tom Noir Says:

    The teddy bear is the creepiest part about this cover.

  9. DeadRobot Says:

    Artist: “So the tree is the enemy? You want me to sketch a heroic battle with a tree?”
    Publisher: “Actually we’re not sure. It could be the castle.”
    Proof Reader: “There is a teddy bear…”

  10. Adam Roberts Says:


  11. Adam Roberts Says:

    Subtitle: The Horse Who Farted Ghostskulls.

  12. NickG Says:

    I can only begin to imagine the planning session for this one … or perhaps there was no planning.

    “How can we rework the whole Don Quixote angle with magic?”

    “Perhaps there could be a warlock on a bad trip?”

    “Genius! But, what manner of intoxicant could cause him to envision skull shaped clouds, evil teddies, evil trees, and so forth?”

    “Perhaps he ate bad … chestnuts? Please don’t slap me.”

    “I like it!”

  13. An Ent Says:

    This is the real lesson of Arbor Day.

  14. Mat T Says:

    The Cover Atrocious.

  15. weirdwombat Says:

    I actually really like this one, apart from the teddy bear.

  16. John T Says:

    “You don’t have to be crazy to fight imaginary monsters – but it helps!”

    From the humorous office poster creators who brought you “I can only hallucinate one demonic tree-beast a day – today is not your day” and “Every day I’m forced to add to the list of foodstuffs that make me wig out with a sword in the presence of soft toys”.

  17. Terry Says:

    I kind of feel better knowing it wraps all the way around to the other side.

  18. Deborah Says:

    the teddy bear is trying to signal ‘Help!’ in semaphore; the leprechaun is just pissed off that he didn’t get to be on the front cover.

  19. Ahab Says:

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but aren’t sci-fi/fantasy covers supposed to entice readers into reading books? This one is so bizarre that it does nothing to draw me in.

    I’m amazed at all the odd book covers you find. Keep up the good work!

  20. A.R.Yngve Says:

    Fortunately the warlock’s friends, who were concerned for him, staged an intervention.

  21. Dead Stuff With Big Teeth Says:

    Ted: The First Draft.

  22. FeařofMušic Says:

    @TagWiz : I think this is a solid candidate for the ‘Skulls – a – Poppin’ (or poopin ‘) tag, yes?

  23. A.R.Yngve Says:

    The tag line spelled out: You don’t have to be crazy to be crazy (=fight imaginary monsters), but it helps.

    Eh, what…??

    Might as well read: You don’t have to be crazy to write tag lines for books like these, but IT SURE HELPS.

  24. Tom Noir Says:

    @Tag Wizard! I need a Ting! for this cover, STAT!

  25. Anna T. Says:

    I was about to ask why it was tagged “bow tie”, until I noticed that the Ted impersonator was wearing it.

    It also has to be said that the random stream of wailing souls adds a certain something to this cover.

  26. anon Says:

    On the plus side, the evil cave looks very jolly. As does the evil tree.

  27. A.R.Yngve Says:

    “Everything must go at the Warlock Shack! Shop till you drop — our warlocks are INSANE!”

  28. GSS noob Says:

    I submit that perhaps the teddy is the insane warlock!

  29. B. Chiclitz Says:

    Ok so there’s an entire weekend ahead for someone to explain to me what “superior technological prowess” means. Is it like, “Damn but that boy can turn on a blender!” Or perhaps he can insert three AA batteries into a flashlight in record time? And how can one be “armed” with such a concept? Maybe the plan is to vanquish the Warlock Insane with mixed metaphors!

  30. Longtime_Lurker Says:

    BC #29: Given the publication date (1989), probably means he can program a VCR.

  31. fred Says:

    Think I got the tech thing sussed out and the teddy bear explained all in one go.

  32. THX 1139 Says:

    @fred: You do know Muffit was a chimpanzee in a full body suit, don’t you? Which is kind of disturbing. So, yes, it fits here.

  33. Bruce A Munro Says:

    @B. Chiclitz: well, he’s got superior _technology_, being from an advanced interstellar civilization while the planet is middle ages tech-wise (that horse is in fact a robot horse, not a hallucination) but I can’t really recall if he can, say, repair his own technology, let alone McGuyver up new tech from local resources. I read a couple books in that series, but it was a while ago.

    (I’m not sure I remember, but weren’t there actual leprechaun-equivalents on the planet? He might not be one of the hallucinations).

    “eats some bad chestnuts”

    So that’s an evil chestnut tree he’s battling, at least metaphorically?

  34. GSS ex-noob Says:

    I had some dodgy chestnuts from China once (last time I order anything from Chinese GSS), but I didn’t eat enough of them to hallucinate wielding a skull-farting lightsaber or Ted Gone (More) Bad with a grumpy leprechaun.

    Oddly enough, the front cover only is both nonsensical and dull.

    I say it’s Extruded Fantasy Product, and I say to hell with it.

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