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May 26

It's too early. My mind can't make sense of anything on this thing.Click for full image

David Comments: I haven’t read this, so for all I know, centaurs and one-eyed jellyfish are essential to the plot. The S in JONES was cut off by the printer, not by me – it wraps round the edge of the cover (this is a hardback). The scan makes the colours look a bit more lurid than they really are. Published by Victor Gollancz, 1970

Another Heinlien! I’m flooded with them.
Thanks very much to David!

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: 7.51 out of 10)
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20 Responses to “Starman Jones”

  1. bob Says:

    I read it and the cover makes no sense what so ever to me.

  2. SI Says:

    We’ve had cataur’s this week. But what the heck are those? Some sort of reptile horse creature?

    I do like this one. Space jellyfish! woo!

  3. Simon Says:

    It’s awful, yet I love it.

    Aren’t those the aliens from The Simpsons?

    High tech champagne cork is a nice touch. In space no-one can hear you pop your cork.

  4. DeadRobot Says:

    I see booby!

  5. James Lovegrove Says:

    Someone got their 11-year-old to do this as an art project. But what is the purple-headed knobby thing projecting out from the infinity loop? Surely it’s not meant to be some kind of spaceship.

    It’s a Gollancz cover but, being as it’s from forty years ago, at least Simon can’t take the rap.

  6. little mi Says:

    I have no idea what this is supposed to be but I kind of love it in an it’s so bad it’s good way. It looks like someone doodled it in a really dull science lesson.

  7. Tom Noir Says:

    Did they have POD in the seventies? Cause that is seriously what this looks like.

  8. Adam Roberts Says:

    I like the five-oclock shadow on the centaurs’ bellies. ‘We’ve been chasing one-eyed jellyfish all day! We haven’t had time to shave our bellies!’

  9. Phil Says:

    That font really fixes it to 1970 for me.

    I hope this book originally had one of those bland yellow Gollancz dust jacket so that the discerning reader could keep this bizarre design under wraps.

  10. Johnny Centaur Says:

    What is it with sci fi and fantasy covers making covers that denigrate the centaur race? Ugh. Now I’m going to the mini-me on my left arm.

  11. Bookworm Bas Says:

    WTF? Heinlein couldn’t have approved this.. Not only has it nothing to do with the book; I could draw something better than this dross.

  12. CSA Says:

    It really does look like a 5 year old drew it.

    However, the fact its such poor detail, means you could almost get away with it on a train. Its almost post modern. Years ahead of its time. I mean just compare it to any of heinleins covers, its practically a masterpiece of style and minimalism. Scary thing is, I could definately see that cover fitting in on a modern shop bookshelf.

  13. Nix Says:

    The numbers fit part of the plot of the book. A shame they’re in the background and almost impossible to spot.

  14. [email protected] Says:

    The “wraparound” could be because it is a library binding, rather than a true hardcover. In fact, because it is shiny and doesn’t have a dust jacket, I’m going to put my money on library binding.

    What happens is the binders strip the cover off the paperback, and bind it to a special durable cardboard with a reinforced spine to stand up to library use.

    Sometimes, they don’t use quite the right size to fit the cover (I imagine this is b/c they only have a limited number of standard sizes) so they just wrap it around.

    But that’s the ONLY defense I’m going to make for this cover.

  15. David Cowie Says:

    The “wraparound” could be because it is a library binding, rather than a true hardcover

    Well spotted! This is an ex-library book. The page for stamping the return dates can be seen here, if you care.

  16. A.R.Yngve Says:

    A definite “it’s skiffy so it must be for children” vibe about this cover…

  17. GSS ex-noob Says:

    @ARY: It is one of Heinlein’s juvenile novels. And there are centaur-ish aliens.

  18. Hammy Says:

    That’s one hell of a purple pushpin….

  19. GSS ex-noob Says:

    @Hammy: No kidding. It seems to be holding infinity! Sideways. Either that or it’s a #8 size pushpin

  20. Hammy Says:

    @GSSxn: And here I was thinking it was the pivot point for the largest propeller in space. I was going to add “least-effective propeller in space”, but I guess that goes without saying…..

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