Jun 17

Take this son, it will explain the facts of life to you in strange metaphors that only seek to confuse you.Click for full image

Art Direction: I know what attracts teenagers, strange insect women showing their money makers and other parts. But draw it as if you had just taken LSD… you already have? Excellent!
Published 1979 (maybe)

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: 8.14 out of 10)

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35 Responses to “Zoo 2000”

  1. SI Says:

    This is just disturbing. In my opinion. Knowing what I know about women from the books I’ve read, mainly twilight, there’s a lot about this that strikes me as suggestive.

  2. Herm Says:

    It’s the eyes. The eyes! The horrible, non-insectile eyes! And the lack of mandibles. 🙁

  3. Embow Says:

    SI, you’re right. This one looks like it’s an experiment on how many vagina references you can put on a single book cover.

  4. DeadRobot Says:


  5. Tom Noir Says:


    That’s… that’s… something. That may be the most appalling cover ever to appear on this site.

    As a bonus, the position of the ringed planet (Saturn?) makes it look as though the little insect exhibitionist is wearing it as a jaunty bowler hat.

    Good Show Sir!

  6. Adam Roberts Says:

    Crystal Tips And Alistair has changed since I used to watch it as a kid.

  7. Simon Says:

    The paler areas on her body and their, umm, location, suggest that she is pressed up against a sheet glass. Trying to get in at you. Or perhaps just batting against it mindlessly like a bizarre naked moth woman. Either way this is one unsettling cover.

  8. CSA Says:

    I don’t know whats going on there, but it looks gross. I dont know if i went to any zoo’s in the year 2000, but im sure there wasnt a huge amount of whatever that is going on.

    The picture however is enhanced by the buff dude on the Sos the Rope cover in the background.

  9. Phil Says:

    Every time I look at this cover, I see additional faces. Look: if you view her tits as eyes, and belly button as a nose… then there is also a mouth.

    In fact, it looks like her entire torso is a Walls Funny Faces ice lolly. (Showing my age, I know.)

  10. Kathleen Says:

    I was worried The Tick would never find a wife.

  11. jere7my Says:

    Jane Yolen was the editor, not the author, here. She writes:

    “This anthology of twelve stories of science fictional and fantasy beasts, includes two original stories (by Dale Ferguson Cope and Richard Curtis) and ten reprints by such luminaries as Theodore Sturgeon, Arthur C. Clarke, Larry Niven, James Thurber, Andre Norton, and Philip Jose Farmer. I contributed only the introduction.

    There was a British edition.

    Out of print.”

    The American cover (pictured there) is not a lot better.

  12. JujuQuisp Says:

    Let’s see….hmm…for this cover let’s paint an alien with the head of a locust, the torso of a 12 year old girl, the arms of a thalidomide baby, and the friggin’ eyes of the COOKIE MONSTER!!! I’ve drawn some weird sh*t too, but I would never create this Franken-mutant for PUBLIC DISPLAY!! For the love of MOTHRA what the h*ll was this artist thinking?????

  13. Tom Noir Says:

    “Nathaniel, I look at you today and see in you the same wide-eyed, star-struck cover designer that I was when I was your age. And that’s good. But let me offer you some words of advice. Many people believe that the purpose of the cover of a sci-fi book is to sell copies of that book. NO. In fact, the purpose of the cover is to shame the sci-fi reader and alienate them from polite society.

    “Nathaniel, I am now going to show you my greatest creation.

    “Behold, ZOO 2000!”

  14. cutmanmike Says:

    I wouldn’t want this book facing me while I sleep

  15. Nick Walters Says:

    Just here to say a big thanks!

    I remember, when I was a kid, reading a story about an alien moth woman that lived inside a huge apple. It made a big impression on me, as did the cover of the anthology it was in, taken from the story.

    However I could never remember the title, and have searched in vain for years!

    I regularly look at your excellent side and was gobsmacked to see the alien moth babe and her disturbing anatomy there the other day. And thanks to you I was able to order Zoo 2000 from Abe Books and it now sits on my desk waiting to be read.

    The story in question is Apple by John Baxter, and I wonder if it’ll live up to my memories of it, over 3 decades ago!


    Nick Walters

  16. SI Says:

    Welcome aboard! Glad you could actually use this site for something useful! 🙂

    I recently bought a childhood book that is basically a Lord of the Rings rip off. Except the ring is a sword. And the sword basically can kill everything. It’s a terrible story but the nostalgia is still there so hopefully it will be the same with yourself.

    Like a good Hardy Boy book I sure it will have only… appreciated with time… or is that wine? I get the two confused.

    BUT … Apple!?! The cover almost makes sense now. wow…..

  17. Nick Walters Says:


    And the story did indeed live up to expectation. It’s about a post-apocalyptic world where a village lives in the shadow of a seriously huge apple, infested by humanoid Moths, and describes – in sometimes flowery prose – the exploits of Moth-killer Billings. It is eerily prescient of Alien, and has a gruesome, disturbing twist in the tail which I’d completely forgotten.

    It’s very creepy indeed, and the description of the Moth more or less fits the cover of Zoo 2000 – and explains the breasts. Don’t blame the artist – blame Mr Baxter; I quote:

    “Her body was that of a young Moth, about the size of a human girl, though slimmer than most. Only in the smoothly swelling breasts was there a specific reference to mankind.”

    I remember and still do find the combination of female sexuality with an insectile alien quite effective and disturbing. And oddly erotic. A feminist counterpoint to Giger’s phallic Alien!

  18. Brian B Says:

    Huh, now I wanna read that story! Feminist moth critters with smoothly swelling breasts! Is the giant apple an off-hand reference to the Garden of Eden story?

  19. A.R.Yngve Says:

    I’m sure the story is great… but the cover is still bleeuuurrghh. Oh, my poor stomach…

  20. Tom Noir Says:

    Occasionally one learns that Uber Bizarre Cover X actually reflects a scene from the story within. To this I say, “So what? It’s still a bizarre and ugly cover! Surely there were other scenes you could have chosen to illustrate?”

    I mean, what twisted logic leads an editor to say, “Story with a sexy moth babe? THAT goes on the cover!”

  21. Jerk of all Trades Says:

    I should also mention that I read this book as a child, and then almost completely forgot about it. It did not have this cover, thank goodness, or I would have been punished for bringing home salacious garbage.

    The title’s been bothering me ever since it came up here, so I finally tracked down a copy to read, and damn, it IS one I read before. The story about the four-armed humans, and the one about the dragon-gators cinched it. For some reason, “Apple” didn’t make enough of an impression on child-me to stick around in my memory’s garbage-dump all these years, despite it being every bit as weird as the stories that did.

  22. Tom Noir Says:

    An unjustly neglected cover in the recent GSS sweepstakes…

  23. Tom Noir Says:

    I’m glad they’ve redesigned the zoo since the year 2000. That was one weird field trip…

  24. Perry Armstrong Says:

    Blimey, it’s a Menoptera lad’s mag!

    Special feature this issue: Insect Movement by Roslyn de Winter – Phwoar!

  25. B. Chiclitz Says:

    Maybe this will make it slightly more bearable.

  26. fred Says:

    Always wondered why ‘The Fly’ never expanded into an insect a year film franchise.

  27. Tor Mented Says:

    The blurb provided by jere7my made me wonder what story by the great humorist James Thurber would be in this collection. Then I realized it must surely be “The Whip-Poor-Will,” one of his few horror stories, and a very effective one. When his friends read it, they called him to make sure he was OK.

  28. Tat Wood Says:

    I’d make a joke about a soft-porn ‘Crystal Tipps and Alistair’ but then I’d spend the whole day with ‘S-S-S-Single Bed’ by Fox stuck in my head.

  29. GSS ex-noob Says:

    The original American cover was amateurish and not great, but at least not full frontal wacky bug-lady nudity.

    @BC: Nope, just made me sadder.

  30. B. Chiclitz Says:

    @GSSxn—I always feel a small uplift of heart when watching the original Mothra films. There’s just something about that bug, and of course Emi and Yumi Ito (R.I.P.) were just one, well, two of a kind.

  31. Bibliomancer Says:

    You’re reading the title wrong. It’s “2 002 000”

  32. B. Chiclitz Says:

    @Bibliomancer—Is that some sort of secret code that really means “Bug off” or something?

  33. RachelJ Says:

    Needs the “font problems” tag. The title font is making my brain register this as “childrens picture book”. Which is disturbing.

  34. THX 1139 Says:

    “Are you standing naturally?”

  35. Tor Mented Says:

    ♪ I like bug bits
    And I cannot lie ♪

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