Aug 31

He may be the evil sorcerer Zog, but he can put on one hell of a fireworks show.Click for full image

Stevie Comments: Jack L Chalker’s Songs of the Dancing Gods cover is bizarre! Crazy wizards, super sultry fairy-women in red and green and a huge mack truck running thru everything. What’s all that crazy action supposed to tell the prospective reader?
Published 1991

Wow, thanks to Stevie!

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: 8.83 out of 10)

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32 Responses to “Songs of the Dancing Gods”

  1. Adam Roberts Says:

    I’m trying to see which bits of sparkle are lens glare off the shiny cover and which are part of the pattern. It’s not easy.

    Also: kudos for laying this book against a wedding dress before taking its picture. That adds a certain je ne sais quoi.

  2. Chike Says:

    The mack truck is pure win.

    By my favorite part is actually the awful type and the “Volume Four in the Dancing Gods Series” under the title.

    Based on this cover alone, what would be your guesses for the titles of the other three no-doubt action packed titles?

  3. SI Says:

    I love this a lot. Especially the evil punk wizard. So much going on it hurts my brain.

    Anyone know who the publisher is for that one? I don’t recognise the symbol at the bottom, unless that’s part of the magic!

  4. Tommi Says:

    “… damn electrostatics …wait, is that the Coke Christmas Truck? … ”

    – actually, the bottom part makes me wish I went to Burning Man this year …

  5. Little Mi Says:

    Wow, it’s like Guy Fawkes night, with sparklers and an aeroplane made out of fireworks. It’s a shame that only 4 people and a unicorn turned up really, I so would have gone!

  6. cutmanmike Says:

    Lovely start to a Monday morning that….

    Wait a minute… Bah, foiled again! TEN STARS

  7. A.R.Yngve Says:

    If I had seen that cover when I was three, I would have said:
    “Beardy man has electric ow-ow in his hands!”

  8. CSA Says:

    I’m glad that Optimus Prime is finally recognised as a God, albiet a dancing one.

    I bet he riverdances all over the evil wizard.

  9. Kevin Says:

    mmmmm…..nothin’ says fantasy like an 18-wheeler.

  10. Tom Noir Says:

    Nice to see the Jolly Green Giant’s girlfriend getting work.

  11. Kathleen Says:

    I wonder how the insurance claim will work out when the truck runs over teh unicorn-pegasus

  12. David Cowie Says:

    Anyone know who the publisher is for that one? I don’t recognise the symbol at the bottom, unless that’s part of the magic!

    The symbol at the bottom is the logo of Orbit books.

  13. Dead Stuff With Big Teeth Says:

    I rather think that the dancing gods are a happy lot. I’d be at their concert.

    “Ridin’ on my Mack truck, it’s a lovely machine,
    “Ridin’ with the ladies in the red and in the green,
    “Ridin’ with the silly string on my hands and in between,
    “Ridin’ to the songs of the dancin’ gods!” Hot-cha!

    @ Chike: “AM Radio Band of the Dancing Gods”, “Juke Box with Nothing But Rush for the Dancing Gods”, and “Gastrointestinal Rumblings of the Dancing Gods”.

  14. A.R.Yngve Says:

    I’d like to see other working-class characters represented as characters in fantasy lit:

    – Plumbers
    – Construction workers
    – Firemen
    – Nurses
    – Garbage collectors
    – Carpenters
    – Gardeners
    – Migrant farm workers

    …but not TV repairmen, because everybody knows they really ARE wizards and don’t need the extra exposure in literature.

  15. SI Says:

    @David Cowie – Thanks! Didn’t recognise their old logo.

    It is kinda like these guys are having a wizard rave when the truck turns up. “Hey, where’s all that techno music coming from?”

  16. Herm Says:

    This looks like a really darn cool Rick Cook novel.

  17. bob Says:

    Actually having read the Dancing Gods series the cover makes sense. The green fairy was a truck driver at the beginning of the series.

  18. Brian B Says:

    @ A.R.Yngve

    I agree with you that TV repairmen are already wizards, but I would also include computer IT tech support guys. Whoa…now THAT would be an epic modern fantasy! Gus the TV repairman vs. Neil the IT tech support guru, each representing their respective secret orders of techowizardy!

  19. anon Says:

    @Tommi That’s coke truck all right. Although, possibly not the drink.

  20. Kanati Says:

    I have every Chalker book published… in one printing or another… but I’ve never seen THAT one before. Now I want it. 😀

    The cover acturately depicts the contents, I *will* say that. 🙂

  21. Ray P Says:

    Big Trouble 2: The return of Lo-pan. Jack Burton never drives faster than he can see and always brakes for unicorns and lady-faeries.

  22. Dead Stuff With Big Teeth Says:

    Most gratuitous use of fibre optic cable EVER.

  23. B. Chiclitz Says:

    Today’s Dilemma:

    That pink object just below the arch, is that a spaceship or a space walrus?
    Moving up slowly, we find the most badass Unicorns! horn I’ve ever seen about to impale itself in the side window opening of the Mack truck, and across from that a green reptilian thing regurgitating a yellow reptilian thing. Above that there are two hot faeries deliberately designed to confuse anybody with red-green color blindness—which one will put out, which one says STOP? Then there’s the squat, blunt typeface totally at odds with the linear wispiness of the imagery.

    I try hard to hold all of this in one coherent place in my head, and fail, just fail.

  24. fred Says:

    A cover so unhinged it needs a gyroscope in each corner to keep it from flying apart.

  25. JuanPaul Says:

    The fish eye lens bulge makes it look like golden frame can barely contain the awesomeness of the cover.

  26. Dead Stuff With Big Teeth Says:

    Does the Transitive Axiom of Equality apply? Viz., a red fairy means Stop and a green fairy means Go, does a Unicorns! mean stop as well? Does that salamandery-looking thing mean go? What is that strange creature, anywho?

  27. TheGedemondan Says:

    Orbit published the first four of the Dancing Gods series with this cover style. The truck, red and green fairies, unicorn and lizard are on all four covers, the image below varies from book to book. The covers accurately summarise events and characters from the series.
    When the books were published in Polish the top half of the image was kept, but the bottom half was the mirror image of these Orbit covers.

  28. GSS ex-noob Says:

    Why does red fairy get Unicorns! and green one only gets… erm… unidentifiable lizardy things? Red + Unicorns! = no sexing, Green + lizards = go for it? Still seems backwards. And does Ms. Red’s Unicorns! have wings attached at the neck? WTF? Probably be a mercy when the oncoming Mack truck (also, still, and forever WTF) kills it.

    Just where are the fireworks and jet-shaped firework coming from? Both the beardy wizaaaaards are holding crackling lightning stuff, not launching fireworks. Maybe the people in the structure in the background were just having a nice 4th of July celebration when suddenly, wizaaaaards.

    I looked at the TVTropes page (so you wouldn’t have to) and the books seem to be as bad as this cover. Note: also part of the Mermaid Conspiracy.

    Hopefully, the gods are dancing away from this mess.

  29. L.B. Says:

    The only one doing any dancing on this cover is that dude with the lightning. Or all these guys Village People but only he’s doing Y.M.C.A.?

  30. Dead Stuff With Big Teeth Says:

    @LB: it’s not clear if Stop fairy is a goddess or not, but I think she’s Vogue-ing.

  31. infoqueen Says:

    “He was a dancing god
    Cruel and bearded
    Like General Zod
    Dancing god,
    Wow, his cover
    Is really odd.”

    (Apologies to ABBA.)

  32. GSS ex-noob Says:

    “He can glow
    He can drive
    A Mack truck about Mach Five

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