Sep 03

Up UP and AWAYYYYYY!Click for full image

Baen Books – Putting all other cover choices to shame since 1983.
Published 2008

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: 8.95 out of 10)

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37 Responses to “Jim Baen’s Universe 2”

  1. cutmanmike Says:

    There’s seriously not enough tags for this cover!

  2. SI Says:

    Glorious… simply glorious…

  3. Tom Noir Says:

    Imagine if you were an astronaut exploring the uncharted reaches of space in your capsule and you saw this.

    You would freak the hell out.

  4. Evad Says:

    This is the champion of that class of covers which celebrates and revels in their own ridiculousness.

    Too bad Jim isn’t winking at us.

  5. Dead Stuff With Big Teeth Says:

    @Evad–look at his left eye. Either he’s trying to, or he’s wincing in pain at Eris’s departure from his underarm.

  6. Dead Stuff With Big Teeth Says:

    Addendum–it’s possible to think of Jim Baen’s Universe #2 without humming Pérez Prado’s Mambo #5, but not easy. In fact, the latter is appropriate background music for the former, you’ll agree.

  7. Kristin Says:

    It is the ur-baen cover. Someday archeologists will look at this and nod in understanding.

  8. Nix Says:

    I’m afraid that while this would be incredible by the standards of any *other* publisher, it just doesn’t measure up. Compare this to the cluttered glory of the first _Jim Baen’s Universe_ cover. Ths one has no crap in the background at all!

  9. anon Says:

    @Nix, I couldn’t find it.
    However, I did find volume 4, issue 6, where the universe goes down the drain..

  10. Pat Says:


  11. Herm Says:

    Actually, I think this’d look pretty reasonable and fun if it weren’t for the text at the top.

  12. anon Says:

    Without the text at the top it would be a Moses pose..

  13. szaleniec1000 Says:

    The professor guy has the tail of a skinny Jabba the Hutt. With a truly *~fabulous*~ colour scheme.

  14. A.R.Yngve Says:

    I can’t believe how modest he looks on this cover.
    The question arises: Was the art slapped together, or made according to detailed editorial instructions?

  15. Elfi Says:

    With the way he’s popped out of a… galaxy? wormhole? erm… anyway, with that and the electric zaps that look like a spine …

    Is anyone else thinking “KFC’s Colonel meets Borg Queen”? Maybe it’s just me.

  16. A.R.Yngve Says:

    It’s not just you.


  17. Tat Wood Says:

    Chthulu morphs into Roger Whittaker. Evils from the Dawn of Time.

  18. Anna T. Says:

    I presume the First Rule of Covers for these anthologies is, “Mr. Baen must look like an all powerful god or wizard, even if the end result is rather ridiculous.”

    Also, we need a tag for Mr. Baen’s beard, STAT!

  19. Tag Wizard Says:

    @ Anna T. – “beard-wielding” it is.

  20. A.R.Yngve Says:

    So that’s what the mysterious “dark matter” looks like. Who knew?

  21. Bruce A Munro Says:

    Giant Plastic Robot Doctor Scientist Baen emerges from the interdimensional wormhole to bring us the Good News of endless crappy cover illustrations.

  22. B. Chiclitz Says:

    I suspect the best of Jim Baen’s universe is a result of old Jimbo spending a bit too much time exploring the best of Jim Beam’s™️ universe, judging by the bleary eyes and the look on his face.

  23. GSS ex-noob Says:

    @BC: I think Jim was dead by then, so presumably the “art” department were the drunken ones.

  24. THX 1139 Says:

    Needs more cardigan.

  25. fred Says:

    Now that he has assembled the Infinity Title from the Infinity Letters I expect we’re going to be up to our ass in cat people.

  26. Adzel Says:

    Sorry, but the price tag crosses my wallet’s Prevent Horizon.

  27. B. Chiclitz Says:

    @GSSxn—That might better explain the look on his face.

    @Adzel—”Prevent Horizon”—great pun! GSS!

  28. JuanPaul Says:

    I wonder what the pattern on his tie is. Little dolphins?

  29. THX 1139 Says:

    Is he being sucked up or spat out?

  30. GSS ex-noob Says:

    @THX: By golly, that’s a question that should have been asked (checks date) 10 years ago.

    I think the “art” department intended that he should be springing into our universe from his, bringing stories of cat people with cleavage and big guns, but it really looks more like he’s being sucked into a singularity or wormhole.

    So apparently he’s disappearing into his own universe?

    It all looks like he’s one of those wacky arm-waving inflatables at a used-car dealer. White suit that screams “salesman”, brightly-colored giant letters…

    I just feel that this cover is trying to sell me a used spaceship from “Big Jim’s Universe of Pre-Owned Stories”.

    (Just down the street from Cal Worthington and his dog Spot.)

  31. B. Chiclitz Says:

    @GSSxn—Opposite the famous Ralph Spoilsport Motors

  32. GSS ex-noob Says:

    All located just off the Antelope Freeway!
    (one half-mile)

    (I have never been able to drive in LA without quoting this bit)

    (Also I own an Official Pickle)

  33. B. Chiclitz Says:

    @GSSxn—At the 1/128th mile point, take the off ramp to Shadow Valley Condoms (if you lived here you’d be home by now).

    (I promise not to continue doing this, although I could cite them all day!) 🙂

  34. GSS ex-noob Says:

    @BC: My hand to whatever: for quite a while in the 90s there was a sign proclaiming “if you… now” hanging at an apartment or condo complex just off the highway north of LA. Not far south from the turnoff for — you guessed it — the Antelope Freeway.

    I suspected influences.

  35. GSS ex-noob Says:


    On topic!

    Eye opening yet not surprising. Plus ca change.

    Comments worth reading too, particularly the last one.

  36. THX 1139 Says:

    @GSS x-n: So Jim Baen was a “ruthless sociopath”? A cowboy, in fact, a tiny, bearded, sickly, bigoted cowboy with a line in sexist jokes. The more I hear about this guy…

  37. GSS ex-noob Says:

    @THX: Explains a lot, doesn’t it? The cover “art” of gratuitous cleavage, the topics, the focus on big guns (usually associated with “little man syndrome”), the relentless favoring of straight white men, the lack of proofreading…

    He may be dead, but apparently his ghost is still running the place.

    That last comment, from Manly Man “High Tory” SM Stirling smacked my gob.

    Steve is not at *all* PC (though very polite) and he’s referring to “Island in the Sea of Time”,* the first of a wildly successful trilogy. Featuring the aforesaid Black lesbian Coast Guard captain, who becomes basically The Mother of Her Country. The books (and his later ones) made Roc a ton of money.

    *Of which our autographed copy is from the first printing — didn’t know there’d been so many reprints!

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