Nov 04

Don't look now John, it's a Jehovah's Witness!Click for full image

GK Comments: Someone is out of place…
Published 1968

Many thanks to GK!

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: 7.78 out of 10)

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30 Responses to “Star Well”

  1. SI Says:

    “I say Winston, I don’t know what’s more disturbing. The fact we don’t have legs or that I find that alien creature over there arousing.”

  2. Adam Roberts Says:

    That terrible secret isn’t being very secretive, is it.

  3. Parker Says:

    The secret is clearly, they all have plants growing from their jacket arms.

  4. A.R.Yngve Says:

    Judging by their expressions, the terrible secret is that… *gasp* this is THE PLANET OF HAPPY PEOPLE!!

  5. Justin Leego Says:

    Pass me my Moleskine, butler! I must wallop this cretinous buffoon immediately!

  6. Adam Roberts Says:


    It is STAR WELL, after all. Not STAR ILL.

  7. Mihai (Dark Wolf) Says:

    The secret to be found is where is the interstellar horse lost by the jockey seen in the second plan. After all the betting odds must be great on this horse according to those booklets.

  8. Babbage Says:

    Surely the terrible secret must be how life survives on a world adrift in interstellar space without a parent star — Orange alien fish oil!

    “Jeaves, that one there will keep us warm for at least a week.”

  9. Fred Zimmerman Says:

    Man, this is a great cover! It’s a Kelly Freas, isn’t it?

  10. Dave Van Domelen Says:

    Seriously. I mean, what does that guy think he is, a time-traveling 1980s record company executive? Lose the rattail!

  11. Joel Says:

    Hmmm . . . looks like the terrible secret has a lot to do with keeping appointments . . . or not. Ha, I’ve got it! THE NATIVES OF STAR WELL ARE NOT PUNCTUAL

  12. Fred Zimmerman Says:

    From Wiki:

    Panshin is also noted for the cult favorite Anthony Villiers series which consists of three books: Star Well, The Thurb Revolution, and Masque World. The fourth volume of the series, The Universal Pantograph, never appeared, reputedly because of conflicts between the writer and his publisher. Of the Villiers series, noted SF writer Samuel R. Delany writes “It … examines the proposition that the world is composed of small communities of mutual interest … [Star Well] is a gallery of gamblers, duels and double-crosses, a minuet of manners and manners mangled; the machinery of the universe is speculated upon; inspector generals arrive to inspect it. And Anthony Villiers, gentleman par excellence, dashes through it all, buckling a swash or two, bungling a couple of others.”[citation needed]

  13. Fred Zimmerman Says:

    And finally: the books are available in ebook form

  14. SeriesFive Says:

    I have read this one and loved it. It really features an intelligent bipedial toad with incredibly big blue eyes, although I’m sure Torve would never wear such a horrible green coverall 😉 … for one he has a tail…:)

  15. Adam Roberts Says:

    Fred: that ebook version you link to has depressingly unobjectionable cover art. Surely we can do better!

  16. SteveW Says:

    Panshin? This would have been extra funny as a Heinlein Monday.

  17. Nix Says:

    Overall? That’s not an overall. That’s a dressing gown. (But yes, I agree with Fred Zimmerman. This is a lovely cover.)

  18. Fred Zimmerman Says:

    Adam — OMG, I thought the ebook cover art for StAR WELL was awful! I’ll post it in another thread.

    Give me a Freas any day. The original paintings start at $20,000.

  19. Fred Zimmerman Says:

    Forgot to include the link for Freas paintings:

    Not kidding about the $20,000.

  20. scifi-guy Says:

    Terrific cover, very accurate, excellent novel – highly recommended!

    Once again, read the book first!

  21. Tom Noir Says:

    The follow-up, Star Poorly, did not do as well.

  22. Dead Stuff With Big Teeth Says:

    What was the terrible secret ingredient of this five-star restaurant?


  23. Dead Stuff With Big Teeth Says:

    Chris Christie’s role in the Trump administration

  24. anon Says:

    @SI: “Look, I’m just here to check the pipes.”

  25. anon Says:

    Axial Henpenis
    Villain Nandas venture theory
    How to liberate assets? Flirt with and screw R.R. the teller!

  26. Tat Wood Says:

    If that’s how you star well, what does starring badly look like?

  27. Dead Stuff With Big Teeth Says:

    @Tat: That’s the terrible secret of this interstellar world!

  28. A.R.Yngve Says:

    “What is your terrible secret? Why are you so unnaturally happy?”
    “Earthling, there is no secret. We’ll tell you. The source of our happiness is…”
    “Say it!”
    “… flossing.”
    “Floss every day.”
    “No! NOOOO!!”
    “Join us… join us…”

  29. anon Says:

    I seem to have missed an apostrophe there..

  30. Tor Mented Says:

    Well, ’bout that time the Duke boys was walkin’ down the star well lookin’ fer the far escape …

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