Nov 16

'I can haz cheezburger' by Stanley Kubrick.Click for full image

NGpm Comments: Okay, so there’s this face vase thing on the left, but it’s a mushroom (just like what the art director just ate) … and a decaying woman that is scaring the mess out of a cat that lives in Salvador Daliwood.
Published 1980

Includes – The Puppet Masters, Double Star & The Door into Summer
Many thanks to NGpm!

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: 6.60 out of 10)

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25 Responses to “A Heinlein Trio”

  1. Weirdmage Says:

    Let’s see if I can deduce what the three stories are about from the cover:

    -Twins brought up by a mushroom. -Looks like they are resting their heads on its shoulders. (Could have gone pervy here…)
    -A woman being eaten by a little alien who lives on her back.
    -And a cat who spends his day looking out a hatch.


  2. cutmanmike Says:


  3. SI Says:

    They made happy cat sad!

  4. john Says:

    I had this version, from the Science Fiction book club in the 80s!

  5. Evad Says:

    Hey now everyone – let’s not get carried away – “You can’t judge a book by its cover” Right? Right?

    Oh God. Who am I kidding? This thing might just spontaneously burst into flames and take us all with it. Someone dig a hole a safe distance from the house.

  6. A.R.Yngve Says:

    Oh my God, why did you have to show that cover? Made me vomit all over my PC…

  7. NGpm Says:

    Thanks to the pop-up joke, in my head I now have the desiccated woman saying “the thing’s hollow, it goes on forever and … it’s full of cats!” A la Dave Bowman in 2001.

    Good show sir!

  8. Kathleen Says:

    she’s rocking that purple hood though…

  9. A.R.Yngve Says:

    The cover truly shows how Curiosity Killed the Cat…

  10. SI Says:

    Kathleen> Yea nice hood. What about the alien attached to her back!?

  11. Angela Says:

    Yay! I had this one too! Sci Fi Book Club hardcover. The Door Into Summer is still one of my favorite short stories from back then. I have been trying to remember what the other 2 stories were for years now, but I couldn’t remember what the collection was called. The Door Into Summer is about time travel and cryogenics. The main character has cat that goes around to all the doors in their home demanding to be let out as if one of them will lead outside to summer warmth instead of the terrible snow and cold.

    And SI, the alien attached to the back of the Visible Woman is from the Puppet Masters. Sort of an alien symbiote/body snatcher thing. I don’t remember the details, but it creeped me out when I was 12

  12. bob Says:

    The third one was Double Star a politician takes ill on the campaign trail and his staff hire an actor to take his place.

  13. A.R.Yngve Says:

    No! WRONG! BAD cover artist! Do it AGAIN!

  14. AA Says:

    I gotta stop looking at these things before bedtime. I have the strangest dreams.

  15. Stevie T Says:

    “A Heinlein Trio”…Isn’t that an unfortunate, if accurate, description of most of his later work….?

  16. GSS noob Says:

    Yeah, we’ve got this one. If you’re familiar with Heinlein’s work, you can guess what the stories are (although the twins could also be “Time For the Stars”) but the whole conglomeration is hideous. There’s no reason for the woman to have all her bones and guts visible, scaring poor Happy Cat.

    However, the *concept* of the cat looking for the door/window into summer is well-known by anyone who lives with a cat and gets the disgusted look from kitty after all doors and windows have proved to have inclement weather. So the book *title* is useful, even if the story is like, whoa, pedophilia.

  17. Tat Wood Says:

    Well done everyone for avoiding the Marilyn Manson/ Lady Gaga jokes. Sometimes, GSS is so like QI it needs someone to voluntarily set the alarms off.

    You’re welcome.

  18. fred Says:

    The beta version of Schrodinger’s cat thought experiment.

  19. B. Chiclitz Says:

    I think the cat’s more like, “Why seddle fir cheezburgers when I can haz ribbs?!!”

  20. GSS ex-noob Says:

    @BC: Cheezburger iz eazier to eat than ribbz. At least if you’re my cat.

    I keep wondering if all of these covers are accidentally bad, or if someone deliberately decided to do something half-ass and WTF in protest, like this classic video:

    (explanation in the comments there)

  21. Bruce A Munro Says:

    @NGpm: so it’s the Summer of Salvador (Dali)?

    The door looks more like a wall safe, but I’m not sure why you’d keep a confused cat and a pugnacious watch (look out for those hands!) in a wall safe. [1] But it does invoke time travel and a cat, so, partial points?

    The two near identical dudes and the mushroom man actually fit with the story, except that it’s an important plot point that the mushrooms should never know there’s two of him, so oops.

    The worst one is rib woman: not only are people’s innards largely irrelevant to the story, [2] but the head doesn’t seem to be attached to the body, (also too large?) so it looks like there’s a woman in a headscarf peering over the shoulder of a armless, headless torso.

    Perhaps she’s a female version of the Watcher and she’s here to tell us tales of alternate Heinlein worlds?

    [1] Unless, like @fred suggests, this is a somewhat confused version of the Schrodinger experiment and the question is whether the cat has been stabbed by the watch or not.

    [2] “If we flay her and expose her ribs, it’s no longer nudity!”

  22. Tor Mented Says:

    Spoonerism time!
    A Teinlein Hero, including:
    Stubble Dar
    The Muppet Pastors
    The Soar into Dumber

  23. GSS ex-noob Says:

    @Bruce: the TVA should have pruned this cover. And the poor cat would probably like the door closed so it didn’t have to look at the rest of it, even if it meant being trapped in a safe with the nefarious cousin of Miss Minutes. (Can you tell I liked “Loki”, even if it cliffhung to a startling degree?)

    @Tor: GSS! I’d read those, particularly The Muppet Pastors.

    No takers for my SFW video link, eh? Sigh. Nekulturny.

  24. Bruce A Munro Says:

    @GSS ex-noob: what, they’re being dickish because they’re not getting to illustrate the covers of more high-brow literature? Or because they got editorial interference? “Needs a cat. And a watch to indicate time travel. And a mushroom man. And…”

    Took a look at the video. I dunno, I think other music video creators could benefit from a more laid-back approach. 🙂

    (And then let’s give a hand to the devil. Performing in a devil costume rather less convincing than John Lovitz’s is tough, but they keep their cool)

  25. GSS ex-noob Says:

    When young musicians are told they can’t perform live, but must submit a lip-synced tape, and it has to be the single edit, not the whole thing, and they really didn’t cotton to either of those, and everyone’s had those funny cigarettes…

    …you get a video directed by the first-billed musician’s younger sister and featuring his girlfriend in a sparkly dress, with the band’s apartment furniture and Monopoly money, the guitarist in a penguin outfit, and their manager in a very cheap devil costume, all of whom aren’t bothering to lip-sync or even care.

    They were, of course, told “you’ll never work in this town again!!!” so they went to NYC and LA and did pretty well for themselves.

    I give them all props for keeping deadpan through the whole thing. The guys are still proud of this. Contractual obligations have seldom been so funny.

    Truly, the acts of today could learn a lot from their elders.

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