Nov 23

It maybe flashy, but they are the best interpretive dance group around.Click for full image

Libraryman comments: I love how it seems as if the characters are just randomly placed around this dead body. Kind of like a cluedo clue. “It was Sinbad with the scimitar in the dungeon!”
Published 1995

This cover… is perfect!
Libraryman, good show sir!

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: 7.84 out of 10)

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29 Responses to “The Stolen Throne”

  1. Weirdmage Says:

    This looks like three different illustrations cut and pasted together.
    Doesn’t look like the standing characters are even aware of each other.
    -It’s great! 😛

  2. Deborah Says:

    that looks so stagey!
    maybe the glowing blue light around the woman and the corpse means they’re just teleporting into the place (or away from it) – or maybe she’s a hologram message:
    “Help me, Gandalf-Wan and Sinbad, you are my only hopes! and can you dispose of this dead guy for me? kthxbai”

  3. SI Says:

    “Nooooo… she’s turned into a human fly zapper!! Must… touch… the… light!”

  4. A.R.Yngve Says:

    Oookay… so I’m looking at Merlin the Magician and Sinbad in a Mexican Standoff against a very short woman who’s armed with the mother of all joy-buzzers.

    Where exactly does the “Stolen Throne” enter the picture?

    Or is it a “Find the Throne” quiz:
    – It’s under her skirt!
    – No! It’s behind Merlin!
    – It’s a tiny throne hidden inside the helmet!

  5. THX 1138 Says:

    “Foolish princess! We warned you of the consequences of eating too much Ready Brek and now look!”

  6. A.R.Yngve Says:

    “My name is Diego De Montoya. You electrocuted my father. Prepare to die.”

  7. Tom Noir Says:

    They really nailed that ‘photoshopped’ look that’s so in right now with this one! It takes a special kind of talent to make an illustration look fake.

  8. Dead Stuff With Big Teeth Says:

    No, you’ve got it all wrong. The woman stole the throne out from under the collapsed fellow, and is fruitlessly protesting her innocence despite the white glowing force field around the two of them.

    This is the first of the troubles that Turtledove promises. This book was followed by “The Nicked Juicer” and “The Shoplifted Chocolate.”

  9. Simon Says:

    I think they’re playing musical statues and the music has just stopped. The guy on the floor is cheating.

  10. Justin Leego Says:

    Man, there are a lot of fingers in this illustration. Stephen Youll once again shows he is the master!

    Agree about the cut & paste possibility though, trouser fabric on Floor Man is far more detailed than on Pantomime Swashbuckler.

    Love this site. This is where I come when the rest of the internet stops making sense.

  11. Kathleen Says:

    for an “action” shot they look very immobile

  12. A.R.Yngve Says:

    Hilarity aside, how much will a failed cover damage book sales? I mean, it’s hard to judge these matters objectively…

    …but a crude guess would be this equation:
    Number of artistic failures in cover art
    + number of words in shitty book logo
    + number of words in inept blurb copy
    x 0.1 =
    Percentage of sales lost

    Note how LOW the losses are! That’s the logical reason why publishers can afford to print lousy covers. Maybe the readers are jaded.

  13. Adam Roberts Says:

    I appreciate the subtle Christmas theme here (‘four calling birds, three French hens, Harry Turtledove/And a partridge in a pear tree’). Bravo!

  14. Zaker Says:

    Man, can Halloween Costume packaging get any more dramatic?

  15. A.R.Yngve Says:

    In a small flash of light, Officer Tinkerbell entered the crime scene and peeped in her tinny voice:
    “What’s all this, then?”

  16. RachelJ Says:

    Clearly they’re playing Charades- the original, fancy kind featuring costumed tableaus, popular with the European upper-class in the 19th C. I’m not sure what syllable this is meant to convey, but it doesn’t really matter, because after this scene the characters will change back into their normal attire and resume fighting the Alternative Crimean War against the Russian lizard-troops.

  17. GSS ex-noob Says:

    Is it just me, or is Glowy Girl levitating dead guy? Looking at the feet and hand shadows, he doesn’t seem to be touching the ground. Was she trying to beam out with the corpse/evidence before Merlin and Sinbad came in?

  18. RachelJ Says:

    @GSS ex-noob. Well, the glow’s spreading over the corpse, so possibly.

  19. Cornelius Says:

    For the next three hours, they argued as to who’s turn it was to clear away the body.

  20. fred Says:

    A new copy of this is available on Amazon for only $847.00.

  21. fred Says:

    Another thing. I find it semi interesting that the only person on this cover to have been wearing head wear is currently unconscious or worse on the floor.
    Fascist anti-helmet bastards, the proletarian pro head covering masses will be avenged!

  22. GSS ex-noob Says:

    This is, indeed, worthy of GSS.

    Is this where there’s a freeze-frame and the audience has to guess who stole the throne?

    Youll was way more into illustrating cloth than worrying about such trifles as composition and making sure at least 2 of the characters were looking in the same direction.

    I stand by my earlier comment that yon glowing damsel had something to do with the death of Pantomime Russian.

    And either Wizaaard is blind and can’t see this tableau, or there’s something even MORE interesting going on BEHIND YOU glowy woman, dead Panto Russian, and Panto Swashbuckler.

    @fred: I can think of several million things better to spend $900 on. Also, as dead guy appears to be Russian (or adjacent), he’s definitely a member of the proletariat, opposing these monarchal bareheaded people.

    @ARY: a much-belated GSS.

  23. B. Chiclitz Says:

    That’s another great thing about Flashback Fridays, those of us a bit slow on the uptake can sometimes finally figure out a cover that’s bested us for years. Like I just realized this is a high-stakes game of “Freeze Tag” and Panto Verdes screwed up and didn’t freeze on time. Result? Self-inflicted impalement on the cutlass. Who’s next?

    (I also just realized @Simon (9) seems to have been moving in this direction years ago.)

  24. Bruce A Munro Says:

    Wall-eyed Wizard: “Watch as I magically recreate the scene of the crime!”

    Fauxbad the Stabbin’ Man: “That doesn’t help. I still don’t know who to stab.”

  25. Ryan Says:

    Alternate title: “Freeze-Tag at the Ren Fair”

  26. Bruce A Munro Says:

    In other news, Trump claims his throne was stolen.

  27. GSS ex-noob Says:

    @Ryan: I’m absolutely down with the game of Freeze Tag at Ren Faire interpretation… but from whence cometh the glow, good sir?

  28. Ryan Says:

    Clearly the guy on the ground and the fair lady installed the batteries for their heated socks with the polarity reversed.

    Baldy and Captain Redpants are warning the lady that she needs to disrobe her toes promptly, but sadly, they are too late, and she will shortly be enjoying an impromptu Blue Snooze as well.

  29. GSS ex-noob Says:

    @Ryan: Ah, and the lady’s still standing because she wasn’t carrying a giant length of metal to channel it faster. But she’s still in danger.

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