Mar 22

Sorry... you eat me after sex?Click for full image

Kevin’s Art Direction: Don’t put a red flame ANYWHERE on the coverthat’s too obvious! Instead, put Grizzly Adams into a jumpsuit and have him talking earnestly to a lizard man who’s walking a giant stag beetle through an alien city. Insert sexual tension by hiding the human’s left hand behind the lizard man’s buttocks. Also, hide both bipeds’ right feet from view so people will focus on the fact that the beetle is practically floating.
Published 1986

Many thanks to Kevin!

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: 8.73 out of 10)

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27 Responses to “Red Flame Burning”

  1. THX 1138 Says:

    That’s a normal sized beetle that they’re taking for a walk, but the forced perspective of the drawing makes it look giant.

  2. Evad Says:

    Curb your beetle.
    After all, no one wants to step in dung beetle dung.

  3. Tom Noir Says:

    It wasn’t until the late 19th century that scientists conclusively proved that giant dung beetles do in fact life all six feet off the ground when they run.

  4. A.R.Yngve Says:

    My three-year-old son looked at the picture and said: “Daddy, beetle poops on bearded man’s feet!”

  5. SI Says:

    It’s so annoying when you’re walking your beetle and you get hassled by charity workers.

  6. Phil Says:

    I assumed lizard man was the alien, but if you look at the background you see that this is a planet of lizards. That makes the human (Girzzly Adams? Kris Kristofferson maybe) the real alien.

    If I were that beetle, I would be desperate to get at least one tongue’s length away from my lizard master.

  7. Adam Roberts Says:

    That’s not a lead; that’s a sword. Bug-head man is saying: ‘I dub thee Sir Dungbeetle …’

  8. Dalton H. Says:

    The lizard man is like,” He’s a rescue bug.”

  9. A.R.Yngve Says:

    After some digging around, I found the perfectly rational explanation (rational for the publishing business, that is) to this odd cover design:

    There was a misunderstanding.

    At first the artist was assigned to make a cover for a book which he was told — over the phone — had to do with “ailing proctology”, and so he assumed that “Red Flame Burning” referred to a painful bowel condition.

    You can imagine the editor’s dismay when the artist proudly delivered a finished, very detailed painting to the office.

    After a heated argument, selfsame artist was re-assigned to paint the proper cover, referring to a book about alien psychology — with very little time to spare — hence the rush job.

    And the moral is: Editors should never eat cornflakes while talking over the phone.

  10. Dead Stuff With Big Teeth Says:

    No author given!

  11. GSS ex-noob Says:

    Still no author listed!

    Also, if it wasn’t burning, it wouldn’t be a flame now, would it?

    And did we ever get to see the cover of the book on the left? Also from Del Ray, what we can glimpse makes it look like a possible GSS candidate.

  12. Dead Stuff With Big Teeth Says:

    @GSS Inimitable: Sword of Fire, there you go.

  13. GSS ex-noob Says:

    The sequel! Now with more lizard-men and walking the beetles on the National Mall!

  14. L.B. Says:

    “Ward, I’m worried about the Beetle.”

  15. Francis Boyle Says:

    It says something about the 80s that it was a time when alien architecture was as mind-numbingly boring as anything on Earth.

  16. B. Chiclitz Says:

    The only thing to say about this cover is, “Well don’t that beat all?”

  17. fred Says:

    That could be one of those fire starting beetles from the 1975 movie ‘Bug’.

  18. Bruce A Munro Says:

    The one is a dimensionally displaced Grizzly Adams impersonator .

    The other is a lizard-man and giant beetle fancier.

    Together, they fight crime.

  19. GSS ex-noob Says:

    @Bruce: But what does the beetle do? Seeing-eye beetle, bloodhound beetle, K9 beetle, comic relief beetle?

  20. Bob Says:

    In the future, there will be folks walking beetles.

  21. Bruce A Munro Says:

    @GSS ex-noob: perhaps he[1] has multiple beetles for different occasions? (Shades of The Man from P.I.G.)

    [1] Or possibly she.

  22. B. Chiclitz Says:

    “I was talking to the beetle.”

  23. fred Says:

    It’s a series. GSS has covered Sword of Fire. I sense some kind of pattern in the titles.

  24. Bruce A Munro Says:

    @fred: they all have an air of “the author takes himself too seriously?”

    (Looks at book descriptions)
    All this and world(s)-threatening Islamic terrorists as well. Hawkins was a man ahead of his time, clearly.

    Edit: for some reason I find myself looking at the lizard in white shorts and t-shirt in the background. I bet they’re having a nice summer day, possible a spot of tennis?

  25. GSS ex-noob Says:

    @fred: That answers my question (guard-dog beetle), but raises so many others, like “pretentious much, Ward?”

  26. fred Says:

    Hawkins wrote for TV, a few early movies as well.

  27. Bruce A Munro Says:

    @fred: interesting. I see he was born in 1912, so he wrote these stories in his 70s. No wonder if they have an old-fashioned flavor: he’s only four years younger than “dean of SF” Jack Williamson, and would have been 14 when Amazing Stories, America’s first all-science fiction (or “scientification” as they called it back then) magazine debuted.

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