Apr 29

Yep.. that swan is flaming...Click for full image

Zycrow’s Art Direction: No. Dragons are overused. Draw something else. You have one second.
Published 1974

Today the swans fight back against a monarchy who ate them for so long!
Have a great bank holiday weekend!

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: 8.57 out of 10)

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22 Responses to “Merlin’s Ring”

  1. A.R.Yngve Says:

    Hey, swans are no laughing matter…they’re nasty critters! They bite!

  2. A.R.Yngve Says:

    “Fight, men! Fight for the Giant Fire-breathing Swan!”

    “Nah, we’d rather fight for the Giant Fire-Breathing Chicken. It can barbecue itself for us!”

  3. fred Says:

    Makes me wonder how good armor made from the feathers of a giant fire breathing swan would be. Nigh impregnable probably.

  4. Phil Says:

    Swan with heartburn swims past Joan of Arc on horseback carrying a flag showing a swan with heartburn. What’s not to like?

  5. Tom Noir Says:

    What would have put this cover over the top for me is if the fire breathing swan on the banner had another banner behind it with a fire breathing swan on it with another banner behind it featuring a fire breathing swan and so on, ad infinitum, ad nauseum.


  6. THX 1138 Says:

    “And that’s why halitosis was often called ‘swan breath’. Better not ask why we call that other affliction ‘Merlin’s Ring’.”

  7. Jane Says:

    “Epic fantasy that spans the centuries between the loss of Atlantis and 1500 A.D.”

    So that would be precisely when?

    Or how about, “Epic fantasy that spans the centuries between the loss of Atlantis and 8:15 am on April 3, 1503.”

  8. SI Says:

    Guys.. you’ve got it all wrong. That’s not fire! It’s a magical act swan. He’ll pull endless amounts of coloured napkins from its mouth one after each other.

    Haven’t you heard of Englands great magician, Swan Daniels?

  9. A.R.Yngve Says:

    The Giant Fire-Breathing Random Animal Bubble burst in 1975, causing great losses and many ulcers in the publishing industry.

    Not many remember today what caused the speculative bubble to burst: the cover to the novel MERLIN’S BASEBALL CAP, showing a giant fire-breathing rabbit.

  10. Zycrow Says:

    Incidentally, I purchased this book on account of having read H. Warner Munn’s sequel to it, “The Ship From Atlantis.” It was part of an Ace Double. Just how amazing this cover was didn’t strike me until I had it for a while…and, incidentally, I still have not read it.

  11. drlemaster Says:

    One of my earliest memories is being attacked by a swan as a two-year-old visiting Sea World in San Diego. I am glad it was saving its breath weapon for more formidable opponents.

  12. Dear Prudynce Says:

    Dragon-Swans must important if they put one on the flag.

  13. Adam Roberts Says:

    And the back cover? Michael Flanders on the piano.

  14. Adam Roberts Says:

    Sometimes my jokes are too obscure even for me!

  15. Andy M Says:

    Wow, I remember that book when it came out. Think I actually read it too.

  16. Dalton H. Says:

    But can the HORSE breath fire?

  17. GDwarf Says:

    And the back cover? Michael Flanders on the piano.


    That pun was awful. I gnuash my teeth at you!

  18. Dead Stuff With Big Teeth Says:

    Art direction: We need a way to demonstrate our heroine is assertive and capable, able to survive in a man’s world…and at the same time is undoubtedly a woman. I know! We’ll combine a traditional feminine symbol with a traditionally masculine symbol. Like a graceful bird with a powerful, fire-breathing dragon…

    (Parenthetically, ‘Merlin’s Ring’ can be rearranged to spell ‘Lens Rim Grin’ or ‘Girl’s Inn REM’, but not a whale of a lot else.)

  19. A.R.Yngve Says:

    It’s the caption at the very top that catches my attention:
    “Ballantine Fantasy 24010.”

    Fantasy set in the Year 24010 — now that I’d like to read.

  20. Jaouad Says:

    Fire? Looks to me like that swan is being violently sick.

  21. A.R.Yngve Says:

    “It’s Merlin.”
    “What’s up?”
    “Bye then.”

  22. L.B. Says:

    Is this ‘Halitosis of the swan’? by some pretender to E.B. White’s throne?

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