May 09

And now we will explain the new governmental policies through the form of... interpretive dance!Click for full image

Kelly Comments: Bikini-wearing sorceress…fish guy in a toga…Robin Hood type cat-woman.. in a cathedral??
Published 1984

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: 7.71 out of 10)

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33 Responses to “Shadow Magic”

  1. Jonesey Says:

    Fish-man looks pretty hungry.

  2. Ian Sales Says:

    I’m sure I’ve seen an act like that in a Las Vega casino.

  3. SI Says:

    This artist can really get the stares on people done right. And it reminds me of:

    (at the 42sec mark or so)

  4. Chike Says:

    Love it. =D

    Looks very similar in design, from the art to the typeface, to the Thieve’s World novels published around the same time.

  5. THX 1138 Says:

    This is what will happen if you allow women to join the clergy.

  6. fred Says:

    There’s nowt so queer as the other folk.

  7. Claire Says:

    It was then that the party got really weird…

  8. A.R.Yngve Says:

    I bet you five bucks the fish guy is named Mr. Leech and he’s soon going to yell at Paddington the Bear for something.

  9. A.R.Yngve Says:

    “A time there was when we shared the world with… THE CARNIVAL IN RIO! Everybody do the Samba!”

  10. Jane Says:

    Costumes by Bob Mackie.

  11. Green Says:

    “Her name was Lola, she was a showgirl,
    With yellow feathers in her hair and a dress cut down to there…”

  12. Dalton H. Says:

    This conversation ensued. Showgirl-“I want my own seat! I can’t take this anymore!” (Storms out) Fish-Man-“Now wait a second! Come back in here!”

  13. fred Says:

    The area those thrones are sitting on looks only about half a foot deep.

  14. A.R.Yngve Says:

    Copa, Copacabana!
    The most magical place in Havana!
    Copa, Copacabana!
    Magic and passion
    were always the fashion at the Copa…

  15. Claire Says:

    Showgirls with freakishly long arms …

  16. Matt Says:

    Looks like the tagline at the top was written by the same person as the one from Ms Wrede’s last novel.

  17. Tom Noir Says:


  18. Beth Says:

    *peers* I think that’s a fish-lady, actually. Not sure. (Also, I remember looking at this book in our library a zillion times as a kid, and being terribly annoyed that it was not as interesting as the cover made it look! Too much human stuff! Bring on the catgirls and fishladies and let them do interesting things!)

  19. Alessandra Kelley Says:

    Hmmm. Another Patricia Wrede cover (see April 11th), same awkward syntax of tagline, same cover artist, and …

    Different three people, but same setup and color scheme. Instead of a white-clad desert nomad with a dagger in the middle lifting the back of his left hand to us it’s a barely white-clad showgirl with a wand making the same gesture. Instead of a green-clad sword chick on the right it’s a green-clad cat girl. And instead of Mr. Not-Doing-Anything-But-Staring Prince on the left, it’s the Creature from the Black Lagoon in a bedsheet. And instead of a plain brick wall behind them it’s modern church architecture circa. 1965.

  20. Sangelia Says:

    I do believe that is another Darrel K Sweet artwork for the cover. He is one prolific artist.
    Pretty much all the Xanth books by Peirs Anthony has his work. Same goes for some of the Forgotten Realms books. As well as any Modesitt books.

  21. The Tag Wizard Says:

    Thanks Sangelia! I agree, Darrell K’s work is generally awesome. ISFDB has this down as a Walter Velez cover – do you have a copy of the book to hand?

  22. Sangelia Says:

    I hope I do. Thing is, my husband’s ex-wife when she was living here, cleared out a batch of my stuff. Saying that she knew who could use it better. I’m afraid about a good half of my books left that way thanks to her. And one of those might have been this one.
    Before she moved in, I had over 4000 books.

  23. FearofMusic Says:

    That is the unmistakeable style of Walter Velez. Roughly 90% of his covers are the same in composition, color pallette, and, oh, everything else. He loves the dramatic stance pose, challenging the viewer to not feel as if they’ve seen this same scene with only minor variations.

  24. Dead Stuff With Big Teeth Says:



    God’s truth, I thought for a moment that she’s got a wrench in her hand. A wrench. It’s the world’s most inappropriate clothing for a plumber…that must be a work risk under HSWA 1974.

    And, why is Miss Kitty sitting on her throne with her bow strung? I saw that Hercules movie with Dwayne Johnson, and I wanted to throttle Ingrid Berdal for not unstringing her poor bow and giving it a rest when she’s not out to shoot arrows into someone.

  25. Rev Says:

    @ DSWBT – Not a wrench, but an ice-cream scoop. Fish folk love ice-cream and this guy isn’t going to miss out.
    This cover suffers from depth problems.

  26. fred Says:

    This is probably the part in the story where humans stupidly refuse to share footwear and seat cushions.

  27. Tat Wood Says:

    Their eyes are all wrong. It’s not just that roly-poly fish-head can look in a direction at all, or that carnival queen is cross-eyed, it’s that M’Ress is glancing to her right as if her co-worker’s making her feel hungry.

  28. Tat Wood Says:

    And, given today’s date, this has to be what she’s dancing to:

  29. Tor Mented Says:

    Amphibious, lascivious and piscivorous.

  30. JuanPaul Says:

    Does Walter Velez understand the concept of eyelids? Seriously, go look at his covers on this site.

  31. GSS ex-noob Says:

    Hey, the mouseover text says “interpretive dance”, but it’s not in the tags!

    Bikini woman’s eyes suggest that shadow magic is akin to uppers. Although @JuanPaul has a point.

    There was blood and a single bowshot but just who shot who?

    (Spoilers: M’ress took out both dancing queen and black lagoon refugee… and then ate them both because she’s a carnivore.)

  32. fred Says:

    I hope the stone masons who built that wall got paid extra for having to use whatever odd shaped bits happened to be lying around.

  33. B. Chiclitz Says:

    @fred—To pick up an old theme in a new guise, as I examine that wall, I conclude it could not be built by human agency alone. Then I note the cleverly embedded Masonic symbols in the title. Masons, walls, somebody’s trying to tell us something, again.

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