Jun 23

Right that's it, I'm taking Canada and you can't have it back till you're sorry!Click for full image

Jaan Comments: Surprisingly, this is actually a murder mystery. Note the Kirby signature. Hopefully Jack never sank this low.
Published 1982

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: 5.86 out of 10)

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20 Responses to “Upside Downside”

  1. Ian Sales Says:

    That’ll be Josh Kirby, who did all the paperback covers for Terry Pratchett’s Discworld novels.

  2. SI Says:

    Some people have the strangest kitchen lino.

  3. THX 1138 Says:

    When games of Risk get way out of hand…

  4. Smith Says:

    Measure once, cut once with the new Acme Continent-o-saw!

    Available for a limited time at all good hardware stores.

    (planet sized robot sold separately)

  5. Joachim Says:

    I thought Ron Goulart wrote comic sci-fi in the vein of Terry Pratchett…. All the covers of his works are horrible, usually on purpose….

  6. Tom Noir Says:

    That robot is in for a nasty shock when it’s days later and nobody has even noticed that Canada is missing.


    (I kid! I kid Canada! Because I love.)

  7. Phil Says:

    I like that the saw-wielding robot is left-handed; as a southpaw myself, I feel validated. I also like that robot is saw-wielding.

    Asimov’s Fourth Law: a robot shall not use a circular- or jig-saw, except where this would conflict with the first three laws.

  8. jerk of all trades Says:

    To this day, professor Albumin still objects to his giant robot being declared a failure by the entire world.

  9. Dalton H. Says:

    That robot is humming “Blame Canada” from the South park movie

  10. Adam Roberts Says:

    This was a huge hit on 1970s British TV: all about upper class people and their servants in a nice house. Turn of the century. And, er, giant robots too.

  11. Scott B Says:

    I love this one! Not really sure about the “red white and grey” tagline (grey = robots?) but the visual image is weird and fun and intriguing me (and probably nothing to do with the contents of the book, I would guess).

  12. Anti-Sceptic Says:

    I think that the future president of the USA felt that his country needed a face-lift. So he had a giant robot built to cut off Canada and lay it on top of the US, and voila! A new country! He would go on to call it “the United States of Canada”. Initially he wanted to call it “MouthWarblingGoatYacht”, but the people voted against it.

  13. Muttley Says:

    OK. Having dug out my copy of “The Garden of Unearthly Delights”, the collection of Josh Kirby paintings, I see that his comment on this cover was “Inspired by the general feel of the book, rather than any actual incident”, which is not his usual approach when painting a cover.

    If I had to guess what the “Red, white and grey” comment was about I’d guess American Civil War, so the robot should be sawing some way further south.

  14. Don Hilliard Says:

    @Muttley: The strapline really doesn’t have anything to do with the story, so far as I’ve been able to figure out in the quarter-century I’ve had it.

    As for the art, I could never see even a tonal connection, but I’m not Josh Kirby. (Terry Pratchett once wrote that, while he loved Kirby’s Discworld covers, he realized very early on that the cover was always going to be what was going on in Kirby’s head rather than in his own.)

  15. Muttley Says:

    Don, I agree absolutely about the Pratchett covers.

    Paul Kidby’s covers almost exactly match what I see in my head on reading the books. Sam Vimes would in my mind tend more towards Philip Glenister than Clint Eastwood, but otherwise they are strikingly good.

    Josh Kirby’s covers are arresting, but generally frustrating when you try to look deeper into them (which they invite, being so detailed). For my money, the problem was that Pratchett has a strong practical, engineering, streak: his worlds are well-described, self-consistent and coherent. Josh Kirby was more concerned with form than content, and painted what he saw in the books, in his own style, which doesn’t agree with that of most of the readers.

    There is no doubt that Kirby was a consummate draftsman and could produce exceptionally realistic paintings when he felt it was appropriate – some of his Hitchcock covers for Pan (contained in The Garden of Unearthly Delights, a collection of his paintings) show that very well. What you see on the Pratchett covers is exactly what Kirby wanted you to see, as Pratchett said.

  16. Dead Stuff With Big Teeth Says:

    Is that robot…gravid?

  17. A.R.Yngve Says:

    “I am the mighty Robotar! I have come to save you from Sarah Palin!”

  18. Ray P Says:

    So much for the longest undefended border.

  19. anon Says:

    @A.R.Yngve: While I applaud the effort, the giant robot seems to be crushing some of the larger Canadian cities.

  20. GSS ex-noob Says:

    @anon: Yes, robo-leg appears to have done for the border, and robo-foot seems to have taken out Chicago. Meanwhile, everyone in Vancouver has fallen shrieking to their death as the western bit has been upended.

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