Jun 30

Ah to roll around in treasure while touching my nipples... a god's life!Click for full image

Dorian’s Art Direction: What do you mean, there are no scantily clad women in the story? No werewolf? No heaps of treasure? No weird monster consisting entirely of teeth and wings? Ah, who cares? No-one ever looks at these things anyway.
Published 1993

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: 6.83 out of 10)

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17 Responses to “The Case of the Toxic Spell Dump”

  1. THX 1138 Says:

    Frank Drebin: “Hey, is that your book cover or did you just throw up in the seat next to you?”

  2. SI Says:

    Dr. Rumack: I am serious, and don’t call me Shirley.

  3. Nix Says:

    Even its mood is wrong. The story is an increasingly desperate madcap rush from beginning to end, full of things falling apart, not a moment’s rest for the EPA bureaucrat.

    The cover… the cover would actually go quite well with some of Liz Williams’s Detective Inspector Chen stories. Shame they wouldn’t be written for another fifteen years.

    I suspect this is really a case of publisher confusion. The story’s *so* different from everything else Turtledove has written that they just didn’t know how to cover it.

  4. Phil Says:

    I couldn’t really make out what was going on with this cover, as the photo is blurry. Then I Googled for clearer images…and I still can’t make out what’s going on. This is what the word “mess” was invented for.

  5. Zycrow Says:

    No…no, I’m pretty sure that’s just a regular dump.

  6. James Says:

    You can see more going on here, not that it helps

  7. James Says:

    Is this what you get if you lick the cover of The Martian Way

  8. Smith Says:

    Ah, yes, a toxic spell dump. I had a bad case of that after I ate at Gandalf’s Curry House and Shisha Lounge.

  9. fred Says:

    Love the ‘spell dump” font. And if that is from 1993 that must be about 10 billions words ago for Turtledove.

  10. arch9enius Says:

    I had a Grey Goo Apocolypse once, but let’s not go there.

  11. A.R.Yngve Says:

    “Toxic Spell Dump” is a great name for a rock band.

  12. Dalton H. Says:

    The censorship sheep are on standby.

  13. Domini Says:

    …”Toxic Spell Dump”?

    I don’t think it’s the *cover art* that’s bad here.

  14. A.R.Yngve Says:

    Given the desperation of this cover (the editor said “Make it sexy — at ANY COST!”), I wonder what would’ve happened if the same publisher had released THE HUNGER GAMES or THE MARTIAN…

  15. GSS noob Says:

    It’s a hideous cover, but a delightful little book. It ought to have been better known, but I suspect the cover drove the possible audience away in droves.

    It’s a madcap comedy that just happens to be fantasy, with good puns and rather clever interaction between various pantheons. Recommended, particularly if you’re familiar with the geography of Los Angeles, about which there are many jokes.

    An ebook version will save you from the opprobium of your fellow bus riders. Honest to Ghu, it’s no wonder BAEN! has always been big on ebooks; it’s the only way they’d ever get any female readers.

  16. Ryan Says:

    I am pretty sure that I bought this book when it first came out and was bitterly disappointed to find that the story was ENTIRELY unrelated to the cover.

    So Baen’s cover tactics worked to perfection in at least this case.

  17. GSS ex-noob Says:

    I bought it in spite of the cover — I think Harry read from it at a con that year, so I got the content before I had to face the cover.

    I’ve read it a couple of times since. Despite being fantasy, it’s surprisingly realistic for much of the book, and the magic system is entirely logical. It parallels the real world the whole way. Angel City has terrible air quality because of commuting. Not smog from cars, but lint from the flying carpets, of which one brand is (of course) Ahura Mazda.

    Is the entire world in peril and only Our Hero (a Jew) and his pals (a Christian minister, a guy who worships Perkunas, etc.) can save it? Duh.

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