Jul 08

Future fashions are so fun.Click for full image

Scott’s Art Direction: So there’s this rocket, that’s also a dude with an afro, taking off through a thundercloud that’s coming out of a water faucet, and the cloud’s holding some sort of city or something. Just trust me.
Published 1976

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: 7.18 out of 10)

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22 Responses to “The Futurological Congress”

  1. THX 1138 Says:

    Something wrong with the word “futuristic”?

  2. Nix Says:

    Well, the title is recognisably the same in Polish, and when Michael Kandel chooses a translation you are obliged to agree with it because he’s so sodding awesome. (It may simply be that words ending ‘ological’ were In in Poland that decade.)

    But boyoboy what a silly cover. However, _The Futurological Congress_ is pretty absurdist itself, at least at the start, and by the time it turns unremittingly bleak you might want to look at the cover just to brighten up every now and again.

    However: number of spaceships in the book: 0. Number of city-supporting clouds emerging from faucets: 0. Number of robots: lots and lots (at least at first), yet they don’t have a single one on the cover. I suspect the artist heard the title and thought he should draw a cover appropriate to a futurological congress, when that’s just the framing story…

  3. SI Says:

    Don’t you just hate it when your cloud city hat runs out of water. It’s such a pain to refill.

  4. fred Says:

    Metaphorical mushroom cloud or a molded jello salad. I suggest the Futurological Congress empanel a special blue-ribbon panel to investigate the matter until the controversy blows over.

  5. jerk of all trades Says:

    I see somebody had their dreams of a career doing record-sleeve art crushed.

  6. Smith Says:

    It has to be said, though. Sweet design with the “a”s in the author’s name.

  7. Smith Says:

    Jamiroquoi’s new hat was just going too far.

  8. A.R.Yngve Says:

    Cover notwithstanding, the novel itself is great. Stanislaw Lem goes Philip K. Dick.

  9. A.R.Yngve Says:

    Cover recycled from the booklet “The Experience of Drinking a Pan-Galactic Gargleblaster.”

  10. Jorl Says:

    Futurology is a real word though – “the study of possible futures”, as opposed to futuristic, which is “of or relating to the future”. The Futurological Congress actually happens in the book, and is a convention of futurologists…

    Admittedly, only the very start of the book has anything to do with said congress.

  11. Dalton H. Says:

    “Purple haze, all in my brain.”

  12. RP Says:

    @THX 1138. The title refers to a congress of futurologists, i.e., of people who try to scientifically predict the future, not a futuristic congress, which would be a congress with fins and ray guns. Just as a congress (or convention) of archaeologists might be called an “archaeological congress” rather than a “prehistoric congress.”

  13. THX 1138 Says:

    OK, OK, I get the idea, everyone! Just sounds like somebody gargling, that’s all.

  14. Anna T. Says:

    Aren’t those Goa’uld ships?

  15. Dead Stuff With Big Teeth Says:

    How naturopaths treat hydrocephaly.

  16. Jon Says:

    Now I have to dig out my copies of Lem to see what other interesting covers they gave him….

  17. Tat Wood Says:

    The remake of ‘A Boy and his Dog’ starring Crystal Tipps and Alistair…

  18. fred Says:

    If you look at this cover using another definition of the word ‘congress’ break out the space sheep.

  19. Bruce A Munro Says:

    Rocketmen with their heads in the clouds are always building castles in the air.

  20. B. Chiclitz Says:

    Good to see that even in the futurological futuristic future plumbing will still be a matter of old fashioned clunky pipes, valves, hoses and, no doubt, cracks in the ass.

  21. GSS ex-noob Says:

    I remember this series of paperbacks. My high school had them.

    Yes, Lem’s stuff was surreal and absurdist, but… not like this.

    I lived a long way from the public library, so it was good the school had an excellent SF collection, but it did mean I was at the mercy of 70s Wacky Cover Art. Which, of course, I literally had to read on the school bus and often make sure Mom didn’t see them.

    You will be unsurprised I didn’t date much!

  22. Max Bathroom Says:

    The really frightening thing is that I’ve seen a paperback of this Lem with an even worse cover…

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