Jul 15

Centaur's really do hate Strawberry Blondes!Click for full image

Art Direction: Well with the name Alpha Centauri our cover is basically spelt out for us… Centaur taking a point blank shot at a red headed girl straight out of Sunday school while she rides a horse. Make sure to make her jumper a timeless classic, something you could look back at in a hundred years and say… that never went out of fashion.
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: 6.83 out of 10)

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41 Responses to “Alpha Centauri”

  1. jerk of all trades Says:

    “Hey! You! Gobsmacked girl in the sweater! GET OFF MY WIFE!!”

  2. Adam Roberts Says:

    I think this cover is freakier than you’re giving it credit. That’s no regular white stallion: it’s a two-headed horse! With one head a regular horsehead, and the other head a centaur-archer! Wild!

  3. THX 1138 Says:

    The war between the Centaurs and the 80s catalogue models was pretty one-sided.

  4. Pat Says:

    Do a lot of artist’s models suffer from crippling skeletal deformities? Should we start a charity for them?

  5. Tom Noir Says:

    That centaur could stand to lose a few pounds.

    Not that I have rippling abs myself, but I don’t run around with my shirt off all day.

  6. fred Says:

    The lack of flyswatters in the depiction of centaurs has always bothered me. It’s always bows quivers and ravished or about to be ravished women. But no sight of probably the most useful thing a centaur would carry.

  7. Pat Says:

    Centaurs were known to be expert herbalists, fred, the most famous being Chiron. I am sure they would have a good horsefly repellent. Wish I knew what it was.

  8. Tom Noir Says:

    If horseflies are drawn to horses, does that mean dragonflies love dragons?

  9. SI Says:

    This cover could have been greatly improved with the inclusion of a unicorn.

  10. Smith Says:

    What? It’s “Alpha Centauri”? I thought you said you wanted the cover “a little centaur-ey”! Oh well, maybe no-one will notice…

  11. Pat Says:

    Tom, I thank the gods I am a boy, damselflies are huge.

  12. Don Hilliard Says:

    Ah, the never-seen series finale for Follyfoot.

  13. Dalton H. Says:


  14. Phil Says:

    Hey, Dalton H, that’s my line!

    I bet that centaur wishes he had little mini-mes for hands. Each one could carry it’s own bow and arrow.

  15. Jami Says:

    @Pat – Actually Chiron had a completely different origin then the other centaurs. They came about when a human king wanted to get with Hera, but Zeus wasn’t having none of that with his sister-wife, even though he was a major cheater. So he sent a cloud that looked like Hera to the king, who raped the fake-Hera. The cloud then gave birth to the centaurs. And they weren’t good people. They thought nothing of raping women and little boys and probably didn’t smell too good either.

    Meanwhile Chiron was fathered by Cronus who had taken the form of a horse to force himself on the nymph Philyra.

    And I know Wikipedia has it somewhat different, but I went through a huge Greek myth obsession as a child and read a lot of them, repeatedly, until I had them pretty well memorized. Not just the cleaned up versions we got in elementary school, but the “real deal” ones.

    Anyway, any idiot can edit Wikipedia.

  16. Tamfuwing Says:

    The centaur is aiming past the girl, at something they’re both looking at. Something that’s probably more interesting than both centaur and girl, and should have been on the cover instead.

  17. Anti-Sceptic Says:

    Well officer, I was riding old Betsy today when out of nowhere this half-horse-half-man named “Alpha” robbed us at arrow-point. He took my wallet, my watch, my necklace, and even Betsy’s good shoes!

  18. Tom Noir Says:

    “Shot in the head,
    And you’re to blame!
    You give centaurs
    A BAD NAME.”

  19. Tat Wood Says:

    The centaur-assassin has been sent back in time to prevent Meryl Streep from growing up into the funny-accent champion she did in our time. Or maybe it was just people who saw ‘Mamma Mia’ and thought ‘this cannot be allowed to occur’.

  20. FeârofMúsïc Says:

    Another cover that would have been far more compelling if the artist had painted the situation just a few moments into the future.

  21. DaveM Says:

    @Tatwood, more likely for her accent in Evil Angels “A dingo stowl moi bay-boi!”
    (Shudder, it’s almost in dick van dyke territory)

  22. RachelJ Says:

    Google Books synopsis:
    “Transported to another world where a merciless people are determined to obliterate a race of noble centaurs, Becky is given the opportunity to save them from extinction.”
    The horse is also called Becky, apparently.

  23. Dead Stuff With Big Teeth Says:

    ‘You put on some zinc oxide THIS INSTANT, young lady! Or else!’

  24. Dead Stuff With Big Teeth Says:

    Website of note The Chive have put together a gallery of familiar faces for your amusement this morning…

  25. A.R.Yngve Says:

    The blurb “The kind of book that should be around for hundreds of years!” sounds a bit weird.

    A book will physically last for centuries if no one ever reads it.

  26. Bibliomancer Says:

    What young girl doesn’t like to read classical fantasy? A perfect Christmas book gift for your 12-year-old niece.

  27. Raoul Says:

    Alpha Centauri? More like Proxima Centauri.

  28. Dead Stuff With Big Teeth Says:

    ‘Ten says I can put an arrow into the neighbor’s window and have it bounce off.’

    ‘You’re on!’

  29. fred Says:

    The big head is just plain creepy on this other cover.

  30. Tat Wood Says:

    Now that it’s all right to use parochial British references and Doctor Who jokes:

    Panto season is upon us, so Stuart Fell and Ysanne Churchman have donned the Neddy costume.

  31. Anna T. Says:

    @Raoul: You win. I mean, yes, Centaurus does in fact mean “centaur”, but using α Centauri – which, for most rational people, will conjure up thoughts of space – as the title of your generic fantasy novel will disappoint people. It certainly disappoints me.

  32. JuanPaul Says:

    Don’t ever borrow a centaur’s favorite sweater without asking.

  33. Ray P Says:

    Centaurs appear to be the fantasyland version of Hell’s Angels. She must have stumbled on their meth-lab in the woods.

  34. B. Chiclitz Says:

    @Ray P—yeah, and from the look of the inflamed, distended nostrils, I’d say that horse has been snorting lines too. Now that he’s all wired up, I’ll bet he goes after that Centaur.

    “Go ahead! I take your fucking arrows! You think you kill me with arrows? I take your fucking arrows! Go ahead!”

  35. Vyrmis Says:

    I actually feel kind of sorry for this book, and the author, after reading that cover blurb.

    @RachelJ: and after reading that, I feel less sorry for it. ‘Transported to a magic land’ stories are the worst.

  36. Ray P Says:

    @Chiclitz never mix horse and angel dust.

  37. RachelJ Says:

    @Vyrmis. Oh, some aren’t bad. The premise does tend to encourage lazy writing, though: “Help! What is this strange world I’ve fallen into? What’s going on? -Nevermind, I’ll find some local to explain all the rules to the reader- er, I mean, me.”

    No doubt this particular centaur has got fed up with having to deliver worldbuilding exposition to every twit who happens to stumble through a magical portal. Enough is enough!

  38. Dead Stuff With Big Teeth Says:

    Incidentally, just what is that backdrop supposed to be? A set of floor-length curtains, slightly faded?

  39. HappyBookworm Says:

    Centaur: This is your deathday! I, the alpha male centaur will kill you!

    Sweater girl: What? Sorry, did you say something?

  40. classicOz Says:

    The book will be around for hundreds of years only if it’s printed on quality paper, otherwise about 50 years.

  41. GSS ex-noob Says:

    Madeline L’Engle: swell writer, terrible prophet.

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