Aug 01

Hanging by a testicle and thread.Click for full image

Mary Comments: Where to even begin…?
Published 1971

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: 8.91 out of 10)

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28 Responses to “The Wind Whales of Ishmael”

  1. Adam Roberts Says:

    ‘Incredible’ is doing a lot of work in the cover copy, there.

  2. Tim Says:

    There I was, hanging from a testicle…..

  3. Phil Says:

    …so is that what happens when you suffer from Moby Dick?

  4. Tom Noir Says:

    What other classics of literature need sci-fi sequels?

    -Captain Toad and the Space Badgers (Wind in the Willows)
    -Alice in Betelgeuse (Alice in Wonderland)
    -Edward Rochester, Time Traveler (Jane Eyre)
    -The Cybernetic Hobbit

  5. THX 1138 Says:

    Hell of a time to come out without your shoes. But what’s the huge hairy thing taking up the top half of the cover? Was Moby Dick a massive Tribble?

  6. Jon Says:

    The cover is fantastic. But I think the real gem here is the entire concept of this book.

    First, you’re all “Hmm…odd cover, not sure what’s going on here. I guess those are wind whales.”

    Then you get to the subtext at the bottom: “Science fiction’s incredible sequel to Moby Dick…WTF?!?”

    Please, someone…tell me you’ve read this.

  7. fred Says:

    Call me dead.

  8. SI Says:

    I like the way at the end of Moby Dick it was open for the obvious sequel we see above.

  9. Scott B Says:

    I think Tom Noir’s onto something here. I for one look forward to reading:
    “A Tale of Two Dimensions”
    “The Great Gatsborg”
    “Little Green Women”
    “W.R.A.T.H. — Day of the Grapes”

  10. Dalton H. Says:

    A Moby Dick sequel? I rather see a reboot.

  11. Don Hilliard Says:

    Mary beat me to it – this was in my next stack of submissions to GSS!

    Aside from the giant floating gonad, if this is supposed to be Ishmael, why is he a dead ringer for Kirk Douglas as Ned Land in 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea?

    (Oh, wait…it’s a Philip Jose Farmer novel, so Ishmael and Ned are probably really the same person…)

  12. jerk of all trades Says:

    At the end of Moby Dick… IN SPACE!, Ishmael escapes by clinging to the back-end of Queequeg’s giant floating eyeball-coffin-buoy, and nearly succumbs to space madness before being rescued by a starship full of Cat-People.

    Unless this cover has nothing to do with the contents of the book, in which case, WOW.

  13. Ian Says:

    Yee gads… all this and one of his pant legs has shrunk. He is not having a good day.

  14. Jami Says:

    You know, with as red as that thing is, it just does not look like a testicle to me. More like a boil on someone’s butt. A big, hairy boil.

  15. jerk of all trades Says:

    I just decided it was easier to declare it a flying eyeball with a dangling optic nerve. Though I suppose it could be some kind of space-whaling harpoon, flying straight at the hairy underbelly of whatever the hell the they’re hunting.

  16. Anti-Sceptic Says:

    In this book Moby Dick has managed to evolve wings and is now able to fly. He is the scourge of the skies! And the guy there has obviously ripped out one of Moby’s testicles from his hairy crotch….Nothing special going on here.

  17. fish Says:

    The fact that the guy on the cover is portrayed using the design tropes usually used for Ned Land in book illustrations and movies- even down to the hair- makes it even better.

    (Ned Land = guy in “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” who was NOT AT ALL HAPPY to be going on a strange submarine voyage; his name is a pun on “needs land”. This sort of scenario is the sort of thing that would have annoyed that character…)

  18. Kyle Says:

    Egads, he looks like a surly teenage version of Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes.

  19. Jane Says:

    I’m seeing a big giant ovary, not a testicle, and he’s dangling from the fallopian tube. Is that a ghostly sailing ship to the left of his knees?

  20. Dead Stuff With Big Teeth Says:

    In the Great State of Texas, all women’s reproductive health care centres are required by law to have this painted across the front door.

  21. RachelJ Says:

    @Dalton H. Actually I looked this up and it really is a sequel: Ishmael, lone survivor of the doomed whaling ship Pequod, falls through a rift in time and space…

  22. rev Says:

    Oh my god what the hell is that??????

  23. Jon T. Says:

    Since as far as I can tell no one else has been willing to fess up in slightly more than 4 years, yes, I have read this, along with a few other lesser Philip Jose Farmer in a similar vein – The Stone God Awakens, Two Hawks from Earth are titles that come to mind.

    IIRC, the cover above may not be a specially accurate depiction of any particular scene in the book but it’s reflective enough of the contents to indicate someone, even if not the artist, did read the book.

  24. anon Says:

    Cull me, Ishmael.

  25. Tat Wood Says:

    @Jon T.: It’s very close to a scene from Farmer’s ‘Kilgore Trout’ novel “Venus on the Half-Shell”. If they’d depicted the actual scene the book would have been pulped.

  26. B. Chiclitz Says:

    @Tat Wood—am I missing something? Some deep humor inside reference thing? Aren’t Kilgore Trout and Venus on the Half-Shell Vonnegut’s creations?

  27. Tat Wood Says:

    @B. Chiclitz: Yes, but Jules Verne created Phileas Fogg and Herman Melville did ‘Moby Dick’. Farmer was always ‘completing’ other people’s work.
    Vonnegut was not amused. Neither was I when I read it, for other reasons.

  28. B. Chiclitz Says:

    Thanks, @Tat—I always learn stuff from you. I figured there was more to it than my uninformed first take. Now I am a deeper, hipper person, for at least the next hour.

    The only Farmer novel I’ve read is Riders of the Purple Wage whose title, now that I think of it, is right in the same vein of obvious parody.

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