Oct 19

Gwaddd.. stop trying to kiss me. Spello Repulse-o!Click for full image

Tim Comments:This cover had me simultaneously going, “I don’t ever want to be spotted with that book,” and, “Awesome, I need to know what’s going on here!”
Published 2008

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: 4.19 out of 10)

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35 Responses to “The Dark World”

  1. A.R.Yngve Says:

    It’s still far less embarrassing than any book cover with the cast of TWILIGHT on it.

  2. A.R.Yngve Says:

    And on another note: Black lady kissing white dude. Cool.

  3. THX 1138 Says:

    “Set a course… for romance!”

  4. A.R.Yngve Says:

    Now, what better way to sell a book than with the blurb “Introduction by Piers Anthony”?

  5. Skuds Sister Says:

    By the author of ‘The Last Mimzy’? Is it just my mind boggling?

  6. Adam Roberts Says:

    Kermit [singing]: halfway up the stairs is the place I crouch down to try and kiss a disgusted-looking woman with dribbly blue magic fumes coming out of her wand.

  7. Tom Noir Says:

    I actually like this one quite a bit! Let me get serious for a moment and explain why:

    1) First of all, the art is well executed. There’s a very good use of light and shadow, the perspective is solid and nobody is in an anatomically improbable position. This alone puts it ahead of 98% of the covers on this site.

    2) Secondly, it’s unexpected. It’s got the usual fantasy cliches of spellcasting witch and buff blonde warrior, but… they’re kissing! And she’s not into it! It makes you want to know more.

    3) Third, it clearly illustrates an actual event in the story.Okay, I haven’t read the book, but this scene is so specific it’s hard to imagine that the artist just made it up out of his or her own head. I can feel pretty sure that if I pick this one up I will, at some point, learn why Sword Dude and Magic Lady are necking awkwardly on a staircase.

    4) It’s not too over-the-top. We see a lot of ‘covers from the story’ that select what is probably the zaniest bit of the book to illustrate. Or they try and pack every oddball character or element into the scene. This is fairly minimalist: there’s just two characters and the scene is intriguing without being a complete WTF moment.

    In summary, if I was a fantasy author this is the kind of cover I would want.

    Alright, I’ll get off my soapbox. We now return you to your regularly scheduled cover snark, already in progress!

  8. Jon Says:

    Is it just me, or does the dude look a bit like Nicholas Cage?

  9. Alessandra Says:

    He was (noted dark fantasist) CL Moore’s husband. This book was originally from 1946, and I gather is actually pretty darn good (Piers Anthony? When you could have gotten Marion Zimmer Bradley’s endorsement?).

    I’m in agreement with Tom Noir here. This cover ain’t bad.

    That said, it did suggest the idle thought,

    “You must remember this,
    That’s one sick wizard kiss …”

  10. Kevin Hunter Says:

    Actually, this cover art is hideous. The title should be further down the length of the book and the Bradbury blurb moved to the ascending staircase.

    “The Last Mimzy”? Oh, my.

    Underneath this travesty is a fairly good adventure in the vein of A. Merritt. Glad I picked it up for $1.00 in a used bookstore in Morristown, TN.

    Nearly all of the “Planet Stories” books from Paizo are atrocious-looking. Look at the cover again — the image looks to be a digital sketch, not a finished piece.

    It’s all less than “meh.”

  11. fred Says:

    The expression on her face looks anything but amorous.

  12. Phil Says:

    Strictly speaking, the co-author (pseudonymously as Lewis Padgett) of “Mimsy Were The Borogoves”.

    THE LAST MIMZY was a dull film written by four people who aren’t fit to clean Henry Kuttner’s shoes.

  13. Muttley Says:

    But it was “based on” the famous Lewis Padgett story.

    If I had to guess, the swordsman has been enthralled by the blue witch who is not impressed by his intentions, which were probably more to do with sticking his sword somewhere. No, the shiny metal one. No, not – – – oh, suit yourself.

  14. Muttley Says:

    Read “Mimsy were the Borogoves” online here

  15. Anti-Sceptic Says:

    The scene had probably started out with two lost lovers finally meeting. But it quickly degraded as the witch noticed the warrior stepping on her best red cape. Women and their clothes….

  16. Nix Says:

    Anti-Sceptic: given that this story was probably half written by C. L. Moore (like everything published under both her and name and his after they got married), I think we can safely say that it does not contain pointless sexism. 🙂

  17. Anti-Sceptic Says:

    @Nix I kid, I kid… 🙂

    I suppose I could have added a “Bud-dum-bum” at the end.

  18. Dead Stuff With Big Teeth Says:


  19. B. Chiclitz Says:

    As soon as he stabs that gargoyle (only visible in embiggened view), this cover’s gonna get even weirder.

  20. Tat Wood Says:

    Great, yet more ‘shocking revelations’ about Harry and Meghan.

  21. fred Says:

    Fantastic Story – Winter 1954, fully scanned. Several good illustrations by Virgil Finlay. Plus an interesting proto global warming article on p.6. Supposedly Dark World was the inspiration for Zelazny’s Amber.

  22. Bruce A Munro Says:

    He really should have spat out the mouthwash before kissing her.

  23. THX 1139 Says:

    I wonder if the typesetter woke up in cold sweats convinced he’d made a terrible error?

  24. JuanPaul Says:

    “Wingardium levigrossa!”

  25. GSS ex-noob Says:

    In 2020 Magick Lady is thinking #MeToo.

    I’m betting on her blue spell winning over his big sword.

    @fred: Thanks for the link. Will read after the Hugos.

  26. B. Chiclitz Says:

    @fred—Ditto thanks on that link. I love the ads. Been a long time since I’ve seen an ad for the Rosicrucians. And I was unfamiliar with the work of Virgil Finlay (just shows my ignorance). Good illustrations for this story.

  27. GSS ex-noob Says:

    I haven’t seen an ad for the Rosicrucians in decades either, but I have been to their Egyptian Museum, which is all factual and nothing mystic at all. (the mystic stuff is off to the side) The replica tomb is cool. Has one of the few Cleopatra statues.

  28. GSS ex-noob Says:

    Well, that was a swell story. Way better than anything Piers Anthony ever wrote. It deserved a better (or at least different, or no) intro.

    Cover does show a scene in the book although she has the hots for him.

    Definitely a *major* inspiration for Amber.

    (The proto-global-warming thing is spot on. Planet heating up due to excess carbon dioxide. Known back in 1954!)

  29. Bruce A Munro Says:

    First calculated in the 1890s!,_1896

    (At the time they thought this might be a _good_ thing, with typical turn of the 20th century We’ll-grow-giant-mangoes-in-Michigan optimism.)

  30. fred Says:

    @GSS ex-noob – Your Hugos mention = SYFY article on winners = retro 1944 awards = Killdozer! by Theodore Sturgeon = Maybe the 1974 made for tv movie which I haven’t seen since it first aired but still remembered? = GOOGLE = Amazon = on sale for under $10 = order = eagerly awaiting Clint Walker and co. vs a space alien possessed piece of heavy equipment.

    I see Moore/Kuttner got nominated but didn’t win.

    There’s an EMSH on p.110 of my original link. That’s some non Pulpish cleavage there EMSH.

  31. GSS ex-noob Says:

    @Bruce: Arrhenius was a smart guy. As a former chemistry major, I heard a lot about him.

    @fred: Mr. x-n is also very fond of the “Killdozer” movie too. Let us know how it holds up nowadays. I probably haven’t seen it since then, or at least since the early 80s, though we have the story in a Sturgeon collection. He worked as a bulldozer operator so knew his stuff.

    I wouldn’t have guessed Emsh on that p. 110 art. The alien, yes, but not the people.

  32. GSS ex-noob Says:


    As mentioned, I looked at this volume last night. Original art by William Timmons.

  33. Bruce A Munro Says:

    @GSS ex-noob: ties into science fiction in that he also came up with the theory of life travelling through space in spore form: “Arrhenius spores”cropped up a number of times over the years in early science fiction (including a short story I’d love to find online just from the title: P Schuyler Miller’s “The Arrhenius Horror.”)

  34. GSS ex-noob Says:

    @Bruce: I think he gets name-checked in a Pern book for that.

  35. Tor Mented Says:

    BTW: I believe Killdozer is available on YouTube. At least I have it in my “watch later” queue. Haven’t watched it, so I can’t vouch for quality of the print.
    I’ve wanted to see it ever since I learned that Marvel comic did an adaptation.

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