Oct 31

You dirty minded freaks! She's clearly not my type. I'm more of a brunette alien floating whale.Click for full SHAMEFUL image

TomM Comments: The horror. The horror!
Published 1978

Our eyes and minds today protected by Hummingbird Whale!
As requested by our wonderful Facebook followers!

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: 6.62 out of 10)

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25 Responses to “Floating Worlds”

  1. THX 1138 Says:

    Security! We have a streaker on the Floating World!

  2. Tom Noir Says:

    George Lucas REALLY needs to stop tampering with the original trilogy. I liked it fine without giant frogships and the gratuitous nudity!

  3. Alessandra Says:

    I bet Ursula Le Guin and Arrhur C. Clark never got book covers with frog-zeppelins menacing topless pinups.

    I always wonder about covers with carefully detailed female torsos with no hands or feet.

  4. Tom M Says:

    The frog-zeppelin thing had me hypnotised for ages, it’s really grotesque. I found this in an otherwise-respectable* antiques shop. My girlfriend hissed “put it down!” in a very embarrassed manner while I sneakily photographed it.

    * actually, now that I think of it, they DID have several framed photographs of Hitler in one room…

  5. Liza Says:

    Love the new censor bar! Fly, hummingbird whale, fly! (with that mass-to-wing ratio, it needs all the encouragement it can get)

  6. Jane Says:

    She has the legs of a sumo wrestler. Odd (but hardly the oddest thing about this cover).
    The reviewer at the Tribune was naming the only two science fiction writers he had ever heard of.

  7. fred Says:

    They are neither floating nor big enough to be called worlds. Planetoids in a Lagrange point maybe.

  8. Phil Says:

    I still can’t decide whether that’s Thunderbird 2 or a bullfrog.

  9. Anti-Sceptic Says:

    Editor: “What? Sales are low? Ok, let’s throw a naked girl on the cover. That should help.”

  10. Nix Says:

    Book written by woman and with female protagonist. Book passes the Bechdel test with flying colours, mostly consisting of complex politics. However, protagonist gives birth at one point, so obviously the cover image is entirely relevant and has nothing grotesque about it at all.

    Or something.

  11. Tom Noir Says:

    The fact that there’s apparently a mask and rebreather apparatus beside the woman intrigues me. At first glance you might think they were her clothes, but no. Unless she’s the kind of girl who forgets to put on a shirt but remembers her gas mask.

  12. cluebyfour Says:

    Because nothing screams NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER! more than a nubile young woman about to be ravished by a giant alien frog.

  13. A.R.Yngve Says:

    Alessandra asked:
    “I always wonder about covers with carefully detailed female torsos with no hands or feet.”

    -Because in the Fuuu-tuure, people will teleport around and they no longer need hands nor feet!
    …well, at least that’s the editors’ excuse.

  14. Green Says:

    Because the first thing I’d if I found a giant alien egg-bearing catfish over my head is check to see if I put on deodorant in the morning.

  15. Dead Stuff With Big Teeth Says:

    Lured by the bait, our quarry–the wild Donald Trump–hove in to view.

  16. anon Says:

    @Alessandra, @Jane: Could be about golf..

  17. Dead Stuff With Big Teeth Says:

    If you’re having girl problems, I feel bad for you, son. I got 99 problems but a space frog with supernumerary eyes coasting over a planet-sized gum rubber ain’t one.

  18. B. Chiclitz Says:

    The unedited blurb:
    “On a par with Ursula Le Guin. Or Arthur C. Clark. I forget which.”

  19. GSS ex-noob Says:

    “Or somebody else with a tripartite name. Alfred E. Neumann, maybe?”

  20. Bruce A Munro Says:

    Hey, hands and feet are hard to draw, and only a small percentage of SF illustrators are serial killers with a collection of appendages.

    I actually like the zeppelin frog spider: it sort of says “alien worlds ahead!” (It may be lying, admittedly)

    Long may the hummingbird-whale reign!

  21. fred Says:

    Making love in the afternoon with Cecilia
    Up in my bedroom (making love)
    I got up to wash my face
    When I come back to bed someone’s taken my place

  22. B. Chiclitz Says:

    @ fred—GSS! let’s continue into the chorus . . .

    🎼 Cecilia, you’re breaking my eyes
    You’re shaking my mind with this sci-fi
    Oh, Cecilia, on my giant knees
    I’m begging you please to go Baen
    Go to Baen
    Ba-ba-ba-ba-ba-ba-ba, ba-ba-ba-ba-ba-baen
    🎶 🎶

  23. Tor Mented Says:

    The cover elements are very isolated from one another. I am guessing that the original cover featured the hummingbird whale flying/looming over something else. When it didn’t sell, the artist said “what the hell,” painted out the bottom third and added a naked woman. Quick sale.

  24. Tor Mented Says:

    @fred and BC: GSSs.

  25. THX 1139 Says:

    @Tor: The hummingbird whale was a briefly-lasting predecessor to space sheep, slightly less seen than C.S. Lewis but slightly more popular than The Two Ronnies. Click on the image to see the more shameful original cover.

    Personally this reminds me of THAT scene in Galaxy of Terror that you can’t mention in polite company. And even in impolite company is pushing it.

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