Jan 16

Stage magicians get all the chicks...especially when they have a horse.Click for full image

Click for new Hi-Def Image

Alessandra’s Art Direction: I want the main characters looking soulful, or at least sulky. I want the woman on the left missing her frontal lobes, but balance it out with piles of sausage curls on the woman below. Give the woman on the right a freakishly small body and no flesh on her arms, no ribcage, in fact no anatomy at all. Dress them in brightly colored Renaissance fair castoff costumes — don’t forget the purple! Oh, and put in a horse because you do them so well. Make its wings as sloppy as you like; we’re going to cover them with the title anyway.
Published 1978

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: 6.91 out of 10)

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27 Responses to “To Ride Pegasus”

  1. A.R.Yngve Says:

    To match the cover “art”, the book title above the author’s name should simply be replaced with the words “TO BACKSTAB”.

  2. A.R.Yngve Says:

    Alternate cover blurb:
    How much do our editors despise Anne McCaffrey? THIS much!”

  3. THX 1138 Says:

    Don’t tell me, they’re all related, or look it. Even the horse, who’s having a bad wing day.

  4. Phil Says:

    It’s a decent enough horse, but not much of a pegasus. Where exactly do the ‘wings’ attach? One of the women has a touch of the Jennifer Saunders.

  5. Alessandra Kelley Says:

    I forgot to mention — It’s four shortish stories, each about a telepath, and three of the main characters are women and really, really important. So be sure to put a man front and center and make the women look like his adjuncts.

  6. Dead Stuff With Big Teeth Says:

    @Alessandra: in his defense, he doesn’t look so keen on being in the picture either. “Just pull me out so I can get on with me bloody day!”

  7. Alessandra Kelley Says:

    I have come to the conclusion that Darrell K. Sweet, the cover artist, must have been the nicest, friendliest guy, a really diligent worker, and a dream to work with. Because his art seems to be everywhere despite being … not so good. There has to be a reason.

  8. fred Says:

    Is that a fantasy cover or a prophecy predicting the entire Hairdini product line?

  9. Tom Noir Says:

    Less of a horse, more of a HORSESPLOSION!

  10. Michael Toland Says:

    Apparently Sweet passed away just a little over a month ago, at the age of 77.

  11. B. Durbin Says:

    Alessandra: I have heard reports that he was exactly as you describe, and that he gave a lot of work to charity.

    I really, really need to put together my “Faces of Darrell K. Sweet” post. Because over the course of his career, he only did a few faces.

  12. Power Hydrant Says:

    Hey look, it’s Dr. Orpheus from The Venture Bros.!

  13. Hep C Says:

    Hey, there’s Peggy Bundy on the cover!

  14. Bruce A Munro Says:

    So if the women are the miracle workers, who is the guy? The miracle pimp?

  15. fred Says:

    That title/cover deserves a winged centaur.

  16. Francis Boyle Says:

    Darrell K. Sweet must be some sort of seer, since he’s managed to put Deanna Troi and Beverly Crusher on a cover almost a decade before ST:TNG debuted.

  17. Anna T. Says:

    I can guarantee you that the artist, the late Mr. Sweet, took one look at the title and assumed “this is a work of fantasy”. Did Ms. McCaffrey and/or the publisher forget to mention that despite the psychics, this is actually science fiction set in a ‘verse where psychics are the main method of interstellar travel?

  18. Tor Mented Says:

    This is why you should prune back your Pegasus each spring.

  19. JuanPaul Says:

    Is he handing out Valium?

  20. B. Chiclitz Says:

    So the little poppet in red must be the dummy and he’s the ventriloquist and Dr. Crusher and Deanna Troi are his assistants and nobody is moving their lips, except the horse, who’s actually Mr. Ed in Pegasus drag.

  21. GSS ex-noob Says:

    The woman in blue (Dr. Crusher?) and the sausage-curl lady are twins, right?

    I’m not sure what Pegasus’ wings are made of, but they’re attached to his butt. Or emitted from his butt. Or replaced his butt and possibly his hind legs.

    The title font is readable, yet terrible. The “S” are only partly there, somewhat resembling the “long s” which looks like an F in olde writing. And I really object to the O, which appears to have gone on quite a bender.

    Is there a “Pegasus!” tag? There ought to be.

    @fred, Anna T, and Tor: I concur.

    @B. Chiclitz: That scenario makes more sense of the “art” than the attempt to pair this cover with the actual contents of the book.

    This is another one I picked up at the grocery store. Thank Ghu my mom was also fannish, so she knew the covers didn’t reflect the quality of the book. She still gave me the Spock eyebrow at some of them.

  22. Tat Wood Says:

    Here they are in concert later that same year although it’s a fictitious Irish entry from the 90s that I think of when looking at this

  23. GSS ex-noob Says:

    @Tat: Considering Anne was living in Ireland in 1978, it’s a fair cop. Particularly that first one.

    I must disagree strongly with the opinion of the person who posted that on YouTube. Daresay I would have disagreed with it in 1978, too. Especially with the ascot, which was daft even in those disco years.

  24. Bruce A Munro Says:

    @Anna T: I had the impression Mr. Sweet usually made the effort to have the cover illustration actually match something in the book. But 1978 was fairly early in his career: maybe it wasn’t until later that he became so meticulous.

    @Tor Mented: to get a horse off the ground, let alone a horse with someone riding on it, is gonna take one hell of a wing surface. Don’t prune back too sharply.

    @GSS ex-noob: perhaps it’s a Flying Wing model horse. It’s all wings from the torso back, which would definitely cut down on the weight.

  25. Verylatetotheparty Says:

    @GFF ex-noob 21:

    What’f wrong with the olde long ‘f’? I think it lookf claffy and fophifticated.

  26. Hammy Says:

    I probably just need new glasses, but Mr. Wizard there looks strongly like John Travolta to me. That probably accounts for why he had to show up on a cover with the ST:TNG Triplets….

  27. GSS ex-noob Says:

    @Hammy: his hairline agrees with your thought.

    @VLTTP: I’m laughing my aff off.

    @Bruce: Plausible, particularly considering only a small, slim person could fit between the wings and neck, thus reducing the weight. But how does it land with only two legs? Just stalls out and drops a little above the ground? Oof.

    I looked in Ye Olde Teen Book Collection to see if the physical one would help, but apparently in a fit of sanity in college, I traded this in at our local (quite good) used book store.

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