Feb 20

What happens when your space chest shaver... goes bad!!Click for full image

Diggler’s Art Direction: What we need is a man in a hot tub doing some New Wave Impressionistic dance moves for his girlfriend on the video phone. Meanwhile we’ll have him being squirted by red dye for artistic effect… What do you think?
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: 8.24 out of 10)

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32 Responses to “The Patchwork Girl”

  1. THX 1138 Says:

    Nude paintball? Hmm, kinky…

    Also, isn’t this the bloke from the previous day’s cover? Gets about, doesn’t he?

  2. Phil Says:

    He’s seen the Patchwork Girl reflected in his shaving mirror, and it’s caused him to cut himself. Very badly. In an unusual place.

    Hey, let’s prove it’s SF by joining the letters of the author’s name together like the letters in the Star Wars logo.

  3. Phil Says:

    Hey, make your own Star Wars-styled Larry Niven logo here:

  4. Jaouad Says:

    In the future, Barbra Streisand will be watching YOU in the bathroom!

  5. Alessandra Kelley Says:

    Those hands need some help.

    Does it look to you like one of the old abstract sf covers of the ’50s – ’60s got laid down on the floor, turned 3-D, and made into the environment for this one?

  6. Jane Says:

    Like the strategically-placed splash…And is that a ting around Bubble Lady?

  7. fred Says:

    That is one hell of a richochet shot.

  8. A.R.Yngve Says:

    [Fanfare – opening crawl]

    Episode XIII: A NEW BOOK

    It is a time of shoddy pocket-book releases.
    Editors, releasing out of tiny offices in New York,
    try to keep alive the SF boom that began with
    George Lucas’s blockbuster movies.
    art threatens to wreck the SF surge and end
    all hopes for publishers…

    [PAN DOWN to midtown New York, where a skinny, frightened artist is chased down the streets by a much larger, irate editor who shouts: “You call this a professional cover? You fink! You fraud!]

  9. SI Says:

    Ah, the ‘Galactic Space League of YMCA haters’ strike again.

  10. Hep C Says:

    There is an unforgivable omission of the ting! tag here.

  11. Yoss Says:

    You can tell by the forearm development that he’s a lefty. I’ll err on the side propriety and not speculate on his hot tub activities.

  12. Jerk of all Trades Says:

    The water was so fine that it caused him to spew red light from his mouth and chest in ecstacy. Observing these carnal activities via camera is some red-haired lady with no sense of shame whatsoever.

  13. The Tag Wizard Says:

    @Hep C – Not sure if it’s Ting! or Lens Flare! Well pointed out, I’ll add both!

  14. anon Says:

    “What we need is a man in a hot tub doing some New Wave Impressionistic dance moves for his girlfriend on the video phone. Meanwhile we’ll have him being squirted by red dye for artistic effect… What do you think?”

    Not good enough. Make that boiling water, make the dancer a Freddy Krueger look-a-like and surround the tub with futuristic, puddle-like basins.
    Then we have a deal.

  15. Anti-Sceptic Says:

    I Think this guy was last seen in Madonna’s “Vogue” video.

  16. Lee M Says:

    Guy gets shot in the bath in a lunar dome. It may be a lousy cover, but it is a scene from the story.

  17. Anna T. Says:

    He’ll have a nasty bruise on his chest from that paintball. Seriously, there’s a reason no one plays paintball starkers. And if he was trying to avoid getting shot, he shouldn’t have leaped out of the bath.

    He also appears to have a painting of a cat girl on his wall. I’m surprised no one else noticed that.

  18. Perry Armstrong Says:

    His ‘little spaceman’ must’ve been flailing about nineteen to the dozen to cause the water to become so frothy. Is this a common physical reaction to being hit by a force beam?

  19. A.R.Yngve Says:

    This one needs a “Jazz Hands” tag.

  20. anon Says:

    Why did that rock shoot him?

  21. Tat Wood Says:

    @anon: it’s not a rock, it’s a mirror made of ice from which a laser beam has been reflected (melting the ice) so the investigators track the trajectory to the wrong place. As Lee M said it’s a scene from the book. This was a question that someone who picked Niven as a ‘Mastermind’ subject couldn’t remember and I did, and I was smug about it for weeks.

  22. Dead Stuff With Big Teeth Says:

    @Tag Wizard: can we tag Tat Wood with a ‘Smirky McSmug’ tag somehow?

  23. B. Chiclitz Says:

    Unlike this artist, whoever created the “Patchwork Girl” cover was not told he or she was good at hands while in art school. Or foreshortening either. So I’m glad the shrinkage factor caused by the water has removed the need to show his “little spaceman.” It would no doubt be a bit embarrassing.

  24. Tom Noir Says:


    This is the literary equivalent of when movie trailers say “FROM THE STUDIO THAT BROUGHT YOU HARRY POTTER”

  25. Dead Stuff With Big Teeth Says:

    What I want to know is, how did the blood pressure from his pulmonary veins shatter his sternum?

  26. JuanPaul Says:

    @dswbt He was wearing one of those heart plugs that were so popular in Lynch’s Dune.

  27. Bibliomancer Says:

    Notice the hot and cold taps. This was probably some failed ad copy for a bathroom faucet company.

  28. Raoul Says:

    A reminder to never use electronic devices while taking a bath in the sink.

  29. Dead Stuff With Big Teeth Says:

    @Raoul: A reminder, if you like big butts, to never lie about it.

  30. fred Says:

    I am befuddled by the possible uses for the other 3 water basins. Is this a Demolition Man 3 clamshells thing?

  31. B. Chiclitz Says:

    From the official Kohler website. It’s really funny to read this ad copy with today’s cover in mind. . . .

    What Inspires You?
    Every great work of art starts with inspiration. At Kohler, our designers and artisans find inspiration everywhere, from the color of a vintage ceramic glaze to the shape of a flower petal. Every piece in our Artist Editions collection is a truly inspired creation, beautifully handcrafted and designed to help tell the story of you. Because we know that your sink isn’t just a sink. It’s an expression of your own personal inspiration.

    This guy needs help telling the story of him. Because his sink isn’t just a sink, it’s a homicidal killer.

  32. GSS ex-noob Says:

    Technically a scene from the book, however the decor wasn’t so… round and blobby.

    Other covers for this book show more of the titular woman, but the guy is always in this position. At least the other covers only show a nice neat laser beam, not a paintball sploosh and excess water.

    If we had a “sploosh” tag, it would go on this book.

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