Jul 26

Sir we're being attacked by a... space t-rex... wow... this is an awesome way to die!Click for larger image

Joachim Comments: Ride that spaceship!
Published 1975

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: 8.96 out of 10)

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71 Responses to “The Second Experiment”

  1. Jaouad Says:

    The Calgary Stampede ain’t got nuthin’ on us.

  2. Rachel J Says:

    If that’s the second experiment, what in space was the first?

  3. Tom Noir Says:

    That’s no moon!

  4. Tom Noir Says:

    The mating rituals of the Tyrannosaurus Rex are now thought to be far more intricate than first believed.

  5. THX 1138 Says:

    Tired of your extreme sports videos, sir? Might I recommend something for the connoisseur?

  6. Smith Says:

    The Imperial Space Armada’s hood ornaments were a little over the top.

  7. Jaouad Says:

    With wings like that, I’m not surprised Space Lizard needed some additional thrust.

  8. Anti-Sceptic Says:

    The First Experiment: A flying T-Rex in space

    Due to a lack of wind in space the scientists were forced to make some alterations…

    The Second Experiment: A flying T-Rex in space with a rocket attached!

  9. Anti-Sceptic Says:

    Is it me, or does the T-Rex look like he’s enjoying himself?

  10. SI Says:

    For some reason I can’t get judas priest – breaking the law out of my head while looking at this!

  11. Smith Says:

    @SI: I have to say I wonder if this one is entering a strange crossover zone between cringeworthy SF book covers and totally kick ass heavy metal album art.

    Good Show, Dude?

  12. Yoss Says:

    For maximum enjoyment, I’m just going to assume that ship is full of cat people.

  13. Dead Stuff With Big Teeth Says:

    @TN, A-S: I would take issue with calling it Tyrannosaurus rex. But when part of my argument incorporates the phrase, ‘Dinosaurs didn’t have bat wings at the nape of their necks,’ the whole thing becomes an exercise in futility.

  14. Sneaky Burrito Says:

    I went to Amazon hoping to find out more about this book. Not with the intention of reading it, mind you. Rather just trying to figure out what the heck someone could be thinking (or smoking?) to generate a cover like this in the first place. Unfortunately, there are only two reviews, both shorter than this comment, and both from the late 1990s. Also, there is a totally different cover image showing on Amazon. The one here is much more entertaining. (Sales rank of 1,946,865, by the way…)

  15. Jerk of all Trades Says:

    “This is your captain speaking. Unfortunately, it appears that we are going to be delayed for takeoff due to unforeseen cover-artist brain fart. Please remain in your seats.”

  16. fred Says:

    Vampire Godzilla w/ Liam Neeson as Van Helsing. How could this not gross billions?

  17. Jerk of all Trades Says:

    Also I just found out that J.O. Jeppson was the future Mrs. Asimov.

  18. Dead Stuff With Big Teeth Says:

    Goodness! This book is the antecedent to another good show featuring a ridiculously bewinged draconian. Here’s a review, and I hope that link works. Sadly, the former book seems to be MUCH less awesome than SI’s soundtrack.

  19. Scott B Says:

    Bat-winged T-Rex menacing a spaceship! I am overwhelmed by the sheer awesome.

  20. Rachel J Says:

    @Sneaky Burrito. I managed to find a few more references. Apparently Space T-Rex is actually a space *dragon* descended from a race of evil “energy beings” from a higher plane, who are battling a “malevolent computer” for control of the galaxy.

  21. Smith Says:

    @RachelJ: Wow. Could it therefore be that the artist had poor command of English, and when asked to paint a space dragon, asked what a “dragon” was, and was told “you know, like a dinosaur. With wings.”

  22. Jaouad Says:

    @Jerk of all Trades: whoa yes. J.O. Jeppson = Janet Asimov

  23. Sneaky Burrito Says:

    @Rachel J: Your research was clearly much more thorough than mine. Though even with the apparent artist’s error in depicting a dragon, I am now forced to wonder what the AUTHOR was thinking.

    I suspect that concepts like “energy beings” and “malevolent computers” are the reasons that I don’t often read science fiction. (I have several chemistry degrees and a scientific mind and it makes my brain hurt to think about such concepts as those in quotation marks.) At least with fantasy (which I consume voraciously), there’s magic to explain things away.

    Wish I had more of a capacity to suspend disbelief. I think reading some of this stuff would be a hoot.

  24. Dead Stuff With Big Teeth Says:

    We’ve seen the sequel before on this very Web site. Along with a radically different interpretation of the dragon, you will note.

  25. hestia Says:

    Ah, if I had time and money…

    I’d really like to buy the rights to this art, and print it up on spine labels, which I would put on all the science fiction and fantasy in our grade school library. Then the local public library. Then all the libraries. Then your libraries at home. All the SFF books should have this art on their spines.

  26. Rich Says:

    I vaguely rember reading this many years ago, and really enjoying it. Mind you I was going through a period of some excellent red wines at the time.

  27. Joachim Says:

    The outcome of the first experiment — the space t-rex fell off and impaled his belly on a rock. The outcome of the second experiment — space t-rex successfully space skied and couldn’t contain his giddy smile. Beware children, he’s coming!

  28. Don Hilliard Says:

    JOAT/Jaouad: Yep. Janet Jeppson was already Dr. Mrs. Dr. Asimov by the time this was published; she used her maiden name (gender-neutral) on her SF work for about a decade after their marriage, even on their collaborative stories, just to avoid any suggestion that she was only getting work due to her husband’s name.

  29. Claire Says:

    We need more covers like this nowadays. I can’t think when my SFF reading included a book with an evil space T Rex shipsurfing on it and I think I’m all the poorer for it.

  30. Tom Noir Says:


    Your argument is invalid.

  31. robot steve Says:

    this was the inspriation for that game in harry potter. pl

  32. robot steve Says:

    like the semi useless little arms of the t rex, their little known wings were also such a dissapointment that the only way they could get play meteorite vollyball was by straddling the nearest transport shuttle

  33. Green Says:

    It’s an alien dinosaur-dragon Dr, Strangelove. I must read it!

  34. Rags Says:

    Newest add campaign for Viagara! ”

    Take our pill limpy and turn into FLYING T-REX WITH A ROCKETSHIP IN HIS PANTS!”

  35. Bibliomancer Says:

    This cover is awesome. It is best enjoyed embiggened:

  36. David Cowie Says:

    Well found, sir!

  37. Sesquipedalian Says:

    “Darling, I’ve just had such a busy day I forgot to go to Wal-E-Mart for food. I hope you don’t mind if I just pop open a can for dinner…”

  38. Rachel J Says:

    @Bibliomancer. Thanks for the embiggened version. It was not until I beheld it in all its glory that I realised Flying Space T-Rex is missing a lower fang.

    Could it be that the First Experiment was “Find out what spaceships taste like”?

  39. A.R.Yngve Says:

    “Whaddya mean my thighs look fat?? I’ll stomp on you for that!!”

  40. A.R.Yngve Says:

    Time to revive a beloved old meme for this space dragon… wait for it… you know what’s coming…


  41. Dead Stuff With Big Teeth Says:

    ‘Nothin, gigantic albino dragon on the rocket ship. Watchin’ the worst sci-fi/fantasy covers, havin’ an aquavit. Wassaaap wichoo?’

  42. Dead Stuff With Big Teeth Says:

    It has been theorised that you could caption any New Yorker cartoon with the phrase, ‘Christ, what an asshole.’ and not destroy its comic value.

    I submit that you cannot have one standard caption for all Good Show covers.

  43. Michael Toland Says:

    I think this might be the greatest book cover ever. I don’t think I’d ever read it, because what’s inside could never match that cover.

  44. B. Chiclitz Says:

    @DSWBT—you are probably right, but this comes close:

    “Well, you should get yer ass in gear and we’ll trow back some keggers and boilo at the ‘DC or hit the weed like a champ.”

    Works for most New Yorker cartoons also.

  45. Bibliomancer Says:

    It’s the 25-cent kiddie ride outside the alien supermarket.

  46. THX 1138 Says:

    The sci-fi equivalent of driving off with a fly on the window of your car and getting distracted by the amount of time it takes to blow away.

  47. Tom Noir Says:

    This cover. Right here. THIS is why we do what we do.

    *salutes, a single tear running down his cheek*

  48. B. Chiclitz Says:

    I love Flashback Fridays because you see so much that you missed first time around, like the little French Tickler located so conveniently below the dragon’s naughty parts and which must, in retrospect, explain the otherwise inexplicable look of joy on his face.

  49. B. Chiclitz Says:

    @Tom Noir—that comment can only be completed by hearing La Marseilles in the background, and then being joined by a hooker with a heart of gold.

  50. JuanPaul Says:

    Jodorowski’s ‘Dune’ would have been epic.

  51. fred Says:

    I think I would trade in the wings for some thumbs.

  52. GSS ex-noob Says:

    @BC: not only right below his bits, but another farther back, and so the combo of outer space, dinosaur/dragon, and those devices makes me wonder if the content is anything like the oeuvre of Chuck Tingle.

    Can someone point me to the original of “keggers, boilo, DC”?

    Other possible New Yorker cartoon captions: “What a misunderstanding!” and (for a limited time only) “I’d like to add you to my LinkedIn”.

    Only “WTF is that?” might work as a universal GSS caption, but, alas, some of them we know exactly WTF it is and wish we didn’t.

    I bought “Stealing the Elf-King’s Roses” (as seen on GSS) for a buck, and the cover is truly that hideous. Pink and embossed! That’s not the Elf-King on it though, but our heroine. But the content’s good. The current cover is the title in CSI font, a rose, and a handgun, all on black, which fits the plot better.

  53. Raoul Says:

    @GS-ex-noob – “Well, you should get yer ass in gear and we’ll trow back some keggers and boilo at the ‘DC or hit the weed like a champ.” is from a link in a comment to “The Skook”:

  54. Bibliomancer Says:

    Five years and fifty comments and no mention of the missing tag for the cover artist of this GSS masterpiece? has him listed as Peter Jones. Tag Wizard?

  55. GSS ex-noob Says:

    @Raoul: thanks. Probably the only good thing to come from that horrific cover.

  56. Dead Stuff With Big Teeth Says:

    @BC: After careful consideration, the Skookism isn’t the universal caption so much as a meta-response to a submitted caption. Observe:

    Alice: Great googly moogly! Someone rubbed Melanie Brown’s yeast infection on the canvas!

    Bob: @Alice: how do you know what that looks like, eh?

    Alice: @Bob: Let’s just say spice isn’t an effective moisture absorbent and leave it at that.

    Skook: @Alice @Bob: Well you should…

  57. B. Chiclitz Says:

    @Dead StuffWBT—yes, I’m sure the Skook never meta-response he didn’t like.

  58. B. Chiclitz Says:

    @DSWBTeeth—yes, the Skook never meta-response he didn’t like.


  59. GSS ex-noob Says:

    I think another meta-response is the hard-rockin’ lynx-man of Rx For Chaos.

  60. B. Chiclitz Says:

    Sorry for the tech glitch. Last thing anybody needs is more of me than necessary.

  61. Dead Stuff With Big Teeth Says:

    @BC: Oh,boo to that! We need much less Donald Trump, we need much less Martin Shkreli, we need much less of many, many people! Don’t go into your week with such negativity. 🙂

  62. B. Chiclitz Says:

    “Welcome ladies and gentlemen to the Dead Stuff With Big Teeth School of Self-Help. Let me tell you, just one session with Dr. Dead Stuff (Dr. Big Teeth?) has turned my life around. No longer will I apologize for existing, no longer will I give up my seat on the subway even though there are plenty of other seats, no more will I beat myself with a hammer just because it feels good to stop. Yes, Dr. Dead Teeth is the greatest elixir since the invention of that stuff that makes Trump look as though he had hair! Just sign here: you won’t be sorry.”

    Hey—thanks. Back atcha.

  63. GSS ex-noob Says:

    @BC: We definitely need you. Let’s trow back some keggers and boilo.

  64. Dead Stuff With Big Teeth Says:

    See what I mean??? 😀

  65. B. Chiclitz Says:

    I’m, like, totally there. See you at the ‘DC.

  66. gingaeru Says:

    I have just finished reading this. The scene depicted on this cover actually takes place.

    Uru is a purple, genetically modified, “fifty-foot Tyrannosaurus rex”. He was created by an immortal purple dragon, R’ya, (the last of her kind) to be her mate. His skull is enlarged to accommodate a larger brain. The wings are purely aesthetic (everyone, including the dragon R’ya, and the Uruun race she made, wear “antigrav” belts to get around). He also has “powerful forelimbs” with “five digits”, and somewhat weak telepathy.

    The ship is the “Galactic Venturer”, taken by humans from Earth, through “hyperspace”, and eventually, to Roiissa (the planet where the race of Uruun had lived). However, millions of years have passed, and the Uruun have died off. Only Uru, who was imprisoned in stasis, survived. After inadvertently being released by the humans, Uru grabbed the captain, shoved him through the airlock, and straddled the Venturer. He took control of the captain’s mind, and off they went.

  67. GSS ex-noob Says:

    @gingaru: That… just makes it worse, somehow.

    That’s a tiny spaceship if he’s 50 feet in any dimension. And his mate actually wasn’t immortal, then, if he’s the last.

    I may need some boilo to recover.

  68. B. Chiclitz Says:

    @GSSxn—Even though it’s been nigh on five years (five years!), I’ll still see you at the ‘DC!

  69. gingaeru Says:

    @GSS ex-noob: Sorry, my mistake. It was in fact the original T. rex, taken from Earth by R’ya, that was “fifty-[feet]”. She also named that one Uru, but it died from the stress of “hyperspace”. Uru (II), a mutated clone of the original, grew to be “…much, much bigger than the biggest Tyrannosaurus rex was ever supposed to be”.

    The Roiiss (purple dragons) are indeed immortal. The Uruun are just genetically modified Tyrannosaurs that were long-lived but eventually died. Uru was different from the rest of the Uruun (“…the one Uruun in whom the R-inclusion took hold”).

    R’ya is an actual Roiiss raised by Tec (a humanoid robot who serves the Roiiss) from the only surviving embryo brought with them from the dying universe from which the Roiiss originated. She does not die, but is at war in another galaxy during this part of the story.

    The only other true Roiiss in the book are the five Elders who exist now as energy (having transformed themselves during the “First Experiment” of entering this universe “through black holes”). And they do not die.

  70. Bruce A Munro Says:

    My sneaking suspicion is that the artist came up with the picture first and the author decided to write a story around it.

  71. A. R. Yngve Says:

    Suddenly I see a brilliant solution to the old problem with the coconut and the swallows…!

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