Aug 31

No... don't install windows on me... NOOOOOO!Click for full image

Don Comments: Thank you for calling Tech Support. If your computer is drooling, press 1. If you are the computer and you’re being harassed by a fat guy with curly hair, press 2.
Published 1967

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: 7.33 out of 10)

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26 Responses to “B.E.A.S.T.”

  1. Phil Says:

    R.E.S.P.E.C.T. for the B.E.A.S.T.!

    It’s not nice to call Charles Eric Maine a computer-created monster.

    Spooling the tape out all over the floor is one method of control, but have you tried turning off and back on again?

  2. THX 1138 Says:

    I ask you to kill Superman, and you’re telling me you couldn’t even do that one, simple thing.

  3. Pat Says:

    Not even going to try to compete with the Windows joke. Cackled out loud.

  4. Tom Noir Says:

    I’ve gotta say, they’ve really taken Windows 8 in a new direction.

    Also impressed that it supports UNIVAC.

  5. Yoss Says:

    I actually rather like this one. It’s dated, but I like it as a cover design. On the other hand, I wouldn’t proudly waive that book around in public either.

  6. Jaouad Says:

    The future of CAD/CAM used to be a lot more interesting.

  7. Adam Roberts Says:

    My eye is drawn, as if hypnotised, to the pink ‘A’ in the middle. It’s very … pink.

  8. Jami Says:

    I was going to make a joke involving demon possessed Crayola Crayons, but upon reading the caption, I forgot what I was going to say.

  9. Don Hilliard Says:

    Despite appearances, it’s not actually the corporate history of Microsoft…

  10. fred Says:

    After seeing this cover I just had an entire non-existent episode of The Man From U.N.C.L.E flash before my eyes.

  11. Ian Says:

    What would we do without reel to reel magnetic tapes, the larger they are the more powerful the computer.

  12. Jane Says:

    That computer looks great, but it probably has less memory than a slinky.
    1967? If you can remember painting this cover, you didn’t paint it.

  13. Jerk of all Trades Says:

    I don’t even know what the hell this is supposed to be. A person trapped in the computer? a person emerging from the computer that bore it?

    Google is no help either.

  14. Rachel J Says:

    @Jerk of all Trades. No, there’s not much information available. B.E.A.S.T stands for Biological Evolutionary Animal Simulation Test, which, you notice, makes no sense whatever. There seems to be exactly one review on the net, and it’s rather… odd:

    “What Mark Harland finds at the secret biological research laboratory is much more basic and frightening than a minor breach of security. And what happens when B.E.A.S.T. becomes a beast, and breaks loose from its magnetic tape, is something which Harland has to handle on a catch-as-catch-can basis, until the whole thing explodes into violence and perversion-with Harland out on a very loose and long limb.”

  15. Don Hilliard Says:

    @JOAT and Rachel: Unstable boffin creates artificial intelligence program which ultimately takes him over (maybe just in his own mind, maybe for real. Wooo.) Lots of skeevy bits, mostly involving the oversexed Swedish research assistant (1960s British cultural cliches abound.)

    The overall effect is best described as Michael Crichton in a dirty mac.

  16. A.R.Yngve Says:

    “48 Kilobytes Of Pure Evil!”

    “Its magnetic tape will snare your soul!”

    “More terrifying than a possessed slide rule!”

  17. AA Says:

    I’ve felt like this, but only when I tried to use Vista.

  18. A.R.Yngve Says:

    Were people really this scared of computers in 1967? (Are there any book covers with horror-ish images of hippies and/or cops?)


  19. Phil Says:

    Were people really this scared of computers? Let’s see: COLOSSUS (1966), HAL9000 (1968), AM (“I Have No Mouth And I Must Scream”, 1967), M5 (Star Trek’s “The Ultimate Computer”, 1967)…

    So I would say yes, they were!

    Of course, in those days it was possible to get a computer to self-destruct by either (a) telling it to compute Pi to the last decimal place or (b) asking it the question “Why?” According to the movies and TV shows I was brought up on, at any rate. At some point they must have found a fix for these terrible bugs. Even with Windows 7 I can’t get my laptop to blow up.

    There’s a list of fictional computers, both bonkers ones and sensible ones, on Wikipedia:

  20. A.R.Yngve Says:

    No one could control the computer-created browser.

  21. Anti-Sceptic Says:

    I wonder what the computer used to generate teeth?

  22. Hep C. Says:

    The Number of the B.E.A.S.T.

  23. rev Says:

    “I am now telling the computer exactly what he can do with a lifetime supply of chocolate.”

  24. Tom Noir Says:


  25. Anna T. Says:

    The mouth clearly belongs to a man, but the EYE on the other hand looks like it’s from a woman. On top of everything else, we have Frankenstein-style weird shit going on as well.

  26. A.R.Yngve Says:


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