Dec 10

I call this daemon chop explosion therapy... trust me it will catch on!Click for updated hi-res image

Joachim Comments: You should be looking at the giant sore on my lip!
Published 1974

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: 9.01 out of 10)

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31 Responses to “Masque of a Savage Mandarin”

  1. David Cowie Says:

    The first thing I did was count the fingers and toes.
    Doctor Cleaver has very sharp nails on his only foot (how does he stand upright?) but not on his hands.

  2. THX 1138 Says:

    “Hey, you’re not R.D. Laing!”

  3. David Cowie Says:

    And blue and orange contrast now goes back to 1974!

  4. Darren Says:

    Is that Jack Nicholson?

  5. Tom Noir Says:

    “Now I will cut the demon in ha – hey, does anyone smell something burning?”

  6. Jerk of all Trades Says:

    So did the “patient”, or whatever he is, lose his mind after being levitated naked and in he fetal position by some demonic doctor, or after said doctor chopped garlic on his noggin?

  7. Joachim Says:

    according to sf encyclopedia “The deracinated protagonist of Masque of a Savage Mandarin (1969) takes symbolic revenge upon the world via the systematic destruction – by electromagnetic Rays resembling microwave radiation – of a hapless innocent’s brain”

  8. Tat Wood Says:

    @Darren: I think it’s Billy Bob Thornton wreaking revenge on Brad Pitt during the filming of ‘Benjamin Button’. He’s clutching the phial of Angelina’s blood with his left hand.

    The levitating patient’s head is so misplaced I thought it was a CS Lewis placed over something a bit ruder.

  9. fred Says:

    “Paging Dr. Howard, Dr. Fine, Dr. Howard.”

  10. A.R.Yngve Says:

    Visit California long enough, and you WILL come across people doing this for real.

  11. Joachim Says:

    Those really are the lamest horns on his patient’s head — as stupid looking as Naomi Wildman’s ridges in Star Trek : Voyager

  12. Phil Says:

    Horns? I thought someone had cracked an egg on his noggin.

    This is another example of that delightful genre, the cover picture that gets funnier and funnier the further down the page you scroll. It starts off as just a maniac with a cleaver and a split lip… evolves into an attack on a lunatic with eggshell above his crossed eyes… who develops into a levitator… and finally reveals the clawed foot of the attacker. Good Show, Sir!

  13. Yoss Says:

    I’m rooting for the guy with the cleaver.

  14. Anti-Sceptic Says:

    Why does the loopy-looking-floating-guy-with-a-cracked-egg-on-his-head look like he’s enjoying himself?

  15. FearofMusic Says:

    Ewww..a truly awful bit of dross. Which one is the Mandarin? Neither looks oriental, and neithet appears to be wearing a mask (or masque). Unknown artist? What,, no one proudly claims this masterpiece? Finest example of a floating baby/man ever and Anonymous gets the credit?

  16. Tom Noir Says:

    This website ( suggests that the artist might be Bob Haberfield.

  17. ecthroi Says:

    no has noticed the doctor’s foot?

    look, look at the doctor’s foot.

  18. David Cowie Says:

    @ ecthroi #17: see the first comment.

  19. classicOz Says:

    a) It’s rare to see a psychiatrist so upset by a patient.
    b) I presume the sequel involves the next step up – grapefruit
    c) #15 I agree, truly awful; not informative, badly drawn – if this scene is in the book I’d not be encouraged to read it, needs to be in at least the top 20.

  20. fred Says:

    Dust jacket to hard cover edition. Authors bio worth a read.

  21. Raoul Says:

    This is why I don’t eat in Chinese restaurants. I always assume something like this is going on in the kitchen.

  22. Francis Boyle Says:


  23. RachelJ Says:

    @fred. What the-? That “Likes, Dislikes and Ambitions” section… it’s the quintessential obnoxious social media profile (pretentious hipster edition) but without an internet.. WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN???😳

  24. Tat Wood Says:

    @RachelJ: what it all means is that there’s nothing on the internet that wasn’t around half a century ago. Admittedly, GSS is a lot better, with colour and scanners, than bad xeroxes as used in fanzine precursors.

  25. B. Chiclitz Says:

    @RachelJ—but you gotta love that classic damning-with-faint-praise from Punch: “somewhere near the Graham Greene class.”

    I wonder if he ever made it to Mount Abu.

  26. GSS ex-noob Says:

    @fred: I want to go back in time and slap the author silly for his bio, this book, this cover, and just generally for existing. I hope he had to spend his whole life being rained on in the cold and never getting a date or any friends or any success.

  27. RachelJ Says:

    Moving to the other side of the dust jacket… anyone want to bet the synopsis wasn’t largely (or completely) written by the author himself?

  28. Dead Stuff With Big Teeth Says:

    If I were to live in the sun, I would DEFINITELY live in the photosphere.

  29. Dead Stuff With Big Teeth Says:

    Dead Stuff With Big Teeth writes, ‘I’m not very funny, but think we’ll have to do the best we can with it until we get a replacement from Vega.’ He lives in vivo and works when you thump him hard enough. He has contributed articles and reviews to GSS and a variety of other, more useless, Web sites. He was a mistake at college, and for several years was interred in India, which provided the background to his very first joke, a pastiche of Red Dwarf and the New Testament, a thriller described by Punch as ‘not published’ and by his wife as ‘What?’

    Likes Mortality, miscellanea, dentition.
    Dislikes Parody, people who aren’t creative enough to come up with their own levity, COBOL.
    Ambition Gave that up on my eighteenth, thank you!

  30. Max Bathroom Says:

    I’ve read this one, and it isn’t half bad.
    The cover on the other hand is rather more than half bad,…

  31. Mark Oliver Says:


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