Apr 12

Ah the old, replace water with bread dough prank...Click for full image here

Frank Comments: Let’s go for something colourful! Whatever that is in red in the foreground (a suit? a robot?) clearly needs a couple Behind You tags. One for the Goop From Above, one for the lady with the bow.
Published 1964

Back Cover Here!

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: 7.35 out of 10)

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25 Responses to “The Coils of Time”

  1. THX 1138 Says:

    The head of the Zargon Fleet regretted ever agreeing to appear on Noel’s House Party.

  2. The Tag Wizard Says:

    Samus! Is that really you?

  3. A.R.Yngve Says:

    Very poor cover blurb, no? And it would sit even worse above other titles:

    The world that could not be

    The world that could not be

  4. A.R.Yngve Says:


  5. JuanPaul Says:

    Looks more like the Testicles of Time….if time had testicles.

  6. Bibliomancer Says:

    This cover confirms my suspicions that Ace Books used to have a pile of unpublished manuscripts in one corner, a pile of unused cover illustrations in another corner and a wheel of random title words. Pick a book, a cover and spin the wheel twice. Result: The “Coils” of “Time”

    or … Switch the titles and covers with the flip side of this Ace Double and they make a lot more sense. Error at the print shop?

  7. FearofMusic Says:

    Poor robot. With no depth perception and those weird and impractical fingers, no wonder he has been deemed obsolete. Of course being recycled into processed cheese spread seems absurd, but that’s the future for ya.

  8. Rags Says:

    This cover was clearly drawn while the artist was very high and playing on his original 8 bit NES system. Samus in the foreground and Zelda with the bow in the back. I know super Mario and Luigi are in here somewhere….

    I love the underwater OR dreamy sequence fonts as well, good show sir!!

  9. B. Chiclitz Says:

    Would it be better if the blurb read: “The World that Should Not Be”?

  10. Tom Noir Says:

    Is that a giant booger on the cover? No, its snot.

  11. Jorpho Says:

    The Coulis of Time.

  12. fred Says:

    Why is ‘of time’ outlined while ‘the coils’ is not? Are there other ‘the coils’ books out there or maybe ‘of time’? The coils of Newsweek. The vacuum tubes of time.

  13. Tat Wood Says:

    Bibliomancer’s right: there is not just a lack of correlation between the covers of either half of an Ace Double and the contents (often at least one was a bantamweight British writer smuggling very parochial in-jokes into the US mass market) but in this case it seems the covers were so close that they deliberately swapped them over to avoid any hint of the events within.

  14. Frank Says:

    The curse of GSS — it encourages me to take some of these books home and read ’em so I can find out what the cover has to do with the story. And here I was trying to keep my Chandler focus on the John Grimes stories.

  15. Dead Stuff With Big Teeth Says:

    Wait. Title at left. ‘Slaughtermatic‘? They wrote a whole book about the lunch I had with my ex’s parents?

  16. Dead Stuff With Big Teeth Says:

    Investigating Slaughtermatic. According to WikiPaedia, ‘A synesthete, Aylett claims to have books appear in his brain in one visual “glob” which looks like a piece of gum.’ That’s it, right on the front of Coils. Mr. Aylett, we’ve found your next literary creation. Just peel it off and put it on the keyboard. 😉

  17. FearöfMusic Says:

    Intrigued was I by this ‘Slaughtermatic’ as well. To Amazon went I. Dissapointed in this was I. A truly unremarkable cover this has. 3 1/2 stars rated of 5 was this. Ordered this I have. When Yoda I have stopped channelling, read this I will.

  18. Phil Says:

    If this book comes up on WHO WANTS TO BE A MILLIONAIRE, be sure to choose answer A. Bertram Chandler (not B. Raymond Chandler, or C. Bertie Bassett).

  19. A.R.Yngve Says:

    You know, that cover art would have worked just fine with Samuel Delany’s latest novel…

    (I only read the review! Honestly!)

  20. Herm Says:

    *looks elsewhere in background*
    Iain… 🙁

  21. Frank Says:

    I should mention that the back cover is somewhat related to its story, it’s a John Grimes novel and the Mannschenn drive takes ’em to some other universe where they find and explore a vanished seagoing vessel adrift in space.

    @Herm: yes, that was intentional, it was a day or two after Banks’ prognosis hit the blogosphere and as long as I had to move this book to better lighting I figured having a Banks book in the background would be a good thing to do.

  22. Anti-Sceptic Says:

    @fred I think that the artists kid wanted to play with his/her parent’s markers, so the artist allowed the kid to outline only those words.

    You like how I kept my response gender-neutral?

  23. HappyBookwyrm Says:

    Okay, I actually read this book. (It was a gift from a friend who knows my love of all things time travel.) I remember the lady with a bow, but I don’t recall an avalanche of cheddar-flavoured bubble gum being involved.

  24. Frank Says:

    Now I’ve read it too. It’s more of a light entertainment than a quality read, but then what should I expect from half of an Ace Double? It does indeed start out as a time-travel story (and recycles the Mannschenn Drive/Carlotti Radio trope of crossing precessing gyroscopes and things like Möbius strips). The protagonist’s first trip is taken in a power suit that provides good protection from the elements, but the motion actuators aren’t working so he gets to stand there and look at the native fauna running away until something knocks him over from behind.

    I don’t think we ever find out whether it was the goop.

  25. Anna T. Says:

    That robot is remarkably unconcerned by the fact that it’s being slowly covered by alien slime dripping from the ceiling.

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