Sep 01

God dam it! Did a giant sword just destroy my bowling lounge!?Click for full image

So, for the cover I was thinking “fear”. What are the two things you are most afraid of attacking this building right now? A small space ship firing a pretty standard laser, that’s scary, right? But what, get this, if it came with a friend? A giant legionarys sword! If that cut into your building you’d defecate yourself right there and then!

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: 8.91 out of 10)

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31 Responses to “Operation Damocles”

  1. SI Says:

    I really don’t understand what is going on here.

    Is the sword a symbol of the lasers power?

    Is damcoles a Latin thing? Hence the roman style sword?

    My brain hurts.

  2. Roses Says:

    I suspect the ‘ultimate weapon in the wrong hands’ was actually the canvas of the person who designed the cover.

    I think I’m insulted that they had to include the sword. I get the satellite and it’s laser attacking the White House. The sword with ‘Damocles’ written on it assumes the reader of this book is an idiot.

    In which case, I’ll pass on reading the book.

  3. CSA Says:

    hmm, im not sure i understand… are you saying that at no point in the story does a 100m tall sword crash into a building that looks vaguely like the White House?

    Ahhh my brain! Me no understand

  4. Bryce Says:

    The cover is a picture knife sitting on top of a picture of a satellite shooting at (and being flung toward) the white-houseish building. Notice the shadow. Why the owner of the knife would leave it on top of that picture is beyond me.

  5. Roses Says:

    Well, if the book follows a traditional story arc…I’d say you can expect 100m tall sword to appear round about Chapter 8.

    If you make it that far…

  6. CSA Says:

    The shadow on the sword is quite confusing. It looks like the laser thing is about to crash into it.

    Are they proper chapters or those tiny chapters with only 4 pages that have become increasingly more popular over the years? I bet they’re tiny

  7. little mi Says:

    I’m with Bryce, the knife is ment to be on top of the picture of the laser shooting the building. I am assuming that this is ment to create a kind of 3D feel or something though mostly it just looks foolish.

    I took me a couple of looks to realise that the Operation at the top had any connection at all to the Damocles on the knife. In a rather silly moment I just thought they’d randomly decided to right Damocles on the blade in rubbish font.

  8. JustinLeego Says:

    Although on closer inspection, the sword is slightly opaque. Combined with the drop shadowing, this means we are looking at a highly customised mouse pointer.

  9. Dead Stuff With Big Teeth Says:

    ‘What’s a killer satellite look like then?’

    ‘A what?’

    ‘You know…a satellite you’d use to shoot a laser at the White House or something.’

    ‘Dunno. But, would you feast your eyes on this thing! My kid bashed it together with some model jet turbines and some cooling panels.’

    Incidentally, if you’re reading the book and you skip a page, does Oscar L. Fellows’ nose light up?

  10. Jaouad Says:

    Stop blathering about that sword. I’m surprised nobody has said anything at all about the huge blue planet in the background, hanging over the White House like a, er… sword of Damocles.

  11. Tom Noir Says:

    What I like about this cover is, it’s so subtle.

    PLUS, the White House is now in SPACE!

  12. A.R.Yngve Says:

    Oil is to water like subtlety is to Baen book covers.

  13. Tat Wood Says:

    Typically parochial Americans: they have a functioning SDI but they bring it down from orbit to tackle a big knife attacking one building in their capital rather than the giant sodding planet about to crash into Earth.

  14. A.R.Yngve Says:

    You’d think that by definition the ultimate weapon is ALWAYS in the wrong hands. But of course what the blurb really means is “in non-American, non-WASP hands”.

  15. A.R.Yngve Says:

    Actually, ANY heavy metal object becomes a powerful weapon if it’s dropped from space. You could have a cover with big anvils falling on the White House, but a sword looks more menacing…

  16. A.R.Yngve Says:

    “The ultimate weapon was dangling from a thin wire attached to a satellite… hanging directly above the White House! It was…”

  17. Lee Fellows Says:

    Sixteen “humerous” comments about a cover!!! As an ignorant but friendly American, may I assume that the 16 commenters are stoned on something, or that there is some ethnic secret parlance going on between an erudite gang of mates, rather than there is some magical power emanating from this cover art that attracts simple Three Stooges aficionados?

  18. Hammy Says:

    Lee Fellows (@17):

    Assume whatever you like; it’ll still be wrong. 😉

    Mates we may be here in GSS, united in our love of SF and laughable covers, but is isn’t like we know each other in, like, real life or anything.

    And you say “erudite” like it’s a bad thing…. ;-p

  19. Tag Wizard Says:

    @Lee Fellows – Touché, sir. I have nothing to say in our defence. I promise you, we shall not make fun of any of your other books.

  20. GSS ex-noob Says:

    So we’re stoned and “ethnic” just because we have a sense of humor and a sense of artistic proportion? Those are very… particular… insults. And I’d think a professional writer would know that “erudite” and “Three Stooges” don’t go together. And could spell “humorous”.

    And why’s the author so insulted when we said absolutely nothing about the content?
    looks at Tag’s link
    Ah. I see.

  21. SI Says:

    Was I stoned? Certianly not good sir!

    Was I drunk at 10am… wellllllllllll…..

    Some day a great bard will write songs cormemorating the great debate of, “Is the sword on the picture or… in the picture!”

  22. GSS ex-noob Says:

    @SI: And why is the blade translucent? You can see some of the Space White House through it.

    I think @Bryce (4) is correct; the plastic or glass bladed sword is lying on top of the photo of Space White House In Orbit being zapped by laser satellite. Maybe it’s a letter opener, owned by a guy named Damocles, atop his photo.

    Not to mention that’s a Roman sword and Damocles was Greek, of a date somewhat preceding the development of this style of weapon. Which wasn’t see-through.

  23. B. Chiclitz Says:

    @Lee Fellows (17)—Your apparent failure to recognize the genius of the Three Stooges is clear proof you will never “get” GSS, nyuk, nyuk, nyuk!

  24. GSS ex-noob Says:

    @BC (23): Why, I oughta!

  25. B. Chiclitz Says:

    @GSSxn—Our ethnic secret parlance . . .

  26. SI Says:


    ….google define parlance

  27. GSS ex-noob Says:

    @BC: AFAIK, most of us aren’t “ethnic” at all. I mean, yes, everyone’s got some ethnicity but we seem to be a largely Anglo-Saxon lot, at least in culture. I myself am nearly as translucent as yon sword. And many of us are even American.

    Ethnicity doesn’t matter when it comes to Los Tres Chiflados. Slapstick works world-wide. Everyone likes سه نخاله.

    woob, woob, woob.

  28. Lee Fellows Says:

    I feel totally chastised, chin flipped, face slapped and woo woo’d. And, just for the record, Tag, there are three other books. You might like the cover of ‘Catalyst’. And quite possibly the story behind it. I look forward to seeing your comments on the submarine and missiles hitting the really big drop of water…or whatever liquid that is.

  29. Tag Wizard Says:

    @Lee Fellows – Thanks for being a good sport. And welcome to snark boot camp.
    Drop and give me ten [bad puns]!

  30. THX 1139 Says:

    That’s the spirit, Lee! It’s all in fun, snarky, snarky fun – even Curly Joe DeRita wouldn’t take umbrage!

  31. GSS ex-noob Says:

    Sorry, Oscar — self-published works don’t fit the rules here. Even if they do have what sounds like MS Paint clip art covers.

    eye-poke, in an ethnic fashion

    The artist’s work seems to be of varying quality — he had some quite good ones, some solidly middle-of-the-road ones, and some terrible ones. I’ll give you one guess as to which publisher used the worst typography on top of his work.

    The folks at SF Encyclopedia say of his work from the mid-90s “But many other covers were at best uninspired, suggesting that his heart was no longer in such work, and in fact he was turning his attention to selling his art in other venues and honing his abilities in the field of fine art, which in 2005 became his sole avocation.”

    So apparently he’s doing well at that and no longer is at the mercy of publishers. Good for him, I say.

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