Sep 04

You're going to enjoy this sunset with me... like it or not!!Click for full image

Alright... I'll go to lightspeed in a minute. Just let me finish this game of solitaire first.Click for full image

Bibliomancer Comments: In the future everyone will wear soft, velour sweat-suits and spaceships will be controlled by recycled 1998 iMacs.
Both Published 1989

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: 7.78 out of 10)

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32 Responses to “The World of Null-A & The Players of Null-A”

  1. THX 1138 Says:

    The second one looks like a user’s manual. Maybe the first one does too.

  2. Jaouad Says:

    Whatever that first one is a user manual for, by the look on the woman’s face he’s doing it wrong.

    Also, that can’t be his hand groping her, can it? Is Null-A the Art of Telescoping Arms?

  3. Dead Stuff With Big Teeth Says:

    Second cover:

    ‘I wish he’d stop playing with that computer and start playing with ME!’

    ‘Just a moment, Rowena. My download of the Second Coming is 94.5% done…94.6%…94.7%…’

  4. Tom Hering Says:

    To qualify as a man or woman of the future, you must (1.) lack a distinct pubic region and (2.) have anatomically incorrect ears. Pilots, especially, must have ears that are (A.) very small, (B.) horizontal instead of vertical, and (C.) placed well forward on the mandible instead of behind it. All weapons issued will come topped with whipped cream and a bit of candied apricot.

  5. Tom Hering Says:

    Addendum: No chairs will be provided for male pilots. Please inflate your own penis and scrotum until bright red and suitable for seating.

  6. Tat Wood Says:

    The Players cover looks like the perennial problem of men never asking for directions and women getting peeved by this.

    What strikes me is that, for once, the wilder, more lurid covers we usually get here would be appropriate for the content, and instead it’s the illustrations for a 25th Century Ladybird book. The covers for ‘The Little People’ or ‘I Sing the Body Electric’ approximate to what passes for a plot in each book far better than this fuzzy-felt stuff.

  7. fred Says:

    Great. Now I’m going to have The Jetsons theme song in my head all day.

  8. Phil Says:

    THE WORLD OF NULL-A is a science fiction classic! THE PLAYERS OF NULL-A is… no comment, apparently.

    I’m still waiting for THE WORLD OF NULL-B.

  9. Dead Stuff With Big Teeth Says:

    @TH: that rust-red thing is the plant/cape/scrotum thing from yesterday’s cover.

    The body language of the first cover is all wrong. Gunnar Päntönnesson is trying to abduct Celia Shading but is caught in the act by THE MOON.

  10. FëaròfMüsic Says:

    Did they deliberately shoot for the cheesy self published look? If so, bullseye! Well done sir or madam art director.

    R. I. P. Frederick Pohl. Mayhaps in heaven every cover is a masterpiece. Or perhaps it doesn’t matter anymore. Godspeed good sir.

  11. Lionrock Says:

    Blimey. They look like they were done using potato printing.

  12. Jane Says:

    Red-haired man with glue gun glares at title. “From Hell’s heart, I stab at thee, A.E. van Vogt.”

  13. Jerk of all Trades Says:

    Somewhere, this artist’s mother has the original artwork for these covers framed and labelled “Baby’s first airbrush art”

  14. B. Chiclitz Says:

    It’s outsider art, a la Henry Darger. Only not good.

  15. A.R.Yngve Says:

    B. Chiclitz is on to something here — and it may unnerve you to have it spelled out, but the whole theme of this website confirms it:

    SF book covers, as such, ARE a form of Outsider Art.

  16. B. Chiclitz Says:

    @A.R.Yngve—I never thought of it before, but I think that’s why I love this site. It allows us to revel in the Realms of the Unreal. Fie on laws of perspective, assumptions of coherence, organicism, sense itself! Just give me those leering blue dryer balls and people sitting in chairs that are sewn onto their suits . . . .

  17. Stevie T Says:

    Cover #1: “Curse them! They have designed the buildings in Art Deco! Turn away from their abomination, my love!”

    Cover #2: “Yes dear, we’re going to watch it eventually. It’s not my fault that an episode of Game of Thrones takes 2 hours to download!”

  18. Chuffmunky Says:

    maybe it’s imitating the art style of a lot of early video game box art – supposed to imitate the feel of computer graphics but without the blocky pixels? Or, author got his 12 year old nephew to do it and publisher was too lazy to argue.

  19. dpn Says:

    I give the artist an “A” for consistency!

  20. A.R.Yngve Says:

    By A.E. Van Vogt

  21. Dead Stuff With Big Teeth Says:

    @AR: Goddammit, you’re brilliant. 🙂

  22. Anti-Sceptic Says:

    The books look like the trials and tribulations of Captain Kirk.

    The World of Null -A: “Scotty, beam me up. I’ve managed to secure the girl!”

    The Players of Null -A: “So who was that girl you brought up? You think she’s prettier than me, don’t you?”

  23. rev Says:

    So…men of the future will have double ended penises. Interesting.
    By the look of her face, he has already slapped her with it several times.

  24. Anna T. Says:

    It really boggles the mind as to why the first book qualifies as a “Science Fiction Classic”, because the covers of both books make them look like badly-illustrated and badly-written kids’ books.

  25. Bibliomancer Says:

    Cover artist Mark Peyton has some ‘splainin’ to do:

  26. Ray P Says:

    Tracing paper used or sf art cliche?

    The future never looked so exciting. “Hurry up and finish your homework.”

  27. Bibliomancer Says:

    Now we see BOTH covers are cribbed:

  28. GSS ex-noob Says:


  29. FluffyGhostKitten Says:

    #2 looks uncannily like a cheaper version of this:
    Maybe somebody didn’t like drawing chain-mail.

  30. Tat Wood Says:

    I look forward to someone remaking Baen covers with construction-paper cut-outs (and probably some Quality Street wrappers).

    Or maybe ‘The Underpeople’…

  31. GSS ex-noob Says:

    Cover artist Mark Peyton, Age 12 1/2.

    @Tat: I should HOPE not! Impressionable youngsters should never be allowed to see Baen covers, let alone look at them long enough to attempt copying them. It’ll warp their little minds, both with the content and the bad art/perspective/fonts.

    Frankly, no one should be allowed to see them. Though perhaps with a note from a psychiatrist, it could be allowed for women over 35 and men over 50.

  32. Calyx Says:

    van Vogt – you just don’t get these pastel colours at all, do you?

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