Sep 16

You can't call the book wank! Put an H after it.Click for full image

You know what I would like to see? A huge cricket with a hat! Giving a hat salute as he greets us with a, ‘top of the morning tu yaaa!’ And why stop there, EH!? Why not have him inviting people into his huge sea shell homes……?

Why yes, I am back on medication. Why do you ask?

Thanks so much to Chris R!

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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23 Responses to “Servants of the Wankh”

  1. SI Says:

    Wankh? How the hell do you pronounce that anyway?

    Wang – K – h ??

  2. JustinLeego Says:

    Master Vance! Me-sa see George-a Lucass on da horizon!

    This must be the US edition cover. I found this piece Wankh vs Wannek which summarises certain “changes” made for the UK market. Introductory paragraph:
    “Should a literary masterpiece published in America surrender both its title and content decades later at the whim of contemporary British gutter slang? I cannot imagine it. Surely the least of Jack Vance’s work will long endure past the demise of off-color terms in any local dialect, even that of Her Majesty. Who even knows how many other such terms there might be? If yielding to one, then why not to all? Indeed, do let a Compton rap artist have a go at redacting Shakespere. Would not Londoners very rightly be appalled? Just as rightly am I entitled to heartfelt disappointment over alterations now appearing in a volume of the Vance Integral Edition.”

    What what? Compton rap artists corrupting William S (RIP), have a cup of tea old chap! 🙂 Fair point though, it probably would have sold more with the original title intact…

  3. CSA Says:

    the alien dude looks awesome. Is it literally a fish with legs and arms? brilliant idea, and well drawn too, the angle the legs are coming out of the “body” dont make any sense from the perspective of the drawing, its like one of those cube illusions where your eye just can’t follow the outline of it.

    Does ChrisR just live is some shrine to aweful covers? where does he keep finding them? keep em coming!

  4. little mi Says:

    I love it! He’s got a feather in his hat and everything! Wow…and the swirly things are just wonderful.

    I must confess though that the title very nearly resulted in coffee being spat all over my desk in hilarity…the cricket/fish with legs even looks rather phallic, though I might just be being particularly peurile there.

    Is this term not used in America?

  5. Roses Says:

    *mops coffee off screen*

    That is a particularly unfortunate title.

    And a particularly unfortunate cover.

    It looks like someone’s dropped Mr Whippys all over a watercolour landscape.

    And that’s a Wankh? Dude must be on some serious shit. Take me to your dealer!

  6. little mi Says:

    Or is that the servant of a Wankh (you know, I just can’t quite manages to type that without giggling)…perhaps the Wankh is just of to the side of the cover hence the doffing of his cap in the Wankh’s direction.

  7. SI Says:

    Is he wearing some sort of waistcoat?

    I don’t even want to think about what’s going on with ‘his’ crotch area…. gahh… to late.

  8. CSA Says:

    little mi, “doffing of his cap” sounds like an inuendo , especially with all this Wankh talk.

    If the female Wankh’s are as skinny as the males, then his crotch is going to do some serious amount of damage. I bet you ladies are happy you’ve never had a Wankh…

  9. Roses Says:

    CSA I don’t think I could ever get that drunk where a bottle-nosed dolphin crosed with a stick insect looked like a good idea.

  10. Cara Powers Says:

    That is one of the most bizaar(sp?) things I’ve ever seen. Love the commentary.

  11. Ugotpwn3d Says:

    Is that a pineapple in the bushes? Or another wankh who’s happyto see him….

    I sicken myself….

  12. Nix Says:

    The strange thing is, Vance has a way with names perhaps exceeding anyone else in the field. His names are *awesomely* good, resonating in your head long after lesser books are forgotten… except in this one case, when a name collided with British slang he was unfamiliar with.

    I have all the Wankh books, but never take them anywhere. The looks I’d get on the train would be too embarrassing.

  13. Mark V Thomas Says:

    The “Cricket with a hat” is a Pneume, a species who inhabit the planet that our Human hero is stuck on, as a result of a spaceship crash (and is spending the entire multi novel saga, trying to get off of said world), who seek to collect items, such as our hapless hero, & store them in their underground Museums of Foreverness…
    The illustration of the Pnume, is fairly close to the description, abeit minus his poncho like robes, though I would argue that Wayne Barlow did a better version in his “Guide to Extra Terrastrials”…
    The reason why us Brits find this title so hysterically funny, is that in the text, the Servants of The Wankh, a religious cult who is also after our hero, but for different reasons than the Pnume, are otherwise known as Wankhmen, which to a British reader, brings a different & potentally far ruder, mental image than Vance intended to bring to mind…

  14. Stephen S. Power Says:

    #13: exactly! I would remark that this is the rare case where an author’s vision was very reliably recreated.

  15. Tom Noir Says:

    We don’t really say “wank” in America, but I think almost all Americans are familiar with the British term and what you Brits use it for. All of us… except Jack Vance.

  16. Tat Wood Says:

    @Justin Leego: This was definitely the UK edition, and celebrated throughout the land as both a source of amusement for teenage boys (who put it to the front of the shelves in any bookshop or supermarket – our local newsagents had these and Granada books with Chris Foss cover) and a prime specimen of how insular Americans are (much the same as the song ‘There Ain’t Nothing Like Shaggin’ or the film ‘Young Man With A Horn’). Similarly that episode of ‘Mork and Mindy’ where they just can’t stop talking about ‘Mr Wanker’ and the end credits of later episodes of ‘Buffy’.

    This is pretty much bog-standard 70s Mayflower Books ineptitude except that the cricket-fish is holding his hand over his brow as if looking for something, but not the giant seashells. Unless this deserves the now-famous ‘Behind You’ tag.

  17. Tom Noir Says:

    At the end of the day aren’t we ALL servants of the wankh?

  18. Severian 67 Says:

    #Nix :”I have all the Wankh books, but never take them anywhere.” Fair dos, Nix. I have a fair few myself and they never leave the house, either. Arf. 😛

  19. Anna T. Says:

    What I see here is a book badly in need of the “WTF” tag. Nothing else would do it justice.

  20. Tom Noir Says:

    “A little Wankh here, a little Wankh there, here a Wankh, there a Wankh, everywhere a Wankh wanks…”

  21. Tat Wood Says:

    @Tom Noir: Not the song I was thinking of, as there’s a blast from the apst back in the news

  22. A. R. Yngve Says:

    The cover gives the impression that the alien observes something going on off-screen – perhaps those servants worshipping the Wankh.

    Not that there’s anything wrong with that…!

  23. Tat Wood Says:

    The Pnume is simply asking any passing stranger for directions to Sarnath.

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