Nov 20

Have you ever picked up a book and thought, “WOW… who gave that cover the green light?” or “I would LOVE to be seen reading this on a bus!” That’s what lay behind the formation of this site. 1,000 posts later and here we are with three of your top covers, and one that we’ve never published before…

Yes, it’s finally here – and I know at least seven of you have been eagerly awaiting it! Thanks for all your input on The Pre-1000 post. Perhaps, together, we can create something truly beautiful (or at least slightly less shambolic) for Good Show Sir’s 5 year anniversary in March.

The Best of Jim Baen’s Universe I
Eric Flint, David Mattingly

Many of this site’s covers have an amazing quality – one that’ll make you burst out laughing in both admiration and confusion. This example can make grown adults stagger around respectable bookshop interiors, giddy with laughter and half blind with tears. The art is spectacular, the font is special, and there is so, so much happening it could make your mind explode. Would you catch me reading it in public? Well, maybe… but I might have to pretend it belongs to my flatmate.

This is what happens when I stroke my goatee... imagine what happens when I smoke a pipe!Click for original post

Hunters of the Red Moon
Marion Zimmer Bradley, unknown artist

There are so many books that could be mentioned here, so many loved for what’s on the front and contained within. But staying away from the more obvious top rated covers, this one is a particular favourite of a good few (including myself). Having taken the photo and purchased the book immediately, I discovered this: to my joy, it did indeed include a naked man wrestling a lion-man within the very first chapter. No snake or mountain of fire though, but still, a perfect symbiosis of cover and content. Genius.. simply genius!

Stop looking at your crotch and fight me!!! Click for original post

Time Spike
Eric Flint, Marilyn Kosmatka, David Mattingly
The following cover, another Baen/Flint/Mattingly classic (GSS editorial impartiality hooo!), has been sent in multiple times as well, even though it was one of the first to be featured. I wonder why? Let me settle into this comfortable armchair I like to call “psychology”. *Ahem* Well, sometimes a significant book cover experience just has to be shared. Through sharing we can gain understanding. Acceptance. An appreciation of an event’s true personal impact. And the knowledge that you can’t really surprise attack a T-Rex by time-travelling into its open jaw.

I REGRET NOTHING!!!!! Click for original post

Attack of the Rockoids
Steinberg & Steinberg, Michael Cox

<cue epic baritone voiceover> But there has been one special cover, one sent in more than any other! One… that I have yet to post. Mainly because no one has ever sent me a genuine photograph of the book itself, but the same scanned image every time. It’s also self-published, which we tend to avoid — given how hard it’s been to find a publisher for Dr J. R. Asimov’s Good Show Sir quadrilogy, I know the pain.

Please enjoy Terrible Book Cover Number 1,000, Attack of the Rockoids.

It's BEHIND YOU! HA! Beat you to it this time!Click for slightly larger image

Good Show Sir’s Art Direction: You do what I ask, boy? You make that CGI busty women with plenty of sparkles with yer Windows Millenium Edtion?!? Yep… that’ll sell… that’ll sell a lot… now bring me more of that whiskey!
Published 2002

Thanks again for your comments, suggestions, corrections, company and banter. Long may the irritable server ferret Sauron gaze kindly upon us.

And to our top commenter, favourite self-published Swedish indie author, and generally jovial site veteran A.R.Yngve, sitting on 1,469 comments: Well done, Sir… well done!

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: 8.63 out of 10)

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80 Responses to “Good Show Sir 1,000th Post!”

  1. THX 1138 Says:

    Attack of the Rockoids: “If I stand very still they might not notice me…”

    Hunters of the Red Moon is a classic, I think it’s the “aaay!” look on the snake that makes it.

    Congratulations GSS on one of the richest abundances of the preposterous on the internet, and that’s saying something.

  2. Kripslod Says:

    Congratulations GSS!

    “Never have so few done so little with such talent for so long!”

    Now, just two questions that really bother me:

    Why do my European colleagues all seem to wait until they’re at work to post comments on this site? Doesn’t anyone on your side of the pond have internet at home?

    And why, why, why is that snake outfitted with a ferrite bead?

  3. Tat Wood Says:

    Warmest felicitations, and in the week of a CS Lewis anniversary too. If I could think of a sheep-related This Day In History for this week I’d add that.

    I would have sent more but my camera’s malfunctioning. ‘On Wings of Song’ seems to have been too much for it.

    @GSS Admin: I cry foul – this is a TV tie-in cover. You remember? It was a Canadian-made, German-financed ‘Cop Rock’ in Space. You may recall the fuss when it was revealed that even John de Lancie was embarrassed and got his name taken off the credits.
    @Kripslod: what makes you think we have 9-5 jobs?

  4. Dead Stuff With Big Teeth Says:

    Post #1000! Huzzah! Huzzah! Many thanks for your hard work and your scorched eyeballs.

    Re: Rockoids, why does everyone have Stitch’s silhouette (from Lilo & Stitch) on their person?

  5. Bibliomancer Says:

    “When I suffer from Attack of the Rockoids, my doctor recommends Preparation H”

    Tingtastic! I count at least 30 Tings! on this doozy.

    You’d think with so many submitters of this cover someone would have gotten a photo. After all, it’s available for next-day delivery from Amazon. I propose that Good Show Sir take $13.46 of its profits (or seventy-eleven quid or whatever you use) and photograph this in all its glory in the GSS Studios.

    But a hearty thanks GSS Admin and Tag Wizard and their unpaid staff for 1 kilocovers of the best of the worst. I too have laughed hard enough to cry at quite a few. Keep ’em coming!

  6. Tag Wizard Says:

    Oh, also, cheers to Bibliomancer and another unnamed guest (possibly Italian) for quickly noticing that an entirely blank GSS 1000 draft post had been accidentally published yesterday, and then rating it a 10/10 anyway. Warms the cockles, that does.

    Thanks to the other visitor that rated it, er, “less highly”. Appreciative of the encouragement to do better in future 😉

  7. Bibliomancer Says:

    @ Tag Wizard – Not a problem. My Chinese GSS army of unpaid child admins constantly monitors Good Show Sir for any changes and updates so we can keep track of the competition.

    I have to repost a link to a deep field image of Mr. Baen in all of his glory:

    The Best of Jim Baen’s Universe

    — photograph courtesy of the GSS Space Telescope

  8. SI Says:

    @Bibliomancer – Just above his left shoulder… best lens flare ever!

  9. Tom Noir Says:

    Ooh, thanks for the cover close-up, @Biblio! Now we can peruse this cover in all its glory. Let’s see, I spy with my own little eye:

    – TWO dinosaurs
    – That naked lady escaping through a portal from another Baen cover
    – The Statue of Liberty with rockets?!
    – A kid blowing up a space station with his pop-gun.
    – A young Darth Sidious.
    – Lots of Roman Soldiers.
    – What I can only assume is a Time Lord.
    – Nazis!
    – etc.

    Oh, and far left, just behind the Nazi… is that Orson?!?

  10. Jon Says:

    @Tag Wizard – I saw that blank post, and felt compelled to rate it a 5. I mean, a blank page wasn’t the worst (best?) cover I’ve seen, but it wasn’t the best (worst?) either.

    As for Rockoids…it’s like a screenshot from a video game cut scene.

  11. Tat Wood Says:

    I saw the incomplete one but had little idea how to respond. That does stop me, sometimes.

    Thanks to Bibliomancer, I can get into the fractal insanity of the Baen cover. Midway up the right hand side I can see Uncle Fester with either a hand growing out of his head or Thing hitching a ride. It’s just under the pair of frogman’s legs disappearing into the ear-hole of the sea-monster. The cover in the original post cuts this off. So someone at Baen thought ‘hang on, that looks stupid’ about one small part of this mess and let the rest go through.

  12. Rags Says:

    Felicitaciones! Parabens! Congratulations!!

    So happy to see Hunters of the Red Moon up there, still makes me laugh to this day. I have that book at work, sitting on my desk to look at when I am stressed or upset! Somestimes when I am deep into work, i can hear lion man gut punching naked butt man (kapow, klonk!).

    Jim Baen deserves a life time achievement award for all his Baeny goodies. No one does cheesy quite like him.

  13. Rags Says:

    @ Tom Noir and Bibliomancer – just above the huge insect head over his right shoulder, is that 2 vikings fighting a vampire with ray guns? GLORIOUS!!

  14. fred Says:

    Attack of the ROCKO-ids. Couldn’t there have been more Steinbergs involved in the writing, like enough to totally engulf this meh cover in crap fontage?

  15. Tag Wizard Says:

    @Kripslod – in Communist Europe, our work is done for us by the State.

    @Jon – the world needs honest GSS cover raters like your self. Thank you. Yet… perhaps we should invite the respected B. Chiclitz to guest post an all-white cover and lead us in a session blank slate meditation?

  16. A.R.Yngve Says:

    Congratulations, Webmaster, and may this site live as long there will be awful SF book covers… that is to say UNTIL THE END OF TIME.

  17. FeârofMúsïc Says:

    One Thousand! One Thousand Hurrahs! ( won’t type those all out)
    In honor of a thousand covers of delight I did a quick experiment among anonymous colleagues:

    Anon woman:”I don’t know, it all seems sorta snarky.”

    Anon man. “I don’t get it. It doesn’t even tell what the books are about.”

    Anon man.”Yeah,so? Science Fiction is stupid and this site proves I. ”

    Anon woman(Karen P.) “I suppose these people think it’s clever to be mean and hateful? Hmm? To mock other people just because THEY don’t care for it? I am sure the artists are laughing all the way to the bank.People posting these sort of comments obviously have no talent of their own.(Is shown A.R.Yngve’s website)
    Well that doesn’t count. He’s Swedish.”

    Anon man.:”Dude, these are freakin’ hilarious! I’m gonna make a slide show outta these covers and use it for my screen saver.”

    May we all be around(through the wonders of science) to see the “GSS Grand Intergalactic Extravaganza to celebrated cover number ONE MILLION!”

  18. Dead Stuff With Big Teeth Says:

    This is what she looks like when she remembers to dry her hair before she puts on her nail polish.

  19. Rachel J Says:

    I make it 39 tings but it’s hard to be sure, as some of the tings are on top of other tings…

  20. Lulu Says:

    Woooo!! Lucky 1000! \o/

    re: empty 1000 post
    I figured GSS Admin or Tag Wizard simply put that out there to stir up more excitement 🙂

    I must have missed Time Spike the first time around. That horse… ballerina! So good!

    That Rockoid has a chilling look about her. Or perhaps she’s just dazzled by all the Ting.

  21. Rachel J Says:

    @Lulu. No, what you are seeing there is clearly the soulful, spiritual gaze appropriate to the heroine of a “great, classic story of star-crossed lovers” filled with “eternal, everlasting love imagery”, which is at the same time an “epic saga” with storytelling “reminiscent of Asimov and Zelazny” and generally “takes creativity to a new level”.

    Source: 5-star Amazon reviews by people who are definitely not close friends or relatives of the authors. (Why, I’m shocked anyone would even suggest such a thing!)

  22. Dead Stuff With Big Teeth Says:

    @Lulu, RachelJ: I confess! I had the opportunity to buy Timespike, in the original hardcover, the last time I was in Los Angeles. But, I did not. And I further confess, I haven’t given myself much of any agony over it. 😉

    Do note, tyrannosaurs didn’t have spike-shaped teeth as much as killer banana teeth. Also, Rex seems to be juggling the horsey. Tyrannosaurs couldn’t turn their hands palm-up without jabbing their elbows into their sternums (sterna?).

  23. Rachel J Says:

    @Dead Stuff. Well, at least the T-Rex has the correct number of digits and is neither flying, wielding a weapon nor wearing clothes. I believe that makes it one of the more accurate of the many dinos that have starred here.

  24. Bibliomancer Says:

    @Tag Wizard — Understand you guys are super busy planning our 5th Anniversary Extravaganza. But this is certainly a DAMSEL with FONT PROBLEMS.

    I thought the Tings! were stars in the background and then I just noticed the one on her forehead. Also, are those flying saucers behind her or Roombas? And the globular cluster in front of the galactic plus sign? So many questions. Perhaps someone should interview the Steinbergs for clarification.

  25. B. Chiclitz Says:

    1000 bad SF covers on the wall
    1000 bad SF covers
    If one of those covers should happen to fall
    There’ll be 1001, somehow . . . .

    Yes, it is all cosmic paradox and no-mind delight. Thanks for the note, @Tag-W. Maybe I should change my nom de plume to Z. (for Zenmaster) Chiclitz.

    This site is one of the best therapies ever created. @FoM—tell that benighted anon Karen person that there is no hate to be found here (except maybe when Ellison’s name is invoked), not even when confronted with rock n’ roll laser-toting space cats.

  26. FeârofMúsïc Says:

    @B.’EnlightenedOne’Chiclitz: My capacity for engaging in logical and well reasoned conversation was annihilated by her simple assertion that “That doesn’t count. He’s Swedish.” My tiny mind is still struggling to comprehend that rationale ..

  27. B. Chiclitz Says:

    A koan—
    Zen Acolyte: Oh great Master, does GSS possess Buddha nature?
    Roshi: Mu!!

    ‘Nuff said . . . .

  28. Ian Says:

    1000… I’ll wait to comment on the 2000th.

  29. Rachel J Says:

    @Bibliomancer. I think the stars are those faint blurry tings in the background. (I didn’t count those, as they’re only half-tings at best.)

    I’m afraid “Attack of the Rockoids” does miss some opportunities – can one font, no matter how spectacular, ever be enough? I’m sure they could have found a use for another – maybe a quote describing the book as “…readable…”

  30. Tat Wood Says:

    @Rachel J: we’ve not seen the back cover. It may well have the requisite blurbs from David Weber and Anne McCaffrey (talking about other works, if you read the small print) saying ‘This is a book’ or ‘in the traditions of Perry Rhodan and George Orwell’ and a banner saying ‘now in print’.

  31. Bibliomancer Says:

    @Rachel J. — If the halftings aren’t stars then what is doing all the tinging on the cover? And why is my spellchecker yelling at me? I would guess the rest of that cover quote is “…readable font … solid binding”.

  32. Kripslod Says:

    @ Ƒëåŗőfɟɱȗșȋç: After I saw your comment, I also did a survey of my eleven learned colleagues. The results were different however:

    Anon Man One: “Don’t touch my computer! I’ve got money riding …”
    Anon Man Two: “I don’t have time for that crap …”
    Anon Man Three: “Get out of my cubical.”
    Anon Woman One: “Are you the IT guy?”
    Anon Man Four: “Hey, don’t bother with that. If you want to see something cool go to …”
    Anon Woman Two: “While you’re here, let me show you something meaningful I found …”
    Anon Man Five: “Who the blazes are you?”

    (and I forgot the other four were on furlough since last Friday.)

    @ Rachel J: I’m another one who must apologize for my five star review on Amazon. I didn’t ask for it, it was a “favour” from the first person I asked to read the book over. Five star ratings are worse for sales even more than cover art drawn by your own four year old child! But not much worse. (And to be honest, writing a lousy book doesn’t help sales much as well.)

    @ GSS Admin: I thought with its being the fiftieth anniversary of his death, you might have posted one of Professor Lewis’ American Edition Narnia covers from the 1970’s today. Somehow despite those terrible cover illustrations, many of us still had our introduction to the works of C. S. Lewis through those books.

  33. B. Chiclitz Says:

    @Tat Wood 30—actually that’s “first time ever in print” I think (or I ting!). Also let’s not forget “demonstrates the author’s storytelling skills.”

  34. GSS Admin Says:

    I hear they’re making a new Jurassic Park movie… all I know is that it needs a time travelling eating a knight scene!

    @Kripsiod – Sorry been a bit busy over the past few weeks. Don’t have any C.S. Lewis covers in stock at the moment! Which is good, I mean… I already use his face to cover up breasts… how much more commemorated would anyone what to be? 😉

  35. Rachel J Says:

    I must be slow on the uptake. All those things that I thought were small flying cars hovering right behind the Rockoid Maiden are spaceships battling in the far distance! And the plus signs are X-wing, er, tributes. And the tings are… wait, the tings occur both in front of her *and* behind everything else, so, uh… any ideas?

  36. Dead Stuff With Big Teeth Says:

    @RachelJ: In the immortal words of Julie Andrews, These are a few of my favourite TINGS!

  37. Jaouad Says:

    Belated congratulations to everyone at the GSS offices. I looked on the internet and found that most people agree with what you have posted. These books will probably sell quite well.

    Also: Coupon Inside!

    And if you think that latest cover is GSS-worthy, have a look at this unforgettable sample chapter from Attack of the Rockoids. You’re welcome.

  38. Rachel J Says:

    Why thank you, Jaoud! Reading this compelling, consuming chapter has been one of those moments when destiny and chance intertwine to change the face of the universe forever. It will haunt me just as his recurrent dreams of a beautiful, violet-eyed alien woman haunt the hapless protagonist. Is it real? Or just some cruel trick of fate taking me on endless journey into total insanity?

    …New theory: our hard-working authors wrote their own Amazon reviews. Same style.

  39. A.R.Yngve Says:

    “Well that doesn’t count. He’s Swedish.”
    That made me laugh out loud.

  40. A.R.Yngve Says:

    So what is the Deep Secret of SF/F book covers? What is the mystery that makes them sell, year after year, decade upon decade?

    I think the secret is this: In SF/F publishing, it pays to have ABSOLUTELY NO SENSE OF SHAME. “Toujours l’audacité,” as Napoleon said.

  41. Dead Stuff With Big Teeth Says:

    Wait a mo…

    Dr J. R. Asimov’s Good Show Sir quadrilogy

    Three sequels!!! And so soon! Will it be in stores by Christmas?

  42. HappyBookwyrm Says:

    I doff my figurative hat to all those who make GSS possible and funny enough to make me smile on even the worst day. And for making me want to read books with atrociously bad covers. *clap, clap, clap*!

  43. Stevie T Says:

    Congrats GSS! I can’t believe it’s been 1,000 covers (and I’ve seen ’em all…gee, it only took three years)…And there’s still more out there, because the bad covers JUST KEEP COMING at us. *insert loud scream here*

    Ah, Jim Baen, the gift that keeps on giving. I think that Tom Noir is right: I do believe that’s Orson hiding behind the Nazi!

    As for our actual post for the day, That is an unfortunate one-two punch of a bad cover and a bad title. It reminds me of the “Mork and Mindy” episode where the Necrotons come to kidnap Mork and suck out his brains. No Orkan knew what a Necroton looked like and then it turned out they were all women with 80’s fantasy physiques. This must be their leader, and the Rockoids her crack infiltration team.

  44. Bibliomancer Says:

    I believe I have found the cover artist. Michael Cox, take a bow:

    @Tag Wizard will present you with your winning tag.

  45. Rachel J Says:

    @Bibliomancer. I’d say a Lifetime Achievement Award is in order.

  46. Woolly Brontosaurus Says:

    Do I detect a note of mockery here?

    When *your* minions’ I mean cover artists’ depict *your* countenance looming over an entire universe of dragons, dinosaurs, spaceships, flying cars, Nazis, etc, etc… then you may criticise the Mighty Lord Baen and all his works!

    As for “Attack of the Rockoids”, both the title and cover art are in keeping with the themes of the book, which explores such great, classic, eternal questions as “What if videogames were real?”

  47. Tag Wizard Says:

    Thanks Biblio.

    edit: also ↴

  48. Bibliomancer Says:

    @Tag Wizard — Just doin’ my job. Keepin’ the place tidy and all. By the way, the paragraph above introducing the book says Steinberg & Steinberg, might want to add Michael Cox there also.

  49. Bibliomancer Says:

    @Tag Wizard — Just one more spot under Published 2002, still says unknown artist. We want to site to be all ready for Mr. Cox if someone should invite him to stop by for a visit.

  50. Tag Wizard Says:

    We do, Biblio, we do.

    “Pardon me for the oversight,” I’ll say, “but in recent times I’ve been moderating the site’s archives solely by means of the Oculus Rift.”

  51. Bibliomancer Says:

    Looks like we are all famous now. Someone is selling a signed Attack of the Rockoids on eBay. And using Good Show Sir’s 1000th cover honor as a marketing tool! And quoting us! I think I remember GSS Admin was just pushing this concept. Cashing in. Cachingggg!

  52. B. Chiclitz Says:

    @Bibliomancer—Hmmmmmmmmmmm . . . wonder who that mysterious “seller” really is? Do we get a cut?

  53. Detective SI Says:

    Let me put to the court… and by court I mean drunken group of book cover commenter’s. I submit this to evidence, a cover submitted by none other than BIBLIOMANCER!

    Doesn’t that background look suspiciously like the ebay post picture!

    That can only mean one thing… and one thing only! Magic pixies! I recommend trapping them in rings of salt.

    *starts smoking his pipe*

  54. Bibliomancer Says:

    @Detective SI – That is obviously the scanning plate of the Hewlett-Packard G3010 flat bed scanner. They are rather common I would think. Put that in your pipe and toke it!

    @B. Chiclitz — Getting greedy are ya? Check again. Seems your quote has been replaced on eBay. Cut your own throat, pirate!

  55. B. Chiclitz Says:

    @Det. SI—well well well, the mystery deepens. And by “deepens” I mean remains deeply superficial. But doesn’t one trap these particular magic pixies, not in “rings,” but in “tings” of salt?

  56. B. Chiclitz Says:


  57. FeârofMúsïc Says:

    I say, I find that description on eBay rather inappropriate. I mean, yes it’s true there have been some Ubbar covers featured here, but to refer to this as a ” Science Fiction Cult Website”? Am I missing something here? Or do I need to contact one of those de-programming groups. What a bothersome thing that will be.

  58. Friend Computer With Big Teeth Says:

    @FearofMusic: I’m sorry, citizen, but reference to ‘Good Show Sir’ and further reference to ‘Cult Websites’ is considered treason. Please proceed directly to your nearest available termination booth. Thank you for your cooperation.

  59. B. Chiclitz Says:

    @FoM 57—Be careful. This is what you will run into:

    The mindless words you are repeating:
    “We are the light of a beautiful world
    Logical thoughts are self defeating,
    We are the light of a beautiful world”

    ~~The Bobs – “The Deprogrammer”

  60. FeârofMúsïc Says:

    @Mssr.Chiclitz: Thanks for the warning good sir. Rest assured that I wouldnnever have anything to do with that sort. I know that GSS is a source of goodness and light. GSS is our buddy, GSS is our pal.

  61. Jaouad Says:

    GSS is the telephone repairman on the switchboard of my life.

  62. THX 1138 Says:

    GSS is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful website I’ve ever known in my life.

  63. Bibliomancer Says:

    Cyber Monday sale on eBay! Price slashed on the signed Rockoids book:

  64. Kripslod Says:

    But we in GSS shall be remembered-
    We few, we happy few, we band of siblings;
    For they to-day that mocks this retched cover with me
    Shall be my sibling; be they ne’er so snitty,
    This site shall gentle their condition;
    And gentlebeings on Earth now-a-bed
    Shall think themselves accurs’d they didn’t submit their diatribes here,
    And hold their petty opinions cheap whiles any speaks
    That nitpicked with us upon Saint Asimov’s day.

  65. Detective SI Says:

    In my investigations I sent the ebay image to my forensics team who enhanced the image. They bounced light off a particle, which in turn bounced light from the water from a single tear off the side of a face, which in turn travelled through time and bounced light from the first ever droplet of H20 in the universe… which leaves us with this:

  66. B. Chiclitz Says:

    @Det. SI: My god man, you’ve seen the face of the kozmic kat-ground radiation! There’s a nobel in this, somewhere, for you. (Perhaps the one that Bibliomancer is hawking on eBay.)

  67. Bibliomancer Says:

    @Detective SI — You dare accuse an upstanding galactic citizen and distinguished cat-person of this ignominy? Perhaps we should (quickly) change the conversation and question who the mysterious Mr. S.I. is? Perhaps not the Special Investigator he fancies himself.

    I’ve taken the complete word cloud of the internets and have found some interesting clues:

    Smithsonian Institution
    Staten Island
    Sudden Impact
    Sexual Intercourse
    Square Inch
    Sports Illustrated
    Small Intestine

    … nobody expects …. the Spanish Inquisition!

    But I think the truth behind your puzzling moniker is that S.I. is your … SECRET IDENTITY!

    Has no one noticed that SI and GSS Admin are never in the same chat room at the same time???

    I believe you to be none other than ….

    Dirk Gently!
    (or his Uncle George Gently)
    Bruce Wayne?

    How many guesses do I get?

  68. Detective SI Says:

    Outrageous! Everyone knows I wear glasses… the GSS Admin does not!

    Oh wait… you weren’t accusing me… but if you were I would point that out!

    And come on! Everyone knows SI stands for “Le Système international d’unités” (

    *pushes fake reading glasses up nose… i mean REAL reading glasses…REAL!!!*

  69. anon Says:

    The top cover makes me want to use drugs just to make it less messy.

    Red Moon: Which one has the read moon? Oh, it’s over there.
    Shouldn’t this be “Wrestlers and a Sock Snake Near the Red Moon”?

    Eric Flint Time Spike: Who names these things? Also, what’s with the horse?

  70. Dead Stuff With Big Teeth Says:

    “On this subject, U.S. Air Force spokesman James W. Moseley argued, “Those tabloid papers and cult magazines have been raving about this stuff for years, and it’s just not true!”

    ― Gene Steinberg, Attack of the Rockoids

  71. GSS ex-noob Says:

    @DSWBT: So that’s supposed to be a beautiful woman, eh?

    “The center of her face was smashed in with a shovel, plus her eyes and eyebrows were a shape I can’t describe” is a definition of the word “beautiful” I am not familiar with.

  72. Francis Boyle Says:

    And congratulations on the beginning of GSS’s third millennium. Yeah, I’m one of those pedants. [Goes off humming the Blue Danube waltz.]

  73. fred Says:

    Alas for the Rockoids 2 cover. Click to enlarge the full cover thumbnail.

  74. Tat Wood Says:

    @Fred: Zanther looks like Brains from ‘Thunderbirds’ cosplaying as Lady Penelope.

  75. Bruce A Munro Says:

    The Baen cover link is down, but thanks to isfdb we can still see it in something like its original unearthly glory:

    A muddled collage of Baen covers, in washed-out colors. It doesn’t really say “fun” to me, expect for the guy in shades on the flying bike: he’s clearly enjoying himself.

    Bit of an unfair fight if only one of the guys has groin armor, isn’t it? Looks like the lion man is about to punch the other guy in the balls again.

    The snake with the mill wheel around it’s neck: that’s not meant to be some sort of cock ring joke, is it?

    What’s going on with the tyrannosaur [1] on the third cover is puzzling: I have a couple theories.

    1. The horse tried to do one of those body-twisting flying kicks they’re always doing in comics, only to dislocate multiple joints and fling it’s rider into the tyrant lizard’s mouth by accident

    2. The tyrannosaur is psychic, and levitating the horse between its claws while floating its rider into its mouth

    The rockoids? Do they rock, and, presumably, roll? Do they live in the rocks (asteroids?) Are they made of rock, or are they just ROCK HARD? (Sorry, that second cover is still affecting me,,,) Can’t really criticize the cover itself: it’s such basic computer-drawn schlock with uncanny valley female and low-detail space ships that mocking it seems like beating on a midget.

    [1] Now that we know the order of dinosaurs which the tyrannosaur belonged often had feathers, we really need a talented artist to go back and redraw all these “menacing tyrant lizard covers” with the creature made as bird-like and _fluffy_ as possible.

  76. GSS ex-noob Says:

    I looked at the entirely-too-detailed image provided by @B’mancer (7) and marveled at how that cover literally is clip art from a bunch of other covers. Like, coming out of his head is the little kid who was holding off a tank with his toy gun — apparently doesn’t work on space stations as it’s zapping him right in the throat. I also recognize the girl top right running through the portal. We probably have at least 50% of those somewhere here on GSS, with a 100% chance we laughed heartily at them.

    Must have given their intern a bootleg copy of Photoshop, a link to the “art” department’s server, and a triple espresso. Oh wait, I see a signature by David Mattingly — guess he got the espresso and probably a legit copy of PS.

    Not as many perky boobs, giant guns, and ‘splosions as one might expect. Exactly as much Orson as one might expect. I agree with

    @B’mancer (51): That auction is long ended, of course, but someone’s auctioning off the same book right now. Minus the autographs and the shout-out to GSS. They want $16.60 for it, which I doubt they’re going to get.

    @Bruce: agree about being puzzled with the murky, dull colors. Especially combined with the bright lettering. And I think the t-rex is levitating. Probably mad about losing its fluffy colorful feathers. I’d like to see real feathered dinos on covers too.

    (sings) “Oh the Rockoid co-ver is a mighty crap one…”

  77. A.R.Yngve Says:

    Rockoids – the Deadheads of space. They travel from planet to planet in search of weed and interminable guitar solos.

  78. THX 1139 Says:

    Happy 50th, Woodstock! The Rockoids were on before Sha Na Na – most of the hippies didn’t know what year it was after that.

  79. Tom Noir Says:

    Well-deserved congratulations to everyone who makes GSS possible! You have inspired many people, I’m sure! Certainly you have given me a very weird hobby. Keep that bad cover train rolling!

  80. GSS ex-noob Says:

    @ARY: That would explain the flat look in her eyes. She’s stoned and sleep-deprived. I’m impressed she’s managed to keep her catsuit so white, though — must be some wonder fabric of The Future.

    Would also like to thank, again, everyone at GSS — Admin, Tweet Jane, and the long-suffering Tag Wiz. I’ve had literally hours of amusement here for free, and certainly never would have thought to pose in recreations of bad sci-fi covers if it weren’t for this site. And thanks to the commenters, who always make me laugh and occasionally I even learn something.

    Cover yourselves in festive decor — it’ll be


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