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Featured here is a gnarly wrought-chocolate cheesecake to commemorate Alan Moore’s vengeful vigilante, Rorschach. Pardon the craftsmanship– Rorschach blots are definitely supposed to be more symmetrical, but with only a wooden spoon and various other home tools, this was the best I could manage.

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So when it comes to book covers, there’s overly literal, and then there’s this kind of thing, courtesy the mass-market paperback cover of Robert Heinlein’s I Will Fear No Evil:

Robert Heinlein - Fear No Evil

Allegorical representation of Something Profound About America, With Purple Pixie Dust? Thinly veiled excuse for female nudity? Who knows?

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Bad Book Covers Friday Archive
BBCF: The Technic Civilization Saga
BBCF: Relationships II
BBCF: The Saga of Recluce
BBCF: Moonsinger’s Friends
BBCF: The Alphabet Mysteries

So this week’s BBCF stars are tasteless enough that I’m putting them both under a cut. Very much borderline NSFW/NSFpeaceofmind/Ican’tbelievethisactuallyexistsandwasapproved.
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[Sorry for the lateness – apparently I specialize in redefining “Friday.”]

Oh small presses, sometimes (frequently) I just don’t know what you were thinking. So far I’ve tried to stay away from small-small-press covers because they do what they do under so many constraints, but sometimes – yeah, I just really don’t know what they were thinking. According to the publisher, this is “a collection of seven stories about relationships, loving and passionate, thought-provoking and inspiring. Some verge into the familiar Anthony territory of fantasy and science fiction, where others focus on the eroticism of contemporary life, proving that love has many facets.”

Piers Anthony - Relationships II

Apparently one of love’s facets is reenactment of bondage scenarios with Parcheesi gamepieces after a few hits of acid…?

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Bad Book Covers Friday Archive
BBCF: Birth of the Firebringer
BBCF: The Saga of Recluce
BBCF: Moonsinger’s Friends
BBCF: The Alphabet Mysteries

Foreign-language editions of fantasy novels tend to be particularly fertile grounds for weird book covers. And man, I love many a Scandinavian illustrator, but their covers also tend to be the loopiest among European editions that I’ve seen. Here’s the Danish paperback cover of Meredith Ann Pierce’s Birth of the Firebringer (which is the first book in a childhood-favorite trilogy, so this is another case in which I can vouch for the cover being accurate in its details, yet not… shall we say, entirely representative of the book as a whole):

Meredith Ann Pierce - Birth of the Firebringer, second Danish edition

50% cute, 50% acid-trip unhinged. I don’t think I want to be friends with these unicorns – they look like they’d shake me down for my lunch money, then threaten to cut me if I told.

Yet at the same time, I kind of want a t-shirt with them on it.

Go to:
Bad Book Covers Friday Archive
BBCF: The Saga of Recluce
BBCF: Moonsinger’s Friends
BBCF: The Alphabet Mysteries
BBCF: Diamond Star

Author: Joe Hill

Date: 2.22.10

Book: Horns

Venue: Porter Square Books

Reviewer: Kakaner

Joe Hill Porter Square Signing Locke and Key Horns Heart Shaped Box reading

Porter Square Books is a quaint bookstore tucked away in Porter Square, Cambridge and features a popular fair-trade cafe. We arrived early for front row seats, and discovered while waiting that we had been seated in the… SAT prep and pregnancy help section. Huh?

Anyway, enter Joe Hill, tall and lanky, and a spitting image of his father. He exuded a very distinct “accomplished nerd” appeal, as in awkward yet confident. I have to say I was a little taken aback by his appearance because the only photo I had seen of him was this:

Which incidentally kind of coincides with the mental image I have of Judas Coyne from Heart-Shaped Box– jacket, rock, auto-enthusiast. Oh author portraits. How you mislead us so!

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Apologies for actually missing Friday – it’s been a long week. To make up for it, for this week’s Bad Book Cover Friday, I’m covering (har [?]) a series that Kakaner has been begging me to do pretty much since the beginning – L. E. Modesitt, Jr.’s The Saga of Recluce.

These covers actually work the best without much commentary, so prepare for some scrolling –

L. E. Modesitt - Mage-Guard of Hamor

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Not gonna lie, this one makes me smile at the same time that it makes me wince. Some things are so awesomely dated that you can’t help but love them.

Moonsinger's Friends - In Honor of Andre Norton, ed. Susan Schwartz

Rainbows. Stumpy-necked hippocampi. Mermaids riding stumpy-necked hippocampi while double rainbows explode from their backs. What could be better, or worse, or more likely to make you want to ingest something involving funfetti? Something to consider the next time you’re surveying (sadly rainbow-free) covers at the bookstore.

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Bad Book Covers Friday Archive
BBCF: The Alphabet Mysteries
BBCF: Diamond Star
BBCF: The God Engines
BBCF: The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror 16

For this week’s Bad Book Cover Friday, we have the covers of Sue Grafton’s alphabet mystery series, a.k.a. the Kinsey Millhone novels. Kakaner referred me to these for the purposes of BBCF, and ever since then I can’t stop seeing them in used book sale piles everywhere.

Sue Grafton - C is for Corpse

Deeply mediocre, in a “we had no budget so we gave our cover designs to a 6th grader with Word Art pretensions” kind of way. Simplicity has its advantages in terms of recognizability, of course – as evidenced by my inability to not see these everywhere now – but. well. You could try to make it look a little less like you spent 5 minutes in Photoshop per cover doing these.

Also, on first look, the juxtaposition of the title and the cover blurb on the above cover made me think that “refreshing heroine” referred to the titular corpse. Did this happen to anyone else?

A couple more under the cut…

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For this week’s Bad Book Cover Friday, I present the cover of Catherine Asaro’s Diamond Star:

Catherine Asaro - Diamond Star

Yet again. Yes, the book is actually about rock stars in space (rather, a rock star in space). And it actually sounds like a very entertaining, cleverly conceived book, too. Unfortunately, when the cover artist was told “futuristic,” s/he seems to have settled on “the 80’s” as the nearest approximation. And so we are granted the bargain-bin equivalent of the love child of David Bowie and the vampire Lestat as our cover boy.

Let’s just hope that proximity to cosmic! star! light! won’t reduce his sperm count as much as those pants will, because then where would we be? Deprived of a new generation of starlets with mullets, that’s where.

– E

Go to:
Bad Book Covers Friday Archive
BBCF: The God Engines
BBCF: The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror 16
BBCF: The Gathering Storm

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