Trouble Thinking

March 11, 2011

Terrible SF/Fantasy Book Covers!

Filed under: Books — Tags: , , , — Durandal @ 12:24 pm

Man, ComicsAlliance reminded me of this thing too.

So, as a kid, I read this entire gigantic collection of old Sci-Fi my dad had gathered from 1950-1980 or so. I started off by picking books based on what cover art looked coolest. Sometimes, it was difficult to pick between the sweet robots and space battles.
Other times, this happened:



I’m not entirely certain what the process for picking cover art is, really. I mean, obviously it’s not as though the author actually lays it out. I presume some publishing-house PR lackey picks a theme, contacts an artist…

But holy SHIT do they have some weird ideas about what will appeal to science fiction fans. I mean, that book up there? It’s a short story collection. The anthology name is taken from one story about an adorable grandma-bot.

At no point do any recursive muscle-men centaur appear.

Guess what this book is about:

Giant naked circus clone? British telekenitic monster-man throwing?

It’s about a planet where everyone who has ever lived is sent mysteriously and revived along the shores of a massive river. It’s actually pretty good! It stars Mark Twain and a Sir Francis Burton and it has fights and steamboats. It’s a great, weird, fun adventure story. At not a single point does a massive naked man get poked in the kidneys by Professor Two-Coats.

This one basically gets it spot on, though:

I mean, obviously.

So! Intrigued by these truly atrocious examples of marketing gone really, really poorly? Go check out the Terrible Book Covers site at! I mean, you can tell it’s class just from the name.

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