4.25.2008

Mailbag, lovely mailbag

Thanks to Lauren C., Stephanie H., and Your Neighborhood Librarian, P-dog, for the following suggestions. Seen a bad book cover? Send it to me at judgeabook(at)yahoo(dot)com.

Subtitle: When clipart gets colorized.

Ah, Baen, you're breaking my heart with these asterisks and ellipses! Let's fill in our own words, shall we?

"Superb...ly humorous attempt at actual writing..."
"hugely enjoyable...as a fire starter..."
"thrilling...when torn up for guinea pig fodder..."

As Lauren says, "Perhaps I can nail a review of the art to the publisher's door like a female Martin Luther without the religious ideals or the funky hat." Tell you what, Lauren. I'll buy the hammer.



Eeeek! Those eyes are freakin' creepy!!! But what I like most of all is the blurb from Best Sellers. It tells us that this book "Invites comparison to Tolkein's Lord of the Rings" Like, "Tolkein's Lord of the Rings is awesome. This book sucks."

Ack! Where'd her nipples go?! His seem to be missing, too. Guess the "primitive societies" don't need them.

19 comments:

deadlytoque said...

The series that Silverthorn is part of were my favorite books back in high school. I'm kinda afraid to go back to them; concern with what my adult self will think of my high-school self's taste keeps me away. I suspect the LotR comparisons would mostly be in the realm of scale, since Feist did a pretty decent job of imagining a huge and detailed world, even if it was a little (OK, a lot) more shlocky than Tolkien's.

DocTurtle said...

"All the virtues...of a drunken Alabama prom queen with a $100-a-day meth habit."

yellojkt said...

Bujold is too good a writer to have a cover that would make a vanity press embarrassed. That is just painful to look at.

B. Durbin said...

Oh, that Bujold cover isn't nearly as bad as most of the Vorkosigan series. In the whole Baen run, there's only one that is actually rather attractive, and that's the CG one of the still life on the table (in shards, as if by an explosion, on the back cover.) The rest are truly appalling.

Basically, the only books for which I reliably ignore the cover art are the Baen books. It's kind of a given.

It's also a given that if I were to ever sell a book to Baen (note: I am not an author), I would also request that I be able to put my own art on the cover, because I could do a better job (I am an artist, though I've never done anything on the level of a cover, at least I know what looks good and what doesn't.)

writtenwyrdd said...

No, primitive societies don't need nipples. They are so primitive their children hatch from eggs.

Shalen said...

Poor Bujold. Excellent books and reliable hideous covers...

I'll have to send in the 70's space princess one I have sometime. :D

scott_b said...

Bujold does seem to be a magnet for bad covers (partly due to the Baen factor). Those blurb ellipses are great, but I think worse is the space-nazi / disco-stud / harem-girl cover for The Warrior's Apprentice (link to the largest pic I can find).

kishnevi said...

Here's one for you. Fortunately for the author, the title and byline are cut off, so we can just call it Anonymous.
http://gotmedieval.blogspot.com/2008/04/2-medieval-non-medieval-links.html

Snow said...

I'm guessing that Silverthorn is a fantasy novel, mainly because it's the only way I can explain the fact that the two characters appear to be different species.

So, Mr. Dark sticks a knife in woman's back, looks around to make sure no one sees him, and then starts to eat her. Right?

Atrus said...

Silverthorn is a good light-weight fantasy; that cover is a masterpiece of horror, though.

Nicole said...

I have that Bujold book - along with many, many other /horrifically/ covered novels. They are some of the best books I have ever read, and it pains my soul to see them sold with such bad coverart. They sure don't enthuse you about their contents, do they?!

What's worse is that for many of her books, you can't even figure out who the people on the cover are meant to be, let alone what scene they are meant to be depicting.

Seriously. Bujold deserves better!

writtenwyrdd said...

kishnevi, that three-handed maiden was already featured on this blog. It's a hoot!

Stephanie said...

I recently stumbled upon your blog today and I just wanted to say that I love it! It is such a cool idea! Some of these covers are hilarious. Thanks!

Phoebe said...

The real shame? I loved Cordelia's Honor. Frickin' Baen ruined it.

Anonymous said...

What a, um, lovely dress that woman has on in the first cover.
Also, the guy on the Silverthorn one looks as if he can hear a squirrel running around in the roof and is trying to figure out precisely where it is. I know because that's my father's exact expression when the squirrels get in.

xenobiologista said...

I hope that when you say "guinea pig fodder" you're only referring to the cover. Bujold _is_ a really enjoyable SF writer. One of the things I like best about her writing is that she manages to balance funny and serious very well. She's also creative in imagining how different planetary civilizations might develop.

The covers that have Miles Vorkosigan glaring at an antagonist, Face/Off style, aren't bad.

Alia said...

Hi!

I just stumbled upon your blog and when I read this note, I started laughing. The thing is, I'm Polish, and Polish publishers sometimes just throw haphazard covers on their books. Thus, "Silverthorn" cover adorns a novel by Polish author, Feliks W. Kres:
http://www.mag.com.pl/ksiazka_detale.php?id=139

While the Polish edition of "Silverthorn" has this cover:
http://www.swistak.pl/aukcje/3251321,Raymond-E-Feist-SREBRZYSTY-CIEN-.html
(I'm sorry for the quality of the photo, but the book was published a few years ago and this is the only photo that I found on the net).

Zeb said...

@deadlytoque - I have similar feelings for Feist's Riftwar saga - I loved the series when I first read it, but I fear ruining my good memories with a re-reading. I'd say It matched LotR in scale, but probably fell short in the quality department. That said, that Silverthorn cover (I've seen at least 3 completely different versions) is bad.

Anonymous said...

Um...how come the ?guy? holding the sword by its blade isn't getting his fingers cut to ribbons?