Rabbits. Rabbits, rabbits, rabbits.

You're Watership Down!

by Richard Adams

Though many think of you as a bit young, even childish, you're actually incredibly deep and complex. You show people the need to rethink their
assumptions, and confront them on everything from how they think to where they build their houses. You might be one of the greatest people of all time. You'd be recognized as such if you weren't always talking about talking rabbits.

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at the Blue Pyramid.


Bellybutton Baen Day!

Hey kids. It's midway between Mammary Monday and Phallic Phriday so you know what that means! Bellybutton Baen Day! Shall we see how far Baen has come?

Thanks to faithful reader Snow for suggesting these covers. They're chicks! They're in chainmail! And there must be a big fetish market for this, 'cause they made five compilations.
First up, the inaugural Chicks in Chainmail.

This is Baen at its classicist (notice I didn't say classiest? I can't even imagine Baen with a bit of class, myself). Yes, she's wearing waaaaay too little, but she's supposed to inspire wet dreams in fourteen-year-olds. At least she's got gauntlets and...ummm...leglets and a shield. Still she obviously kicks ass. Notice the dead guy.

I'm a fan of the title portrayal, too. Hot pink for the Chicks and metallic blue, solid looking CHAINMAIL just works for me.

A- on this cover. A fine effort.

Second in the series: Did You Say Chicks?!

Okay, so no one's dead this time, and the chick is wearing decidedly less armor, but that is the horniest looking elf I've ever seen. And the interrobang rocks (sounds dirty, too).

(DocTurtle says that books like this; a collection of short stories featuring Xena, Warrior Princessesque characters, should be illustrated. "What's the point," he asks, "of the book otherwise?" They have that, dear. It's called Penthouse.)

A fine contribution. A few points taken off for the lack of gore and the ugliness of the chick. I want my chicks in chainail to be smooooooookin'. A solid B+ for this one.

Our third installment is Chicks'n Chained Males.

Does anyone have to ask the grade? Absolute A+. TWO hot chicks, an awesome title, and a totally dippy grad-student-looking guy in chains. Can you ask for anything more? Great job, Baen! (Never thought I'd say that!)

#4 I include here just 'cause it's a funny title. The Chick is in the Mail.

That title buries the needle in the awsometer. Her chainmail is getting a little over the top, what with the boots and the belt, but DocTurtle just asked me why I don't look like that ('cause I don't have the boots, of course), so she must be doing something for someone. (DocTurtle is, of course, the most sensitive feminist-type guy I know, so the covers must really be working.)

A good job. A. Missing the plus only 'cause there're not two chicks.

And finally, the point of this whole exercise, Turn the Other Chick.
Uck. Did their good artist die? What is this shite? From the top: The font totally sucks. No more do we have the cool metallic font, now it's just boring standard-fantasy-font. Going lower, that chick looks like a man. An ugly man. She's no longer laughing and carefree, now she looks like she's going to go Lorena Bobbit on your ass. And she has the nice phallic sword to do it, too. Linebacker shoulderpads? Blech. Gratuitous panty shot is just, well, gratuitous.
This is just bad. Baen appears to be getting its artists from that matchbook "draw me" ad.
And that's why Baen has sunk and should be mocked by all. Mock away.


RIP, Robert Jordan

Boy, it's not a good year to be a fantasy writer. First Madeline L'Engle pops off and now Robert Jordan succumbs to some freaky rare blood disease that, being the hypochondriac that I am, I'm now convinced I have. Not really, but I was trying to convince DocTurtle that I had histrionic personality disorder, narcissistic personality disorder, borderline personality disorder, and obsessive compulsive personality disorder. What I really have is a shouldn't-be-allowed-to-look-at-the-wikipedia-entry-on-personality-disorders disorder. But I digress.

So, in tribute to Robert Jordan, I've chosen to mock the first four covers of the Wheel of Time series today. I hate these books, not because of their subject or anything to do with them as books (I find them kind of boringly typical epic fantasy bildungsromanen, and if you've read one, you've read them all), but because THEY DON'T FUCKING FIT THROUGH THE BOOKDROP!!! At least once a week I get a fourteen year-old boy with hygiene problems and a mullet bucking the check-out line to hand me a Robert Jordan book that won't fit in the drop. Dammit, Robert, did you have to write such tomes? I thought not.

But anyway, the covers are so typically traditionally epic fantasy'y that they really don't deserve too much in depth snark except to give new dialogue to the people on the covers. I give you ROBERT JORDAN IMPROV THEATRE! (I apologize in advance for my crappy crappy utilization of MS Paint. And the lameness of this post. But hey, that just means that this is your chance to snark on me!)

P.S. Be sure to stop by Wednesday for our Baen Belly Button Day (Wednesday is halfway between Mammary Monday and Phallic Phriday, after all)*! And tune in next week when we resume Mammary Monday funness. And I promise never to do something as lame as this again. :)

P.P.S. Damn you, blogger, for screwing up my pagination again! It vexes me!

*Thanks to VembaTsith for making the name up!


Phallic Phriday Theft

So I'm trolling the internet for book covers to amuse my masses (are you amused yet?), and lo and behold, seems that All About Romance Novels has been having cover contests since 1999! They were doing Worst Cover of the Year long before I came on the scene. I highly recommend you spend an hour or two wandering around and check out their picks. My Phavorite Phallic Phrolic? This little beauty typifies all that is wrong (but oooooooh so right) with historical romance covers. I've stolen the comments from the lovely ladies (and bulked-up gentlemen?) at All About Romance Novels for your perusal. Oh, by the way...the heroine's name? Caroline WHITE.

Lone Arrow's Pride was the fifth place choice. It's a classic example of the "extremely overt sexuality" type cover that most fans feel romance has long since outgrown. The heroine's subservient position is bad enough, but just in case the reader misses the point, there's a very phallic-looking spear on the cover. Many voters described this cover as a throwback and bemoaned the fact that it seemed to include every possible romance cliché.

Cheryl chose it for that reason: "This encapsulates all that's horrible in romance covers - the awful, submissive pose of the woman, the stereotypical Indian-white woman cliché, the bulked up beyond belief male. Just ick."

Carrie said, "Lone Arrow's Pride is the biggest stinker of them all. Nice phallic symbol and kneeling wench. But an impossibly built hero in a bad wig and a loin cloth is perhaps the biggest turn-off of all."

And this from Elizabeth who makes a good point about the title: "They're all marvelous, but this one's too amusingly phallic to pass by. Looks more like an obsessed groupie cornering a member of the Village People than any fantasy of mine. Obviously he has no issues with pride - I'm more worried about what's happened to hers."

It's interesting to note, however, that several voters really liked this cover. So while some of us may feel it is stuck in the past, others feel that this type of image is what romance is all about.


Baen Does it Again!

Special Hump Day Edition.

Did you know that Wednesday is called Hump Day? I think it's because Wednesday is that last hump in the week before the slide on down to the weekend. More information about Hump Day can, I'm sure, be found on the internet. But here at Judge a Book by its Cover, we have a special use for Hump Day. It's midweek between Mammary Monday and Phallic Phriday, and as such I am tasked (well, I've tasked myself) with the...ummmm...task of finding a book that combines the best of Mammaries with a subtle hint of Phalluses. Phortunately, Baen comes through for me once again! Let's all give the artists chained in the basement of Baen a big round of applause, because I'm sure it's difficult for them to sleep at night after producing such dreck.
Let's see....
Skintight pleather? Check.
Sexy long hair? Check.
Contorted position? Check.
Triple-F tits on a Barbie Doll body? Check.
Why, it must be a Baen heroine! Yes, combining every 14 year-old boy's fantasy with a large phallic gun and really generic futuristic city-scape background must be a formula that's working well for our friends at Baen. We certainly see it often enough.
(P. S. This post is supposed to have nice pagination and spacing, I swear! Why is blogger vexing me?!)


Fantasy Quickies

I have a lot of fantasies involving quickies (hello, sailor), but none of them include these book covers. Proving once and for all that fantasy/sci fi covers out-weird romance novel covers, here're a few I've come across just recently. (No! Not like that! Get your mind out of the gutter!)

First up is a nice little Weis/Hickman jobbie. I've made fun of Weis/Hickman before because, gosh darn it, it's just so easy! My whole problem with this cover, besides the fact that if you look closely there are three breast-like-shapes outlined in armor (it is Mammary Monday after all) is that the armor on that horse is so stupid! Yes! Let's protect the ears, the nape of the horse's neck and the horse's ass (where if it were smashed with a sword it would hurt but not debilitate), but leave open the ever-so-vulnerable JUGULAR and BELLY! Plus we're gonna make it stand in lava. You can tell its feet are hot 'cause it's standing still on only two of them.

"I need that like a fish needs a bicycle!"

Yes, it's the oldest joke in the universe, but that is, of course, Piers Anthony's milieu. The man has not met a bad pun that he can't make worse. There are people who are good with puns (Spider Robinson and Terry Pratchett, two of my alllllll time favorite authors, come to mind) and then there's Piers Anthony who sits back and lets his readers write his books with the worst puns possible.

And it's a stupid cover. So there.

(P.S. If there is a G-d of reincarnation, I'd like to be a mermaid. But I don't want to look this dumb. Thanks!)

Even Dr. Melfi can't help you when you've got an arrow in your neck!
Y'know, the best place to be when there are arrows flying is in full sight on the battlements wearing lime green and strumming a ukulele. Someone put her out of her misery, please!
So when the going gets tough, I think I need a baritone sorceress, myself. A big mean one. I'd take Ruth Brown over little Miss Pansy here any day!


Not a Phallic Phriday Post

Well, not even a book post, but interesting (to me) nonetheless. Because it's so freakin' funny, here are some of the search terms that people have been using to find my blog. I don't ever remember discussing Jesus dipped in urine OR little bunny naked. Oh, and some people are really into pecs.

Of course, that said, I'm glad no one can access my search histories!

librarian blog
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Favorite Patron Award!

Okay, I'm going to get to the cover snark in a second, but first I need to tell you about my new all-time favorite patrons who came in today. Picture a little old couple at about eighty years old, New Yorkers who now spend part of their time in Asheville, NC and the other half in Palm Beach, FL. So I'm sorting CDs (a fun glimpse into librarian life) and the little old lady comes up to me with two books, one a chick lit-type book and the other a Robert Patterson. "Which would you recommend?" she asks. I answer that I haven't read either, but Robert Patterson seems popular. She tells me that she wants something light and fluffy to read at night, no violence. I say that the Robert Patterson is definitely out. So we go over to the New Large Print section from whence her selections hailed, and I see a Joanna Trollope romance. I say that either the chick lit-type book or the Joanna Trollope would probably be light and fluffy enough (throwing in what I think is important, that Joanna Trollope is descendant from the great Anthony Trollope, but I digress). She says "yeah, but which would you read?" So I say that I'd probably be more interested in reading the chick lit book, but she might be more interested in the Trollope romance. "Of course," I say, "I don't know you so I can't be very sure what you'd enjoy." She asks me what the difference is, and I say that the chick lit is probably a bit more "risque." She says, really loudly, "Gee, you don't know me! I'm a SEXY BITCH!" Her husband chimed in to concur. It was the CUTEST thing that anyone has ever said to me. I just wanted to give her a hug.

She ended up taking both books. We'll see which one she likes better!

Anyway, got a nifty book in the trusty ole mailbag today. Having mentioned in the past something about Botswanan romance novels, faithful reader Kyle E. sent me an ACTUAL Botswanan romance novel!
Apparently it's kinda a small-town guy meets up with a big-city girl type thing. I'm enamored of their sign language. He's saying, "Hey, this is Love on the Rocks! Where's my martini?" and she's saying "Have some of my apple instead." I don't know what kind of pace they're supposed to be setting, but with communication like that it's going to go SLOOOOOOOOOWLY.


Non-related-mailbox-items Tuesday (alliteration is not my forte today)

Why yes, I am alive. Thanks for coming back even with the lack of a new post forever. It's so nice to be missed. Unfortunately sometimes life intrudes, and life in this case meant lying about on the beach in Virginia Beach and watching other people (DocTurtle) run 13.1 miles. Nothing I enjoy more than lazing about watching mostly naked men exert themselves. *sigh* And now it's back to the library with the homeless and the crazies and the tourists and the totally insane book covers. Like these from the mailbox:
First up is Tangerine by Edward Bloor. According to the Effing Librarian (shout out to an awesome blogger!), "I'm told the lightning is important, so the illustrator added it, I guess. But all I can do is yell, "get out from under those damn trees you stupid kids." But they don't listen and I think one of them dies. Probably the one closest to the white bolt. Couldn't he see it painted there? It's not like it's moving or anything. But you know kids. Tell them to go left and they go right. Dumb kid."

All I can say is this kid is obviously unable to defend a goal very well, 'cause there are three soccer balls (foot balls for my overseas pals) and one FOOT BALL ("American football" or "that stupid sport the Americans call Football 'cause they're too stupid to think up their own name" for my overseas pals) well inside the goal. I think Mr. Goalie should go back to the bench. At least someone's mother doesn't have to worry about the half-time snack as there are readily available tangerines (and apparently fried child) to eat.

Christians and Centaurs and Satyrs, oh my!

From Larry Lennhoff comes Thessalonica, another cover from Baen. I wouldn't have a site if it weren't for Baen, and for that we must thank them. For this cover, however, we must curse them.
Fellow librarian Anna tells me that she was embarrassed to check out the following book, Wyrms, out of the library. The things we do for our Orson Scott Card geekdom, eh? As Anna puts it, "Unfortunately, this is one of his earliest works and it shows. The penis tentacle is actually from the book!"

A special phallic cover for the middle of the week (no waiting for Phallic Phriday!). I'm just impressed by the wide-spread legs that are apparently on backwards. That and the tarantula hair really make this cover for me.

Happy Tuesday, everyone. Keep up the e-mails and the comments (even long-as-hell, crazy, whacked-out, racist, mad-as-a-badger comments like the one on the previous post...Mr. Eng, I know you were unhappy we made fun of your cover, but damn!), and I will try to keep up with posting more than once a week.