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Saturday, November 18, 2006

And the winner is... cheesecake

Hooray! I've just passed the 1000th book point over at LibraryThing. My policy of five to ten books a day is paying off. Mind you, it's about a third of our collection, unfortunately. A long way to go, especially when I start wading through BB's odd mosh of books about conspiracy theories and cult religions. I've told him he can start his own LibraryThing database for his extensive collection of Chick Tracts.

I'd like to think that the 1000th book was something classy, but it ended up being clarsy: Yargo, by Jacqueline Susann, author of such pulp classics as Valley of the Dolls, The Love Machine, and Once is Not Enough. Never heard of Yargo? I was surprised to see that 17 Librarythingers have. It's her first ever novel, and it's set in space. Yes, Jacqueline Susann cut her teeth on sci fi before moving to the even weirder climes of Hollywood and Broadway. It's pretty torrid stuff, but I just had to add it to my smallish collection of women's science fiction for the fun factor.

And you gotta love the cover:



You can't really see it here, but the young woman is dressed in a virginal white diaphanous gown, and even though she's facing the source of light (and therefore ought to be a silhouette), the artiste has touched up her butt cheeks with white under the gown to give them a saucy glow. Another classic sci fi sexualised cover to get the geeks excited.

A couple of other stupid sci fi covers on my shelves (apologies for the small size) are:


This one is a good example of a pulp cover: the tagline reads 'High adventure for adults'. She has a killer bra on: the cups look like those cinnamon scrolls you get in bakeries.


Joanna Russ's experimental feminist novel about gender gets the special sauce here, dog-collar and all. I bet she was delighted with it. Not.

I think I'm going to get a scanner in the new year. Some of the bookcovers I own deserve more than a shaky digicam photo or something small cobbled from LibraryThing. Stayed tuned for more cover art action when I get the chance. In the meantime, if you have some decent pics, share the joy.

17 comments:

Tim said...

Bad sf covers - now there's a meme!

Is that Joanna Russ novel any good?

Boysenberry said...

Ahhh, yes, dodgy SF covers. Quite often I think their only purpose was to attract the eye of the lonely teen boy. Maybe that's based on personal experience :|

slithy toad said...

Scanners are so cheap, there really is no excuse for not having one these days. Well, apart from environmental exploitation that is.

I got a half-price HP from Dick Smith (shop soiled) - $35. With a not too bad inkjet printer. Easy to use, bewdiful.

TimT said...

I used to have that 'Spaceways' book - I inherited a good deal of sf books from my cousin, including several by Michael Moorcock, and one or two C S Lewis tomes. It's not just the cover that's saucy, the whole book is saucy.

Didn't Princess Leia wear a cinammon-scroll bra in 'Return of the Jedi'?

plumpes Denken said...

think I scanned that joanna russ cover into LT -- it's so much better than those anodyne covers from the women's press.

Tim said...

Anodyne? You mean this sort of thing?

On the other hand, this one is even better than the one &D's got. "Better" as in "cheesier", that is.

Ampersand Duck said...

I'm sure you did, Plumpes (great name), and the cover didn't stop me buying it, but it may have stopped a lot of women. At least the Women's Press covers showed that the designers had read the contents of the book.

Tim: heh, the only offensive thing about that first Russ cover is the hyphenation! And at least the second one hasn't got the subjugated beast...
And the book is a bit clunky to read, but rewarding if you can keep your head about you.

Yeah TimT, saucy all through. I never said I had a PC sci fi collection ;)

plumpes Denken said...

Maybe I'm being harsh Tim but I'm thinking of those grey covers they also used for Octavia, Butler, Suzette H. Elgin and so on. Another bland one for Marge Piercy's woman on the edge of time. Anyway just seemed to me that scifi has its own aesthetic that hasn't any need to make concessions to accessibility, ideology or good taste!

lucy tartan said...

Hey, I like the Womens' Press cover of TFM. It's got purple and red diagonal stripes. Hurts the eyes like.

TimT said...

'Purple and red diagonal stripes'. That reminds me, the cover of Quadrant this month has, I think, pink and grey diagonal stripes. It's the magazine of choice for RWDMs (Right Wing Death Metrosexuals)!

Tim said...

I admire Quadrant's complete disregard of aesthetics. Can't think of a cover illustration? Why not just have different colour diagonal stripes every month!

Mikhela said...

OMG I had that Spaceways book too, at one stage - bad flashback. Weren't they trapped on a planet and turned into sex slaves or something, before cunningly outwitting their captors and taking to the skies again? (sorry to spoil the ending for y'all)

TimT said...

Is there anyone who *didn't* have that Spaceways book? I think it's one in a series. The number '4' on the cover would seem to indicate that. What does that mean? Were other books in the series written, or is the number '4' just there as an in-joke? Did they up the print run for this one because the porn-twist proved massively popular?

Also, wasn't one of the characters an androgynous alien with multiple male *and* female sex organs, which made for a number of kinky scenes?

Tim said...

I didn't have the Spaceways book but I'm starting to wish that I did.

Tim said...

Had to share this. I've just looked up Spaceways on Amazon, and the lone reviewer gives it five stars and says: "If you're reading this review because you've never read any "Spaceways," and you have the rare opportunity to actually aquire a book from this great series, my first statement to you is "GRAD IT QUICK! ""

Go on - grad it!

Ampersand Duck said...

Wow, I'm glad I gradded it! I may even read it now! I've been saving it for the next time I go camping, but I think it needs to move up the line a bit...

ThirdCat said...

A good time to get scanners is at hard rubbish collection time. There's stacks of them lining the footpaths.