Search Amazon.com:
Register a SA Forums Account here!
JOINING THE SA FORUMS WILL REMOVE THIS BIG AD, THE ANNOYING UNDERLINED ADS, AND STUPID INTERSTITIAL ADS!!!

You can: log in, read the tech support FAQ, or request your lost password. This dumb message (and those ads) will appear on every screen until you register! Get rid of this crap by registering your own SA Forums Account and joining roughly 150,000 Goons, for the one-time price of $9.95! We charge money because it costs us $3,400 per month for bandwidth bills alone, and since we don't believe in shoving popup ads to our registered users, we try to make the money back through forum registrations.
«50 »
  • Post
  • Reply
Anony Mouse
Jan 30, 2005

A name means nothing on the battlefield. After a week, no one has a name.

We've all seen them. Fantasy book covers that make you stop and say, "what the gently caress?" Covers that look like they were painted by the fat chick who runs the dragon/wolf/fairy art table at the local anime convention. I weep for the author who finally gets their book published, only to have an atrocity like these slapped on the face of them.

So, let's judge some books by their covers.


Click here for the full 607x1019 image.


Ah yes, the thrilling tale of a hero and his two ugly friends, on their epic quest to ride horses in front of a castle, waving a pennant that on first glance appears to be an American flag. I can't imagine this book reads as anything other than a D&D campaign written by high-schoolers, and the description on the back cover doesn't help its case:

"Two hundred years ago the gentle paladin Procursus sacrificed his life to free the land of Vedette from a foul dragon. Now his descendant, Aitchley Corlaiys, has been chosen to restore the endangered land to greatness."

Ah yes, the time-honored tradition of giving things names that have never been used before, anywhere, ever. You know, to make it unique. Doesn't "Aitchley Corlaiys" just roll off the tongue? "Procursus" as the name for the Ancient Hero of Legend has to be the most transparent thing I've ever read.

Let's take a closer look at our brave warriors:


Matthew Broderick, the B-list movie actor, moonlights as Aitchley Corlaiys, the B-list fantasy hero. I hope he's better at slaying dragons than he is at booking good movie roles.


I always wondered what happened to Hoggle after Labyrinth. By the look on his face, I'd guess that his Thong of Insurmountable Binding is giving him a Level 4 wedgie.


Who the hell is this guy? If you're going to bring a dwarf on a quest, at least bring a buff, burly dwarf with a real beard an an axe, not this Joey Fatone look-alike wimp. Judging by his choice of side-kicks, our hero Aitchley ranks somewhere between LARPers and the bleached skeletons real heroes pass by on their way into the villain's evil lair.

Let's move on to the next book in this trilogy:

Click here for the full 605x1021 image.


Looks less like a party of adventurers going on a quest, and more like a group of renn-faire rejects going trick-or-treating. Why is the hot blond not wearing any shoes? If you're going to trek to a forbidding castle littered with impaled skulls, you could at least stop by a 7/11 and pick up some flip-flops.

"Aitchley Corlaiys's powers are growing, and they have never been needed more than now. The brigand Harris Blind-Eye has escaped - with the lovely Berlyn as his hostage. He has stolen the mysterious alchemical necklace Aitchley risked his life to recover. He wields the magical shield of Aitchley's ancestor, the great Procursus. Everything Aitchley has ever held dear - everything that might lead him to the elusive Elixir of Life - is in the hands of Harris Blind-Eye."

I dunno, but based on that, it sounds like Harris is the real hero here, seeing as how he's already got all the required duds. Aitchley seems more like a self-entitled douche who's trying to steal from a disabled blind guy so he can drink the Elixir of Life. Probably won't even share it, either. Douche.


Matthew Broderick was unavailable for questing, so they brought in Adam West from circa 1960 instead. For the record, the same person did all of these covers (credited simply as "Maren") so I'm not sure why the main hero has had plastic surgery between novels.


Our hero traded in Hoggle for something with tits. Typical scantily-clad fantasy blond, she probably gets rescued by the hero, starts off hating his guts, until she gets a look at his Longsword of Extra Deep Stabbing and changes her mind.


Nega-dwarf is back, holding his dagger like he's about to cut some bread with it. Apparently they couldn't find any clothes to fit him, so the hero gave him his spare extra-large tunic and said "gently caress it, just wear this. Yeah, you look good in it. No really you do, trust me."

Finally, the epic conclusion:

Click here for the full 627x1005 image.


Our hero and his band of lackeys turn to grave robbing to pay the bills. Seems like kind of a secluded place for a Lenin-style glass coffin. Was dead insect dude here expecting bands of adventurers to raid his tomb daily? Well if they're going to drop by, they might as well have a look at your dessicated corpse. Instead, they're ignoring the mummy and staring at something out of view. Judging by the Geiger-esque hallway behind them, maybe it's a BDSM torture chamber.


Click here for the full 654x452 image.

Aitchley is now at his most manly-looking. Token love interest drops the pretense of even carrying an axe, and now clings uselessly to his arm. Nega-dwarf has a foot for a hand, but at least he found some good-fitting clothes.


Well, that's I all I got. This is clearly the tip of the iceberg for terrible fantasy book covers, though. I dare you guys to find some that are even more ridiculous than these. To find some, try browsing Amazon's Sci-fi and Fantasy section or http://www.goodshowsir.co.uk/ .

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

henkman
Oct 8, 2008

EXCUSE ME WHILE I SLASH MY WRISTS WITH OCCAM'S RAZOR




Yes, The Color of Her Panties.

slinkimalinki
Jan 17, 2010

Through moonlight and shadow she'd prowl and she'd pry.


Anony Mouse posted:




Nega-dwarf is back, holding his dagger like he's about to cut some bread with it. Apparently they couldn't find any clothes to fit him, so the hero gave him his spare extra-large tunic and said "gently caress it, just wear this. Yeah, you look good in it. No really you do, trust me."



Peter Dinklage in his trademark surly role yet again.

Cosmic Cowboy
Oct 27, 2010


Hahahaha I can't believe they really used loving Hoggle. I thought it was some fanfiction Labyrinth sequel at first

Brass Key
Sep 15, 2007

Attention! Something tremendous has happened!

henkman posted:



Oh Piers Anthony, you weird bastard.

I'll assume that bad scifi covers are allowed too, because who thought this was a good idea?



VVV It's true. If you write scifi/fantasy, there's even chances on whether you'll get a classy cover or a monstrosity. The publishing house has final say.

Tambaloneus
Feb 5, 2007



Anony Mouse posted:

We've all seen them. Fantasy book covers that make you stop and say, "what the gently caress?" Covers that look like they were painted by the fat chick who runs the dragon/wolf/fairy art table at the local anime convention. I weep for the author who finally gets their book published, only to have an atrocity like these slapped on the face of them.


Given you can download a free chapter onto your Kindle I'd suggest perhaps a glance at the sample to see if it's as much a horrible goldmine as it appears (my money is on unbearably awful unless this is some kind of parody).

Though, in the authors defense (god why the gently caress, I know, but bear with me) I have heard that you don't get to choose your cover art. Is this true? Because I have always wanted to get into writing (when I believe I'm good enough to let anyone else read it) - and the idea that a story I write will end up with a generic loving Mr Sword and Helpless Chick With Boobs on the cover puts me off entirely.

Needless to say, please do more of these! This would make a great Fashion SWAT.

tripwood
Jul 21, 2003

Now that's Moxious

Terrible? Or terribly amazing?

God I love old sci-fi covers with awesome art that have absolutely no link to the story at all. I'll pick up based on cover alone.

Only registered members can see post attachments!

thiscommercialsucks
Jun 13, 2009

by T. Mascis



book synopsis posted:

“Lords” asks this question, which become more intriguing by the day: What if the Cold War never ended? What if a demonic cabal altered history to feed off a hatred that could never end? And then kept Americans and Russians on the razor-edge of war for a thousand years to satisfy that hunger?

A Fancy 400 lbs
Jul 23, 2008



Yup.


Does old D&D art count?



I have more if it does.

thiscommercialsucks
Jun 13, 2009

by T. Mascis




book synopsis posted:

Our main character, Julius Ironheart, lives in a world of violence and warmongering, a place whose rules go against his very nature. His entire life is a struggle between his temperate nature and his own environment...

Always feeling alone in the world, he is afforded little assistance in finding his way to back to, what can be considered, a normal society.

book is apparently about a cross-eyed asperger's patient.

Rocketfish
Jul 2, 2007

*pshew!*
Thanks!


What bewilders me is how some great books can have loving terrible covers. I'm currently chewing my way through the Honor Harrington series by David Webber, which are all pretty good reads. Not fantasy per say, but oh god the covers.



After making a little more money, the second printing cover looked like this:



That's... better? But wait! This puppy just became a NYT best seller! Let's really make this thing pop!



(The background is shiney/foily) That's... the best we're going to do, isn't it?

Don't get me started on the hardcover version.



thiscommercialsucks
Jun 13, 2009

by T. Mascis



the gently caress?




Lord Solitare
Feb 9, 2010

by Ozmaugh


thiscommercialsucks posted:


the gently caress?

Reptilian inquisition?

Disgruntled Bovine
Jul 5, 2010




Theeee Spacepope

This topic is hillarious. I agree completely on the Honor Harrington novels, they may have wandered off in the later ones but the first few are really good, while the covers are just plain horrendous.

Jeff Wiiver
Jul 13, 2007

So I parallel double park that mutha fucka sideways
Old folks talkin bout "Back in my day..."
But homie this is my day




What the gently caress is that thing? (According to the file name it's a crocodile in a dress...) e: beat, but with more info



CSI: Miami Mars



There are no words.



Oh wait, my bad...

Vigilante Banana
Jul 28, 2010

Low five! Yaaaaaay


henkman posted:



Yes, The Color of Her Panties.

All of the Xanth series deserves to be on this page. Thinly-veiled misogyny, gaping plot holes, and some of the most ridiculous cover art I've ever seen. If only I hadn't donated all thirty plus books to Value Village last summer.

Jeff Wiiver
Jul 13, 2007

So I parallel double park that mutha fucka sideways
Old folks talkin bout "Back in my day..."
But homie this is my day


Thunderfinger
Jan 15, 2011



thiscommercialsucks posted:


the gently caress?

You know, it could be singing at a space opera...

Rocketfish
Jul 2, 2007

*pshew!*
Thanks!


Disgruntled Bovine posted:

This topic is hillarious. I agree completely on the Honor Harrington novels, they may have wandered off in the later ones but the first few are really good, while the covers are just plain horrendous.

I mean really. Webber has nice covers for his other series, but I've been walking around campus with this monstrosity under my arm for the past week.



EEE HEE!

Also, apparantly all the spaceships from this series are supposed to look like dildos.

Tweek
Feb 1, 2005

I have more disposable income than you.


Lord Solitare posted:

Reptilian inquisition?

Certainly didn't expect that.

David Corbett
Feb 6, 2008

Courage, my friends; 'tis not too late to build a better world.


A Fancy 400 lbs posted:

Does old D&D art count?

I have more if it does.

Does it count? It's the very definition of the style - absolutely it counts!

neuroflora
Feb 17, 2010


It's a little sci-fi, a little fantasy, but whatever.

Speaking of D&D:

‘Kjwalll’kje’k’koothaïlll’kje’k is probably a story about dolphins.

SPACE GYPSIES


I love this poo poo. I keep putting off scanning these, but I have about seventy of these sci-fi paperbacks with art that ranges from gorgeous to laughable. I found them on the apartment free table which is pretty much the "I'm too lazy to go all the way to the dumpster" table.

Gain 20 Pounds
Nov 11, 2007



Vigilante Banana posted:

All of the Xanth series deserves to be on this page. Thinly-veiled misogyny, gaping plot holes, and some of the most ridiculous cover art I've ever seen. If only I hadn't donated all thirty plus books to Value Village last summer.

Ugh my gf was raised on Xanth books and has almost all of them. I managed to get through like the first 4 before I had to give up. Piers Anthony's "Incarnations of Immortality" series is a bit better at least. Has the best fantasy book cover ever for On A Pale Horse.



Also I hope authors don't get to choose their artists. I would never forgive Robert Jordan for forcing horrible Darrel K Sweet "artwork" on his fans for twenty years.

smakker
May 5, 2003

Dankbutts, better than Tinychat!


Um is it weird that I actually want the read the gently caress out of every one of these after seeing the covers.

A Fancy 400 lbs
Jul 23, 2008



Yup.


David Corbett posted:

Does it count? It's the very definition of the style - absolutely it counts!



Then have a triceratops mage! I have my AD&D 2nd Edition Player's Handbook buried somewhere, and my AD&D 2nd Edition Complete Bard's Handbook and World of Darkness 2004 right on my desk if anyone has requests.

Lord Solitare
Feb 9, 2010

by Ozmaugh


A Fancy 400 lbs posted:



Then have a triceratops mage!

Dude's got a bitching claranet

e:ahahaha the triceratops has leopard print

Eunabomber
Dec 30, 2002




thiscommercialsucks posted:


the gently caress?



Now I know where Stephen Pastis got the inspiration for his crocs. (For reference http://www.google.com/images?um=1&h...f&aqi=&aql=&oq=)

Rando
Mar 11, 2004



A Fancy 400 lbs posted:

Does old D&D art count?



I have more if it does.

Oh, that's from the AD&D 2nd Ed trivia game. Back in high school I bought that, played it with my D&D buddies, won, and then cried myself to sleep because no one would touch my penis even though I demonstrated great proficiency (INT -2) in the game.

Cubey
Aug 13, 2008

This post brought to you by soul crushing alcoholism


Jeff Wiiver posted:



I cannot stop laughing at his expression.

Random Stranger
Nov 27, 2009



Disgruntled Bovine posted:



Theeee Spacepope

This topic is hillarious. I agree completely on the Honor Harrington novels, they may have wandered off in the later ones but the first few are really good, while the covers are just plain horrendous.

I just started reading On Basilisk Station about an hour ago and the prologue was so poorly written that I put it down to find something else to do before going on. ("We're riding a neo-tiger here!") I'll go back in a bit but that was not a promising start.

For thread content have this:



I had trouble quickly finding fantasy novel covers that were truly awful instead of just generic. The standard fantasy novel cover (as featured in the OP) has your young, generically handsome hero on horseback with his generically hot love interest riding through a generic landscape with a castle in the background. It's only slightly worse than the generic SF book cover which features the protagonist (male or female) against a generic SF background (alien landscape or technology depending on the book) staring off into the middle distance (see the On Basilisk Station cover).

Captain McStabbin
Jul 12, 2010

I'm going to find the thing that's doing this and I'm going to break its heart.



tripwood posted:

Terrible? Or terribly amazing?

God I love old sci-fi covers with awesome art that have absolutely no link to the story at all. I'll pick up based on cover alone.



Don't know what this is doing here. This is awesome.

Grogquock
May 2, 2009


A terrible cover for a terrible book by a terrible author:



I can fire two guns, in two different directions, but I've only got eyes for you baby.

Lord Solitare
Feb 9, 2010

by Ozmaugh


It's the year 3000 but god damnit, I'm bringing leather pants and capes back!

Milt Thompson
Mar 1, 2008


Rocketfish posted:

What bewilders me is how some great books can have loving terrible covers. I'm currently chewing my way through the Honor Harrington series by David Webber, which are all pretty good reads. Not fantasy per say, but oh god the covers.

The worst thing about those particular covers is that none of On Basilisk Station takes place on a space station. Weber used the old Royal Navy term of "station" to refer to a far-off posting for a ship.

Covers for later novels in the series don't get much better:



or, if you prefer, the toe-curlingly bad version of the same cover:



Lets consider the interesting case of the Discworld novels. In Britain, for the novel Men At Arms, you'd probably have a copy with this cover:



And that's your standard wacky Josh Kirby cover, or the alternative, more recent, stylish



One of the American covers for the book:



And...what the gently caress? Even if the Kirby cover isn't your style, what would possess a person to go for psychedelic purple and black with a tri-section set of handcuffs, which don't feature in the story? I suppose we should be grateful that the publisher didn't opt to go for that cover with the guy petting a dragon while a dwarf tries to cop a feel from the boxom blonde.

Oh? Really? They did?

There's a wiki devoted to covers for Discworld novels. Some of the Russian covers are superb. The American ones...not so much.

Prawn Salad
Dec 7, 2010

I-I still think you're cool,
Onii-chan...


A Fancy 400 lbs posted:



Oh my god. That man must be the best musician ever.

For content, here's this, which i remember reading in like sixth grade:


Background courtesy of Henri Matisse.

This is a fairly serious novel, too, from what I recall. That bard dude leads a rebellion or something.

slinkimalinki
Jan 17, 2010

Through moonlight and shadow she'd prowl and she'd pry.


Robert_Deadford posted:



Well, someone's been raiding Joan Collins' hat closet.

Robert_Deadford posted:

or, if you prefer, the toe-curlingly bad version of the same cover:


Well, someone's been raiding Joan Rivers' plastic surgeon.



Robert_Deadford posted:


One of the American covers for the book:


Oh Jesus god, it has a recommendation from Piers Anthony.

Philthy
Jan 28, 2003

Oh yeah.

Jeff Wiiver posted:



This is the most amazing, of amazing.

Mr.Pibbleton
Feb 3, 2006

Aleuts Rock!


Prawn Salad posted:

Oh my god. That man must be the best musician ever.


He pretty much was, but wanted his music to be reproduced perfectly forever, going so far as to make magical artifacts, clones of himself, and to create new life and imbue it with a soul to play his songs, he eventually becomes a minor god in the books. All while being an incredibly self-absorbed douche. Also at least two of his creations are on the cover, and no, dino-mage ain't one of them. I think thats the third book in the series, which starts with Azure Bonds.



Thats right, tits and dinosaurs, with the most practical weapons and armor ever devised for the delight of 13 year old boys!

Edit:^Did you just buy that avatar?

The Space Pope
Apr 23, 2010


Disgruntled Bovine posted:



Theeee Spacepope



I'll have you know, the space Vatican has been working hard to eliminate this awful cover art.

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Iseeyouseemeseeyou
Jan 3, 2011


Anony Mouse posted:


Did anyone else see this pic and immediately think

  • Post
  • Reply
«50 »