Title: 13 French Science-Fiction Stories
Editor: Damon Knight
Cover artist: Uncredited
Best things about this cover:
- I think I had a dream like this once.
- How can so much skin be so unsexy?
- "... when French l'amour meets science fiction" = "When French 'the love' meets science fiction" = corny and stupid.
- "It's the story of a voluptuous naked cat-woman who shoots a rocket out of the back of her head in order to keep a horde of flying sun-angels from stealing her newspaper, and the nearly nude one-armed bald chick in diaphanous tatters who turned her back on the whole ordeal."
Best things about this back cover:
- If the giant fonts here are to be believed, the French are known for two things: love and wackiness
- "From the land of Zola and Maupassant ..." - like it's some exotic, far-off world. I like that they chose the authors with the most science-fictiony-sounding names. Zola was a favorite of the mid-century paperback world because he had literary credibility but was also, you know, a little dirty. His paperback popularity in the 40s and 50s is actually pretty remarkable. I have many Zola works in my collection, many of them with lurid covers. The paperback industry could make just about anyone seem like a dirty writer if it wanted to.
- Why are the three lines in the middle of the page in different colors? Somebody really needed to keep a tighter rein on the design team here.
- "They gave the world Jules Verne" - perhaps the weirdest claim that's ever been made about the French. "Please, take Jules Verne. We no longer have any use for him."
- "Imaginative" spelled backwards is Evita Nigami
- Writing "Imaginative" backwards is not terribly imaginative