Friday, July 1, 2011

Paperback 432: World Without Women / Day Keene and Leonard Pruyn (Gold Medal s975)

Paperback 432: Gold Medal s975 (PBO, 1960)

Title: World Without Women
Author: Day Keene and Leonard Pruyn
Cover artist: Robert McGinnis

Yours for: $21


Best things about this cover:
  • You do *not* want to fuck with the Council of Floating Lady Heads!
  • Staring at your own crotch while the Council ogles / passes judgment is really the most humiliating part of the punishment.
  • "I'm sorry, ma'ams. I really am. Can I get off the hot coals now?"
  • The old lady up top does not approve of our reading trashy fiction like this! Look at her judging eyes! Shut up, old lady! I'll read what I want!
  • Leonard Pruyn? This makes me think that (the prolific) Day Keene started this one and half-way through was like "This kinda sucks. Hey kid, what's your name? ... Leonard? OK, Leonard, you wanna finish this book up for me? I'll give ya ten bucks."


Best things about this back cover:
  • France's law is perhaps the most idiotic. If there are really so few women left, then the streets must be a massive sausagefest, with the women presumably somewhere secure. Who cares if a dude wants to go out for groceries at 7?
  • I'm sure all this future-shock is supposed to be, uh, shocking, but actually this back cover is phenomenally dull and does Nothing to make me want to read the book (unlike the front cover, which manages to make even a putrid miasmic future hellscape look kinda sexy).

Page 123~
"All right, you male bastards," she said quietly. "You want a woman. Here's one."

The Marine lieutenant snatched up one of the phones on the desk and tried to get through to the guard tower. "Shoot, you dumb gyrenes, shoot! Aim at the crowd! Fire over her head!" he pleaded, then realized he was shouting into a dead phone.
In all sincerity, this is good. *This* makes me want to read. "Leonard Pruyn, For The Win!" (it rhymes ... I think).

P.S. "gyrenes"


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McClaverty said...

I read World Without Women in a later edition in the mid-'60s. It was enough to open a 14-year-old's eyes, although it wasn't overly salacious. It was actually a pretty good read.

infoqueen said...

Lots of vanishing gender this week. This time, the fog wiped out all the women except Mary Worth and the roommates from Apartment 3G.

DemetriosX said...

I wonder if Frank Herbert ever read this. The MacGuffin sounds like it's pretty close to his The White Plague.

borky said...

RE: Leonard Pruyn - I personally plump for Leonard 'Prune', if only because it allows me to point out the picture of his mum atop the cover, third from left.

I love the cover because it's so cryptic as to be almost one of those crosswords of Rexie's he's the 31st greatest solver of, (in the Universe).

As I look at it I find myself wondering if the artist's message is in a world with no women this'll be the hellish fate of all men, to spend eternity without hope of a freshly ironed or even washed shirt, becoming so submoronic from lack of refined company we're no longer able to recall exactly how it was we once pulled said shirts on, stumbling mindlessly around in perpetually unchanged or unwashed socks for so long they become fetid to the point of simply disintegrating on our shoeless feet, all the time surrounded by ever more dense clouds of mephitic shit-coloured fumes as a result of always leaving the toilet seat up and never flushing or cleaning it.

If the women aren't meant to be figments plucked from memory, though, why's he behaving so abjectly and cravenly in front of them? Can't he bear to have all those female eyes running all over his smooth peachy depilated skin, or is he shy of what they'll say when they see his penis, (especially since he hasn't got the excuse it's cold)?

It's not as if they're able to torture him by threatening to withhold their bodies from him - maybe he's worried they might refuse to give him head!

Sara said...

The lowest Floating Head is clearly Lauren Bacall.

cwogle said...

I love it when you post a book that I've read. And the same cover, too. The image of GIs dug in on the hero's front lawn to protect his wife has stayed with me to this day. Too bad they didn't put THAT on the cover!