Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Paperback 535: Things With Claws / Edited by White and Hallie Burnett (Ballantine 466K)

Paperback 535: Ballantine 466K (PBO, 1961)

Title: Things With Claws
Editors: Whit & Hallie Burnett
Cover artist: Richard Powers

Yours for: $11

Best things about this cover:
  • I like titles that could also be answers in the final round of "$100,000 Pyramid": "Cats ... bears ... uh ... handless supervillains..."
  • I am guessing that this artist is Richard Powers, only 'cause it seems so aggressively Powersy. It's like Miro and the guy who did the "Fear & Loathing" drawings had a baby in outer space. LOVE all the variations on claws in this painting.
  • They really had to break "creatures" there? Right there? Couldn't, I don't know, reformat ever-so-slightly? Kind of kills the impact.

Best things about this back cover:
  • Oh, the "famous" Stuart CLOETE, the "legendary" ORESTE F. Pucciani. Trust me, if these folks were truly famous, they'd be in every crossword I ever made for the rest of my life.
  • "... and females." Hence the pink.
  • See what harm / good covers can do!? "The Doll Maker" looks like the stupidest book ever, while "Zacherley's Vulture Stew" looks like the cover model for God's Own Catalogue of Awesome.

Page 123~

from "Return of the Griffins" by A. E. Sandeling

"You've been away several years," said Gunar, covering his bare feet again with shoes and socks. "What did you do in the time?"

"Took ourselves to the mountains of India," replied the griffin. "Sat in the sun, on the threshold of our calves, or caught the Arimaspi, one-eyed men who seek gold in the mountains, ate them in a shrugging fashion, already gorged with our prowess. I might ask the same question of you. What didn't you do? By Apollo! Procreated not individuals but nations. Took the lid off a water kettle, and what steams out but ships and cities. Times have changed."

So eating the Arimaspi is like eating at Chili's—"Meh. [shrug] It'll do."


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NomadUK said...

threshold of our calves?

Doug said...

What's also so odd about this anthology is that every single story came from "Short Story Magazine" and not "Weird Tales"! and yes it is Mr. Powers at his most "Powersy". He also did all covers for the "Ballantine Horror Series" back in the very early 60s even though he's mostly a SF guy.


Anonymous said...

Stuart Cloete was fairly well known in the 50s -- he wrote about South Africa. I think he wrote a famous short story about a man in a tree having his feet licked off by a water buffalo.

Random White Guy said...

Next time someone calls me a hackle-raiser, I'll know it is meant as a compliment.

Patrick Murtha said...

The earlier commenter beat me to the punch about Stuart Cloete; however, I did find out that his wife was named Tiny Cloete. Although Cloete was South African, at least some of his many adventure novels were published in the U.S. as well and show up in used bookstores.

Oreste F. Pucciani was a French-language scholar at UCLA; a friend and champion of Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir; and the long-time romantic partner of fashion designer Rudi Gernreich. How he came to write about a thing with claws, your guess is as good as mine.

JRSM said...

This post and these comments have made my day. "I think he wrote a famous short story about a man in a tree having his feet licked off by a water buffalo." "Zacherley's Vulture Stew." Fantastic.

Also, The Doll Maker is actually rather good. Crap cover, though.

Rex Parker said...

It's amazing to have readers who know more about books than I do. Makes doing this blog a pleasure. Now if you'll excuse me, the fattest, laziest, most suicidal fly keeps bumping into my face, so I have to go deal.


Deb said...

The header sentence on the front cover uses a hyphen (CREA-TURES). When you have to hyphenate the header, you truly have achieved epic fail status on your word, font, size, and spacing choices.

/Pucciani's partner, Rudi Gernreich, is credited with inventing the one-piece (aka, topless) bikini.

Cassie said...

I used to have that book The Graveyard Reader...wonder if I still have it around here somewhere?

JamiSings said...

You know, Rex, you should totally sumbit this cover to Good Show Sir - they'd have the best time with it.