Monday, October 15, 2007

Paperback 30: Bantam F2817

Paperback 30: Bantam F2817 (1st ptg, 1965)

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



Orange said...

Amazing book cover! This one actually made me laugh out loud. "Bizarre! Uproarious! Chilling!" Entertaining post, too. Evita Nigami would be my pseudonym if I wanted to put out some Argentine/Japanese vibes.

Michael5000 said...

You know, I'm sick of mere women. Can you recommend any good science fiction?

Unknown said...

Rex, I am enjoying your collection immensely. Thank you for posting it.

I, too, think Evita Nigami makes a great nom de plume. very exotic.

Anonymous said...

Ah, the temptations of HORRIFYING LOVE.