Friday, September 12, 2008

Paperback 137: Ten Thousand Light-Years From Home / James Tiptree, Jr. (Ace 80180)

Paperback 137: Ace 80180 (1st ptg, 1973)

Title: Ten Thousand Light-Years from Home
Author: James Tiptree, Jr. (Alice Sheldon)
Cover artist: [Chris Foss]

Yours for: $9

Best things about this cover:

  • Well, not a lot. An intergalactic schoolbus dangling an aircraft carrier dangling a Death Star over some exceedingly arid planet, in close proximity to a smoking obelisk. Seriously, what was the author hoping to convey (besides confusion)?
  • James Tiptree, Jr. is the pseudonym of Alice Sheldon, a luminary in the world of science fiction from the late 60s until her death in 1987. Her life story is fascinating. Bisexual. Onetime CIA agent. There's a recent-ish bio I've nearly picked up at the library several times now. I've read one novel by her and Loved it (Brightness Falls from the Air).

Page 123~

"Don't say it, baby." The golden body slid close. "Don't down the trip. We love you, No-Pain." They were all petting him now. "Happy, sing him! Touch, taste, feel. Joy!"

But there was no joy.


PS Starting on Sunday, and every Sunday thereafter, I will be semi-syndicated (in that my post here will also be "broadcast" over at "Judge a Book by its Cover")

PPS To hear a story inspired by this Page 123, go here.


JamiSings said...

At first glance I thought the title was Ten Thousand Light-Years From Rome.

Also page 123 makes absolutely no sense. Is it some sort of andriod druggie orgy?

Michael5000 said...

At least two-thirds of all sci-fi paperback covers are abstract futuristic nonsense with no connection to the plot. I make a game out of trying to connect cover art with contents, and usually they simply don't down the trip, No-Pain.


Anonymous said...

The cover is by Chris Foss, a British artist and one of the most influential science fiction illustrators of the 1970s -- influential not only for his covers, but also for his concept-design work for films like ALIEN. (By the way, he also illustrated THE JOY OF SEX.)

If memory serves, this cover was intended for a 1972 British edition of VIEW FROM THE STARS, and therefore has no thematic or narrative connection with the stories in Tiptree's book.


Rex Parker said...

Thanks, Mark.