Sunday, May 11, 2008

You never know when Poser will strike--veinglory

Charles Stross wrote 'Saturn's Children', a widely acclaimed sci fi story of an adventurous femmebot. Here is the UK cover:


An American edition is coming this July. It will look like this:


Is this a case of 'no sex please, we're British'? Or just dumbing down on the assumption that, never mind the plot, cleavage sells?

4 comments:

Jules Jones said...

I was there for the "our condolences, man" conversation when Charlie received the proofs of the US edition and shared them with his crit group. You wouldn't believe how expensive that cover art was, and how much mockery it garnered within a couple of hours...

The US art is in fact right for the book, but only if you already know what the book is. It's a late-Heinlein pastiche, and the cover art references a specific piece of Heinlein cover art. It's a stunning example of fitting the book perfectly while being completely and utterly wrong for telling the casual browser what the book's like. :-)

Emily Veinglory said...

I am told it is meant to resemble the cover for Friday. But it is such a terribly approximate homage I can't even work out which version of that cover. The fishnet tights and metal bra one, or the gaping open shirt one? Either is tasless in subject but traditional in materials looking like rather good handpainted work. Did they really spend thousands on something that looks like a 10 minute Poser job? Wow. Talk about making a pigs ear out of a silk purse.

Jules Jones said...

The gaping open shirt one, and most of us got the reference immediately, so it does work from that perspective. It's just unfortunate that if you do something that twenty years ago would be a fantastic rendition of a sexbot, uncanny valley and all, what you get is something that today looks remarkably like a very cheap Poser cover from someone who was aiming for "human" but didn't quite hit the target.

And she doesn't even have any nipples to go spung (which is a running joke through the book).

Emily Veinglory said...

My own copy of Friday is the metal bra and fishnets one, which probably ruined my chance of "getting" it. Although it is a sort of horrible but memorable cover in it's own right. I am told the figure curves around and does have fishnest on....

Oh well, maybe the fluffing online about the cover will help his sales, eh?