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Bad Covers: a problem with science fiction


I Sing the Body Electric by Ray Bradbury, illustrated by Nebular

I Sing the Body Electric by Ray Bradbury, illustrated by Nebular

Pulp science fiction paperbacks were a base staple of my young life. But after growing up and becoming a design nerd, those paperbacks are a little… embarrassing. For every well-designed book cover (like David Pelham’s cover of Clockwork Orange), there’s three terrible illustrations of floating orange skycars and lizard-faced aliens. They can be so bad that, just like my collection of 80s movies on VHS, they become a guilty pleasure.

Good Show Sir is a website built around that guilty pleasure. They have a picture gallery featuring some of the very worst book jackets ever printed. Some of the very, very, worst ones. If you want to get these priceless bits of kitsch for your own collection, maybe the almost naked killer-whale-riding man, or the collared snake in front of hellfire, or even the recursive blond-haired centaur, they’re up for sale.

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