Don’t really know how to start one of these things, so I’ll just introduce myself. I’m Dan. No need to delve further than that, as I’m sure you already feel that you know me intimately. And if I just kept talking about myself, your interest in my writing would erode before the end of this paragraph. Besides, you’ll learn enough about me through my chosen subject matter.
I’m going to use this blog to focus on the covers/graphics that are found on books, albums, movies, video games, and other types of product packaging, and dissect them with honest criticisms, first reactions, and (mostly) juvenile riffing (all the while imagining myself flanked by Tom Servo and Crow T. Robot). Not being able to stay on point, this will probably just expand to me talking about any random junk I happen across.
I have two main sources of inspiration that led me to start this blog.
First, my sister. She is a very talented writer (Don’t believe me? Check out her own blog here), the signs of which began at a young age. She’d enter contests at our trailer park’s fishing derby that rewarded the kid that could write the best fish story. She won it every year (At least from what I can remember. If anybody edged her out one year, don’t wait for an apology. To quote Stephen Fry from a sketch I vaguely remember, I don’t give a flying toss.). She plies her talents these days as a magazine editor, so no doubt she’ll point out the errors I make along the way.
Secondly, this book:
No, I haven’t read Jewel of Tharn. I recently started an eBay account, and customized my homepage feed to show items that match some of my interests. This novel crept into my feed due to my “science fiction” search criteria. It was from a few weeks ago, and sadly, I cannot recall what it sold for. But can you really put a price on that lust-filled look that this stunning blonde thrusts upon a determined Ronald Reagan?
Seeing as the hero’s name, Richard Blade, appears before the novel’s title, I’m going to assume this is an ongoing character that has appeared in several works of fiction (like Buck Rogers or James Bond). Since this novel is usually filed under the literary sub-genre of “sleaze”, I assume further that instead his tales play out less like Nancy Drew and more like Emmanuelle.
Already I’m screwing up in my duties as a blogger. I apologize, Jeffrey Lord, for identifying Richard Blade as your story’s hero. I obviously meant Hero-God as you intended. That clarification is much needed. Just because one is a hero does not imply you are a god. I’m sure by reading this book I’d learn that Blade earns his demigod status the
hard way fun way. Though if you are first and foremost a god, I wouldn’t further push for a hero appendage to your title. You’ll come off a bit of an ass.
When judging a book by the cover, don’t neglect the back.
Neuters and Sex-Hungry Women
When a computer plunges Richard Blade into the land of Tharn, he finds super-advanced science and barbaric emotions.
They give what could be the biggest antagonist half of a sentence on the back cover. I can’t help but think of Harlan Ellison’s short story I Have No Mouth, And I Must Screen to think about how little regard computers have of humanoids. If this weren’t the case, why couldn’t this computer have chucked him on that planet the Enterprise crew visited on the Star Trek: TNG episode “Justice”? Now there’s a planet that screamed Richard Blade. I’d say he’s already dressed for the part, but while that was a liberal planet when it came to attire, perhaps Richie is still too under-dressed. No matter! Just throw on some modest linen and an unnatural blonde wig and he’ll fit right in. So long as he keeps that spear away from covered plants.
Neuters, a mutant breed without any sex, use spiscreens to police the others. And the women use artificial devices to repopulate the land.
Neuters? At first I thought this was the name for the native women of Tharn. After all, the cover did mention that the society was female-dominated. Of course it’s for those damned sexless creatures trying to cock-block Mr. Blade. I’ve got a sneaking suspicion that they’ll most likely go a step beyond blocking.
You think the Neuters would do this for every male that visits Tharn? Word of a planet of sex-hungry women would spread quite rapidly throughout the galaxy, but I think the Neuters would limit their torment to only the cockiest of male travellers. The ones who arrive on Tharn as naked as the day they were born are as good a place to start as any.
No doubt the women are rather keen to flock towards this Richard Blade character. I have a feeling that if it were men in the same position as these women, they too would have a similar (if not stronger) hunger. In fact, assuming that this oppression they were under has lasted decades, even Richard Blade would look pretty darned appetizing to many of the gents.
Does this mean these men would somehow embrace homosexuality? Not necessarily. I’d like to think one’s sexuality is a bit more complex than that. That being said, fresh meat is still fresh meat no matter what it’s wrapped in. Just think of the world Blade would enter in this scenario. There are no women for them to satisfy their natural urges, so they cancel their gym memberships since they lack the motivation to stay in shape. They can’t look to their fellow man for that type of companionship. In general, I think we tend to be more superficial than women. They’ve all let themselves go a bit, so they eventually get to a point that they’re as disgusted by each other as they are of their own bodies.
And then He comes…
The Richard Blade. Sent to Tharn by some demonic Atari console (no doubt with a copy of E.T. permanently fused inside the cartridge slot). These men longed for such perfection in human form to stroll along that they’d pretty much forgotten what sex is, having no personified image of the term to gaze upon. Maybe they don’t forget about wives long abandoned to take a slice of the Blade, but at the very least will get the motivation to start firing off some crunches. Now they’ve got their mojo back! They then match Blade bicep-to-bicep and remind the Neuters, once and for all, who has the gonads. Thus, Blade’s Hero-God status continues to stand firm in yet another timeline.
Anyway, back to the women. I bet you that those women were fully-clothed before Blade showed up too. They knew nothing of sex, and the Neuters taught them to shower fully-clothed in order to avoid any funny business. It also has the side benefit of making them smell all the more worse with those clothes in the way, keeping their skin from getting the best of that bar of soap.
With that, you may be thinking why have them shower at all? Appearances. Mending their repopulating devices doesn’t keep their whites from staying their whitest. Don’t challenge the Neuter’s laundry methods. You try charting an expedition to Tharn if you think you know better, and see how far that gets you.
Sex is illegal.
Okay. Got it. Law abiding citizen right here. Be free to aim those spiscreens on some other party. Otherwise, you’re just wasting your time. By the way, have you seen my pal? He answers to “Hero-God”, is free with his body, the speak-loud-and-carry-a-big-stick type?
Christ, Blade!! Keep it in your… ah screw it!
Do what you will with him, Neuters. I just heard Tharn had such a great crocheting culture. The finest in the quadrant! Sure, the women fascinate me too, but to be frank, their desperation is turning me off.
But Blade is hailed as their messiah… and as “Mazda”, the land – and the women – are his.
They dub him Mazda? When already he has a bad-ass name working very much in his favour (I refer you to the cover image, which I cannot do enough)? The automaker, if the potential loss of brand recognition was negligible, would gladly change their name to Blade in a heartbeat.
But my goodness, just take in that whole name. Richard Blade. Dick Blade!! Hot damn is that a name that summons women to your chambers! It’s as if this story was written for him..