When Maili first started LoveSpace, I thought “Oooh, what a great tool for SF romance fans!”

Then I looked at the covers.

And looked. And looked. And looked some more.

Once I’d picked myself up the floor and stopped wheezing from all the cat hair I’d inhaled while cackling helplessly, I knew what had to be done. It’s a dirty job, but someone’s gotta do it. For the good of one and all, these covers need to be snarked at. Mercilessly.

Ow, my neck

Candy: Anal sex position + Goofy effect on font + Disco dress made with yards of yellow satin = AHHH MY EYES

The chick looks really uncomfortable. Why in the hell did they think that pose looks even remotely sexy? “OK, bend your neck until it looks like it’s going to snap… OK, good, good… No, not extreme enough. Put your right hand behind your head and use it to shove your neck back even further. Ahhhh, perfect. Now, push your ass against his groin and grab his thigh. No, not so hard—I know your neck hurts and it’s hard to keep your balance, but it’s not all about you, sweetie.”

And this is a measure of how much freakin’ Indian romance covers have corrupted my sensibilities: Any vaguely-tanned, Caucasoid male on a romance cover immediately makes me think of Indians.

Sarah: “I love the nightlife. I like to boogie. On the disco ra-houuuuuuuuuund, oh yeah!”

“Silent, or you shall alert the aliens to our presence.”

Is he going for her breast while under the influence of a hallucinogenic? Because he’s missing by about six inches, but really, it’s not like you could find them under all that yellow fabric.

Also, nice rock phallus in the background. The rock phallus even has its own erection.

Disco Stu does not advertise

Candy: Wow. Mullet: check. Goofy shirt: check. Tacky medallion: check. High-waisted pants: check.

This guy is the perfect combination of all the right things… for my nightmares.

Sarah: It has come to the attention of those of us in SACCA (Society Against Cruelty to Cover Animals) that a black and white shorthair, possibly a Scottish fold given the shape of his ears, was pictured wearing a green-and-white stud collar while seated at the feet of a bloated, mullet-wearing mega-dork who bore a startling resemblance to Deidrich Bader. Such cruelty and disrespect to the integrity of the feline species is not to be tolerated and we demand an apology. We also demand that the medallion be herewith awarded to the cat for having to endure this malarkey.

Also – “Dara Joy fans rejoice?” Why, here is a cover that’s worse than hers?

Dead Flowers = Love

Candy: Oh, hey, speaking of nightmares….

You know, giving black roses to the girl of your dreams as a romantic gesture usually strikes me as something only whiny Goth teenagers would do. But apparently slightly pudgy gym monkeys find it romantic too. Sweet.

Unless “black rose” is somehow a euphemism for “incurable venereal disease,” because frankly, that’s what I think when I see this cover. Seriously. So. Friggin’. Sleazy.

Sarah:Aw, look. Troy Aikman’s futuristic twin brother hides his ginormous mantitty behind a black rose. Sadly, the blossom ain’t big enough to hide his bloomin’ boob.

Candy’s right. This is one seriously creepy dude. Yeesh. I bet he’s related to the pull-my-finger Viking.

Candy: Hey, maybe those alarmists who want to block kinky sex from romance novels have a point. I mean, look! A snuff romance novel! Homegirl is trying to push the psycho murderer with the wrinkly neck away from her, but when your arm’s about as thick as a pencil and you have as much muscle tone as a piece of nougat, it’s not easy.

Sarah: “Your face. I want your face.”

“Oh, Brett ba-Havar-nir-Tamir, I want you, too.”

“No, your face. I want your face. Give it to me.”

“My face? But it doesn’t come off!”

“Sure it does. Hold still.”


Comments are Closed

  1. I have learned the hard way not to be drinking coffee when I check out “Covers Gone Wild”.  It hurts so much to have hot caffeinated beverages spurt out of your nose onto the keyboard while you’re laughing. 

    *sigh*  I think I’m going to have to stare at the tasteful and romantic ‘86 edition cover of SHARDS OF HONOR, with its H&H separated by a spaceship, to give the cheesy SF images a chance to evacuate my brain.

  2. Robyn says:

    I read that Fabio did SF covers before he did romance. I’m going to have to find some of those.

    I’m worried, though, that futuristic men hate shirts as much as historical ones do.

  3. Cindy says:


    The cover for The Crystal Prophecy reminds me of an advert we used to have on tv here when I was a kid – can’t remember what for – might have been Special K, but people went around grabbing any spare flesh saying “if you can pinch more than an inch, try ______”.  that’s what it looks like Dude is doing to the disco queen.

  4. Arethusa says:

    “Brett ba-Havar-nir-Tamir” *coffee spew*

    Darlene, that piece of wisdom comes too late for me. I hope the librarian doesn’t notice the mess…

    I’m not used to read y’all so early is all! This is the perfect follow up to my boring first class of the day.

    That Black Rose moob…where is his bed exactly? Is it in outer space? Second ring of hell? By a volcano?

  5. E.D'Trix says:

    Why do most of these covers follow the alien planet=Sedona, Arizona theory? Toss in a swirly-whirly starry sky background and you’ve got the lovely planet of Ma’al’ar Shi’kran…

  6. Futuristic man-titty… hmm. I wonder if the Black Rose guy actually has Bionic Man-Titties, and he’s trying to fix one of them with a weird alien instrument mistaken for a rose?

    God, the pure sleaze factor on that cover is incredible. I think it’s the most sleaze I’ve seen in years, which is amazing. It makes me wonder if Sleaze Man-Titty is some sort of black hole of sleaze, grabbing at everything within his gravitational pull, and the black rose is maybe only a lure?

    In any case, SACCA is putting together a team to rescue the cat, which hasn’t been seen since this cover was done. The animal might be hiding out of pure shame, but also might be in danger from Mullet-Man. Further updates as events warrant…

  7. Anna says:

    Congratulations!  In this post you induced reactions running the gamut of nausea, hilarity, revulsion and fear… lots of fear….

    If the black rose is a lure, what is he hiding beneath the slimy-shiny sheet?????

  8. His long, throbbing, purple, poisonous… ALIEN FISHTAIL! (Note: Bionic Man-Titty refers to it as his “stinger of luuuuuurrrve”)

  9. Lynn M says:

    In order to purge my mind’s eye from these horrific beauties, I just had to go stare at this very cool cover I discovered via the girls over at Write Minded.

    Now that’s a cover I can look at all day with a big ol’ goofy grin on my face. In fact, I may just buy the book for the cover and not even read it.

  10. Dee says:

    I don’t know, Lynn. I mean, he’s hot…but I’d much rather have a side view of HIS ass than hers. I keep thinking…couldn’t we just crop a LITTLE higher? But yes, DEFINITELY better than The Lounge Lizard of Ma’an Tee-tee.


  11. Suisan says:

    Gah! Gaah!

    I should come up with some cute snarky bit here, but I’m experiencing brain lock.

    If Smart Bitches branch out into snarkifying all SF covers, then you’ll be at this for the next fifteen years—and that’s just covering the backlog.

  12. Suisan says:

    OK, I just went over to Lovespace.


    My god, these are atrocious.

    There are lots of heroines in jumpsuits pointing rifles at the viewer, but then just gobs and gobs of these horrors. Need more coffee and a quick lie down to recover.

  13. Thanks—I love starting my day with a good laugh!

    Even without reading the book’s blurb, it’s evident that Heart Mate is a paranormal in which the author provides startling insight into the peculiarities of a rockabilly heaven where even Johnny Cash wears white. 😉

  14. Bonnie says:




  15. Kathleen says:

    That cat looks like it wants to go back to the SPCA.

  16. Or the SCA, whichever comes first.

  17. SB Sarah says:

    I bet that cat is thinking, ‘Dude, I totally shit in your boots.’

  18. Nicole says:

    Maybe we should link to this post under the comments header for these covers…

  19. The connection is crocheted afghans. From the bottom, up (since this appears the way heros prefer it):

    Driven insane by the click of crochet hooks and having to wind up too many balls of no.7 azure blue yarn, Mr Topaz Dreams has fiendishly decided to incriminate his sweet gentle granny for the atrocities he is about to commit with a crochet hook. He intends to use Granny’s prize floral afghan currently located beneath the him and his victim to mop up the evidence of his heinous crimes and send it to the authorities.

    The Black Rose is the pattern of this afghan, but Granny is colour blind and because Mr. TD is truly eeeevil incarnate, he didn’t tell her she was using magenta and lilac for it, and instead sold all her black yarn at a ridiculous profit to…

    …Mr Heartmate, who has a peculiar obsession with black balls of yarn. He is shown standing proudly on his collection, wearing a pair of trousers he knitted himself, and his Mr. Outer Nebula Crochet Championship 3,487AD Semi-finalist’s medal (Tea Cosies and Pet Outfits division). That’s a zero-gravity crochet hook he’s holding, he’s not happy to see us. That’s because Mr. HM has a guilty secret; he stole his championship design for a set of cat booties and cape from his brother…

    …Mr Crystal Prophecy. Mr. CP was a legend of inter-stellar needlework, but because of a misunderstanding over his treatment of knitware models, and his betrayal by his older brother he is an emotional wreck. He now eeks out a living on a barren planet providing a dress-fitting and headlice-checking service.

  20. Begging… for… mercy… laughing… too… hard…

  21. Lisa #2 says:

    Hmmm…I thought that was J. Peterman on the cover of Heartmate.  It looks just like one of his Dancing with the Stars costumes.

    As for the sleazy guy, my first thought was that Ricky Martin must have been working out since he dropped off the radar.

  22. Alyssa says:

    Oh boy. I think The Black Rose is the worst. Ugh.

  23. celeste says:

    I actually kinda enjoyed the story in The Black Rose, but that cover…  Does it look to anyone else like he’s sitting inside a big black garbage bag?

  24. SandyO says:

    HEART MATE says one thing to me:

    Hello, my name is Johnny Cash.

  25. Missie says:

    All Mr. HeartMate needs are some suspenders to complete his transformation to his hero, Erkel.

    I am an animal lover but that cat. Scares.Me.Bad.

    And Mr. Black Rose needs to cut back on the money he spends on the gym membership and invest in some new bedding. Chicks don’t like making it on a tarp.

  26. I remember buying The Black Rose a long time ago. The sleaze factor was not apparent to me.

    Thank you, SBTB, for making me laugh (and seeing cheesiness in romance novel covers. Before you, I was seeing the cheesiness inside the book).

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