Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Warbots With Lips

This weekend we were out at the thrift shops, and I found this lovely example of a bizarre cover -- here's a detail:
I didn't buy the book -- there's only so much bad sci-fi that I can read at a time. Turns out, this is the third in a series, and the publisher did the cover in both silver leaf AND embossing, so they were pretty sure it'd make some money. Maybe the book had something better inside than the cover lead me to believe. About all I could gather from the cover is that the book contained 'warbots', and showed us a prime example of a warbot on the cover so readers would know what they were getting into. There are a few things we can learn about warbots, from the cover:
  • Their metal 'skin' isn't enough of a functional covering; they require clothing be worn as well; sleeves optional. Or, maybe putting on sleeved clothing is foiled by those kick-ass knuckle studs -- warbots tend to shred sleeves while dressing.
  • Their most vulnerable part, their brain, it exposed in a very prominent part of the body, under a fragile bowl of glass. Why do futuristic robots always put the brain up there?
  • They do not require physical ears or noses, but they need REAL HUMAN MOUTHS AND EYES to operate, or at least to put fear into the hearts and minds of their enemies, who will cry out, 'dear god, what horror of nature is this, wearing a vest yet neglecting a hat for his brain?!!?'
The cover of Warbots #1 calls them half-human, half-machine...If you could only use half a human, would the eyes and lips be high on your list of parts to keep? I mean, laser/xray/infrared eyes would have been my choice, but nobody yet has hired me for the warbot design department. The series ran for 12 books, which is a pretty good run for a little-known sci-fi series; maybe I should overlook the cover and go back to get the book.

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