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Tue Feb 7, 2012, 09:24 PM

Why do sci-fi books from the 60s and 70's have so many scatily-clad women...

...on their covers? Seriously, I think it's creepy.

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Reply Why do sci-fi books from the 60s and 70's have so many scatily-clad women... (Original post)
Odin2005 Feb 2012 OP
csziggy Feb 2012 #1
Odin2005 Feb 2012 #6
FSogol Feb 2012 #2
petronius Feb 2012 #22
Curmudgeoness Feb 2012 #3
Odin2005 Feb 2012 #7
csziggy Feb 2012 #8
Odin2005 Feb 2012 #9
csziggy Feb 2012 #14
pokerfan Feb 2012 #10
Curmudgeoness Feb 2012 #11
pokerfan Feb 2012 #12
MiddleFingerMom Feb 2012 #16
pokerfan Feb 2012 #17
PassingFair Feb 2012 #26
LeftyMom Feb 2012 #36
dixiegrrrrl Feb 2012 #4
Orrex Feb 2012 #5
bluedigger Feb 2012 #13
cyberswede Feb 2012 #19
libodem Feb 2012 #20
Chan790 Feb 2012 #15
MiddleFingerMom Feb 2012 #18
pokerfan Feb 2012 #25
Bruce Wayne Feb 2012 #30
XemaSab Feb 2012 #21
Bruce Wayne Feb 2012 #29
laconicsax Feb 2012 #23
dimbear Feb 2012 #24
baldguy Feb 2012 #27
pulpcovers Feb 2012 #28
Bruce Wayne Feb 2012 #31
KamaAina Feb 2012 #32
greiner3 Feb 2012 #33
Baclava Feb 2012 #34
Bucky Feb 2012 #41
Baclava Feb 2012 #44
Capn Sunshine Feb 2012 #43
RedCloud Feb 2012 #35
JitterbugPerfume Feb 2012 #37
pitohui Feb 2012 #40
pitohui Feb 2012 #38
pitohui Feb 2012 #39
Aristus Feb 2012 #42
JitterbugPerfume Feb 2012 #45
Aristus Feb 2012 #46
Odin2005 Feb 2012 #50
Motown_Johnny Feb 2012 #47
pitohui Feb 2012 #53
Art_from_Ark Feb 2012 #48
Matariki Feb 2012 #49
Old Troop Feb 2012 #51
eppur_se_muova Feb 2012 #52

Response to Odin2005 (Original post)

Tue Feb 7, 2012, 09:26 PM

1. Because the publishers thought most of the people buying them were teenage boys?

And ignored the fact that a lot were sold to women.

Yes, it was kind of creepy.

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Response to csziggy (Reply #1)

Tue Feb 7, 2012, 09:46 PM

6. That's as good an explaination as any.

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Response to Odin2005 (Original post)

Tue Feb 7, 2012, 09:30 PM

2. Creepy? Those covers were awesome.

http://pulpcovers.com/tag/scifi

Of course all of the other genres from mystery to western to romance had the same types of covers:
http://pulpcovers.com/

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Response to FSogol (Reply #2)

Wed Feb 8, 2012, 12:58 AM

22. Very cool! I really like that bottom one on the scifi list,

the big scientifiction eye. I'd say that contest was over before it started...

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Response to Odin2005 (Original post)

Tue Feb 7, 2012, 09:32 PM

3. Most of the ones I read didn't.

Arthur Clarke, Robert Heinlein, Frank Herbert....I can't think of any with scatily-clad (sic) women.

I think you must be looking at the crappy sci-fi.

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Response to Curmudgeoness (Reply #3)

Tue Feb 7, 2012, 09:47 PM

7. It's mostly the pulpy stuff.

Part of a gigantic donation of sci-fi books we got to the thrift store.

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Response to Odin2005 (Reply #7)

Tue Feb 7, 2012, 09:54 PM

8. Any Ace doubles in the batch?

We have a large collection of those but we're always looking for more.

And I love anthologies, the earlier, the better.

If you've got any of those and I can buy long distance, let me know how much per book and how many you have. Pure numbers of either of those categories would be OK. Then we can talk about shipping.

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Response to csziggy (Reply #8)

Tue Feb 7, 2012, 10:00 PM

9. We have several dozen of them!

Sadly, we don't ship long distance, we are a tiny operation.

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Response to Odin2005 (Reply #9)

Tue Feb 7, 2012, 10:53 PM

14. Well, darn.

You wouldn't want to make a deal with me personally, would you? I could Paypal you money.

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Response to Curmudgeoness (Reply #3)

Tue Feb 7, 2012, 10:03 PM

10. Time Enough for Love



I guess it doesn't really count as clad, scantily or otherwise...

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Response to pokerfan (Reply #10)

Tue Feb 7, 2012, 10:09 PM

11. I stand corrected.

That one certainly is in the category the OP was talking about.

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Response to Curmudgeoness (Reply #11)

Tue Feb 7, 2012, 10:40 PM

12. Here's one where the woman is wearing more than the dude

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Response to pokerfan (Reply #10)

Tue Feb 7, 2012, 11:23 PM

16. Heinlein was my favorite growing up.

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That book was my absolute favorite of his for many reasons. About that
time, he went ballistic sexually. For the rest of his career, he wrote MAJOR
themes of swinging and incest in his works. His characters all seemed
continually UNclad.
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.
.

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Response to MiddleFingerMom (Reply #16)

Tue Feb 7, 2012, 11:32 PM

17. One of my favorites as well

The intermissions, the notebooks of Lazarus Long, were good fun.

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Response to MiddleFingerMom (Reply #16)

Wed Feb 8, 2012, 08:14 AM

26. He was always trying to go back in time and nail his mother.

Ew.

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Response to pokerfan (Reply #10)

Wed Feb 8, 2012, 06:09 PM

36. My copy of To Sail Beyond the Sunset

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Sailbeyond.jpg

No surprise, its Heinlein at his pervy old man-iest.

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Response to Odin2005 (Original post)

Tue Feb 7, 2012, 09:35 PM

4. Because the male age group that mostly read them

tended to develop in one area faster than the other.

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Response to Odin2005 (Original post)

Tue Feb 7, 2012, 09:43 PM

5. Why do shitty romance novels *still* feature scantily clad characters on their covers?

Not all, but plenty.

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Response to Odin2005 (Original post)

Tue Feb 7, 2012, 10:48 PM

13. It's hard to believe, but back in the 20th Century, humans used "sex" to sell "products"

Thank Gaeia the AIDS pandemic of the 1980s, and the resulting Eugenics Wars of the 1990s, allowed us to form the pangender egalitarian utopian society we all enjoy today!

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Response to bluedigger (Reply #13)

Tue Feb 7, 2012, 11:57 PM

19. LOL nt

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Response to bluedigger (Reply #13)

Wed Feb 8, 2012, 12:50 AM

20. Tee hee hee

Cute.

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Response to Odin2005 (Original post)

Tue Feb 7, 2012, 11:10 PM

15. Targeted Marketing.

Target audience: Pubescent boys.
Unique Selling Proposition: scantily-clad women, space sex.

See, I learned something in all those Marking/PR courses I've been taking. Now if I had a PR/Marketing job to go with them.

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Response to Chan790 (Reply #15)

Tue Feb 7, 2012, 11:56 PM

18. Space Sex. Show us your Outer Space O-Face!!!

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Response to Chan790 (Reply #15)

Wed Feb 8, 2012, 05:05 AM

25. space sex

ain't as much fun as you think it might be...

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Response to pokerfan (Reply #25)

Wed Feb 8, 2012, 09:30 AM

30. sexay!

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Response to Odin2005 (Original post)

Wed Feb 8, 2012, 12:53 AM

21. BECAUSE THERE'S TOO MUCH BOOB FOR THE BOOK TO HOLD!

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Response to XemaSab (Reply #21)

Wed Feb 8, 2012, 09:30 AM

29. This thread has too much boob for the internet to hold.

By the way, big "win" for the word "scatily". I once fell into a sewer and found myself clad in quite a bit of "scat".

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Response to Odin2005 (Original post)

Wed Feb 8, 2012, 01:56 AM

23. You mean sci-fi books since the 50s, right?

 

It wasn't new in the 60s and 70s, nor did it end.

Fantasy novels do it too.

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Response to Odin2005 (Original post)

Wed Feb 8, 2012, 03:10 AM

24. As happens so often in this forum, this can be solved with three little words: Margaret Brundage.

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Response to dimbear (Reply #24)

Wed Feb 8, 2012, 08:35 AM

27. or Hugo Gernsback

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Response to dimbear (Reply #24)

Wed Feb 8, 2012, 09:25 AM

28. Brundage was, inspirational, to say the least.

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Response to Odin2005 (Original post)

Wed Feb 8, 2012, 09:32 AM

31. It's a refreshing break from the puritanical world of automobile ads

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Response to Odin2005 (Original post)

Wed Feb 8, 2012, 12:51 PM

32. Sharyn McCrumb parodied this brilliantly in "Bimbos of the Death Sun"

in which a character based on Harlan Ellison gets his serious SF book published -- but the publisher changes the name to, you got it, "Bimbos of the Death Sun", with cover to match.

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Response to Odin2005 (Original post)

Wed Feb 8, 2012, 12:54 PM

33. "Why do sci-fi books from the 60s and 70's have so many scatily-clad women..."

No offense but;


DUHHHHHHHHHHHH!

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Response to Odin2005 (Original post)

Wed Feb 8, 2012, 01:12 PM

34. How about the 1920's? Edgar Rice Burroughs


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Response to Baclava (Reply #34)

Wed Feb 8, 2012, 08:21 PM

41. That's one evil looking Gandhi

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Response to Bucky (Reply #41)

Wed Feb 8, 2012, 10:54 PM

44. it gets better - alien porn!

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Response to Baclava (Reply #34)

Wed Feb 8, 2012, 10:47 PM

43. Here's the dust jacket from Burrough's "Thuvia, Maid of Mars"

Got some beefcake for the ladies in there too

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Response to Odin2005 (Original post)

Wed Feb 8, 2012, 06:02 PM

35. If you meant scatologically clad, see the santorum thread!

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Response to Odin2005 (Original post)

Wed Feb 8, 2012, 07:12 PM

37. Why was Kilgore Trout my first thought

upon seeing this thread?

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Response to JitterbugPerfume (Reply #37)

Wed Feb 8, 2012, 08:20 PM

40. i owned "that" cover too

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Venusonahal.gif

i decided not to collect books for their covers any more but this thread is really taking me down memory lane...

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Response to Odin2005 (Original post)

Wed Feb 8, 2012, 08:11 PM

38. 2 reasons

1) sf was aimed at a male adolescent (or wishes he still was adolescent) market...as tom disch describes it, it was speaking to the (almost always male -- and often the young naive male ) person who believed that if you were smart, it would help you win girls & ultimately be a big success in life (ha ha ha ha ha)

2) there was a new freedom in discussing sex and sexual freedom in print in the 50s but even more so in the 60s and & 70s and novels of all kind (not just sf) were obsessed w. human sexuality and sex scenes--such scenes that would be abbreviated today because who needs another description of a blow job are expanded upon in great detail in older novels because it was such a thrill for the writer to be able to be sexually explicit without being put in the porn or illegal category

i don't think it's creepy, while i don't go the extra mile of collecting the old-time "sexy" covers -- and thrillers had really good cheesecake covers too! -- they do bring a smile to my face when i happen to encounter one

sex was still new and fun since it was only a few years that day in 1964 when it was invented...(grin)

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Response to pitohui (Reply #38)

Wed Feb 8, 2012, 08:17 PM

39. a humor cover from a local new orleans writer



can you see this photo? i had this book w. this cover as part of my personal collection for years, it has everything to push every button, interracial bikini sex in outer space...if that doesn't make you giggle, what does?

a real space alien could understand the entire 1960s just from the yellow boots!!!

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Response to Odin2005 (Original post)

Wed Feb 8, 2012, 10:37 PM

42. There once was a publisher of paperback Gothic novels

that reused the same cover theme dozens and dozens of times. Minimal variation.

The theme: A beautiful, frightened-looking woman in a fancy ball gown is running away from a sinister Gothic mansion at night. In one window only, there is a bright light shining.

I saw these books on the shelf of a second-hand book store when I was a kid. And over and over again, on scores of books, this same theme in cover art. It was as if the art department didn't even try to come up with a different visual hook. Or maybe the art department was underfunded.

Anyway, anybody ever see these books?

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Response to Aristus (Reply #42)

Wed Feb 8, 2012, 11:28 PM

45. Harlequin Romances?

I used to work with a girl that lived to read them . She wasn't all that bright, but a nice girl none the less.

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Response to JitterbugPerfume (Reply #45)

Thu Feb 9, 2012, 12:28 AM

46. No, this set of novels went back further than Harlequin.

Back to the early 60's or so, I would guess. Harlequin covert art is just as distinctive, but completely different: A handsome, rakish man (usually with his shirt off) in a clutch with an impossibly beautiful young woman.

Hey! I found an example of the kind I referred to in my first reply, through Bing Images:



Shoot! I just found a whole webpage!

http://www.bookscans.com/Oddities/gothicromance.htm

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Response to Aristus (Reply #46)

Thu Feb 9, 2012, 08:23 PM

50. I've seen one of those at the thriftstore.

Not the same book, but the cover is almost identical to that one.

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Response to Odin2005 (Original post)

Thu Feb 9, 2012, 12:43 AM

47. not all were like that

mostly the second rate authors did that to try and hide their inferior talents















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Response to Motown_Johnny (Reply #47)

Sat Feb 11, 2012, 09:46 PM

53. NO author had control of cover illo in the 1960s

yr claim that "second rate authors" did that on the cover for any reason is completely untrue

authors had no control over the cover illustration and this would include isaac asimov

contracts would say specifically that jacket copy (and even the choice of title) was owned by the publisher not the author

do you really think asimov was a better writer (as opposed to a better selling writer) than heinlein? so asimov gets robots and heinlein gets scantily clad twins? (actually i personally prefer asimov myself but the reality is that both writers were probably about equal as far as literary gift, i just don't like heinlein's fatuous political beliefs)

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Response to Odin2005 (Original post)

Thu Feb 9, 2012, 01:52 AM

48. You may as well ask why The Avengers' ratings went way down

after Diana Rigg (Emma Peel) left the show.

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Response to Odin2005 (Original post)

Thu Feb 9, 2012, 03:32 AM

49. scatily clad?

that's a shitty thing to say

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Response to Odin2005 (Original post)

Thu Feb 9, 2012, 09:04 PM

51. maybe because it sold books

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Response to Odin2005 (Original post)

Sat Feb 11, 2012, 05:16 PM

52. Because the covers often had little to do with the stories inside ?

Try reading bio notes from any SF author -- complaints about the randomly-chosen cover art abound. Sometimes editors were to blame; sometime marketing. More than one author was pressured to change a story to match a cover painting. And John W. Campbell tried getting authors to write a story to go with cover paintings he had already bought. Asimov was one of them; he didn't care for the idea, and JWC dropped it after a few tries.

PS: Plenty of half-naked women on military SF today (posing with men covered in armor everywhere but their chins), and lots of tatooed ones on vampire etc. fantasy.

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