Sunday, March 10, 2013

Cover Stars

M.A.R. Barker's "Man of Gold"
Cover art by Michael Whelan

As a kid who grew up far from the center of Tekumel gaming, I always loved Michael Whelan's cover and content for Man of Gold. The cover model was hot. And the novel was one of the few ways to really get "inside" Tekumel for someone who grew up far from the Twin Cities, in the decades before the internet.

The Tekumel Foundation's intent to publish of a new edition of the book is very welcome.

There is currently a debate going on at the Tekumel listserv about the desirability of changing the cover. While I like the Whelan cover on its own terms, it is not a very good representation of how Tekumel looks. And while the model is certainly attractive, he is on the pale (i.e., "White") side of the spectrum for a Tsolyani person, and his dress is wrong.

So he will probably go away.

It's sufficient consolation that we will always have this guy:

Michael Whelan's cover for "A Sailor on the Seas of Fate"

I imagine if Elric ever made it to Tekumel, he'd fit in pretty well there - at least for a bit. He's smart; he'd pick up the languages well. The Livyani would no doubt appreciate his sorcerous skill. Given his amorous appetites, I am certain he'd make friends in the temple of Dlamelish.

As long as he stayed indoors and out of the sun, he'd be fine. Until he ticked someone off, or made someone nervous or... curious.

Elric did tend to stir up trouble.

He'd have to stay away from the Omnipotent Azure Legion, and the curious priests of Lord Ksarul. And a lot of other folks.

Yeah, he'd probably get eaten alive on Tekumel. Or become a permanent resident of Avanthar. Or maybe we have the temporal sequencing wrong, and Elric has always-already been there.

He might be the real Doomed Prince of the Blue Room.


  1. Replies
    1. Perhaps the Lancanians' one useful contribution was that phrase. :)

  2. I can simultaneously appreciate the solid reasons for wanting to change Man of Gold's cover and wish for the setting that it would be a perfect evocation of.

    Apart from robe color. Ugh.

  3. Thank you for stopping by! I agree the robe color is kind of gross

    1. We may charitably assume it's been weathered and was once a great emerald or other hue.