As a kid I was a voracious reader of science fiction, fantasy and science and this book is definitely firmly of the first and second category. I like how the publisher got their money’s worth from the photo shoot for including pics of the “It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s Vartox!”crowd on the front and back covers.
Alan Dean Foster rarely delivers a bad read and he typically adds a lot of depth to slim scripts in his adaptations of movies and other shows. His Flinx universe is a favorite of mine even though the publishers have been marketing the series the last few years as Young Adult and not mature science fiction.
Glory Lane is a fun time though it is the cover I find interesting. Not so much for the unique aliens crowding the interstellar bazaar but the fact that on the back cover the bar-codes in the background above the actual fourth wall-breaking UPC code were scribbled out. It’s amusing to think that the publisher was concerned that 1978 scanning technology would have been interfered with by the faux codes in the background. It’s also possible that the UPC labels on the mech-dino would have been the place holder for the actual UPC code given different art direction and layout if a close-up of the tourist transporting walker were discarded in favor of the UPC-toting aliens. If so, good thinking by artist Jim Gurney, planning greater flexibility in his art to decrease chances of rejection or having to repaint the scene.
Glory Lane (1978).
Icon-filled pattern found on the interior of the covers of many Dell paperback books circa 1949 noting the various types of books the company published. In an era of largely misleading book covers the large identifying icon placed somewhere on the front of the book would let a reader (and vendor stocking the stands) know at a glance from what category of fiction they were browsing. Due to the extra expense of printing, interior cover patterns are nearly non-existent today.