Fiction by Paolo Bacigalupi

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Posted on Nov 20, 2007 in Blog, Writing | 15 comments

Magazine Covers!

Chang sent me this brilliant rendition of the Armored Magazine concept. Personally, I’d pick it up for the jet pack instructions. But I think the dorky dude sticking out through the “O” needs some cross hairs centered on his forehead. :-)

Armored Magazine Cover

More seriously, Speclit has a series of posts which touch on design in the big three, “Designer’s eye for the stodgy digests” and he’s steps up to do some cover mockups as examples. It’s interesting that he looks at the digests as digests, and thinks about how their look might be updated while continuing to respect their current form factor.


  1. Heh. :)

    A lot of people who read about your mag and discussed what a SF Mag for Girls would be like mentioned that lots of girls would be interested in this mag, especially if there was a kick-ass female action hero on the cover. :)

  2. Poalo, thanks for posting this! It was done on a lark during breaks of “Dancing with the Stars!”

    What he doesn’t mention is that in draft 1, I mispelled Tobias and Bacigalupi.

    Shara, I looked and looked and looked but couldn’t find a good female space marine picture. Maybe I need to do a second one. ARMORED GRRL MAGAZINE! I’ll google “female space marine” again for that.

  3. Chang, you wouldn’t get female space marine in the 40k universe (as those from the picture above are). The closest the warhammer universe comes to female space marines are the rather awful ‘sisters of battle’.

    I love the fact that most of the names you’ve used on the cover of this new hypothetical answer to the ‘big three problem’ are those names that have been discussing said problem on their blogs recently. Who said stirring up controversy doesn’t further your (imaginary or not) career?

  4. ANd who the hell is this RObert Prospect guy? ;)

  5. Chibicharibdys, that’s EXACTLY it! What an awesome image!

    Chang, if this were a real magazine, it wouldn’t have to be just for boys or just for girls, just that the art, stories, and topics covered what both would be interested in, meaning kick-ass images that represent the genre (male and female), kick-ass stories for both the boys and the girls (hey, look at Joel Shepherd’s Cassandra Kresnov trilogy), and articles that deal with gaming and the genre. It’d be easy to appeal to both, provided the cover art catered to both. :)

    If that makes any sense… ;)

  6. I’ve read some stuff by Tanya Huff about a kick-ass female staff sergeant that’s solidly focused on thrilling bloody set-piece battles and the general kick-assedness of the female lead.

  7. One of the funny things I notice about this discussion is the assumption that if the trooper is completely covered in body armor it *must* be a male. We apparently need the face exposed or form fitting armor or something to assure us that it’s female.

    Ain’t that interesting?

  8. Paolo, that is interesting. But the soldier just looks mean, and like a Storm Trooper, and we all know Storm Troopers are male. ;)

    Technically speaking though, my first thought when I saw the soldier was that it was a robot. It’s the inhumanly skinny waist.

    But another fact to viewing it as “male” is the incredibly BROAD shoulders. Not that I want to see fitted armor so a woman’s boobs are obvious, but I imagine there’s ways to draw armor that’s more androgynous than anything. :)

  9. I am only assuming that it’s male because, having played Warhammer 40k, it states several places that the Space Marines (which that is a picture of) are ALL male. So while I admit to having a prejudice, it’s from the source that the picture comes from. Otherwise I agree that it would be non-gendered, save for the broad shoulders.

    For the sort of thing that would make me NOT buy the magazine, here’s a perfectly good picture of a cool armored guy: http://a248.e.akamai.net/f/248/5462/2h/images.gamezone.com/screens/26/4/3/s26403_pc_76.jpg
    and his female counterpart: http://hellgate.incgamers.com/gallery/data/501/medium/templar-f-art.jpg

    It makes me very sad that they felt the need to have her spine twisted in weird ways so that they could work her butt into the picture, because otherwise it would be a very cool picture.

  10. There ought to be a term for armor that’s been gratuitously feminized.

  11. “Tacky” doesn’t cover it?

  12. I just did an images.google.com on “armored girl” jus to see what turned up. The vast majority of relevant pictures were girls in armor that left large swaths of their body unprotected, to make they more sexy, e.g.


    After 2 or 3 pages of pictures, I found this one image of an armored girl who is actually armored in a protective manner: http://godleftfeet.deviantart.com/art/Armored-Girl-23738534

  13. I didn’t think to google “armored girl” or “armored woman” as I’m pretty literal in my googling.

    I did make an alternate cover of a female oriented ARMORED MAGAZINE. And it’s a bit of a joke, drawing from some of the comments others have made. Note the dolphins. And Scalzi’s progeny writing career has already taken off.

    I, too, thought that it was interesting that the original marrines pictured were all identified as male by the folks who have seen this. I didn’t point this out because I was interested in seeing the discussion unfold.

  14. Would love to see this magazine! I was lucky I found this while doing a search on the 1st edition of Windup Girl. Looking to sell it on Ebay and cant find all the identifying points to sell confidently. Anybody have any ideas?


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