90% of the charm of genre fiction is in the cover…

More Don Elliott (Robert Silverberg) book cover art. One wonders if Sex Bait is a sequel to Sin Bait… or perhaps part of a tetralogy which becomes progressively more depraved, being rounded out by Snatch Bait and Snuff Bait

Why is it we find these covers humourous? I guess it has something to do with us imagining that things were simpler back then, coupled with smugness which asserts that no matter how bad things seem today, at least we’re more sophisticated than the simpletons who bought these sad little stroke books… but are either of these premises actually true?

Sin Bait (Nightstand NB 1610) AUTHOR: Don Elliott (pseudonym of Robert Silverberg) ARTIST: (unknown) by Hang Fire Books.

Lust Queen (Midnight Reader MR 401) 1961 AUTHOR: Don Elliott (aka Robert Silverberg; Loren Beauchamp) ARTIST: (unknown) by Hang Fire Books.

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the hard lot of the professional writer…

Like many “genre writers” — and I don’t use the term disparagingly — famous science fiction writer Robert Silverberg wrote soft-core porn under a pseudonym. Here’s the jacket copy and cover image of his Erskine Caldwell-like novel Sex Bait:

SIN SITTER…

In the wife-swapping suburbs where the biggest problem is finding somebody to take care of the kids while the parents are out next door — or across the street — on in the next block having a ball at the latest sin orgy. Or perhaps it’s every man’s favorite babysitter, Inez…Inez the lusty little minx with the too attractive body and the too money-minded mind. Inez who can trap every man in the neighborhood with her wanton ways and the click of a flash-camera. Inez who makes the neighborhood shame-dames look like rank amateurs in the game of —

…PASSION BLACKMAIL!