Baphomet’s Meteor — Claude Avice, as Pierre Barbet (1972)

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Publisher: DAW Books

First DAW Edition, 1972

Cover Art: Karel Thole

Plot Synopsis (of cover): “I really think you should reconsider this, Sir,” the noble knight implored his captain. “While I would never cast aspersions upon your venerable wisdom and keen eye for falsehood, something still seems wack, yo.” “Silence your tongue!” the captain bellowed. “This is a sign from our Lord! He has sent one of his consecrated angels to lead us virtuous into battle! What say you, Angel?” The Angel of the Lord snorted, its blue titties jiggling. “I AM AGEL OF LAAARD,” the holy being choked from between its gruesome yellow teeth, “AND I BRING MESSAGE OF PEEEEEAS.” The vocal knight was not satisfied with this testimony, and neither were his companions. “Sir, please. If this is a creature of the devil, than he would utter naught but foulest bullshit. We can’t trust the word of this beast!” The captain guffawed and replied, “Well, if you haven’t eyes to see, perhaps you’ll have ears to hear. Angel, speak! Are you, in truth, a demon?” The majestic angel scratched its horns, and a terrible stink issued from its divine armpits. “NNNNNOT REALLY.” “See?” the captain said, “How could you doubt the word of an envoy of the Lord of Hosts?” Skepticism still colored the faces of the men, and the sainted ram-headed angel took note. “EYEZZZ TO SEEEE,” it echoed, and turned. The countryside erupted with a theretofore unimaginable flame, its light and fury blanketing the valley and beyond. “AM AGEL OF LAAARD, CONDEMN SINNURZZZ AND UNBELIEVURRZZZ TO HELLFIRE!” Missing only a beat, the vocal knight replied, “I don’t know about you guys, but I’m convinced.”

Relatively Irrelevant Inside Text: Oh, I wish this book were better. It looks so badass—like, I would buy this album on vinyl. Sadly, this reads more like a history book than a novel. Its author was very proud of the research he did to produce it, and he should be, because I’m betting people better versed in the Crusades would find this far more fascinating than yours truly. Me, I barely know my history from a handsaw, and that made it feel like I was missing some terribly clever references. The book was good enough to make me feel bad about that, but not good enough to make me want to do anything about it. What I do know is my physics, and this book falls prey to a lot of misconceptions about nuclear ordinance, but that’s just me trying to make up for the deficiencies in my education by being petty. There’s a detached tone to the narration that I’d almost be willing to put down to a loss in translation (this was originally a French novel), but the plot doesn’t lend itself very well to the interface between reader and character. The story tells you what’s happening and what’s happened, but fails to engage. The idea is really cool—Baphomet as shipwrecked alien seeking control over the empires of Earth sounds like a larff—but there’s so little of Baphomet outside of the technology he gives the crusaders that I felt cheated. Avice/Barbet also has a real hard-on for romanticizing the Templars, so you kind of have to ignore the fact that they were dicks in order to consider them “protagonists.” See, THAT history I know.

Rating: 6.8 Princesses Cool With You Murdering Their Husbands

Questions for Critical Cover-Viewing:

  • Why would you touch that?
  • Seriously, what the fuck are you doing? Is nobody going to say anything?
  • Dude, what’s wrong with you?

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4 thoughts on “Baphomet’s Meteor — Claude Avice, as Pierre Barbet (1972)

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