Questions Inspired By Great Science Fiction Covers of the Past

So, over in the world of DeviantArt, the Peterpulp account has been posting various cleaned-up images of old magazine and book covers. A couple days ago he posted this cover, to Brian Aldiss’s Bow Down To Nul, which I never heard of before either though I’ve heard of Brian Aldiss. Naturally it raises questions, to follow.

Seriously, isn't that Lyndon Johnson fighting off an alien by using a fish?
Peterpulp (of DeviantArt)’s posting of the cover to _Bow Down To Nul_, by Brian W Aldiss.


  1. Is that Lyndon Johnson in the spacesuit there?
  2. Is Lyndon Johnson trying to stab the alien monstrosity by using a fish?
  3. Why?

I suppose the last is the easiest to answer, though. Obviously Lyndon Johnson’s plan is to offend the alien by making it think that he’s not taking the invasion the least bit seriously. The alien will stew over this and feel so offended it’ll go off and invade Vulcan or Endor or someone who’ll try to fight back with something that’s a serious weapon instead. I bet it ends up commiserating with an alien that quit an invasion when the resistance met it with yarn and bags of raked leaves.

Author: Joseph Nebus

I was born 198 years to the day after Johnny Appleseed. The differences between us do not end there. He/him.

4 thoughts on “Questions Inspired By Great Science Fiction Covers of the Past”

  1. As you can see from his Wikipedia photo (, the man holding the fish is in fact John T. Connor, Secretary of Commerce under Lyndon Johnson, who was often mistaken for the President at Cabinet pot luck dinners. In his role as overseer of the National Marine Fisheries Service, the Secretary of Commerce leaps into action whenever America is threatened by unspeakable horrors from beyond with seafood allergies.

    Interesting historical note: The fish in question, an Atlantic mackerel, was in fact sent back from the future by Secretary Connor to defend his younger self from Nul.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. No shame in that, my friend. According to Wikipedia, “Klutznick’s tenure [of one year and 10 days] was marked by the economic recession and inflation that characterized the later years of the Carter administration, Carter’s unsuccessful bid for re-election and the completion of the 1980 census.” Hundreds of people across America fell for the 1980 census. It’s no coincidence that since Philip Klutznick left the Department of Commerce, America has gone 33 years without a single 1980 census taking place. And God’s willing, never again will the people of 1980 be subjected to government enumeration!


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