This may be of interest only to the most ardent gamebook collectors or lovers of trivia (hmm, possibly two completely overlapping sets...) but, after all, what's a blog for if not to show off the most obscure of curiosities?
These were the original covers for the Blood Sword gamebooks, which later became the basis for my kids' fantasy series The Chronicles of the Magi. There was a general feeling at the publisher, and Oliver and I agreed, that these covers just didn't have "it". New paintings were duly commissioned. We weren't complaining. It was nice to know our publisher cared.
My only regret: when I had finally been persuaded that the series should be called Blood Sword, I said, "Okay, but what I'd really, really hate is if the logo has blood dripping off it." You see, in the '70s there had been a great little periodical called The Magazine of Horror, which reprinted stories from Weird Tales and other pulps of the '30s and '40s, and the editor, Robert A W Lowndes, and most of his readers were forever lamenting MOH's crass, gore-drenched masthead. Thankfully for Lowndes, he finally managed to get his art director to see sense.
When the new Blood Sword covers arrived, the art director had added a new logo. With, of course, lashings of bright red blood. Arrrrrgh.