Saturday, December 01, 2007

it's hard to hold a book in these hairy palms

Another amusing list is this one: the (depending on your point of view) best/worst science fiction and fantasy book covers. In most cases it's the cover illustration that's the amusing bit, but not with the one displayed here.....

I used to read quite a bit of science fiction, but fantasy is a genre that I've hardly read at all. I mean, I've read Lord Of The Rings (then again who hasn't?), but I never felt the urge to dive into the whole David Eddings sword and dragons epic saga business. Maybe I'm missing out; I mean, some of the covers are pretty hilarious. And anything featuring Raven, Swordsmistress Of Chaos is OK with me, assuming that's her arse prominently displayed on the cover.

The best I can find among my book collection are these, which I offer for your entertainment:

1) Maia by Richard Adams. Yes, that's right, the same guy who wrote Watership Down. This probably does fall squarely within the fantasy genre, though I reckon it's probably a bit better-written than most, and there is quite a lot of sex in it, in contrast to most fantasy fiction which I suspect is targeted at an audience of early-teens boys who haven't discovered girls yet and would find that sort of thing a bit icky, and prefer a good healthy dose of slaughtering instead. Good cover, though, depicting as it does Occula and Maia, the novel's two main protagonists, standing around in a desert showing a bit of leg in swirly dresses. That's right, they're ladies. With breasts and everything.

2) Friday by Robert A Heinlein. This is most definitely science fiction, but the main protagonist is, again, a lady. And one with a bit of a penchant for metal bra-and-pants combos, it would appear, worn over the clothing. Good book, though.

3) Ubik by Philip K Dick. This is a bit of a stretch, as I'm only 90% sure that is a woman on the front cover. If it is she's got the same fetish for slightly skimpy metal clothing, though, with the added bonus that you can't see anything below the shoulders, so you can make the rest of it up yourself to fit in with whatever depraved fantasy you like. A titanium thong? A molybdenum miniskirt? A neodymium negligee?

You won't get any clues from reading the book as nothing as orthodoxly sci-fi-esque as this scene (with rockets & launch-pads, etc.) features (as far as I can remember anyway) - instead it's the usual Dickian mindfuck of overlapping alternative realities, time running backwards, bizarre drugs, etc. And very good it is too.

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