I can’t actually see the join, but I’m convinced that’s merely a small man DRESSED as a tiger. The horse, however, is most definitely a scuba diver. The artist has done his research: see how a horse needs THREE oxygen tanks, as opposed to the standard two required by humans.
I had remembered basically nothing from when I read the book, but after a glance through I can confirm that the scene is in the book, but as expected is less interesting than it appears.
The man-tiger is a tiger version of the intelligent Underpeople in C. Smith’s books. The horse is just an ordinary horse, and is wearing the mask because the air is too thin on this planet to breathe (I don’t know why the man-tiger doesn’t have one). And the man-tiger is trying to jump across the chasm to rescue the horse, which is trapped on that crystal cliff (the horse, naturally, is freaked out by the man-tiger and just trying to stay away from him).
The man-tiger is surprisingly similar to the book’s description: not a very human-like form, with “his ears on top of his head, yellow and black fur over his face, huge incisors overlapping his lower jaw and enormous antenna-like whiskers sticking out from his moustache.”
And now thanks to Fred I have to keep skimming the book in order to find this “chicken planet”… Seriously, what?
Is the tiger leaping at a scuba-horse, or has the horse been watching too many Fast And Furious movies and thinks he can run faster if he straps on some NOS?
And the tiger….He looks like he just ate a little boy and the boy is crying out to the horse to save him, or it’s a kid in his Halloween costume thinking that he has acquired new powers by putting on said-costume and is playing King-of-the-Hill with a horse determined to prove to the kid that HE is actually “king of the hill”….whew, talk about run-on!
“YOU CANNOT HOPE TO DEFEAT ME! I HAVE THE HIGH GROUND!”
If I was GM-ing this encounter, I’d give Mantiger a small bonus to stick his landing because he’s got tiger claws. Then I’d tack on a massive penalty because they’ll do him zero good landing on a glass surface. In fact, judging by his angle and the look on his face, I think Tigerman just rolled a big fumble.
Wait, if the air’s so thin Scooby needs an oxygen tank, how is that river of fire staying alight?
I keep coming back to this cover again and again and it never stops being hilarious/awesome/totally ludicrous that this is on a book. I love science fiction and fantasy because it showcases so wonderfully the ability of the human brain to come up with stuff like this…and then make other people really, really want to read it…