I admit to being in two minds on submitting this cover. The book knowingly refers to the cliches of SF, and I think the cover does, too. However, the average bookshop browser is unlikely to know about this knowingness…. and is, I think, more likely to utter a justified ‘WTF?’
Her right arm appears to either be twisted behind her back at an unnatural angle, or reaching into a hole in the rock face for… the key to her chains? Some weapon or repllant to use on the red tentacle-thingies? The Exit Button to the Mad Universe?
It’s pre-Photoshop. The girl is airbrushed, but she looks funny because the rest of the painting isn’t airbrushed.
The more I look at it, the more I think the artist just copied an old pinup (without necessarily understanding anatomy) and gave her ’80s modern hair and makeup. Her right arm is missing, as Jaouad noted, her right leg is totally flat, and her left hand is stiff and flat.
@Phil, I like humorous covers that give a wink and nod to genre clichés, but they still have to work as covers. They can’t just rely on cheap allusions. Visual humor is just as subtle and tricky as written humor. And if they go horribly, horribly wrong, even funny covers should be open to criticism.
Painted by noted muppet designer Michael Frith, it sends up the bizarre paperback cover art if the late ’60s edition of “Lord of the Rings” while conveying actual plot elements and the absurdity of the story.