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May 17

Luckily for me... my body is 3 quarters legs!Click for full image

Mangraa’s Art Direction: OK, the main character’s a hot chick, so slap a Barbie head on a soldier’s body, that’ll work.  Make this cover look like the end of a Michael Bay sci-fi clusterf***!  I want not one, but TWO ships blasting away at her, the entire city burning, maybe throw in a lava spout just to be safe.  I want NO EMPTY COVER SPACE!
Published 2004

Actually, that cover IS a classical work of artI would touch it without protective glovesI have seen worse. Far, far worseInteresting, but I would still read it in publicMiddling: Neither awful nor awfully goodWould not like to be seen reading that!Awful... just awful...That belongs in a gold-lamé picture frame!Gah... my eyes are burning! Feels so good!Good Show, Sir.... Good Show! (Average: 7.80 out of 10)
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26 Responses to “Freehold”

  1. THX 1138 Says:

    “Hey, these guys are missing me deliberately so I can get to the end of the book!”

  2. Hep C Says:

    Let me point out again that we desperately need a Behind You! tag.

  3. Smith Says:

    The sequel, “Leasehold” was better. All part of the Tenants In Common sequence, featuring a crack team of sci-fi commandos/property lawyers.

  4. Jaouad Says:

    Well, say what you like, but this is a surprising change from the usual depiction of women in these kinds of situation. She doesn’t flash cleavage, we don’t get to see her butt, she doesn’t contort herself to make sure we notice she’s a hot chick — she’s just busy getting the hell out of Dodge.

    Of course, the incompetence of the guys strafing her, plus the weird angle of her left arm don’t exactly add to the realism, but hey.

  5. Phil Says:

    Hep C, pleased to see another supporter for the BEHIND ME! tag.

    I’m not so sure that’s a soldier’s body (as mentioned in the art direction). It might be a ice skater, minus ice and skates.

    What gives with her left hand? Is she trying to punch that alien vessel? Or perhaps trying to carry it like a briefcase?

  6. Tom Noir Says:

    No, clearly she’s blocking the lava spout! DUH.

  7. Dead Stuff With Big Teeth Says:

    May I also point out that she’s got a superfluous katana on her back?

    I misread the title, at first thinking Michael Z. Williamson was Earth’s Most Wanted Woman.

  8. Phil Says:

    When I wrote BEHIND ME! earlier, I of course meant behind YOU.

    Which is to say, behind HER.

    And if that’s FREEHOLD, imagine how awful LEASEHOLD would be.

  9. NGpm Says:

    Note the dramatically torn right sleeve, the lack of injury to arm in said sleeve, the lack of any injury to target fleeing on foot, the city on fire, squibs detonating around the woman … and put it all together: they must be Imperial pilots.

  10. fred Says:

    I’m trying to figure out what background bunker boy is pointing at. And if this was a Michael Bay movie she is about to flip onto her back while simultaneously drawing her pistol with her left hand enabling her to shoot down both aircraft then dispatching any surviving pilots with her katana.

  11. Dead Stuff With Big Teeth Says:

    @fred: that’s how you know this isn’t anime. Because if it was, she would be shooting down aircraft with the katana!

  12. Adam Roberts Says:

    A cover so awful even the spaceship in the Baen logo circle is in the process of making a swift exit.

  13. Alessandra Kelley Says:

    My eyes keep being drawn to her left arm. It doesn’t fit. It isn’t attached to her shoulder, but to her neck. It is flat and angular and lit differently from the rest of her. It’s not colored the same. The hand is a different size from her right hand. It does not look like a part of her. I have this unshakeable feeling that her real left arm is in front of her, cradling that gun invisibly and she’s got someone else’s disembodied arm flying in front of her shoulder.

  14. NMM1AFan Says:

    Too easy. You could spend all day making fun of Baen’s covers.

  15. Pat Says:

    I love the little German soldier on the right. Sitting in his bunker pointing at a plane ten feet away from him. Presumably screaming “Oh my god, look, it’s a plane!”

  16. Rachel J Says:

    @Alessandra. Let’s be fair– for all we know the woman is a mutant with an arm growing out of the back of her neck. Or it could have been grafted on in a diabolical experiment. Or she could be a “Thing”-type alien in the act of metamorphosis. It’s science-fiction, after all!

  17. Jon Says:

    Maybe the 3 arms is what makes her “Earth’s Most Wanted Woman”

  18. A.R.Yngve Says:

    Wouldn’t it be funny if the actual novel was the story about a hard-working female lawyer who takes on heartbreaking custody cases in the future?

  19. Anti-Sceptic Says:

    Earth’s most wanted woman, and that’s how ugly they draw her? For shame!

  20. A.R.Yngve Says:

    But who are we kidding — despite the cover, fans will pick up the book because the moment they see the title, they’ll hope against all reason that it’s a sequel to FARNHAM’S FREEHOLD.

    In fact, that’s why you should expect other “Heinlein Bait” titles in the future:

    – FARNHAM’S STAR
    – SUN BEAST
    – STRANGER IN A FAMILIAR LAND
    – SAIL SHIP TROOPERS

  21. David Cowie Says:

    STARS SHIP TROOPERS – celebrities go into business moving soldiers to the front.

  22. Rags Says:

    Earths Most Wanted Woman meets Earths Worst Pilots!

  23. Rags Says:

    I find the lack of skin, disturbing…

  24. Rags Says:

    (using A-Team intro music)

    In 2772, a crack she-commando unit was sent to prison by a man-centric military court for a crime they didn’t commit. These single/attractive yet strong and sensitive she-commandos promptly escaped from a maximum security stockade to the Los Angeles underground. Today, still wanted by the government, they survive as soldiers of fortune. If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find them, maybe you can hire… The SHE-Team!

  25. Tat Wood Says:

    The perspective: if this woman were depicted standing to attention she’d either have two metre long legs or a head the size of a coke can. No amount of Farrah- hair can disguise such a freakishly disproportionate arrangement.

  26. Jahanpanah Says:

    The main character a hot chick? At least the cover doesn’t depict this. Inside the book however she is definitely attractive but comes out to be rather prude in a free love world of Freehold though she has her reasons as she migrated there from Earth. I prefer Marta Hernandez, another woman character in the book any day.

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