Sep 15

She doesn't have to be naked. I just thought it would be funny to tell her she had to be.Click for full image

Ashton Comments: Usually when there’s a naked woman on the front of a book it’s to titillate the viewer, but this brave artist went against convention and made the most unappealing cover he could think of.
Published 1989

Many thanks to Ashton!

Actually, that cover IS a classical work of art!I would touch it without protective gloves.I've seen worse. Far, far, worse.Interesting, but I would still read it in public.Middlng: Neither awful nor awfully goodWould not like to be seen reading that!Awful... just awful...That belongs in a gold-lame picture frame!Gah... my eyes are burning! Feels so good!Good Show Sir! (Average: 8.23 out of 10)

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27 Responses to “He Who Shapes”

  1. SI Says:

    i guess this is what inception should have been. A tree with a moon and some funny blob.

  2. Deborah Says:

    I do like the shape of “SHAPES” – that could be a groovy logo for a shapeshifter club. or a gym.

    but yeah. hideous cover.

  3. Dead Stuff With Big Teeth Says:

    Two lines connect the nude woman to the screen-thing. One is red, one is blue. Are the woman and the screen connected to the same veinous system?

  4. CSA Says:

    He looks like an Easter Island statue, like uncannily so.

  5. Evad Says:

    At first glance I thought the tree was a cannabis bud.

  6. Sleestak Says:

    You think the guy would shape his face into something attractive.

  7. Kevin Says:

    yeah seriously. the guy looks like the old host of “Double Dare”…

  8. Carl Says:

    That title logo looks like it was supposed to be lower, into her cleavage, but then they rearranged things at the last minute.

  9. Tom Noir Says:

    So is this book about a plastic surgeon?

  10. A.R.Yngve Says:


    Looking at his mug, all I can say is: “Physician, lift thyself!”

  11. Brenope Says:

    Busorama bold, baby!

  12. Brian B Says:

    Is it possible that the guy’s face is supposed to look distorted because it is his reflection on the oddly shaped metal water barrel?

  13. Tom Noir Says:

    Yikes! I’d forgotten about this. Or possibly blocked it out.

    So is this book a crappier, more disturbing version of The Matrix or what?

  14. Dead Stuff With Big Teeth Says:

    A randy young lassie named Reba
    Had a thing for a purple amoeba.
    That amorous jelly
    Stuffed her in the telly
    And whispered, <<Ich liebe! Ich liebe!>>

  15. Longtime_Lurker Says:

    An interesting cover that’s both sort of right and completely misleading. I read this story many years ago and vaguely remember it–it’s the novella that Zelazny extended into The Dream Master (
    The lady is in the story all right but not doing anything particularly saucy, as far as I can remember. The man is a dream therapist who is trying to teach the woman how to become a therapist also, but she is blind. She proves to be stronger than he is. So the cover represents the story, kind of, but suggests all kinds of stuff that aren’t there.

    No idea about purple amoeba (GSS, Dead Stuff, wherever you are).

  16. THX 1139 Says:

    “What have I told you about playing in the top loading tumble dryer?”

  17. Bibliomancer Says:

    @LL – Perhaps the cover artist misread “By the author of The Ameba Chronicles”?

  18. fred Says:

    That neck….is she a descendant of Ronaldo?

  19. Francis Boyle Says:

    Is that Arnie in the reflection?

    I think I see how this went down. Editor reads somewhere that Arnie’s making a bid budget “adaption” of We Can Remember It for You Wholesale. This story’s a bit like that. So slap Arnie on the cover. Make sure you distort it a bit for plausible deniability and, voilà, instant cash-in.

  20. B. Chiclitz Says:

    @fred—We should lobby for an “Elongated Neck” tag.

  21. B. Chiclitz Says:

    I like the way the cover seems deliberately trying to subvert our desire for symmetry. Yep, nothing symmetrical on this cover, nothing at . . . oh, wait.

  22. Tor Mented Says:

    If anyone has read the book, is the woman supposed to have two antennas, one with a dangly ball on the end? She must look hilarious when she turns her head and it keeps going bobble-de-bobble-de-bobble. And she gets mad and says, “Ahem, my eyes are down here.” Or am I reading too much into this?

  23. Yoss Says:

    He shapes she-shapes by the sea shore.

  24. GSS ex-noob Says:

    @Tor: I used to have a set of antennae like that, but they both had matching things on the ends.

    It was the 80s. I guess she got to the fad too late.

    She’s definitely not had any plastic surgery on the cleavage area. Those are middle-aged norks if ever I’ve seen them, which (looks downward). Thankfully my neck isn’t so long and misshapen. He Who Misshapes?

    Brian B, lo those 8 years ago, might have been right that the chap’s face is distorted by the curve of the… whatever she’s sitting in.

    @Yoss: GSS.

  25. Bibliomancer Says:

    About time we had a “philtrum” tag.

  26. GSS ex-noob Says:

    @B’mancer: Few covers deserve it as much as this chap, though. Even allowing for possible reflection distortion… dayum.

    I realized The Mermaid/man Menace goes back further than we thought:

    Look what happens to the little kid in the first 15 seconds!

  27. Bruce A Munro Says:

    “People assume the mind works through logical chains of reason and analysis. But from a non-subjective viewpoint, it’s sort of a big amoeba of wibbly wobbly mindy windy stuff. With stars in.”

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