Sep 06

Kill Bill: Vol. 3Click for larger image

Raoul Comments: A Novel of the Endswordsworldswoman

Published 1982

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: 6.53 out of 10)

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37 Responses to “The Swordswoman”

  1. Tom Noir Says:

    This one kind of makes me mad. This clearly sounds like a book about upending a fantasy gender stereotype, so of course the illustrators were sure to put the female character in skimpy clothing and a provocative pose. Note that the author is female, so this also lines up with my thesis that overtly female authors get more sexualized cover art.

    Oh wait, we’re supposed to write funny comments.

    Something about this cover really BUGS me!

  2. THX 1138 Says:


  3. fred Says:

    She’s no Lucinda Dickey.

  4. Dead Stuff With Big Teeth Says:

    Hooters, but no neck.

    @Tom: thanks for going that extra mile for us. 😉

  5. JuanPaul Says:

    Tom, I totally agree. That being said, it doesn’t appear so much that she is about cleave an ant in two as she is about to scratch a really annoying itch.

  6. A.R.Yngve Says:

    The cover art I’ll leave to others to judge… but the text, oy vey, it’s almost illegible. Like one of those “text goes into a spiral” jokes for children…

  7. A.R.Yngve Says:

    Female SF/F writers have used initials and pseudonyms to escape discrimination since the days of Gernsback. I wonder whether the author experienced pressure from publishers to use “J.A. Salmonson”…

  8. JuanPaul Says:

    Luke on the top, Leia on the bottom:

  9. Bibliomancer Says:

    @Tom Noir – So sexist. I agree.

    The correct term is The Swordsperson.

  10. Raoul Says:

    It was definitely more sexist back then. She was actually awarded the
    “1980 Broad Fantasy Award.”

  11. JuanPaul Says:

    Even her last name is sexist. It should be Salmonsdottir. Assuming her father was a Salmon.

  12. fred Says:

    That pose and foes rang a bell.

  13. Lillie Awesome Says:

    It’s good that her warrior guild found a job cleaving ants for her, because with the whole left leg being eight inches longer than her right thing going on, she’s only going to be able to keep her balance on sidehills.

  14. B. Chiclitz Says:

    Bug on the right, center of page: “All this gender-construction/genre discourse is well enough, but tiresome. I just like the way that cute little karate suit rides up in the back. What a view! Hyunh, Hyunh . . .”

  15. Alice Says:

    When did JIM BÆN go full Æsop?

  16. A.R.Yngve Says:

    I’ll play the Devil’s Advocate here and ask outright: “But does the cover sell the book?”

    (And mind you, we’ve seen lots of covers here that should make any sane person run screaming for cover…)

  17. B. Chiclitz Says:

    Sorry, I know this is an inappropriate comment, but in the service of free speech and the right to be offensive, I say we need an “Outsized Papillae” tag for this cover. Lookit those bumps!

  18. Dead Stuff With Big Teeth Says:

    @BC: those bumps, those bumps, those lovely formicidae lumps! 😉

    @fred: The pose rings another bell too….

  19. Tat Wood Says:

    Was there a second publication?

    And is the critter on the left generating the lightning that seems to be at least partially responsible for our heroine’s pose? She ought to know better than to heft a metal object in a thunderstorm, especially when she ran out of the shower to do it.

    She should, at least, be wearing wellies.

  20. Bibliomancer Says:

    @THX – AAA comment!

  21. Anti-Sceptic Says:

    Is it me, or do the ants have swords as well?

  22. Bibliomancer Says:

    Better title: The Cleavage

  23. Anna T. Says:

    Two covers in two days with the protagonists in very similar poses.

    Did she get attacked just after coming out of the bath? Because that would be really annoying.

    @Tom Noir: Completely agree with you on the unnecessary sexualisation, especially since I’ve heard of this cover before. While the heroine does fight giant bugs, she doesn’t do it with one of the magic swords in the book, and certainly not while so impractically dressed.

  24. B. Chiclitz Says:

    @DSWBigT—I am not talking simple bug-eyed ants, compadre, I’m talking good old amurrican space nipples!😎

  25. GSS ex-noob Says:

    First thought: That’s so 80’s.

    Second thought: Wait, those books are all feminist and empowering — why is she in a robe from Fredrick’s of Hollywood?

    Third thought: For an expert swordswoman, that’s lousy technique. Could she stab them with the title font?

    Fourth thought: Does she know a previous cover? With the person of indeterminate capitation and thunder thighs? From our old pal Jennifter, who acquired a BS on the horrible 2-hour trek across Arizona?

    @BC: There have been some oversized papillae on menfolk on these covers too. Apparently to make up for all the covers where nobody has nipples.

    @Lillie: You’re right. Need the “anatomical issues” tag. Seriously, look at her left leg and foot and compare them to the right leg.

    @Tat: I think far left critter is certainly holding/directing the lightning — it might be coming from behind him! created by some other fighter… perhaps a lightning bug.
    (I’m sorry I’ll get my coat)

    @Anti-Sceptic: the ants look to have the same swords as she does. Maybe she’s using one of theirs.


  26. B. Chiclitz Says:

    @GSSxn . . . make up for all the covers where nobody has nipples.

    Some of my faves there.

  27. Longtime_lurker Says:

    Idly flicking through the covers of Jo Clayton’s books on Goodreads and came across this:
    So GSSxn, no need to worry about why she is in a robe from Frederick’s of Hollywood.

  28. Bibliomancer Says:

    @LL – Nice catch. I’m sure they lose the bra and its tits ahoy on the French cover.

  29. Longtime_Lurker Says:

    Sorry, but there doesn’t seem to have been one. The only translation ISFDB knows about is the German one.

  30. GSS ex-noob Says:

    @Longtime_lurker: Egad. Who’d have thought there’d be a worse rendering of this?

    This artwork got around, eh wot? Two completely different books — but both by women, which goes back to @Tom (1).

    You’re very good at researching these things.

  31. Longtime_lurker Says:

    Another bit of the story on the two covers. I hang out on LibraryThing (don’t know it? Make its acquaintance. You won’t regret it.) and posted links to the 2 covers on a thread about books with similar covers. LibraryThing member sylak emailed the artist Carl Lundgren and got this reply:

    — Dear Sylak,
    Thank you for your interest in the artwork.
    It’s funny that you should bring up the costume changes on my “Swordswoman” painting!
    The original cover was a “portrait” of a Penthouse Magazine model named Corrine Alpin who posed in the nude for me.
    We couldn’t use her nude on the cover, so I painted over her “naughty bits” with lightning bolts (seen in the background of the painting).
    I thought this worked great but the art director still thought she was too bare (“in his mind”) so we ended up with the Karate jacket on the first edition.
    Prints were made and sold of my more generic images so I painted out the stupid coat and replaced it with the chain mail,
    which I liked better and that’s how it was sold to my European Art Agent Thomas Schluck.
    Eventually I painted her nude once more for myself and sold it instantly.
    Oil paint is very forgiving and easily painted over.
    Hope this helps you with your confusion.
    I have a book of my work for sale and the complete story is told in that.
    And I paint copies of my originals for $900USD.
    Thanks again.
    See ‘ya,

  32. THX 1139 Says:

    @LL: Hey, that’s really cool! Also, don’t Google Corinne unless you really like tan lines.

  33. GSS ex-noob Says:

    Uh-huh. So she was supposed to look like a bimbo, not an empowered woman.

    A longer jacket would have looked less stupid, ironically. Or the chain mail would at least have been more practical.

    Well, glad Carl got his ya-yas out, I guess?

  34. THX 1139 Says:

    @GSS x-n: Either way, she looks fresh out of the shower.

  35. GSS ex-noob Says:

    Nothing worse than being attacked by giant ants when you’ve just stepped out of the shower (and blow-dried your 80s feathered hair).

  36. Hammy Says:

    @L_L (#31):

    I thought she looked vaguely familiar. She was in the sketch comedy movie “Amazon Women on the Moon” (though billed under her married name, Corinne Wahl).

  37. GSS ex-noob Says:

    @Hammy: AWotM was pretty amusing. We still riff on Don “No Soul” Simmons.

    At least she got divorced before her sword experience was needed against him.

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