A few last contenders for the Bad Cover Contest, including the only cover I consider a true match, to beat or tie Droomslang.
I’m going to disqualify Gate of Ivriel through no fault of its own but just because I’m tired of bad covers with naked women. If anybody has any bad covers with naked men on them, I’ll consider them, but, jeez, enough already.
I once saw a cover that was said to have been for Dreamsnake, till cooler heads at the publishing company prevailed. It wasn’t a bad cover. It was kind of cool, to tell you the truth. But the naked woman with the serpent was so Not Snake that the cover would have driven away anybody who might have liked the book, and caused people to buy it who would have (justifiably) felt ripped off.
I heard, about fifteenth-hand, that the artist was annoyed at me, because, he thought, I thought his painting wasn’t beautiful enough; but in fact I never heard about the painting till after the book was published and I never saw a copy of the painting till years later. I can’t point you to it because the only copy of it that I found on the Internet doesn’t appear to me to be reproduced with permission.
Besides, I’m afraid the artist would see the picture under the “bad cover competition” heading, not read the text, and be even more annoyed.
So here are the most recent contenders:
I have to agree about the red bell pepper. This cover doesn’t reach the heights of awfulness of some of the others, but I’m including it because I have an aversion reaction to bell peppers.
Elmar SF has a very high Bad Cover score.
And now, for the one cover (thanks to Dutchmarbel for pointing me toward a copy of it) I’d accept as a true match for Droomslang:
Ursula has said that aside from the awfulness of the artwork, the art is entirely misleading since, of course, the Gethenians are ungendered most of the time.
So tell me what you think.