Recently, a HaBO featuring a reader looking for a book with somewhat sentient hair and possible prism embossing on the cover led to a discussion of Ann Maxwell's books – and the covers thereof. The book in question is likely Timeshadow Rider, but Elise Logan sent me pictures of a few other Maxwell covers from her collection, and, seriously, HOW DID I MISS THESE.
I had no idea there was this gaping void in my memory where excellent futuristic prismatic covers should be! Good thing Elise can help us all fix that.
Ann Maxwell, if you weren't aware, also writes romance under the name “Elizabeth Lowell.” I didn't know this until I'd read a pile of Lowell books – I loooooved them. The books below are much-loved science fiction books, too, with many, many positive reviews in various places online. I had no idea she'd written science fiction as well. Or that the covers were SO COMPLETELY AMAZING.
Ready to go back to the future?
No, no, don't worry. Elise also sent a CLOSE UP:
Good heavens. My eyes aren't sure what to look at first: boobs, orbs, or the assortment of erect and elongated things. WAIT A MINUTE. Is this the Olympics of the future?!
Elise: I love that naked dude behind her is about to throw a discus (and is pointing to where he's aiming) and has completely fabulous glow-in-the-dark eye makeup.
Elise would also like to draw our attention to the tagline: “Were they the last survivors of their planet's blazing glory?”
It appears the blazing glory came with them and is in her hand.
Yes, of course there is a close up:
Imagine that 911 call: “Sir, sir. I need you to slow down. You say there's a lightning woman and her dog is where?“
I also imagine that in this world, “Never ride the horned dog” is NOT a euphemism.
Elise: Fire shooting from your hands and dogs coming out of your crotch seems like something you might want to avoid. Just sayin'.
Close up? BUT OF COURSE.
You know what? I think romance needs more sideboob. And dragonflies, red togas, shoulder armor, and eye makeup. Let's make it happen!
And the TAGLINE: On a world where nothing is what it seems, ecstasy can be the deadliest trap of all!
THE DEVIL YOU SAY.
Elise: It looks to me like they've been taking LSD, not Ecstasy, but what do I know?
And Good. Lord. Mario World flying jellyfish on the left, bird freaking the fuck out on the right, crazy glowy dragonflies, a dress that would make Nicki Minaj think twice, and homegirl needs some serious hair care. Plus, now the dude is coming out of her ass, – with his eye makeup STILL IN PLACE. That takes serious talent right there.
Remember, people. Ecstasy can be the deadliest trap of all.
Updated: 21 February 2014
Aislinn in Australia sent me the following email after she saw the collection of covers:
I found your snark about the Ann Maxwell covers so funny that when I got to work the next day (I work in a second hand book store) I had to try to find some. These must be the Australian covers. Not quite the same level of WTFery, but nevertheless amusing.
Awwww yeah, Australian editions! If you come across someone you think may be a visitor from another planet, first, check to see if they're wearing a modified malliot and if they have a rather unique hairline.
BUT WAIT. THERE IS INDEED MORE.
I also received an email from Gry in Norway, who has the same covers as Aislinn. International cover designs travel far! Gry also says:
I have several of the Ann Maxwell books – including a different cover for Dancer's luck. There isn't that amazing amount of WTFery as the cover you posted, though.
But I hope you will like the other two covers. I particularly think you will like the one for Name of a Shadow – she looks as if she is having an orgasm right there! Makes you wonder if it is the dark blobs in the background that are doing the dirty with her, or if that thing she is clutching is a kind of alien sex toy. (Actually, it's not – its supposed to be a musical instrument called a sarsa, peculiar to the cover girl's planet – makes you wonder how she can actually make music on it with the strings festooned with crystals).
Play that funky music, space girl!
Oh, my. I'm not even sure what to say about that cover, except that the fact that her nipple is staring at me is oddly reassuring.