Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Tales From the Used Book Store: Genre Boobs

All right, Reader. You have been patient. You have waited and waited. You have written thoughtful and flattering handwritten notes on personalized stationary.

And now...all that hard work is about to pay off. I bring you:


So, without further ado, let us see how Sci Fi, Fantasy, and Mystery illustrators believe women in the fantastical past/ future or some campy, murderous Alternaverse might dress.

(Apologies in advance for poor picture quality. I keep forgetting how much better my Blackberry was at taking pics. The good pics here are from my friend's phone. Let's just say I blurred the rest out on purpose to protect your delicate sensibilities. I love when we lie to each other, don't you?)

1. The Semi Topless Potential Murder VictimAre these people on drugs? They must be. The girl's boob is hanging out as if it needs some air, the guy is totally distracted by the gun-wielding vixen, and even the vixen herself (who is apparently armed...and dangerous) looks like she's more interested in checking out the other girl's boob than in starting trouble.

All this combines into a cover that says, "Buy this lame mystery novel and we'll throw in a Free! Partial! Boob!"

No thanks, buddy. No. Thanks.

2. The Topless QueenShe keeps things classy by remaining in the distance, her modest boobs safely blurred. What really stands out for me on this cover is the way the warrior guy in front of her is thrusting his pelvis at her.

Well, that and the totally phallic giant snake throne. And the erupting volcano. Methinks there is some Freudian imagery going on here.

On a side note, WHO is decorating this Atlantian/ Egyptian/ Aztec outdoor throne room?? A black and white checkered floor? It totally clashes with the pyramid, right? And don't even get me started on those tacky potted plants.

If she thinks going topless is going to distract us from this low-budget-dying-empire's- design-mess she is so wrong.

3. The Naked Maybe Murder VictimThis murder mystery steps things up by stripping ALL the woman's clothes off and possibly--though it's hard to see--adding some blood dripping from her nipple. Curt contends that this is just a skimpy bathing suit but I have my doubts.

I do enjoy how BORED she looks.As if being naked and potentially bleeding is just how she spends her Thursday afternoons before the girls come over for cocktails and Bridge.

The detective, at least, seems determined to figure out whether she's bleeding or not, given the way he is blatantly staring at her chest. Dude, a little subtlety is always appreciated.

The possible best part of this cover? The GENIUS description that it's, "A bristling sex-hot hunt for a killer." WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN?

4. The Topless Wizard (?)Given that the title of this book is The Undying Wizard and the two people on the cover are a topless woman and a warrior, I'm going to make the assumption that the author decided to call a woman a wizard rather than a witch or sorceress. It's unlikely, I know. And I could look up the summary online. But I like it this way better.

How great would it be if this book was about an undying female wizard who is immortal and thus walks around with her three-hundred-year-old yet perky boobs and her dumb yet super hot warrior slave? Yeah, I think I'd read that book.

And yes, if I was immortal and had magic and my boobs defied gravity, I'd probably walk around topless too.

5. The Topless, Semi Nude Horseback Riding WarriorReally, illustrator? Have you ever BEEN on a horse? Do you really think a woman would 1. wear nothing on her thighs (is she immune to chaffing?) and 2. have almost no chestal support?? Those things BOUNCE you know (the real ones do, anyway)??

I realize that this is the standard "warrior woman with no armor" outfit, but it never ceases to annoy and amuse.

I particularly love that the illustrator lavished all of his attention on the woman's boobs and body and ran out of room for the horse's LEGS. That is one funky looking horse, my friend.


6.Topless Mostly Nude Warrior Concubine--REPEAT OFFENDER
Apparently Janet E. Morris, the author of this book, was the precursor to Jacqueline Carey's Kushiel's Dart Series--another woman with the power to destroy her enemies and bring men to their knees.

(Pause for extreme eye roll and optional yawn.)

As a warrior concubine, this woman goes around in what amounts to a metal thong and metal pasties (which I'm sure are SO comfortable).

The only explanation for this woman's anatomy is that the illustrator had never in fact SEEN a real woman naked prior to this job. He probably only watched porn, considering the size and miraculous floating ability of those giant fun bags.I mean, really.

Exhibit A:I don't even know if there's anything I can say about this cover without crossing into total inappropriateness and I don't know if we know each other well enough for that yet. So I will just say that she seems to be strictly in concubine mode here.

Also, is "wind from the abyss" a euphemism? Because I want it to be a euphemism. No. I'm MAKING it one.

Exhibit B:This time, the phallic sword is really what stands out. Also the creepy, ENORMOUS guy standing behind her--just standing there, chatting her up, asking about her favorite novels, like I'M SO SURE.

The best part about this cover? The fact that it tells us this author has also written a book entitled High Couch of Silistra. She wrote a book with a pretentious title about a COUCH. It's just. It's too much. I feel I don't deserve such awesomeness in the world.

The worst part? Well, the fact that our warrior concubine has lost a significant amount of weight and is beginning to look like a malnourished stripper who ia hard up for cash.

In case you were wondering, I skimmed through this book to see if I could find any "good" parts. Alas, it's SO BORING. Every paragraph is overflowing with made up, impossible-to-pronounce words and awkward dialogue. Talk about a boner killer.

And that, Intrepid Reader, is my very last post from the used book store. I leave for Maine on Thursday and probably won't blog again until next week.

Can we still be friends?

[Read another boob blog post I wrote here]


  1. Dear Jennifer,

    Your wit astounds me... right unto the level hovering above worship. No, no it doesn't REALLY have a label, but if it did, well, more than likely it would at least be your namesake. I enjoy perusing your bloggery and will for sure be making a pitstop weekly...as long as there is at minimum one post to engage my smothered sarcasm. xoxo


  2. Dear K,

    I shall consider this to be a handwritten note, which pleases me greatly. Don't be a stranger!

    Yours in Sarcasm,

  3. This is awesome. I'm following your blog based on this post alone (although I also loved the post about the idiot reviewer who thinks "going pulp" is the next world-ending insult).

  4. Welcome, Angela! From the moment we met, I could tell you were a woman of discerning taste, ready wit, and a healthy interest in genre boobs.

    Also, there are more fun posts about the strange and funny books I discovered while working at a used book store in the archives, if you're so inclined. They're labeled under Otter Creek Used Books.

  5. There is now chocolate milk all over my monitor.

    Thank you for the absolute BEST laugh I have had in like a week - this post practically drips with snark of a calibre and eloquence I could only dream of reaching. :D


  6. Thanks, Michelle. That's one of the best compliments I've ever received!!!