I've always been annoyed at some of the fantasy novel book covers...or ones that are all shiny, or have scary yucky things on them. I don't want to touch them as I read them. Makes me feel odd. Sometimes I get lucky...Spin is a fantastic novel (won a Hugo) we picked just because it looked interesting. Sure I've picked some duds up at the library that looked cool, and read some amazing books with terribly tacky covers, but usually you can tell at least a little bit about the author or the contents from the cover.
My point is this: I am greatly annoyed when a cover has absolutely nothing to do with the book. I'm not talking that it's just some scenery, or of random people, or skulls or lame unicorns or what have you...I'm talking completely and totally irrelevant or unrelated art.
Case in Point: this cover for The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick
I have to ask: What the flying frack does this have to do with *ANYTHING* remotely involved in the novel? Anyone? A book set in an alternate world, where WW2 was won by Germany and things are dominated by Chinese culture...naturally makes me think of a lame looking shiny torso floating in geometry. How about you? I know the first thing that comes to mind when I think about the I Ching is "ooh...torso!"
I've been told that often Dick's covers do not match his stories at all. The covers in the Wikipedia article iare at least related to the novel in some way. The one I read (above) does not resemble anything at all to do with the story.
Boo to this I say...I will have none of it, sir.
If I saw this book in a store I would make a point of *not* reading it, simply based on the utter lameness of the cover. It came highly recommended and I enjoyed the discussion of the book afterwards. But the cover?
Fiction and science fiction get enough razzing as it is without this sort of thing going on...