(FOUND) Late 80s/early 90s science fiction novel, cover features girl in wispy dress sitting on title in neon


May 21, 2020
Hi, everyone. If someone can assist with this, he or she will be my hero for life. I have been trying to remember/figure this out for soooo long, and have tried every search online I can think of, but I come up empty.

I am trying to locate a science fiction novel that I have indeed read, but can not remember any plot or character details of the darn thing, so most of the information I can share about it is just a general description of the cover. First the least useful information: The book was published in paperback only sometime in the mid to late 1980s, most likely. It might be an early 1990s book, but I really think it was in the 1980s. I can't remember the author for the life of me, but I know it was a male author (real helpful, I know), and I am pretty sure it was an author who had a few to several other books out there...this is not a one and done type author, I do not think, but I can't think of the other books this author may have done. For a while I thought the author might be Jack Chalker or Robert Heinlein, but now I am nearly certain it is neither of them, but the author would be a contemporary of theirs. I know the book was featured in one of those new releases newsletters that Waldenbooks and B. Dalton put out (Xignals, Sense of Wonder, etc.), and I am pretty sure it was on the cover of whichever said newsletter it was.

The cover of the book is what I remember most clearly, though this general description I know may not be all that helpful:The cover had the title of the book featured in what looked a lot like neon light tubing, and the lead character of the book, a young, blonde, long haired woman, is sitting on top of the title, as if it was a box or bench she is sitting upon. The author's name is in the same neon tube looking lettering/font. I believe the girl on the cover is looking at the camera, so to speak, impishly, and I believe she has her hands down on the edge of the title, again as if she is sitting on the edge of a wall and is about ready to push herself off and hop down. I believe her head is cocked a little, flirtatiously. She wears a gossamer type white dress that is wispy and blowing in the wind a bit and I believe you see a lot of her bare legs, but the cover isn't especially salacious either...it's flirty, but not overly suggestive either. There is no scene behind her at all, as I think I remember it...I think it's just the words on the cover and the girl, with a dark background.

I know the book was not a deeply serious novel. It was written at an adult level, but was on the lighter side of science fiction. It's possible the covergirl main character was an artificial human, or enhanced human, but again I am not sure on that. I used to think the word "glory" was in the title, or perhaps even WAS the title, but all I come up with with various searches like that is Glory Lane by Alan Dean Foster, Heinlein's Glory Road, and Brin's Glory Season, all of which definitely are not the book I am after. It's quite possible the title of this book was a single word, which I believe was the character's name. As I remember it, the book was fairly thick...not a super slim volume. I want to say it was published by Ace/Berkeley, though I don't know how much that could help, even if that is accurate.

I know that is not much to work with, but if you happen to remember an 80s/90s lighthearted sci fi novel with a flirty girl wearing a wispy thin dress on the cover, sitting on neon, I owe you a Coke!
Last edited:
This? It's close, though not precisely as you describe it. Originally published 1985, so the paperback would have come out one or two years later. Also, a much, much better book than this cover suggests. And yes, quite thick. Also fits a lot of the other things you mentioned.

Last edited:
Tegeus-Cromis, as noted in my post above, you're my hero forever, and I owe you a Coke! The image in my brain is different enough from that actual cover to make me second guess it when I saw the image you posted, even though I know I have seen this cover way back when. I searched the title after seeing your post to see if there were other editions put out that more closely matched what I had in my head, but there doesn't seem to be. I read the description of the book, however, and this is indeed what I was trying to find!

That said, I am also painfully embarrassed by how much I was just flat out wrong with in all that blather I put up above....sooooo much of what I had in my head was wrong, down to the publisher! I wouldn't have guessed Bantam Spectra, but I knew it wasn't Del Rey or Tor or Baen, so I was thinking Ace, even though that obviously was wrong too. Where the heck did I get the gossamer dress thing? About the only things I had right were the neon, and the girl being blonde and sitting...virtually everything else I put was inaccurate.

Ah, well...this came out in 1985, so I guess thirty five years does things to one's memory. I was only 15 when this was published, so I guess memory fogs up and the brain gets cluttered up with a lot of overlapping imagery and details. I was thinking it was a little later in publication, because I thought I saw this back in the days when I worked at a movie theatre near the mall bookstore I got this book from back in the day, but it was a bit earlier than that, as it turned out. I went to that mall a lot as a teen and twenty-something, though, so that many trips are not going to be distinct in the memory.

In any case, though, tegeus-Cromis......THANK YOU!!! I have been trying to pull this out of my memory or locate it online through various searches for years! I am in your debt!!!
Last edited:
You're welcome! Read it again, it's a great book. Hands down one of my favorite SF novels. You should also read Spinrad's The Void Captain's Tale -- it's set in the same universe, though the books have no characters in common.
About the only things I had right were the neon, and the girl being blonde and sitting...virtually everything else I put was inaccurate.
You got the bare legs and the dark background right too.
I just ordered a copy of Child of Fortune, so I will indeed read it again, and if it still holds up to my memory of enjoying it the first time through, decades ago, I'll check out your other Spinrad suggestion above as well. I've found that in all this lockdown/quarantine insanity, I've been seeking out books that I read as a kid/teen/twenty-something and wanting to reread them or just have them on my shelves again, sort of like revisiting old friends. I've re-acquired Jack Chalker's Changewinds series, Neil Hancock's Circle of Light, Heinlein's Friday, the really really early Star Trek novels from Bantam, and even really awful stuff like Gary Gygax's Dangerous Journeys novels, just because of sentiment for them, and Child of Fortune is one I've been trying to remember/find for forever anyway, even before all the world's chaos right now made me go on this nostalgia trip. Thank you again for the help. This has eaten at me for years and years!
I agree with @tegeus-Cromis, Child of Fortune is a pretty solid book. It's a pretty unusual coming of age novel with a lot of really memorable world building.
Hummm, It's lost its pretty cover ! :cry:
Apple Books store. :giggle:
This version was Published Oct 31. 2013
Screen Shot 2020-05-21 at 10.57.39 PM.png
Last edited:
I ordered a used, "very good" condition copy, rather than a newer edition with a different cover. With this nostalgia trip I am on recently, I am after the old editions that I used to have for that sentimentality. It's not always easy to find books that old in good shape, but I've had relatively good luck with that. The main thing that irks me with used books is cracks in the spine....ugh! I can't stand it when they have those weak spots, wrinkles, and white lines going up them! Let's hope my concept of "very good" matches that of whoever graded the book I ordered!