When I was asked to submit stories for a collection of my favorite short fiction as part of my being a Windycon Guest of Honor, I had originally intended to entitle the collection The Existence of Avalon because of the last line in one of the stories in the book.
Somewhere during the planning of the collection, the publisher—personified in Bill Roper—said, “Hey, wouldn’t it be cool if the cover art had that Bimbo you sing about in the filk song “There’s a Bimbo on the Cover of the Book.”
I agreed that would be cool, and when I saw the original artwork that my dear friend Beckett Gladney did for the cover, I decided that Avalon could wait. This collection absolutely had to be Bimbo on the Cover.
And so, it was.
The other characters on the cover are actually in the stories. There’s Jeeves from “The Nature of Things” , The Resident from the story of the same name (both published in Jim Baen’s Universe), an alien named Qtzl who writes an advice column under a human alias (in Ask Arlen published in Analog).
And what would a spec fic cover be without the other elements of the song—the castle, the rocket, and the dragon?
Like the bimbo, they are nowhere in the text.