Read the first chapter free on Cover’s website.
Harlan Ellison drops a few clues about what readers can expect from the book —
It takes the materials of everyday entertainments—pulp heroes, movies, comics, detective stories—and transforms them … into a gestalt that is fresh … the lawyer is modeled after Doc Savage’s sidekick, ‘Ham,’ Brig. Gen. Theodore Marley Brooks; the fat man is Sidney Greenstreet; the gunsel is Elisha Cook, Jr. in The Maltese Falcon; the Big Red Cheese is Captain Marvel; the Insidious Oriental Doctor is Fu Manchu; the Queen of England who calls herself a virgin is Elizabeth I; the ace reporter is Lois Lane; the zany imp from the Fifth Dimension is Mr. Mxyzptlk, and both the imp and Lois are, of course, from the Superman comics; the godlike man with no name is Clint Eastwood in the Sergio Leone-directed spaghetti westerns; the galactic hero with two right arms is Harry Harrison’s Bill, the Galactic Hero; the fuzzy (but boring) little green balls of Sharkosh are Star Trek scenarist David Gerrold’s tribbles; and you can figure out for yourself the true identities or esoteric references for The Ebony Kings, the poet, the shrink, the bems, the other fat man and his witty leg man, and on and on.
The inimitable Ron Cobb created the cover art.