SF Magazine is a well-known sci-fi magazine in Japan. Launching in 1959, it's still published today. And in July 1973, the cover looked like BioShock.
BioShock was released decades later in 2007 (the above image features a still from the 2010 sequel). But wow, look at the similarities — especially the similarities with the Little Sister from the game:
This particular sci-fi cover seems to be somewhat obscure (though, it's certainly possible that the game's artists saw it). I hadn't seen it until earlier today. However, the little girl on the cover isn't an exact match by any means and looks very different from the Little Sister concept art:
Heck, originally Big Daddy and Little Sister were going to be giant rat and a dude in what looks like kendo gear.
It's unclear if that issue of SF Magazine featured some sort of underwater tale or if the cover was simply striking artwork. Of course, right now you might be saying, "But, Atlas Shrugged did BioShock in 1957!"
Update: BioShock designer Ken Levine tells Kotaku, "It's a beautiful image, but the twins from The Shining were the closest thing to an inspiration for the Little Sisters."
@Brian_Ashcraft what do you think about this? [GonziStyle — Thanks Gonzalo!]