I’m going to present these covers largely un-editorialized. Well, less that usual. The truth is these gorgeous covers are as simple as they are intricate. They seem to capture some of the power of their underlying content, without reaching too far into the esoteric. Gollancz has really done an amazing job with these Fantasy Masterworks rereleases.
Also, I’m really glad there’s a publisher out there actively keeping these works alive.
What say you?
… Read the rest
When you’re Baen, you know you have a bit of a reputation for ridiculous covers. Not just over sexed ones either, but classics like:
The covers below are not from Baen, a fact I find difficult to rationalize given the styles employed. Do you think Baen’s art director might be freelancing?
First up, young adult novel whose title I cannot decrypt. Is it Warriors? Thunder Rising? Dawn of Clans? I just don’t know! Let’s go with Bonus Scene Inside! Apparently this novel features cats that have powers to fracture the earth and appear in circles that hover above said fractures. Do you think these cats are weaving gateways? Watch out Egwene Al’vere!
Then we have Mike Resnick, and Pyr. I’m rather surprised with Pyr who are usually perfectly directed by the estimable Lou Anders. But, this dinosaur, raygun, mustache combo screams Will Smith’s Wild Wild West, which isn’t a comparison any sane consumer of fiction would want.… Read the rest
For once I’m only going to say nice things. . . mostly. I didn’t really love Adam Christopher’s Empire State. It was a novel that didn’t seem entirely sure about what it wanted to be. However, I can do nothing but bow down to this Forbidden Planet limited edition exclusive cover:
Holy crap. Am I right? I mean it’s beautiful on its own, but having read the book it’s also perfectly appropriate.
While I didn’t like Empire State so much, there’s one book series this blog has had nothing but good things to say about — Howard Andrew Jones’ The Chronicles of Swords and Sand. I consider both novels something of a revelation. So was the cover for the Desert of Souls hardback by Charles Keegan. The covers that followed in trade paperback and the sequel Bones of the Old Ones, were less spectacular.
Thankfully, Jones’ UK publisher has redeemed the series visually by commissioning Keegan to revisit his style for Bones of the Old Ones across the pond.… Read the rest
I’ve read Erin Hoffman first two books, Sword of Fire and Sea and Lance of Earth and Sky. Truth be told, I didn’t find either particularly good, although the world she created is incredibly rich. In fact, they feel at times like exactly what they are. . . novels written by a video game designer. In my experience style trumps substance in the video game world, and that feels like a reasonable criticism of Hoffman’s books.
However, I don’t want to undersell the sheer creativity of the series which is really tremendous and for some readers will provide a really enjoyable reading experience. All of that aside, the covers to her novel by Dehong He have been consistently tremendous (art direction by Lou Anders). Here’s the cover for the final volume in the series, Shield of Sea and Space:
… Read the rest
I enjoy trolling various forums to get a look at upcoming cover art. Some weeks give me lots of material I want to highlight, other weeks give me nothing. For someone who hasn’t bought a book based on a cover in five years I find the entire exercise a little odd, but I’m a sucker for good paintin’. And I love almost nothing more than a tragically bad cover. I found three this week that felt deserved some commentary.
The first that caught my eye was this beauty from Michal Karcz for Kim Stanley Robinson’s forthcoming novel, Shaman:
I mean look at it. . . a novel of the ice age? With a guy on a snow drift with a big fucking space ship about to land on his head? Are you kidding me? The whole concept just sucks me in. It’s also a really well composed cover, coming off more like a movie poster than a novel.… Read the rest
My short list for Cover of the Year is six books long (see below). There’s not really a connective thread between them except that none are photograph based — a trend I loathed in lasts years award, and I continue to find repellent Additionally, you’ll see no hooded men because hooded men are still lame and tired.
So what is my criteria? I’m so glad I asked.
I have four basic tenets in evaluating cover art. First is relevancy. A cover must relate to the book. Second it has to evoke something — wonder, mystery, fear, awe, movement, whatever. Third, I like things that are different. I’m sick of the same old covers going for the same old audience. Give me art, not RPG manual doodles. Fourth, turn me on. Physically. This is only partly a joke.… Read the rest
News flash, intrepid readers. France knows how to paint. I could say Marc Simonetti knows how to paint, but it seems like everyone in French publishing gets it to a degree America does not.
Look at this gorgeous cover for Sam Sykes’ newest novel, The Skybound Sea:
I don’t want to belittle the covers for Sykes’ US and UK editions, but I’m going to anyway. I mean, it’s like comparing a US aircraft carrier to my rubber ducky.
Am I wrong?… Read the rest
Last year, I began a partnership with Jared Shurin, co-owner/editor of Pandemonium Fiction, to release an anthology titled Speculative Fiction 2012, The Years Best Online Reviews, Essays and Commentary, with proceeds to be donated to charity.
Our goal, if any such thing can be claimed, is to create a record of all the incredibly rich content being created on the web. We put out a call for submissions from the community at large and received over 200. Accounting for our own finds, that means well over 300 pieces of non-fiction that range from reviews, to essays about the field, to what it means to live the genre life (or something to that effect).
Over the next few weeks we’ll be narrowing that down under fifty, contacting authors to get rights, and writing our witty and charming introduction that will both highlight our complete capability as curators of taste and impugn our credibility with self aggrandizing adjectives.… Read the rest
This is a lot more like it, isn’t it?
I’m not in love with the cover, but it’s the best one that’s ever been put on one of Feist’s books. The pop of red works very well here, and I’d be interested in who the artist is, as HarperCollins UK didn’t announce it anywhere I can find.
What’s interesting is that this edition of Magician will be shelved as young adult. Being a thirty one year old man, what does it say about me that I’m most attracted to it? Or does it say something about how Harper markets?
I wonder.… Read the rest
I’m reading Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson’s A Memory of Light. It’s reminding me a lot of being a teenager when I fell in love with the Wheel of Time. During that same time, I also fell in love with Raymond Feist’s Riftwar novels, which are going to be reissued in the UK with these covers:
Now, I’m not one to gripe. I mean, have I ever been unnecessarily critical of something? But, Jesus, really? Putting aside the fact that these are blatantly designed to appeal to the Twilight reader, don’t they also feel very… romancey? There’s absolutely nothing in Feist’s books that gives this feel. They’re not Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell in a second world. No. Raymond Feist is Robert Jordan and Terry Brooks and David Eddings. Why do we insist on calling a spade everything but what it is?
Can’t we just remember these books as they’re supposed be?… Read the rest