The Book of Phoenix – Nnedi Okorafor : Artist/Designer – Joey Hi-Fi, aka Dale Halvorsen(Artist)
Neatly done. The quote isn’t visible at this size (which is OK) but it is a great one from Ursula Le Guin. Likely to pull people in. 2 points.
The Cinder Spires: The Aeronaut’s Windlass – Jim Butcher : Artist/Designer – Chris McGrath(Artist)
Sunday Times and New York Times bestselling author! Gosh. “The Cinder Spires” looks a bit lost, but otherwise the cover does all its jobs well. Who and what. Oh something steampunky by Jim Butcher? 2 points.
The Fifth Season – N.K. Jemisin : Artist/Designer – Lauren Panepinto(Art director)
Title, author and a review quote from a somewhat anonymous Salon.com. There is the odd tag-line “Every age must come to an end.” I assume its there because pictorially hard to express what the book is about. No indication that it is part of a series or that the series has a name. 1 point.
The Grace of Kings – Ken Liu : Artist/Designer – Sam Weber(Artist)
A variant of this cover has “Book One of the Dandelion Dynasty” on it instead of the murky quote from Saladin Ahmed (which I can’t read even in the big version). 1 point, 2 points? I’ll be nice and go with 2 points.
The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet – Becky Chambers : Artist/Designer – Christoffer Meyer(tbc)
Name, title, looks SFish but otherwise why would I want to buy this? 1 point.
The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet – Becky Chambers : Artist/Designer – Christopher Doll(Artist)
Name, title, oh space-opera! oh Ann Leckie liked it! Looks fun. 2 points.
The cover above is better in lots of ways but this one gets the job done better (arguably).
The Shepherd’s Crown – Terry Pratchett : Artist/Designer – Paul Kidby(Artist)
The title actual gets a bit lost. A Discworld Novel – OK but lets assume I didn’t know what that was. Looks a bit like a kid’s fantasy novel about a girl witch…If I do know who Terry Pratchett is but have only dabbled in Discworld, then I’m not going to know this is a series within a series. o points.
The Shepherd’s Crown – Terry Pratchett : Artist/Designer – Jim Tierney(Artist)
Less arresting cover but avoids preconceptions about the content. Looks a bit like a pub sign but that is neither here not there. A Tiffany Aching Adventure (but not apparently a Discworld novel…) possibly the better choice. If I liked the look of this it is probably best to track down other Tiffany Aching stories rather than random Discworld stories (and eventually will be sucked into Discworld anyway). 2 points.
The Traitor, Baru Cormorant – Seth Dickinson : Artist/Designer – Sam Weber(Artist)
The quote from Kameron Hurley is surprisingly* useful, telling us the book is smart, brutal and gut wrenching. Don’t know if this will be a SF, fantasy or historical novel but looks like there is going to be intrigue, politics and personal danger. 2 points
*[Not surprising because of Kameron Hurely but surprising because these quote don’t usually contain much information beyond [NAME] likes [BOOK]]
The Watchmaker of Filigree Street – Natasha Pulley : Artist/Designer – David Mann(tbc)
Name and title and either a Victorian or steam-punk setting. Not much else though (hints of bombs, clockwork an octopus…). 1 point.
Updraft – Fran Wilde : Artist/Designer – Stephan Martiniere(Artist)
Everything we need to know is there. I know there is a sequel but I think this was intended as a standalone? 2 points
Updraft – Fran Wilde : Artist/Designer – Tommy Arnold(Artist)
Same as above. 2 points
Uprooted – Naomi Novik : Artist/Designer – Scott McKowen(Artist)
Both of these covers get the job done. Folkloric-style fantasy. Author, title, recommendation. 2 points.
Uprooted – Naomi Novik : Artist/Designer – crushed.co.uk(Designers)
As above 2 points.
War Factory – Neal Asher : Artist/Designer – Larry Rostant(Artist)
ONE MAN WILL HAVE HIS REVENGE! Interesting that this and The Fifth Season both rectify a more general cover with a tell-don’t-show tagline. It’s a bit hidden in this case. Two recommendation at the top, flanking “neal ASHER”. Howver, apparently this is Book 2 and there is no clue of this on the cover! A big oversight given Asher is very prolific. 1 point
Way Down Dark – J.P. Smythe : Artist/Designer – Nameless Hero(tbc)
Way Down Dark is book 1, in a trilogy, by J.P Smythe and it is action packed and has a twist. OK, I can’t tell it’s set in space but I’ll save that for the relevance round. 2 points.