Kitschies Cover Art Finalists

The Kitschies are an award for the year’s most progressive, intelligent and entertaining science fiction and they have an award for Best Cover Art. I really do like the idea of specifically cover art as an award category because of its importance to the genre and because it is just a fun category to look at.

Here are the nominees and my comments

The Vorrh, by Brian Catling, design by Pablo Declan (Coronet)


One of my favorite covers of 2015. While I don’t think I’d nominate the book for a Hugo, I’d nominate that cover if there was a best cover art category. I think it also illustrates why ‘best cover art’ is different from ‘best professional artist’. The actual artwork is not technically clever or stunning but it really suits the book.

It also has that hard to describe quality that makes me want to look further into the book



Monsters, by Emerald Fennell, art direction by Jet Purdie, illustration by Patrick Leger (Hot Key Books)


A style that echoes retro British visit-the-seaside rail posters. Beautifully balanced with the sinister (or are they just shocked?) children staring out, partially obscured by the seagulls. In the shadowed foreground at the bottom of the page a corpse…

Great design and a clever illustration. Again, not an obvious example of genre art.




The Honours, by Tim Clare, design and illustration by Peter Adlington (Canongate)



Nice, two-color illustration which also captures that tell-me-more feeling for a good book cover. Having said that I think the cover for The Watchmaker of Filigree Street was overall a better cover (not not just because it had Katsu on it).





The Door that Led to Where, by Sally Gardner, art direction and design by Jet Purdie, illustration by Dover Publications Inc & Shutterstock (Hot Key Books)


I’ve seen an alternate cover for this book but I think this is the cover nominated.

All design rather than any amazing illustration but very well done. Nothing remotely technically complicated there. You could do all those effects just with a copy of Microsoft Word (or even Libre Office). However it is all done very effectively just with typography, a trapezium to suggest an angled door and a bit of stock images (the map behind and a door knob.)

Literally invites you in – ok, ok FIGURATIVELY invites you in



Get In Trouble, by Kelly Link, design by Alex Merto (Canongate)

514qc9qdphl-_sx325_bo1204203200_ My least favorite. I think this has all sort of been done before.