Best SFF Award Nominee Book Cover Award 2016 or thereabouts: The Great Cover Culling!

Eeks! Have I taken on too much? Maybe.

So I’m going to do some culling of books with more than one cover. I’ll keep two at most per book but try and get it down to 1

The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet – Becky Chambers (2)
I’ll keep both of these because they show really different ways of covering the same book.

The Book of Phoenix – Nnedi Okorafor (2)
The first of these two covers is fine but the second one is more interesting.


Arcadia – Iain Pears (3)

Arcadia – Iain Pears (3)
I’m keeping the first two and ditching the third. Nothing wrong with number 3 but it is the least remarkable of the set


The Shepherd’s Crown by Terry Pratchett (2)
Both of these covers stay in play because they show the perennial question of how to cover Pratchett.

League of Dragons by Naomi Novak (2)
A hard choice. These two covers are too similar to keep both but too different to make it easy. I’m going to go with the second because the aged-paper background in the first is a bit old-hat for a fantasy cover.

Uprooted by Naomi Novik (3)
Clearly, Novik was tipped off about this competition and really wants a chance at winning that jpeg of Timothy. I’m going to drop the third one, although I kind of really like it.


Ancillary Mercy by Ann Leckie (2)
The Subterranean press covers of the first two books were more interesting. The art in the second looks great but as a cover, it looks like a random page from Breq-the-graphic-novel. Keeping the first.

Seveneves: A Novel by Neal Stephenson (3)
I think the first is THE Seveneves cover. The second is a bit generic and including an image of the moon is arguably in bad taste considering…

Updraft, Fran Wilde (2)
Wow, both really compelling. Keeping both.

War Factory, Neal Asher (2)
Different but sort of the same. Keeping the first.

Sorcerer to the Crown, Zen Cho (3)
I just don’t like the first all-red cover – also Naomi Novik has sneaked in again! :). Keeping the other two.


Half a War, Joe Abercrombie (3)
All serviceable covers, but the first one is the notable one. The other two are fairly generic fantasy covers – nice art but unremarkable. Mind you…am I only saying that because I’m a Guardian reader? Note the first has a review blurb from the Guardian and the second has a review blurb from the Daily Mail. Talk about market segmentation! Damn, there is a whole Dave Freer essay to be made out of that (assuming Dave gets the sociopolitical, regional and economic flags inherent to a British audience going ‘oooh the Guardian likes it’ versus ‘oooh the Daily Mail likes it’)


The Traitor, Baru Cormorant – Seth Dickinson (2)
The first is powerful and the second is OK. Keeping the first.

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7 comments

  1. Mark

    Uprooted: so long as there’s a cover with an inland lighthouse left in the mix, I’m happy 🙂

    Asher: did they really pay for a totally different cover that ended up doing exactly the same thing? Huh.

    Half a War: I’m really bemused by the two different covers with different quotes for the UK. Looks like the Guardian went on the hardback, and the Mail was for the paperback. I could say it means the Guardian gets book readers with deeper pockets, but maybe they just wanted the GoT reference to help shift the paperback in spades.

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  2. thephantom182

    I concur on your choice of the first cover for War Factory, the second one has much less meaning to it as relates to the story. The Ancillary Mercy covers, visiting artist at Chez Phantom laughed at #1, so I’d have to go for the second cover on that one.

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