I’ve organised the contenders into eleven places. Lots of joint positions. It was a fun exercise. Thanks for everybody’s input and comments! I should say up front, that these were all quite good covers.
Joint First Place: Two clear favourites from the start. If I was to do a tie-breaker I’d give it to Tommy Arnold’s Updraft artwork. However, Sam Weber had two great covers in the running.
12 points – The Traitor, Baru Cormorant – Seth Dickinson : Artist/Designer − Sam Weber(Artist)
12 points – Updraft – Fran Wilde : Artist/Designer − Tommy Arnold(Artist)
Joint Second Place: A really nice selection of covers. Lots of variety and different approaches. I really like each of them in their own way.
11 points – Arcadia – Iain Pears : Artist/Designer − Nameless Hero(Artist)
11 points – The Book of Phoenix – Nnedi Okorafor : Artist/Designer − Joey Hi-Fi, aka Dale Halvorsen(Artist)
11 points – The Grace of Kings – Ken Liu : Artist/Designer − Sam Weber(Artist)
11 points – Rolling in the Deep – Mira Grant : Artist/Designer − Julie Dillon(Artist)
10 points – Barsk: The Elephants’ Graveyard – Lawrence M. Schoen : Artist/Designer − Victo Ngai(Artist)
10 points – Updraft – Fran Wilde : Artist/Designer − Stephan Martiniere(Artist)
10 points – Uprooted – Naomi Novik : Artist/Designer − Scott McKowen(Artist)
10 points – Uprooted – Naomi Novik : Artist/Designer − crushed.co.uk(Designers)
10 points – Karen Memory – Elizabeth Bear : Artist/Designer − Cynthia Sheppard(Artist)
Joint Fourth Place: Another good bunch but a few are more conventional
9 points – Ancillary Mercy – Ann Leckie : Artist/Designer − John Harris(Artist)
9 points – Somewhither: A Tale of the Unwithering Realm – John C. Wright : Artist/Designer − Jeremiah Humphries(Artist)
9 points – The Cinder Spires: The Aeronaut’s Windlass – Jim Butcher : Artist/Designer − Chris McGrath(Artist)
9 points – The Watchmaker of Filigree Street – Natasha Pulley : Artist/Designer − David Mann(tbc)
9 points – Way Down Dark – J.P. Smythe : Artist/Designer − Nameless Hero(tbc)
Joint Fifth Place:A mix of the brave and the conventional.I think this group would scatter very differently depending on the scoring method.
8 points – Ctrl Alt Revolt! – Nick Cole : Artist/Designer − Nameless Hero(tbc)
8 points – Envy of Angels – Matt Wallace : Artist/Designer − Peter Lutgen(Artist)
8 points – Half a War – Joe Abercrombie : Artist/Designer − Mike Bryan(Artist)
8 points – Raising Caine – Charles E. Gannon : Artist/Designer − Bob Eggleton(Artist)
8 points – War Factory – Neal Asher : Artist/Designer − Larry Rostant(Artist)
8 points – Voices in the Night: Stories – Steven Millhauser : Artist/Designer − Janet Hansen (Designers)
Joint Sixth Place: I think this is the most conventional set of covers. Solid cover designs but with few risks taken.
7 points – Children of Time – Adrian Tchaikovsky : Artist/Designer − Nameless Hero(tbc)
7 points – Hell’s Foundations Quiver – David Weber : Artist/Designer − Stephen Youll(Artist)
7 points – The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet – Becky Chambers : Artist/Designer − Christopher Doll(Artist)
7 points – The Shepherd’s Crown – Terry Pratchett : Artist/Designer − Paul Kidby(Artist)
7 points – The Shepherd’s Crown – Terry Pratchett : Artist/Designer − Jim Tierney(Artist)
Joint Seventh Place:Another very diverse set of styles. Each is playing with the form but maybe not quite hitting the target as well as the number 1 and two places. All really nice work.
6 points – Arcadia – Iain Pears : Artist/Designer − Thomas Cole(Artist)
6 points – Seveneves: A Novel – Neal Stephenson : Artist/Designer − Jonathan Knowles(Artist)
6 points – The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet – Becky Chambers : Artist/Designer − Christoffer Meyer(tbc)
5 points – League of Dragons – Naomi Novak : Artist/Designer − Nameless Hero(tbc)
5 points – Son of the Black Sword – Larry Correia : Artist/Designer − Larry Elmore(Artist)
Joint Eighth Place: Two covers resting on the strength of the art alone. Nice but not exceptional.
5 points – Souldancer – Brian Niemeier : Artist/Designer − Marcelo Orsi Blanco(Artist)
5 points – The Deep Woods – Tim Pratt : Artist/Designer − Galen Dara(Artist)
Ninth Place: This is a great cover and probably the best choice for the book concerned but it isn’t a particularly notable cover.
4 points – The Fifth Season – N.K. Jemisin : Artist/Designer − Lauren Panepinto(Art director)
Joint Tenth Place: It is only at this point where I get to covers I wasn’t keen on.
3 points – Europe at Midnight – Dave Hutchinson : Artist/Designer − Clint Langley(Artist)
3 points – Sorcerer to the Crown – Zen Cho : Artist/Designer − Nameless Hero(tbc)
Joint Eleventh Place: Now I feel like a really mean, bad person. This cover didn’t deserve 0 points. I avoided looking at the scores for earlier stages, so as to not try and compensate too much between criterion. I also avoided tallying the scores so that the result would be a surprise to me. Look, this is a nice cover, its just a bit busy.
0 points – Sorcerer to the Crown – Zen Cho : Artist/Designer − Nameless Hero(tbc)
So, congratulations to Sam Weber and Tommy Arnold. Congratulations to the nameless heroes of cover design. Hooray for book covers!