The Book Cover Thing 2017: Draft Long List

It is almost certainly that time again for the amazingly over complicated Book Cover Award thing for 2017! And you can participate (sort of)!

The winners for 2016 can be seen here:

A reminder of how this works. There is no eligibility period.

  1. A draft long list is made from finalist from the Hugos, Nebulas and Clarke Awards, as well as the winners of book categories from the Dragons.
  2. To the long list we add book covers suggested in the comments by anybody (and yes that includes Phantom as per last year). Also I may add additional covers to keep it interesting.
  3. The covers are then scored on a set of criteria (see below).
  4. Points are totaled and the highest scoring cover(s) are the winners.
  5. Winning artist/designer gets a JPEG of Timothy.

The scoring criteria are:

  • Artwork: 0 to 4 points. Not every book cover needs its own epic painting but if it has one then the work gets graded from 0 to 4. Note that this is purely in terms of the artwork on its own merits. Relevance and appropriateness to the book will be covered elsewhere.
  • Functionality: 0 to 3 points. A cover has a basic job to do. Can you read the title and who wrote it? Is all the relevant information there? Is the information well ordered?
  • Graphic design (aesthetic): 0 to 6 points. Text, art, borders, colour, everything – as a complete image, how good is the cover in terms of making all the bits work together aesthetically? An extra couple of points are available here for covers with no artwork per-se, so that artwork-heavy covers don’t get an in-built advantage.
  • Relevance/appropriateness: 0 to 2 points. I haven’t read all the books, so I don’t want to weight this too heavily. Based on plot synopsis/reviews, does the book cover fit its contents? Does this horror story set in feudal Japan look like a cyberpunk western set in Mexico?

And here is the draft longlist! Shorter than last year. I’m not going to do multiple cover versions. If a book has two different cover designs and the artist is listed for one but not the other then I go with the cover that has an artist. As with last year a variety of nationalities but men out number women 14 to 5 – so covers designed/created by women would be particularly welcome as suggestions.

    • A Closed and Common Orbit Artist/Designer: Christopher Doll| by Becky Chambers, Harper Voyager ISFDB Entry
    • After Atlas Artist/Designer: Anxo Amarelle | by Emma Newman, Roc ISFDB Entry
    • All the Birds in the Sky Artist/Designer: Will Staehle| by Charlie Jane Anders, Tor ISFDB Entry
    • Babylon’s Ashes Artist/Designer: Daniel Dociu| by James S.A. Corey, Orbit ISFDB Entry
    • Borderline Artist/Designer: an unsung hero| by Mishell Baker, Saga ISFDB Entry
    • Central Station Artist/Designer: Sarah Anne Langton | by Lavie Tidhar, Tachyon Publishing ISFDB Entry
    • Death’s End Artist/Designer: Stephan Martiniere | by Cixin Liu translated by Ken Liu, Tor ISFDB Entry
    • Everfair Artist/Designer: Victo Ngai| by Nisi Shawl, Tor ISFDB Entry
    • Fallout: The Hot War Artist/Designer: David G. Stevenson| by Harry Turtledove, Del Rey ISFDB Entry
    • Iron Dragoons Artist/Designer: an unsung hero| by Richard Fox, Triplane Press ISFDB Entry
    • Monster Hunter Memoirs: Grunge Artist/Designer: Alan Pollack | by Larry Correia and John Ringo, Baen ISFDB Entry
    • Ninefox Gambit Artist/Designer: Chris Moore| by Yoon Ha Lee, Solaris ISFDB Entry
    • Occupy Me Artist/Designer: Sidonie Beresford-Browne| by Tricia Sullivan, Gollancz ISFDB Entry
    • The Changeling Artist/Designer: Yuko Shimizu | by Victor LaValle, Spiegel & Grau ISFDB Entry
    • The Hammer of Thor Artist/Designer: John Rocco | by Rick Riordan, Disney Hyperion ISFDB Entry
    • The Obelisk Gate Artist/Designer: Lauren Panepinto | by N.K. Jemisin, Orbit ISFDB Entry
    • The Underground Railroad Artist/Designer: Oliver Munday | by Colson Whitehead, Fleet ISFDB Entry
    • Too Like the Lightning Artist/Designer: Victor Mosquera | by Ada Palmer, Tor ISFDB Entry
    • Walkaway Artist/Designer: Will Staehle| by Cory Doctorow, Tor ISFDB Entry



42 responses to “The Book Cover Thing 2017: Draft Long List”

  1. So we’re looking at 2016 pubs, apart from the weirdness of the Dragon eligibility period? Here are some 2016s that I like.

    Not an award winner or anything, but I added this to the TBR on the basis of a rec from Charles Stross, and I think the cover is the platonic ideal of simple but effective.

    Tor inevitably do good covers, but these are faves:
    Hammers on Bone

    The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe

    Also, the symbolism in the cover for
    Lovecraft Country is pretty clever


  2. Some covers are much easier to appreciate without the text:

    and I second the nomination for Vellitt Boe:


  3. I’m normally much more reticent about aggressive self promotion, but one of my 2017 self-pubbed offerings (a sarcastic milSF novella about soldiers who want to kick ass but only get to fight drones) did happen to have a snazzy robo-penguin attacking some steely-jawed milSF dudes. That’s something you don’t see every day.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Cibola Burn by James S. A. Corey; Subterranean Press, 2017; Dust jacket illustration by Daniel Dociu.
    Wrap around dust jacket cover art shown, as issued by the publisher. This one might score a bit low in functionality, since it requires that you open the book, to know what the title is and who wrote it.


  5. Just looking through the Dragon finalists on isfdb, a few jump out

    The title and art definitely match on this one:

    Suitably freaky:

    One of the few times that putting the title on an angle doesn’t just look cheesy:


%d bloggers like this: