[ETA – posted this without a title! Somebody wanted kibble.]
Onto the graphic design (aesthetic) criteria: 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.
Here we go!
- A Fierce and Subtle Poison Artist/Designer: Allison Colpoys| by Samantha Mabry, Algonquin Young Readers ISFDB or Amazon Entry
5 points – well intergrated use of text and image together.
- A God in the Shed Artist/Designer: an unsung hero| by J.F.Dubeau, Inkshares ISFDB or Amazon Entry
4 points – not quite a succesful as a ‘Fierce and Subtle Poison’ but nicely done.
- After Atlas Artist/Designer: Anxo Amarelle | by Emma Newman, Roc ISFDB or Amazon Entry
- Babylon’s Ashes Artist/Designer: Daniel Dociu| by James S.A. Corey, Orbit ISFDB or Amazon Entry1 point only. It’s fine but it is basically just title and author slapped on top of a funky space image.
- Borderline Artist/Designer: an unsung hero| by Mishell Baker, Saga ISFDB or Amazon Entry
4 points – some interesting choices but I don’t think it quite works.
- Breath of Earth Artist/Designer: Gene Mollica| by Beth Cato, Harper Voyager ISFDB or Amazon Entry
3 points – nice
- Central Station Artist/Designer: Sarah Anne Langton | by Lavie Tidhar, Tachyon Publishing ISFDB or Amazon Entry
5 points, shaping up to be one of my favourites.
- Death’s End Artist/Designer: Stephan Martiniere | by Cixin Liu translated by Ken Liu, Tor ISFDB or Amazon Entry
- Everfair Artist/Designer: Victo Ngai| by Nisi Shawl, Tor ISFDB or Amazon Entry
I’m a bit torn with this one. Breaking up the page with the yellow recatngle for the author name cuts through and obscures the art but the overall effect is nice. 3 points.
- Fallout: The Hot War Artist/Designer: David G. Stevenson| by Harry Turtledove, Del Rey ISFDB or Amazon Entry
5 points. Nicely done – text, image all works as a whole.
- Final Girls Artist/Designer: Julie Dillon| by Mira Grant, Subterranean Press ISFDB or Amazon Entry
4 points – I don’t want to penalise it twice for the author name getting a bit lost.
- Firebrand Artist/Designer: Michael Heath| by A.J.Hartley, Tor ISFDB or Amazon Entry
5 points, text and art work nicely togther to create a clever effect of lines and space.
- Hammers on Bone Artist/Designer: Jeffrey Alan Love| by Cassandra Khaw, Tor ISFDB or Amazon Entry
6 points – the image points to the title and all the elements work together. You can make this a tiny image and it still leaps out at you.
- Lovecraft Country Artist/Designer: Jarrod Tayler| by Matt Ruff, Harper ISFDB or Amazon Entry
- MAGA 2020 Artist/Designer: Dawn Witzke| by ed Marina Fontaine, Superversive Press ISFDB or Amazon Entry
2 points. The figure and the title make an inverted T shape that draws the eye in despite the overly busy background.
- Magic Bitter, Magic Sweet Artist/Designer: Joan Wong| by Charlie N. Holmberg, 47North ISFDB or Amazon Entry
5 points – very nice IMHO
- Ninefox Gambit Artist/Designer: Chris Moore| by Yoon Ha Lee, Solaris ISFDB or Amazon Entry
4 points – mainly the text trying to get out of the way of the cover image 🙂
- Occupy Me Artist/Designer: Sidonie Beresford-Browne| by Tricia Sullivan, Gollancz ISFDB or Amazon Entry
4 points – putting some readability issues aside, this has a nice overall balance.
- Sieging Manganela Artist/Designer: Brian Allen| by Charon Dunn, Amazon Digital Services ISFDB or Amazon Entry
2 points – the image is fun but the overall effect is lacking.
- The Changeling Artist/Designer: Yuko Shimizu | by Victor LaValle, Spiegel & Grau ISFDB or Amazon Entry
6 points – not much to say here other than this really works well holistically.
- The Days of Tao Artist/Designer: Galen Dara| by Wesley Chu, Subterranean Press ISFDB or Amazon Entry
5 points – effective despite being quite busy.
- The Drowning Eyes Artist/Designer: Cynthia Sheppard| by Emily Foster, Tor ISFDB or Amazon Entry
4 points – I was a bit torn on this one and nearly gave it more. I think it could do with more contrast between its elements.
- The Hammer of Thor Artist/Designer: John Rocco | by Rick Riordan, Disney Hyperion ISFDB or Amazon Entry
3 points – busy and fussy but a decent compromise between all the elements that the book has to have.
- Of Sand and Malice Made Artist/Designer: René Aigner| by Bradley P. Beaulieu, DAW books ISFDB or Amazon Entry
3 points – doesn’t quite work holisitcally.
- The Sunlight Pilgrims Artist/Designer: Suzanne Dean , Kai & Sunny| by Jenni Fagan, William Heinemann ISFDB or Amazon Entry
4 points – looks good but mainy via safe choices. Simple lettering and blocks of colour.
- The Underground Railroad Artist/Designer: Oliver Munday | by Colson Whitehead, Fleet ISFDB or Amazon Entry
6 points. You don’t need fancy artwork for an effective image.
- Too Like the Lightning Artist/Designer: Victor Mosquera | by Ada Palmer, Tor ISFDB or Amazon Entry
5 points- a busy painted image that still manges to divide up the page and not swallow the text elements.
- Walkaway Artist/Designer: Will Staehle| by Cory Doctorow, Tor ISFDB or Amazon Entry
- Witchy Eye Artist/Designer: Daniel Dos Santos | by D.J.Butler, Baen ISFDB or Amazon Entry
4 points – mainly using the strong cover image but that image does work well. Lots of broken symmetry to pull you in.