Category: Book covers

That Last Cover

A shorter interval than usual between McEdifice chapters. The delays are not in the speed of Timothy’s writing – he writes like the wind, as is only proper. Quantity is the mark of the true author and Tim has no time for those lazy liberal writers who are all “boo hoo, the collapse of civil society is getting in the way of my typing”.

Of course, I have to make his blimmin’ chapter covers (who has covers for chapters for grudness sake) and I am distracted by the collapse of civil society. Still I was inspired yesterday by my perennial guru for all things SF book covery: Brad Torgersen.

Brad was extolling the wonders of this cover for a forthcoming book by Mike Kupari.

I’ve already discussed Brad’s paradox before and he still seems to want books he doesn’t like to both HAVE and NOT HAVE overtly SF covers. The cover to All the Birds in the Sky makes him grumpy because its has no spaceships and yet he complains about books that do have spaceships on the cover being too literary. You just can’t win.

Or can you?

See, the way I see it is, if three, maybe four, rocket nozzles are good then NINE smokin’ rocket nozzles is EVEN BETTER!

Hence this:



A Message from the CEO of Cattimothy House

These days life can get a bit hectic.

If, like me, you run a popular vanity agile publishing house built using your father’s money, you’ve probably found yourself ina situation just like my friend Ted did recently. Maybe Ted is you or maybe Ted is a friend or relative or arch-nemesis, but I think we all can sympathise with Ted’s predicament.

You see, Ted, like many publisher’s today, found himself having to pull a book from Amazon because rogue squirrels hidden among the lower ranks OBJECTED to his book on the spurious grounds that his book cover was a clear rip-off humorous parody of another book.

What to do! Even the most nimble of publishing houses may take nearly a day to slap some stock images together and think of a new fake name author. And let me tell you, a day is 23 hours and 55 minutes TOO LONG in this cut throat, cat-eat-cat world we live in.

That’s why our scientists at Felapton Towers have borrowed the idea from the pulpomizer come up with a wholly novel new web application.

The Corrodiser allows you, yes YOU, to create your own amazing new cover after waiting several minutes for the bloody thing to load in a matter of moments!

Available right here:


The Corrodiser will make you NIMBLE and LOOK GREAT!


Timothy the Talking Cat
Chief Editor and CEO
Cattimothy House

PS Enjoy
PPS Please direct all complaints to the bozo who made it. No, he doesn’t know how you can’t but your own text in. The guys is an idiot. I only keep him round because he changes the litter tray.

Four Things I Like

  1. Beer
  2. New Ann Leckie books
  3. Book covers
  4. John Harris’s space art

    Oh, well well well, what do we have here?

    Scans article to look for accompanying  announcement of tie-in promotional beer…but nothing! When oh when will big publishing realise that they must pander to all my irrational whims! Sigh. I guess I can’t  get everything…

    Speaking of Covers – I really don’t like these ones

    uglybookOK, This cover isn’t real – just my half-baked attempt to do a cover in the same style as a new boxed set of SF Classics from Penguin.

    When Jim Henley on Twitter is pointing out they are not very nice and Larry Correia on Facebook is doing the same , it is reasonable to assume there is a consensus that there is something not good with them.

    The source is here

    Basically a slick looking box set of SFF classics packaged together, with a joint introduction from Neil Gaiman in hardback (the books that is – not Neil Gaiman about whose back I am not fit to comment on its relative hardness).

    The context matters here – the covers aren’t intended to play exactly the same role as your standard book cover. These covers are not supposed to be the standard marketing wrapper for a book that might entice somebody to try a new author or an unfamiliar story. Rather it is meant to be a set of collectables that will look good on your bookshelf.

    Maybe they will appeal to somebody but even judging them as a distinct collection I really don’t think they work.

    Continue reading

    Book Cover Award Thing 2016: The Results!

    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 −

    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!