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It is a truth universally acknowledged that american book covers suck, and UK book covers rock.

However, I think I may have found an exception.

Which cover do you prefer?


EDIT: The second one is the US edition. Retro-futurism wins!
of course, one might add that you are from the uk, so the uk covers are for your market (not ours) -- if you prefer them, this means that the designers are doing their jobs!
if you prefer them, this means that the designers are doing their jobs!

I hadn't thought of that. Poor designers, forced to produce substandard covers to accomodate american tastes. ;-)

Since I first saw it a while ago I thought this should be an award winner. And Zeppelins too! :-)
Yeah, I'm a sucker for anything vaguely retro-futuristic. :-)

(You know about Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, right?)
... oh, come on!

Sure, they have a bit of a habit of over-cluttering covers with screechy quotes and bits of gold foil, but the artwork is often streeeeeeeets better, and they suffer a lot less from the invasion of out-of-focus pretentious murky wank.

Plus, they're cheaper and far more often likely to fit into your jacket pocket.

American paperbacks rock.
the artwork is often streeeeeeeets better

That could be because American SF book covers use British artists almost as much as American artists. Try Jim Burns, Chris Moore, Les Edwards, Fred Gambino... It's not the artwork, which is 9 times out of 10 always of a high standard whoever did it, it's the surrounding design and typography that is often poorly thought out. Tor Books are generally good, DAW books are usually just average at best, and Baen Books are the absolute worst. And if you want out of focus pretentious murky wank, just look at US publisher Vintage's covers for their current reprints of Samuel R. Delany's books. Pretentious murky wank and boring, and they don't fit in your pocket either. :-)
I think I should've mentioned that the US cover for 'Engine City' was quite impressive ... I noted how unusually nice it was relative to coverart conventions.

Speaking of Delany ... notice how apalling some of these 'sci fi classics' coverart reprints are? (thinking of Stands on Zanzibar, some Delany or other, plus more examples...)
The difference on his newer one is more stark, and makes me kinda wish I could get the american cover somehow...

american cover

On the other hand, I can buy a a copy of the cover as a poster which looks nifty!

uk cover (with grinning fool)

Started reading it today, pretty good, both Morgan and Ken are nailing that killer first chapter marvellously in their new releases. In fact, time to read some more.
Umm - I think I'd want to see them all without the text. I *hate* the font on the US edition...... It is difficult to compare these to from the photo.....
Untitled by Anonymous :: Expand
If you want another exception, there's always theCoraline hardback covers. US cover by Dave McKean - lovely and spooky and relevant, with nice text. UK cover - a photo of a house, with functional text. OK, so it's an attempting-to-be-spooky house, but it's a little disappointing. Curse you, Bloomsbury!
Actually, Coraline I could go either way on, I think (although yes, the US edition would probably have the edge. Probably).

Am I imagining it, or did they use the US cover for the UK paperback edition?
Re: Coraline by Anonymous :: Expand
Oooo - this is amusing, because when you mentioned Macleod earlier in the week I went straight to Amazon.com looking for the covers... But I couldn't find a US version of his new one, Newton's Wake.

Also, I remember the US cover of Cosmonaut Keep being far more attractive than its UK counterpart...

Here they are, the UK and the US.

I really like the way the water is disturbed by the craft in the US cover...
The full artwork for the US edition is even better. :)
The US cover has what are quite clearly spacetrams, and must therefore be Croydon. The UK cover has a monstrous inferno-like underground structure, and is therefore clearly Bank.

I hope this clarifies things.

-- Tom
You are truly wise. They should hire you for the TRAM CONTROL CENTRE!
Is it worth picking up this latest MacLeod. I felt kind of hum-drum about Cosmonaut Keep - this entire series doesn't seem to have the same drive/pace of MacLeod's 'Star Fraction' collective.

The Engines of Light trilogy (Cosmonaut Keep, Dark Light and Engine City) isn't as good as his first books, no. Engine City is fantastic, but you have to get through two merely-average novels to get there (snowking will try to convince you that CK is good. He wrong).

Newton's Wake is a standalone novel set in a different milieu again. The Locus review made it sound a bit lightweight, but quite fun; I'm going to give it a go, but I'm either going to borrow the hardback or wait for the paperback.