So apparently this is the week for cover art kerfuffles. We start with my own publisher DAW, who put out the anthology The Dragon and the Stars. This is an anthology of “18 original stories melding the rich cultural heritage of China with the imaginative realms of science fiction and fantasy.”
In DAW’s defense, I believe the budget for their monthly anthologies is significantly smaller than for original novels, which I suspect is why they tend to go with stock art for the former. And artistically, I like the look of this one. I just wish they’d gone with stock art that showed a Chinese dragon instead of a western one.
Cover number two comes from Bloomsbury, who you might remember as the publisher that whitewashed the cover for Justine Larbalestier’s book Liar. After much outcry from author and fans, Larbalestier’s cover was changed. Now Bloomsbury brings us Magic Under Glass. To quote the Book Smugglers review:
“Nimira is supposed to be dark-skinned! The book trailer captures that and is true to the book (check it out here) but the girl in the US covers is definitely white.”
It’s deja vu all over again.
Last but most certainly not least, oldcharliebrown points out the Baen covers from the Flandry books by Poul Anderson. Young Flandry came out last month. The cover for the forthcoming Captain Flandry is similar, aiming for that same demographic of young boys who for whatever reason can’t get real porn online.
I know many publishers have multiple imprints, but when did Baen launch their “Orgies in Space” line? I’m all for not judging a book by its cover, but even as a teenaged boy I don’t think I could have brought this one into the house. As a grownup wanting to introduce my daughter to SF/F, I’m embarrassed for my genre.
Click on any of the thumbnails for larger versions.
Please keep in mind that authors have little to no control over their cover art. Larbalestier was able to push for new artwork for her book, but she’s a fairly high-clout author and was able to rally reader/fan support. Generally, the author has little input into the cover.
So, what do you think?