A Tale of Two Publishers (A Visual Comparison of Jason M. Hough’s Upcoming DIRE EARTH CYCLE Series)

If ever I saw a “buzz book” on the horizon, it has to be Jason M. Hough’s The Darwin Elevator, which I have to admit looks pretty darn cool. The idea of this being a book with a lot of buzz surrounding it is mostly because I have seen a review of the book we have in the pipeline, patently waiting for publication day. But it’s also because Hough’s trilogy (the Dire Earth Cycle) has two different publishers set to independently publish the trilogy: Del Rey in the U.S and Titan Books in the U.K. The series thus serves as a perfect opportunity to compare how two publishers are handling the publication.

What’s different? Well, for starters, each company is giving the series its own cover art, publication dates (though they are close together), as well as (naturally) providing different descriptions on Amazon. (The Del Rey version of the latter two books in the series have generic descriptions right now, and the Titan version of the latter two books actually have the same description as each other …perhaps something that will be changed as the publication dates draw near.)

I thought it might be interesting to do a side-by-side comparison of series cover as a whole (shown above), as well as comparison side-by-side comparison of the cover for each individual book in the series. I also included the description text of each volume, as set by each publisher on Amazon.

So, readers…which set would you prefer to own?

Del Rey (July 30, 2013 – Cover art series by Chris McGrath)

Jason M. Hough’s pulse-pounding debut combines the drama, swagger, and vivid characters of Joss Whedon’s Firefly with the talent of sci-fi author John Scalzi.

In the mid-23rd century, Darwin, Australia, stands as the last human city on Earth. The world has succumbed to an alien plague, with most of the population transformed into mindless, savage creatures. The planet’s refugees flock to Darwin, where a space elevator—created by the architects of this apocalypse, the Builders—emits a plague-suppressing aura.

Skyler Luiken has a rare immunity to the plague. Backed by an international crew of fellow “immunes,” he leads missions into the dangerous wasteland beyond the aura’s edge to find the resources Darwin needs to stave off collapse. But when the Elevator starts to malfunction, Skyler is tapped—along with the brilliant scientist, Dr. Tania Sharma—to solve the mystery of the failing alien technology and save the ragged remnants of humanity.

Titan Books (July 26, 2013):

After aliens constructed an elevator from Darwin, Australia into space, humanity established orbital colonies along the elevator’s cord. Years later, those outside of the machine’s protective aura were wiped out by a mysterious plague. When the elevator’s virus shield begins to break down, a scavenger and a scientist must unravel the mystery of the failing alien technology to save what’s left of the world.

Del Rey (August 27, 2013):

The Exodus Towers features all the high-octane action and richly imagined characters of The Darwin Elevator—only the stakes have never been higher.

Titan Books (August 30, 2013):

The automated alien ship came and built us a space elevator – an impervious thread connecting Darwin, Australia to the heavens. We took advantage of the Builder’s gift and established orbital colonies along the cord. Then, years later, a plague almost completely obliterated the world’s population…

Del Rey (September 24, 2013):

The Plague Forge delivers an unbeatable combination of knockout action and kick-ass characters as the secrets to the ultimate alien mystery from The Darwin Elevator and The Exodus Towers are about to be unraveled.

Titan Books (September 27, 2013):

The automated alien ship came and built us a space elevator – an impervious thread connecting Darwin, Australia to the heavens. We took advantage of the Builder’s gift and established orbital colonies along the cord. Then, years later, a plague almost completely obliterated the world’s population…

8 thoughts on “A Tale of Two Publishers (A Visual Comparison of Jason M. Hough’s Upcoming DIRE EARTH CYCLE Series)”

    1. Also he apparently thought the exact same thing about all three books. Wowzers. (I’m assuming it’s a placeholder on books 2 and 3, but you never know.)

      I prefer the Titan versions, for the record.

      1. They told me the blurbs are placeholder, but given Howey’s popularity in the UK right now it wouldn’t surprise me if they stick with that and just caveat it as Del Rey did with something like “… on The Darwin Elevator”.

  1. I snagged an ARC of The Darwin Elevator almost in spite of the generic, disinterested, ridiculously well-armed hero of the Del Rey cover. Personally, I think the Titan Books covers are far more striking, and have actually re-ignited my excitement about the trilogy.

  2. I’m not a big fan of photos on book covers, so I’m liking Titan covers the best.

    It’s also curious to note the color scheme; the colors from the first and third books are swapped, but the second one is green on both editions.

  3. I wouldn’t touch the photo cover versions. They make the books look cheesy – like the male equivalent of the occult romance novels I see on the newsstand, but with lots of guns for the dudes. All that’s missing are bad tribal tattoos.
    Give me the dignified paintings any day.

Comments are closed.