It’s time another Book Cover Smackdown! Your mission (should you choose to accept it) is quite simple: Tell us which of these book covers you like most.

(Dover Publications | March 18, 2015 | Cover illustration artist: unknown)

Featuring rare short stories published between 1880 and 1920, this original anthology spotlights a variety of important sci-fi pioneers, including Leslie F. Stone, Lilith Lorraine, and Clare Winger Harris. Imaginative scenarios include a feminist society in another dimension, the east/west division of the United States with men and women on opposite sides, a man who converts himself into a cyborg, a robot housemaid, and many others.

Weirder Shadows Over Innsmouth Edited by Stephen Jones
(Titan Books | January 6, 2015 | Cover illustration artist: John Jude Palencar.)

Respected horror anthologist Stephen Jones edits this collection of 17 stories inspired by the 20th century’s master of horror, H.P. Lovecraft’s “The Shadow Over Innsmouth,” in which a young man goes to an isolated, desolate fishing village in Massachusetts, and finds that the entire village has interbred with strange creatures that live beneath the sea, and worship ancient gods.

Riding the Unicorn by Paul Kearney
(Solaris | October 28, 2014 | Cover illustration artist: Pye Parr)

Released in the US for the first time, this is Paul Kearney’s stunning novel of second chances in a world of battle and danger.

John Willoughby is being pulled between worlds. Or he is going mad, ‘riding the unicorn’ as his prison officer colleagues would say. It’s clear to Willoughby it must be the latter. Disappearing in the middle of his prison shift from among convicts, appearing in a makeshift medieval encampment for minutes before tumbling back to the real world, Willoughby believes his mind is simply breaking apart.

He finds no solace at home, with a wife who has grown to dislike him and a daughter who can barely hide her disgust. He’s realised he isn’t worth anyone’s time, barely even his own, and falls into drinking and violence guaranteed to bring about his downfall. Except in this other world, in this winter land of first-settlers he is a man with a purpose, a man upon whom others must rely. Persuaded to kill a King so as to save a people, Willoughby finds that in another world, with a second chance he may be the kind of man he had always wanted to be after all.

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