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Books Received for July 2008, Week 2 (Pick Your Favorite Cover!)

Here are the books we received this past week. Which cover do you like best?

Let’s try a meme!

When considering the books above:

  1. Which book has the coolest cover?
  2. Which book has the worst cover?
  3. Which book do you most want to read?

My responses after the jump…

1. Which book has the coolest cover? It’s a toss-up between MultiReal and An Autumn War. Both covers are by Stephan Martiniere who does some of the most fantasic futuristic landscapes I’ve ever seen. I also like the classic look (as in classic 80s) of The Viper of Portello and The Voyage of the Space Beagle. All the Windwracked Stars look intriguing, too, though our copy, being an advanced review copy, lacks that cool cover art.

2. Which book has the worst cover? Keeping in mind that a book’s cover in no way reflects the quality of the story contained therein (is that a good enough disclaimer?), I’d say I’m les than impressed with What If…? and The Valley-Westside War. The former looks like a first draft and the latter looks like it is actually covered with newspaper, which I suppose is all part of the story, but still…

3. Which book do you most want to read? I’ve been hearing good things about Infoquake, so Multireal is on my mind at the moment. I also note that I have already read and reviewed The Voyage of the Space Beagle which you should read for the awesome “Black Destroyer”, the story that inspired the film Alien.

About John DeNardo (13012 Articles)
John DeNardo is the Managing Editor at SF Signal and a columnist at Kirkus Reviews. He also likes bagels. So there.

10 Comments on Books Received for July 2008, Week 2 (Pick Your Favorite Cover!)

  1. 1) Best: Multireal, although I also find the classic hard SF cover of The Viper of Portello appealing (but not the title).
    2) Worst: (a tossup) Love in the Time of Fridges and The Valley-Westside War although The Man With The Iron Heart is a close third. The only appealing aspect of those last two covers are the words “Harry Turtledove”.
    3) Most interested in reading (from the cover): Multireal

  2. Coolest Cover?
    One of the two Martiniere, or the cover for “All the Windwracked Stars”.
    Valley-Westside War.Sorry, Dr. T. That cover does not really make me curious as to the contents.
    Most want to read?
    Windwracked Stars. If I had read book 2, it might have been Autumn War, since I liked the first book in Abraham’s series.

  3. Best: Multireal. I have absolutely fallen in love with Martiniere covers.
    Worst: Magicians and Mrs. Quent. Everything about it says this is a book I wouldn’t like.
    Most Want to read: All the Windwracked Stars. I loved Bear’s Jenny Casey series, but haven’t really found anything of hers I loved since. I’m still search for the next perfect Bear novel.

  4. Weyland-Yutani // July 13, 2008 at 4:35 pm //

    Best-Multireal cover wisely keeps the Martiniere art very visible. It’s better than the cover for An Autumn War for that reason. The Voyage of the Space Beagle is interesting, but I’m not real fond of the “split screen.”
    The Valley-Westside War is a bit intriguing. I’d much prefer to see art on covers, but this does allow an idea of what is to be inside.
    Worst-The Magicians and Mrs. Quent
    I don’t know what they are going for here, but it sure isn’t for me. Little movement in the composition + font lost in the lacey leaves + photoshop :/
    Most want to read
    Multireal (although after Infoquake, of course). I’m glad Edelman got the Martiniere cover update. Everything I’m reading about the books points to me liking this series.

  5. Love in the Time of Fridges has the most striking, creative cover that works well with the title. Worst for me was the cover of The Viper of Portello, because it’s utterly boring. The Martiniere covers are nice, but there are only so many glass towers that I can get enthused about. I don’t pick what I read by their covers. But of this batch, I’d probably be most interested in reading van Vogt’s Voyage of the Space Beagle, as it is a very famous SF novel I have not yet read.

  6. Best: “All the Windwacked Stars.” It evokes a sense of wonder.
    Worst: “The Magicians and Mrs. Quent.” At a glance, I would mistake the book for a “bodice-ripper” and ignore it.
    Most want to read: “The Voyage of the Space Beagle” wins by default. I’ve read it twice and will very likely read it again. Of the news ones, “All the Windwacked Stars.” Elizabeth Bear is quite good so it is a likely winner. Some of the others sound good too.

  7. 1. Best: The Voyage of the Space Beagle, A. E. van Vogt. Extremely tasteful text, amazing colors, timeless art (could be from the 40s or today) — I could do without the lurking eye in the background. The small, indistinguishable human figures are much more effective (something which Martiniere also does well).
    2. Worst: What if…? could do without the metallic text and frame.
    3. To Read: The Voyage of the Space Beagle, A. E. van Vogt. I can’t count the number of times I’ve held off from purchasing a classic book because the new cover is just awful (and because I’m sure I can pick up a used 1960s version with better art) — this is a version I’d be proud to place on my shelf.

  8. Anonymous // July 14, 2008 at 2:10 pm //

    Coolest Cover: MULTIREAL. It’s a nice painting and, as was mentioned earlier, the design doesn’t stomp all over it.
    Worst Cover: There’s a few bad ones in this bunch, eh? My least favorite is WHAT IF (despite the awesome painting by, uh, what’s his name?).
    What to read: The A.E. van Vogt book, of course.

  9. Best cover: Multireal, mostly because I couldn’t really see what was going on, so that made it a mysterious landscape for me. Plus I like futuristic greens.
    Worst cover: Both of the Turtledoves are pretty crappy in my book (but then I’m not a miliary SF fan, and they both scream that genre, so I may be being shallow). My vote goes to The Viper of Portello, however, because although it’s nicely executed and looks good, it also looks like every SF cover I’ve ever seen and almost certainly tells you nothing about the contents. Enough with the light-studded spheres in space, already.
    Most want to read: if I found these on a bookshelf I’d probably pick up either Multireal or Viper, but your comment makes me intrigued to read ‘Black Destroyer’ now. (I read an early scriptment for _Alien_ that was peppered with inspirations from Lovecraft. Cool as.)

  10. Mithfanion // July 20, 2008 at 12:01 pm //

    Best: I would say An Autumn War by Abraham is phenomenal. The whole series has had superb Martinier covers but this one reigns supreme. The Bear and Multireal covers are also very striking.
    Worst: There’s not a single one here that I think is poor. I suppose Love in the Time of Fridges appeals to me the least.
    Most eager to read: That is An Autumn War anyway.

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