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Book Cover Smackdown (Pyr Edition)! Ghosts of Manhattan vs. Ares Express vs. Dragonfly Falling

Here’s a trio of terrific covers from Pyr:

Your Mission (should you choose to accept it): Tell us which cover you like best and why. Go!

Books shown here:

NOTE: Bigger, better cover art images are available by clicking the images or title links…

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.

14 Comments on Book Cover Smackdown (Pyr Edition)! Ghosts of Manhattan vs. Ares Express vs. Dragonfly Falling

  1. I’ve got to go with Martiniere all the way. I know what I like. πŸ™‚

  2. I know I am slightly biased since I am a Pyr worker bee, so take that into consideration!

    I like them ALL. πŸ™‚ I love the old-timey yet modern feel of the type treatment on Ares Express, but I gotta say that the dynamic of Ghosts of Manhattan is just wonderful and is my favorite among the three. It’s got a great film noir or even silent movie feel to it yet somehow has a futuristic vibe, too (Metropolis, anyone?). I’ve fallen for the textbook case of a strong diagonal making for an active, interesting composition. Carre knows his stuff.

    Kudos to all! These are just a few examples of why I am so proud to be part of the team over at Pyr. We are lucky to have such great artists and designers.

    (I hope it’s OK that I posted this!)


  3. simon spanton // October 26, 2009 at 12:24 pm //

    Sullivan’s cover for Dragonfly Falling for me – quite traditional in approach but loads of atmosphere and pregant with action. Sullivan’s coming inot his own as a cover artist.

    The Martiniere for Ares Express is a beautiful picture but I’m not sure it makes for a great cover. It’s too easy to see it as ‘just a train’.

    The Benjamin Carre for Ghosts of Manhattan is cool but possibly a little too cold. The Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow riff doesn’t work for me.

  4. I’ve got to go with Stephan Martiniere here.

    Pyr’s been doing a bang-up job in their covers for Ian McDonald’s work. Not only are they getting (in my opinion) the best work Martiniere’s been doing of late, they perfectly capture that almost-familiar otherworldliness of McDonald’s writing! (The cover for The Dervish House is particularly excellent.)

    Their designers and art directors deserve [almost!] as much praise as Martiniere!

  5. The Ghosts of Manhattan conver is beautiful. I’d buy that book just because of it.

  6. This one is tough. I don’t know the plot of any of them, so judging how appropriate the atr is to the book’s contents isn’t possible. Thus for artwork alone, I was first drawn to Dragonfly Falling, but upon closer inspection, decided on Ghosts. I like the strioking image, in spite of it’s referencing Sky Captain, as was pointed out by Simon, above. 

  7. My reading curse is that I vastly prefer SF books to Fantasy books, but prefer Fantasy covers to SF covers.

  8. Ditto the first comment by Paul!


    The colour sceme perfectly reflects the planet the story is set in and its environment (yes, I’ve read the book). And the train is the perfect centrepiece (can’t say more without spoilers). The smoke coming oiut of the train is beautiful and ethereal in its own right, and it blends seemlessly with the rest of the sky. Just a gorgeous cover!

  9. Ares Express all the way. Nothing beats gigantic fusion-powered steam locomotives barrelling across the Great Desert….

  10. Jim Shannon // October 26, 2009 at 10:58 pm //

    Ghosts of Manhattan. I agree with Amy above

  11. #1 – Dragonfly Falling – it pulls me in

    I don’t like either of the others.  The “Sky Captain” one doesn’t do a lot for me and I can’t tell you how boring I think the Ares Express cover looks.

  12. The “Ghosts of Manhattan” is AWESOME! It looks great. In fact, I might buy the book (probably after a little research) just because the cover is so cool.

    I really like the “Ares Express” cover as well, but more as a picture on the wall, not necessarily a book cover.

    “Dragonfly Express” is a little too similar to a lot of other stuff I see on the shelf. It doesn’t stand out enough (in my opinion).

  13. By far, the Ares Express cover is my favorite; everything just seems to blend together perfectly: the sun, the train, the smoke, everything. 

    Ghosts of Manhattan is way too tacky; it looks like a poor person’s graphic novel cover.  Dragonfly Falling is decent, but a bit too busy for my taste.

  14. If I saw any one of them by themselves, I’d love them. But seeing them altogether…Ghosts of Manhattan just takes me away. It grabs all those pulp heartstrings I have (pulpy heartstrings? Ew…) and twangs ’em. Right there with Sky Captain, or Indiana Jones, or The Shadow. It REALLY makes me want to write a book that gets that cover. (And it makes me want to read that book.)

    Honestly, though, all three are pretty astonishingly sexy. 

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