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Book Cover Smackdown! ‘The Orphaned Worlds’ vs. ‘Seeds of Earth’ vs. ‘Starplex’

Some hardcore science fiction covers go head-to-head-to-head in this edition of the Book Cover Smackdown…

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

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.

8 Comments on Book Cover Smackdown! ‘The Orphaned Worlds’ vs. ‘Seeds of Earth’ vs. ‘Starplex’

  1. The Orphaned Worlds – Interesting cover (even without the Banks quote on the front) lots going on and fits nicely into ‘space opera’ definately makes me want to check out the back cover for more info, and to refer back to the previous novel in the series.

    Seeds of Earth – Looks good, but I think it is over shadowed by the quality of the cover for the next novel in the series. Not to keen on the white planet fading into a white top border. I feel it needs more colour to give better contrast to the ships.

    Starplex – 1st glance it grabbed my attention, but the more I look at it the more non-plused I am about it, not sure why either…

  2. Mark Stephenson // March 23, 2010 at 2:01 pm //

    Agree with Andy on the ranking.  Like “The Orhpaned Worlds” a lot, although “Seeds of Earth” is a looker too.  “Starplex” is okay, but on second look I kind of get a “2012” feel from it, and that ain’t a positive, in my estimation…

  3. Oh wow, those are some good ones. I have to go with Seeds of Earth, not only because I really want to read it, but because it looks really cool. I like the contrast of black and white, and the space ships. Orphaned Worlds is a second close one, but it’s just a little too Yellow/Orange for my tastes. I do like the continuity between the two books though. While Starplex is interesting, it’s not as cool compositionally. 

  4. Raimo Kangasniemi // March 23, 2010 at 10:04 pm //

    Orphaned Worlds: Good, vibrant colours, action. Seeds of Earth is more calm, not bad in itself, but the colours are rather sterile, bland compared to Orphaned Worlds.

    Starplex looks like a weaker work compared to those two, pulpish, less “dignified”, over the top. And the colours look kind of faded.

    So, Orphaned Worlds.

  5. While I think Orphaned Woods is the better cover, in this grouping my eyes keep going back to Seeds of Earth. The color contrast and relative simplicity make it stand out.

  6. Just FYI, the two Michael Cobley covers are by UK artist Steve Stone, of Artist Partners Agency. He’s also the artist on our Maurice Broaddus covers. His website is … and he’s a damn nice guy to work with too.


    Marc @ Angry Robot

  7. Thanks for the artists info!  Post updated.

  8. Howdy John D – well, as the author I cant help but like em both – they both have that scale with a planet dead centre which states hell, yeah, this is a planetary romance (in the old meaning of romance as storytelling). Of course, I’m lucky to have Steve Stone doing the covers since he also did the covers for my Shadowkings books 8-10 years ago – the man is a jeenyuss, no question. I have to say, though, that the colliding planets on the Sawyer book kinda catches the eye!

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