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Book Cover Smackdown! ‘Melinda’ vs. ‘METAtropolis’ (German) vs. ‘Lightborn’

Another batch of covers go head-to-head-to-head in our latest Book Cover Smackdown, where you play art critic and pick your favorite cover. Here are the contenders…

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.

5 Comments on Book Cover Smackdown! ‘Melinda’ vs. ‘METAtropolis’ (German) vs. ‘Lightborn’

  1. My favourite cover is Metaropolis, again the name John Scalzi is just a huge draw for me. This book is a must buy simply for that. As to the cover I prefer this take to the US/Canada one that was put up a couple of weeks ago… its simply more pleasing to my eye.

    Melinda – Hard to judge really, given the size of the picture it looks cluttered, messy and off putting. However I would be interested in seeing the full sized cover as that may clear it up. I have a hardback copy of Stardust which is equally busy and looks lovely. Again the authors name makes this an automatic buy for me.

    Lightborn – Simple but effective…. I would pick this book up just to see the back cover, and thats the 1st step to buying the book.

  2. D.Fowler // May 27, 2010 at 9:25 am //

    Lightborn caught my eye right away. I usually go for the cityscape covers,but this time Lightborn has more of a boldness to it that makes me want to know the story behind the cover design

  3. For pure eye-catchery and cleanness of design, I go with Lightborn.  It is a striking motif and it makes me curious to see what’s inside.

    Melinda does seem too busy, and off-balance.  And obscuring the author’s name seems like a bad call.

    Metatropolis is definitely an intriguing book, and the cover is serviceable but not really stimulating.

  4. I like John Scalzi’s work, but that cover looks like any other 3D rendering; the Tor version is much better.

    The cover of “Lightborn” reminds me too much of the Weinstein’s logo.

    “Melinda” wins for me…covers for Gaiman books always seem to be tastefully artistic, and this one is no exception.  It provides a good sense of the literary style without being too self-conscious.  Also, notice that they didn’t feel the need to put the author’s name in big screaming type; it’s shows some respect to the intelligence of the reader.

  5. Lightborn – The best of the three. Immediately catches your eye and makes you want to read the synopsis.

    Metatropolis – Short stories aren’t for me, but it is solid normal cover. I prefer this type of neutral cover to one trying to show me what the characters, ships, aliens, etc. look like. Let my imagination determine that.

    Melinda – Terrible cover. Like others said it is too busy and obscures the authors name. Obscuring the name is a terrible idea when the author is really well known. Also, my initial thought was a love story (bird and flowing writing) about a bionic dog (picture on right)? Seems a little odd.

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