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Book Cover Smackdown! ‘Engineman’ vs. ‘The Best of Larry Niven’

Hey look! It’s time for another Book Cover Smackdown!

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.

7 Comments on Book Cover Smackdown! ‘Engineman’ vs. ‘The Best of Larry Niven’

  1. I’m voting for Engineman: I like the smooth, rounded lines on the ships, and I that there is something happening here, with circles in the sky and a ship spewing fire (Is it damaged?  Is it running?).  I also love the attention to detail, the way the numbers on the ship imply that this is us, humanity, and what are we up to out there??

    Although the Niven cover is certainly beautiful (and I am a huge Niven fan), I kind of feel like books that just have a spaceship on the cover are a bit overdone…

  2. I’m definitely picking the Miller cover for Niven’s book, and not just because I am a big fan of both of them.  This book is a must purchase for me.  I like what I consider Miller’s old school illustration style.  Reminds me of what I like about artists like John Harris and John Berkey.

  3. Ooooo. I like both just fine. Forced to choose I’ll go with Engineman only because they made Niven’s name take up half the cover.

  4. I would also like to clearly state that the death of the major character in Star Wars: Vector Prime was not R. A. Salvatore’s idea.


  5. Err, put that under sfsignal podcast #3 please.


  6. I was wondering what you were on about for a second there Tam.


    Personally I think both covers are very good, but my choice of favourite is Engineman.

    Engineman has more action and a better sense of proportion to the various elements of the cover, as MikeP says the font size Niven’s name is too large and it unbalances the image.

  7. The Engineman cover, no contest.  The type frames the art rather than forcing it into the lower half of the cover.  As for the art itself, the vehicles on the Engineman are strikingly unusual.  The spacecraft drawn by Miller is overly reminiscent of a Star Wars star destroyer.  That suggests some similarity between those films & Niven’s work where there is none.

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