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Book Cover Smackdown! ‘Leviathan Wakes’ vs. ‘Fuzzy Nation’ vs. ‘Out of the Dark’

Grab your ray guns and pressure suits! 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.

19 Comments on Book Cover Smackdown! ‘Leviathan Wakes’ vs. ‘Fuzzy Nation’ vs. ‘Out of the Dark’

  1. Really tough line-up this week.  Good selection. Leviathan Wakes is the winner in terms of art and composition.  It would scream Space Opera even without the quote at the top.  But I have a soft spot for Fuzzy Nation as well.  The art is by Kekai Kotaki not Komarck.  The man on Fuzzy is too pretty, but the Fuzzy itself looks to be spot on.  I read Little Fuzzy earlier this year, which is the source material Scalzi is using for his reboot so the main male character might be described different, which would explain the discrepancy.

  2. Good catch. I knew it was Kotaki, but my sausage fingers let me down. Will fix the link.

  3. Out of the Dark is the winner for me. I love the contrast of dark and light and how the text is put on it. I don’t like the font or the cartoonish feel of Leviathan Wakes and the arms and the hands on Fuzzy Nation bother me. It doesn’t look finished. 

  4. Mmmmmmm…sausage.

    All are okay but Out of the Dark it is. There’s something a little off about Fuzzy Nation. Not sure what. I like Leviathan Wakes, just like Out of the Dark better.


  5. Good couple of picks. Of the three, I think Out of the Dark is the weakest. 

    Leviathan Wakes looks just awesome. Very nostalgic looking to me (Something like Ender’s Game or the book covers of the mid-90s. Reading over what the book is about, and that looks like a book that I might very well pick up. 

    Fuzzy Nation is another one that looks very good. The original one that Scalzi posted up didn’t do much for me – too soft and, well, fuzzy. I like the colors and composition here. 

    Of all of those, I’d say Leviathan Wakes is my favorite. 

  6. I have to go with Out of the Dark as well. Despite the fact that it looks like your traditional “alien invasion” story, it just has a great style to it. I might not buy it, but I’d definitely pick it up.

    Ironically, I’m more likely to purchase Leviathan Wakes because the subject matter seems closer to something I’d like.

    The Fuzzy Nation cover…I think the art is okay, but not great, and nothing about it suggests that it’s something I’d want to read. Not that I hate Ewoks, I’m just saying…

  7. LiamStLiam // November 9, 2010 at 2:53 pm //

    “Out of the Dark” is a clear winner for me. I love the image it evokes.

    I do not think “Leviathan Wakes” because I think the white reverse type is too domainant.

    I like “Fuzzy Nation,” but part of that is that I have read H. Beam Piper. The fuzzy is a little off to me. And John’s name on anything draw me to it.

    I will read all three.



  8. I like Stephan’s, persnally but also it’s exact and to the point, unfortunately the Leviathan Wakes cover though phenomenal, is too dissonent for my taste.

  9. Out of the Dark…by a mile.  Interesting (and mysterious) cover that links well with the title.  If these three books were placed in front of me and I was asked to pick on to read just by the covers…Out of the Dark.

  10. Out of the Dark is my favorite. I’ve seen that type cover a million times, but this one is wonderfully rendered. Fuzzy Nation was nice as well, but for some reason it reminds me of one of those David Brin novels – I forget the name of the series now. Not that reminding me of David Brin is a bad thing, but it just didn’t wow me.

    Leviathan Wakes was the weakest entry for me (love the title though). Again, it wasn’t a bad cover, and the poster who mentioned that it was reminiscent of a 90’s book was dead on. Those were happy times for me as a sci-fi fan, but this cover just wasn’t magical. It feels a bit lacking for some reason. 

  11. Color, balance, design.  Dociu’s cover for Leviathan Wakes has the whole package. The painting has a beautiful John Berkey feel (something the OMW Scalzi books always had going for them), and the title design actually looks like there was some thought put into it.  It reads as a branded title design, and I think that sets it apart.

  12. I like it when the artists leave almost everything to your imagination.  I don’t need anyone telling me how the ships look or what the main character looks like.  Just give me something vague that shows me it isn’t urban fantasy or steampunk.  Thus:

    1) Leviathan Wakes

    2)  Out of the Dark

    3)  Fuzzy Nation – No need to see the charaters face.

  13. Fuzzy Nation.  It’s organic, warm, beautiful.  I’d pick it up for the cover alone.

  14. My vote goes to Leviathan Wakes.


    I like the Out of the Dark cover, but it doesn’t really do anything new aside from the prevalence of what I’d call light bloom if it were a video game. The bright colours on the Leviathan cover coupled with the bold typeface in a modern font touch on the history of sci-fi covers without aping them directly the way Out of the Dark does. 


    I tend not to like covers with people on them, so Fuzzy Nation’s cover isn’t for me. 

  15. Leviathan Wakes for me as well. The style of the image is so retro. Really pushes my buttons, associating it with some great novels of the past (I always think of the terrific cover to Pohl’s Gateway).

    Then Out of the Dark, just for that “light bloom” effect and the ominous design work keeping with the title.

    The artwork on Fuzzy Nation is beautiful, and in its own way its rather retro, but it feels a bit more standard and on-the-nose to me.

  16. Leviathan Wakes.


    The Fuzzy Nation cover is my least favorite; it is too busy. Do we really need three colors of typeface?


    The Out of the Dark cover was nice, but I had a hard time parsing it and figuring out just what I was looking at for some reason. The Leviathan Wakes cover makes me feel like I’m right in the middle of something awesome.

  17. Loving the cover for Leviathan Wakes.  I agree with the sentiment above that it’s old school, reminded me of Ender’s Game and other books of that era.  Sweet.

  18. Little Fuzzy // November 12, 2010 at 7:26 pm //

    Fuzzy Nation intrests me the most. Out of the dark looks like oh so many giant alien space craft threatening an earth city pictures. I’ve already seen ‘Indenpendence Day’, and it was not that good. Leviathan Wakes has some OK space art, but I have seen much better stuff. It is just not that dramatic, and it makes you think that if you read the book, it would spend a lot of time with people pondering mysterous asteroids. That can be interesting when someone like A. C. Clarke does it, but pondering rocks does not immediately illict excitment in me. Hence I an not a geologist, I suppose.

    But with Fuzzy Nation, you have got space craft, a possible ansible walkie-talkie, and a photorealistic Fuzzie! That is definitely the coolest of the bunch.

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