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Book Cover Smackdown! ‘Sisterhood of Dune’ vs. ‘The Thousand Emperors’ vs. ‘Blue Remembered Earth’

Calling all armchair art critics! It’s time once again for another Book Cover Smackdown!

Here are today’s 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.

13 Comments on Book Cover Smackdown! ‘Sisterhood of Dune’ vs. ‘The Thousand Emperors’ vs. ‘Blue Remembered Earth’

  1. J James Cotter // October 26, 2011 at 10:40 am //

    Sisterhood of Dune is my vote. Can’t separate the evocative nature of the title from the graphics and the mountains evoke the Shield Wall in the original Dune. The ship is a nice jarring image for a sisterhood and also evocative of a Spiceliner.

  2. Does it bother anyone else that it’s the same ship in Sisterhood and The Thousand Emperors?


    I suppose I would have to go with the Blue Remembered Earth, if only because it seems the least generic.  Of course, I would never be able to be unbiased enough to ever pick something written by Brian Herbert!  I suppose I need to stop being offended when he writes another book in the Dune universe. . .

  3. The Blue Remembered Earth reminds me of the Stephen Martiniere cover of The Peace War

  4. Exactly my thoughts. The ship is the same. Covers sure are copy&paste nowadays.


    My vote goes to Blue Remembered Earth.

  5. Hmm, I think I love the US cover of Sisterhood, since it shows the actual characters and not a seemingly male friendly cover of a ship.


    Although I really love the look of Blue Remembered Earth, The Thousand Emperors cover grabs me just a bit more.

  6. What, no ‘Zombies of Dune’ yet?


  7. Even though it’s the same ship (which is annoying), The Thousand Emperors color scheme is magnificient and thus stands out as the best for me.

    But all three are outstanding.

  8. Don’t be silly, the ship on my cover and the other one is…oh. Yeah. Right. I hadn’t er, noticed that. 

    FWIW, I felt obliged to inform you the cover artist is Steve Stone, since he deserves the credit for doing such a magnificent job on the cover. And…quite possibly on the other one, too. 

  9. All good, including the duplicate ship. Although Mr. Gibson’s needs more text scattered about.



  10. I find the cover for The Thousand Emperors more appealing, the dynamic composition, illustration occupying the whole cover and the old sci-fi style font, remind me of classic covers by Michael Whelan. Although the illustration from Sisterhood of Dune is also wonderful and has a great type selection, I’m not entirely convinced by the composition, a lot of elements, breaking the cover in several separated pieces. Blue Remembered Earth could use more contrast, it really doesn’t stand out, even with the magnificent work on the illustration.

  11. Blue remembered earth is the only one that isn’t just “Generic SF Cover” it has the Elephant on it, and has a bit more relevence to the book’s contents, personally that is why i think BRE is the best.

    The other two are nice looking as images, but not good book covers.

  12. More and more US book covers are looking more like British book covers. The UK styles have invaded!


    I like the Dune book; tho, I’m not a fan of the series.

  13. I know several other people have pointed it out, but seriously, THE SAME SHIP!  I’d love to know how that fell together.  Someone should ask Mr. Stone the story.  I’m guessing someone wanted to see what a ship in the picture would look like, so he added one he’d already painted just for example purposes, and the next thing he hears is that it has gone to print.

    But on the topic of covers.  Sisterhood is weird to me.  A Dune novel with a blue color pallete just feels wrong.  Thousand Emperors is nice, but standard issue.  I guess I like the image for Blue Remembered Earth, but the cover layout is brutal.  That weird texture behind the text at the top and bottom looks like it was pasted on after the fact.

    I vote for Sisterhood of Dune as the best cover.  Don’t know how effective it is conveying that this another book in the Dune series though.

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