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Book Cover Smackdown! ‘Strange Divisions and Alien Territories’ vs. ‘The Navidad Incident’ vs. ‘Time and Robbery’

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:

  1. Strange Divisions and Alien Territories: The Sub-Genres of Science Fiction edited by Keith Brooke (Palgrave Macmillan; Artist: Unkown)
  2. The Navidad Incident: The Downfall of Matías Guili by Natsuki Ikezawa (VIZ Media; Artist: Unkown)
  3. Time and Robbery by Rebecca Ore (Aqueduct Press; Artist: Unkown)

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.

12 Comments on Book Cover Smackdown! ‘Strange Divisions and Alien Territories’ vs. ‘The Navidad Incident’ vs. ‘Time and Robbery’

  1. OK I’m no art critic but Strange Divisions and Alien Territories has a spaceman with a ray gun. That’s enough.

  2. You’re just messing with us, right? Seriously, where are the real covers?

    Strange Divisions looks like something I would draw. It’s retro-looking, but not in a good way. Time and Robbery is the most visually interesting, but not by much. I can’t really tell anything from it. The Navidad Incident is pretty bland, but presents enough information to make me curious about the story. It’s the only one that might catch my eye long enough to pick up and browse through.

  3. Of these three, it’s gotta by The Navidad Incident. There’s just something so awesomely 60s about it.

  4. None of the above.

    “Time and Robberry” is awful in any way you see it.

    “The Navidad Incident” has a nice concpet, but poorly executed.

    “Strange Divisions & Alien Territories” illustration could be more dynamic and have a better layout.

  5. Now this is a weird lineup.
    The Navidad Incident’s cover is just baaaad. Crude technique on first glance, not sure what it is meant to portray (a bus and black ink pouring out of a floating faucet in a nondescript water-body?)… It just screams “THis book must be so art-house nonmainstream pretentious”. And it’s a shame, as I suspect the actual book behind the cover isn’t bad. Well, maybe it is, I don’t know. But the cover isn’t doing it any favours whatsoever.

    Strange Divisions.. well, it s very “this is a children’s book”-esque, isn’t it? I guess you do get to know what the book would feel like (60’s space camp), but visually it’s about as enticing as a soviet propaganda poster for tilling the fields or staying in youth organizations, with the milky blue backdrop and retro-spaceman.

    And the last one… It doesn’t really work in that, well, the two images (man-tree and icefield) aren’t really correlated – just pasted one on top of the other. And.. if you have your background image serving to delineate the title and sub-image, then either have the horizon be obviously skewed, or obviously straight. That barely-perceptible skew that’s going on there is extremely frutstrating; the horizon and the title doesn’t line up by just the exact amount to make it look like it was supposed to, but nobody could be bothered to rotate something by 2 degrees.

    As a general summary – seems like these covers, all of them, are trying to be “artistic” in some ways. Time’s is vague and cold, Navidad’s is pretty dadaistic, and Division’s is like a tribute to a bygone era. And it would be fine, if that wasn’t all there was to these covers.

    My, this armchair criting thing is fun.

    • Also, the spelling of that post is utterly atrocious, and I’m quite sorry for not checking it before clicking on the submission icon.

  6. These covers remind me of the candidates for President this year…

    Can I vote for “non of the above”?

  7. I’m not a big fan of any of these, to be honest.

  8. Without a doubt.
    Strange Divisions and Alien Territories: The Sub-Genres of Science Fiction.
    Spaceman & Ray Gun.
    If I saw the other two on the bookstore shelf, I’d make sure it was spine out and not
    face out.

  9. Strange Divisions for the retro Americana feel.

  10. Timothy Standish // March 12, 2012 at 11:23 am //

    The Navidad Incident The retro early to mid 60s style is well done and the subjects used make want to know more about the story.

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