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Book Cover Smackdown! ‘Going Interstellar’ vs. ‘Toxicity’ vs. ‘Further: Beyond the Threshold’

Are you an armchair art critic? It’s time once again to test your visual acumen with 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.

7 Comments on Book Cover Smackdown! ‘Going Interstellar’ vs. ‘Toxicity’ vs. ‘Further: Beyond the Threshold’

  1. David White // April 22, 2012 at 4:00 am //

    Instant judgement (just looking at thumbnails): I like “Going Interstellar” best. It is bright and dramatic. It appears to convey the idea of interstellar (perhaps worm-hole) travel. “Toxicity” is mainly dark, maybe melee or an invasion, hard to idenify objects. (Super critical) “Further” is inferior film reference.

    I normally use a book recommendations site and reviews to decide what to read. I prefer to read a few pages before commiting. Colourful covers are helpful to find a book in a bookcase.

  2. The event horizon on Going Interstellar is interesting but I don’t care for the colors; the red/yellow doesn’t work for me. Further beyond is my choice as best of these three. While an obvious spin of Star Wars opening scene, (which I love by the way) the colors, and artwork are great and the whole thing piques my curiosity.

  3. If I saw the cover of Going Interstellar without seeing the Baen logo I’d think it was indie published and they couldn’t afford a better artist. The Toxicity cover looks like the cover of a Dark Horse comic. Further is not-too-subtle Star Wars as was mentioned above. I guess Further has the cover I like best off the bat but Going Interstellar would probably be the one I’d read cover or not.

  4. I agree with PaulNYC about Going Interstellar. The split-scene idea has potential, but doing “rainbow space” ruined it. Gah, that cover could have been much more interesting.

    I also can’t stand generic spaceships being the main focus of a cover. Further’s cover just doesn’t interest me because there’s nothing to it.

    So Toxicity wins, if only through a process of elimination. It does receive points for the dramatic angle. I feel like I’m down in a hole looking up at the battle. Cool feeling.

  5. Interstellar is a really nice concept.. But the colour palette is a bit *too* colourful. A nice touch would, imo, have been having one side of the warp-line colourful as it is, and the other side – a “realistic” blackspace.
    Also.. Is it just me, or is the zoom distance on that warpgate scene not exactly right? It feels, well, not misaligned, but rather not well framed by the book’s dimensions.
    And ohgodwhyistheresomuchtextonthefrontcover?

    Toxicity.. Well, the cover image and tone fits the name, I guess. Other than that, it is lacking a spark. I suppose it was meant to inspire some kind of dread and poisonous feeling.. But it feels a bit formulaic, I think.

    And speaking of formulaic, ohgod the cover for Further? I mean, seriously? That is an extremely blatant scene copy (call it a “tribute” if you will) of Star Wars opening scene. I mean, hell, it actually looks great, is well done, fits the book, and is very smartly laid out – and I like the use of an actual high-detail 3D model as opposed to a blurry artsy drawing (no offence to 2d artists, it’s just that proper 3d model cover art is so much rarer) – its just that it is such an amazing shame that everything is so reminiscent of SW. The ship design itself, the colour palette, the framing, the shadows & lighting on the model.. Sigh.

    Even so, the winner is by far the “Further..” cover. Because copycat or not, out of these three it does look the best and would be the most inspiring, for me, to pick the book up.

  6. From best to worst:

    1) Toxicity – Makes the world inside the book seem a bit more real than the others and the book seems like it should be fairly fast paced. I like that I can’t see the characters face, as it should be left to the imagination.

    2) Further – The size of the ship and the angle of the view suggests a very large scope/universe for the book. I would be very disappointed if the author didn’t have a large Dune type universe in size and scope for me to explore.

    3) Going Interstellar – It’s ok, but neither the ship or universe the ship is in really grabs me. Other than going from one place to another instantaneously I’m not sure what it’s suggesting. It would be interesting to see this cover on an iPad to see if the colors make it pop more.

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