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Book Cover Smackdown – January Steampunk Edition! ‘The Aylesford Skull’ vs. ‘Power Under Pressure’ vs. ‘The Bookman Histories’

They say you shouldn’t judge a book by cover…unless it’s an SF Signal Book Cover Smackdown!

It’s time once again to have your way with some upcoming book covers, this time with a new trio of steampunk titles being released next month.

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.

8 Comments on Book Cover Smackdown – January Steampunk Edition! ‘The Aylesford Skull’ vs. ‘Power Under Pressure’ vs. ‘The Bookman Histories’

  1. My vote goes to “Power Under Pressure”.

    “The Bookman” trilogy has much prettier covers on the single volumes (and I would have voted for them) but I’m not a fan of the omnibus cover. It feels very cluttered, there’s just too much stuff on it.

    “The Aylesford Skull” is cool, too, and I love its simplicity. But I prefer how dynamic “Power Under Pressure” looks and how it puts that tiny girl in front of the huge machine. It gives me more of an idea of what I find within the book.

  2. This is a difficult one as all three have appeal. I like the color of the Bookman cover best but am not as happy with the overall image design. I’d probably lean towards the Blaylock cover but I also agree with Nadine’s thoughts on Power Under Pressure.

  3. As the others have mentioned, all three are interesting covers. If I were in a bookstore (or looking through ebooks), the Aylesford Skull cover is the one I like best. It doesn’t have the punch of the Bookman book colors, but it is intriguing, tidy, and the lettering is both easily readable, and lends atmosphere to what the book might be about.

    The other two are beautiful as well, but I find the Bookman has too many things in it, and the Power cover just doesn’t do anything for me.

    But art is very much like chocolate – some like it sweet and some like it bitter. It is nice there is something for everyone. 🙂

  4. These are all quite excellent. But I was drawn to “Power Under Pressure” first. So it gets my vote.

    The Aylesford Skull draws you into the cover, but something about the Power Under Pressure cover just draws you out to see the whole thing…

  5. Great covers all of them.

    I like the clean cover for “The Aylesford Skull”. You don’t see a lot of white as the dominant color on steampunk artworks. And yet it keeps a nice vintage look.

    Speaking of color, “Power Under Pressure” uses a wonderful palette and the ilustration is simply awesome.

    “The Bookman Histories” may be the one that I like the least. It boldly goes with the saturation but the elements on the lower part don’t fit very well on the composition. Even with this, it’s a very appealing cover.

  6. Aylesford. Nice clean design. The others are too crowded and loud.

  7. My God those are some awesome covers… tough call.

  8. “Power Under Pressure” … I love the color scheme, and the almost storybookish magicalness of the artist’s style. Tough choice though.

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