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Book Cover Smackdown – Blue Space Edition! NEW EARTH vs. WEIRD SPACE: SATAN’S REACH vs. THE GOLIATH STONE

Another round of book cover smackdownery today…this time with a selection of blue-tinted space scenes.

Which is your favorite?

New Earth (The Grand Tour) by Ben Bova (Tor Books)

Award-winning author Ben Bova brings us New Earth, his latest tale of science fiction.

The entire world is thrilled by the discovery of a new Earthlike planet. Advance imaging shows that the planet has oceans of liquid water and a breathable oxygen-rich atmosphere. Eager to gain more information, a human exploration team is soon dispatched to explore the planet, now nicknamed New Earth.

All of the explorers understand that they are essentially on a one-way mission. The trip takes eighty years each way, so even if they are able to get back to Earth, nearly 200 years will have elapsed. They will have aged only a dozen years thanks to cryonic suspension, but their friends and family will be gone and the very society that they once knew will have changed beyond recognition. The explorers are going into exile, and they know it. They are on this mission not because they were the best available, but because they were expendable.

Upon landing on the planet they discover something unexpected: New Earth is inhabited by a small group of intelligent creatures who look very much like human beings.

Who are these people? Are they native to this world, or invaders from elsewhere?

While they may seem inordinately friendly to the human explorers, what are their real motivations? What do they want?

Moreover, the scientists begin to realize that this planet cannot possibly be natural. They face a startling and nearly unthinkable question: Could New Earth be an artifact?

Weird Space: Satan’s Reach by Eric Brown (Abaddon Books)

Satan’s Reach is the second volume in the Weird Space series, a fast-paced action-adventure that pits humanity against the unimaginable Terror from Beyond. A thrilling Space Opera series created by master SF author Eric Brown.

Telepath Den Harper did the dirty work for the authoritarian Expansion, reading the minds of criminals, spies and undesirables. Unable to take the strain, he stole a starship and headed into the unknown, a sector of lawless space known as Satan’s Reach. For five years he worked as a trader among the stars – then discovered that the Expansion had set a bounty hunter on his trail. But what does the Expansion want with a lowly telepath like Harper? Is there validity in the rumours that human space is being invaded by aliens from another realm? Harper finds out the answer to both these questions when he rescues an orphan girl from certain death – and comes face to face with the dreaded aliens known as the Weird. Satan’s Reach is the second volume in the Weird Space series, a fast-paced action-adventure that pits humanity against the unimaginable Terror from Beyond.

The Goliath Stone by Larry Niven & Matthew Joseph Harrington (Tor)

Doctor Toby Glyer has effected miracle cures with the use of nanotechnology. But Glyer’s controversial nanites are more than just the latest technological advance, they are a new form of life—and they have more uses than just medical. Glyer’s nanites also have the potential to make everyone on Earth rich from the wealth of asteroids.

Twenty-five years ago, the Briareus mission took nanomachinery out to divert an Earth-crossing asteroid and bring it back to be mined, only to drop out of contact as soon as it reached its target. The project was shut down and the technology was forcibly suppressed.

Now, a much, much larger asteroid is on a collision course with Earth—and the Briareus nanites may be responsible. While the government scrambles to find a solution, Glyer knows that their only hope of avoiding Armageddon lies in the nanites themselves. On the run, Glyer must track down his old partner, William Connors, and find a way to make contact with their wayward children.

As every parent learns, when you produce a new thinking being, the plans it makes are not necessarily your plans. But with a two-hundred-gigaton asteroid that rivals the rock that felled the dinosaurs hurtling toward Earth, Glyer and Connors don’t have time to argue. Will Glyer’s nanites be Earth’s salvation or destruction?

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.

3 Comments on Book Cover Smackdown – Blue Space Edition! NEW EARTH vs. WEIRD SPACE: SATAN’S REACH vs. THE GOLIATH STONE

  1. I’d say the Eric Brown cover is the clear winner.

    Cover text: “Weird” and “Satan’s” are both words that raise a little adrenaline. They also form a dichotomy with the obvious science-fiction content (spaceship); reader is intrigued.

    Cover image: The spaceship on this cover has its engines thrusting, and the diagonal placement makes it active and engaging. This will be an exciting book, methinks.

    The Bova and Niven book covers are a lot less engaging. Boring, even.

  2. Uh, you seem to have made an error in this post. You’ve matched the description of Jack Skillingstead’s _Life on the Preservation_ with the cover of Ben Bova’s New Earth.

    As far as the covers are concerned, I’m with Bruce Arthurs above; Abaddon books has been springing some well-designed and diverse covers on us lately.

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