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Here’s a round of book cover smackdownery today featuring September SF Book releases.

Which book cover appeals to you the most? Which of these books do you most want to read?

Isaac Asimov’s I Robot: To Obey by Mickey Zucker Reichert (Roc – September 3, 2013)

2. A robot must obey any orders given to it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.

2036: Robotic technology has evolved into the realm of self-aware, sentient mechanical entities. But even as humanity contends with the consequences of its most brilliant creation, there are those who have their own designs for the robots: enslavement…or annihilation.

Susan Calvin is about to enter her second year as a psych resident at the Manhattan Hasbro teaching hospital when a violent crime strikes her very close to home.

When she was young, Susan lost her mother in a terrible car wreck that also badly injured her father. She now believes the accident was an attempted murder by government powers who wanted her parents dead. Susan has always known that there was a faction of the U.S. government that wanted to hijack her father’s work for military use. Now, it seems that faction is back.

As she struggles to overcome her pain and confusion as well as deal with her studies, Susan finds herself hunted by violent anti-tech vigilantes who would revert mankind to the dark ages—and at the same time watched very closely by extremists who want high-tech genocide. Somehow she must find a way to stop them both.

Proxima by Stephen Baxter (Gollancz – September 19, 2013)

The very far future: The Galaxy is a drifting wreck of black holes, neutron stars, chill white dwarfs. The age of star formation is long past. Yet there is life here, feeding off the energies of the stellar remnants, and there is mind, a tremendous Galaxy-spanning intelligence each of whose thoughts lasts a hundred thousand years. And this mind cradles memories of a long-gone age when a more compact universe was full of light…The 27th century: Proxima Centauri, an undistinguished red dwarf star, is the nearest star to our sun – and (in this fiction), the nearest to host a world, Proxima IV, habitable by humans. But Proxima IV is unlike Earth in many ways. Huddling close to the warmth, orbiting in weeks, it keeps one face to its parent star at all times. The ‘substellar point’, with the star forever overhead, is a blasted desert, and the ‘antistellar point’ on the far side is under an ice cap in perpetual darkness. How would it be to live on such a world? Needle ships fall from Proxima IV’s sky. Yuri Jones, with 1000 others, is about to find out…P ROXIMA tells the amazing tale of how we colonise a harsh new eden, and the secret we find there that will change our role in the Universe for ever.

On the Steel Breeze by Alastair Reynolds (Gollancz – September 26, 2013)

An epic vision of our journey into deep space.

Hundreds of years from now mankind will finally inherit the stars. A fleet of holoships is heading towards the nearest habitable planet at 15% the speed of light. In massive asteroids turned into ships, tens of millions of people are heading towards a new home. A home that bears signs of an ancient alien civilisation.
No-one knows what they will find when they get there in 90 years. But the main problem is that the ships will have to break the laws of physics to be able to stop. And the research into ways to stop risk the ships themselves. Has mankind squandered the utopia of years past?

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! I ROBOT: TO OBEY vs. PROXIMA vs. ON THE STEEL BREEZE

  1. Melanie Goldmund // August 10, 2013 at 4:26 am //

    The cover that appeals to me most is the cover of Isaac Asimov’s I Robot: to obey. I find it very eye-catching and quite intriguing. That said, however, the book I most want to read is Alastair Reynolds’ On the Steel Breeze, mostly because I just finished his Blue Remembered Earth and really liked it.

    The cover for Stephen Baxter’s Proxima is, well, not as intriguing. Also, I tried reading one of his books a while back and discovered that his style just isn’t my thing.

  2. Harry Blanchard // August 10, 2013 at 10:04 am //

    How about artist names?

  3. I really like the Proxima one.

  4. The I, Robot cover appeals to me most visually. The Alastair Reynolds book is the one I would most like to read, just because I like his writing best of the three. (Actually, I don’t think I’ve ever read Reichert, but the fact that this one is set in someone else’s universe makes me not want to try it as a first taste of Reichert’s work.)

  5. I’d probably go with the Proxima cover, although they are all quite good.

  6. Proxima appeals to me the most.

  7. I love the Reichert cover (although I’ve mainly read her epic fantasy novels), but the Stephen Baxter has the most intriguing description (I’ve loved some of his books, and hated others)

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