Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Science Fiction Cover Art

I was in the bookstore recently and noticed a new Star Wars book. Now, I haven't been following this line, and the cover sure didn't make me want to pick it up, either:
Most of the Star Wars books have been what I would call "iffy" in the cover art department. So I wondered what other awful covers existed out there.

I found several sites that listed bad science fiction covers. Rather than disgrace my blog with a ton of bad art, I'll just give you the links:

IO9 - these are indeed awful!

Cracked - some more questionable covers.

Good Show Sir - and this blog shows nothing but below-average covers.

I've also noticed a trend in covers - main character or characters standing in front of a window or glass. Anyone else noticed this...?

After viewing some of those monstrosities, can you name any science fiction book covers that stunned you with their awfulness?


Helen Ginger said...

The cover for Backlash is rather odd and, I agree, unappealing. What's up with the yellow sky? And I would have thought it would be more exciting. The character holding the light saber doesn't say exciting reading to me.

Straight From Hel

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

Great links, Alex! I'd think they need to rethink some of these covers! I'm tweeting this.


L. Diane Wolfe said...

The ones featured in the first link are AWFUL!!!!!!!!!!!

B. Miller said...

Wow, those on I09 are... wow... I want to call them retro, but even retro doesn't give you license for ridiculousness.

On a slightly related note... I saw the middle book, "The Demolished Man", was written by a man named Alfred Bester... which was the name of Walter Koenig's character in Babylon 5 (the awful psy-cop which came and went as he pleased and had a real love for torturing Mr. Garibaldi). Wow... I never knew they took that name from real life! Cool to notice little things like that.

Thanks, Alex!

Marvin D Wilson said...

That is one butt ugly cover for a sci-fi book!

The Old Silly

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Helen, most of the Star Wars covers are like cardboard cutouts in a bad way.

Thank you, Elizabeth.

Diane, those were THE worst!

Miller, makes you wonder who stole who's name?

Marvin, you took the words right out of my mouth!

Hannah said...

When I was running the science fiction/fantasy section at the Barne, I hated all the Baen covers.

They looked like they were trying to retro but looked campy instead and not good campy.

Adele said...

The thing for me about the star wars covers is that they are kinda cheesy and outdated, but I do kind of like them.

Jemi Fraser said...

I agree - so many scifi covers stink. Frustrating because the books inside are so good :)

DEZMOND said...

I also don't like that STAR WARS cover.
I must admit I like book covers which are done like movie posters (not surprising yes? :)
I generally think that everything in books (from stories, characters, scenes, covers, blurbs...) should be done like in movies - attractive, carefully visualized, imaginative, lush and atmospheric.

Anonymous said...

There are so many generic ones! So many publishers seem to release all their sf books with practically identical pictures of the side of a planet...

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Palin, bad campy is really bad.

Hagelrat, you like the throwback look?

Jemi, I look at cover art first, so stinky artwork means I totally miss a good book.

You tell 'em, Dez! Bet you could do far better covers.

Hampshire, the planet ones come in right behind all those with people standing at windows!

Anonymous said...

I find most book covers boring period. I was fortunate to have my creative nephew desing mine. And I haven't fogotten about your offer. Thanks.

Stephen Tremp

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Great, Stephen! Just send me an email - address is in my profile.