Thursday, 19 January 2012

Zen Cover Art?

The blog is going to look a little odd this week as I get used to being at home an awful lot more and not having all that free time to read on the train. I'm not missing the commute though, I feel a sense of peace that I never felt on the underground... Stick with it though (I am), normal service will hopefully resume in the next day or so when my reading finally catches up with itself. I'm halfway through a lot of things right now :o)

In the meantime, two books arrived yesterday and I thought I'd share the cover art with you (I'm not sure whether I'll be reading them or not). Check em' out...

This isn't the 'Zen cover'. What we have here is a cover that has me wanting to watch 'Empire Strikes Back' whilst eating very large mushrooms at the same time. No idea why ;o) It's all looking very 'alien' and 'sci-fi' and this has got me interested in reading a little more. The only problem is though, I never read the first book (which had a cover that didn't grab me at all). Has anyone read John Meaney's 'Absorption'? What did you think?

Whether cover art is good or bad, if it gets a reaction (and someone picks up the book to see what it's all about) then it's... erm... good cover art, right? The cover art for 'In The Mouth Of The Whale' is neither though. Bland and unimaginative, yet presented with just enough attention to detail so as not to be offensive. What we have here is a cover that falls right in the middle of the spectrum; exciting nobody but not annoying anybody either. We're talking perfect balance, I'm having a 'zen moment' here :o)
Here's the blurb if you're interested,

Fomalhaut was first colonised by the posthuman Quick, who established an archipelago of thistledown cities and edenic worldlets within the star's vast dust belt. Their peaceful, decadent civilisation was swiftly conquered by a band of ruthless, aggressive, unreconstructed humans who call themselves the True, then, a century before, the True beat back an advance party of Ghosts, a posthuman cult which colonised the nearby system of Beta Hydri after being driven from the Solar System a thousand years ago. Now the Ghosts have returned to Fomalhaut, to begin their end game: the conquest of its single gas giant planet, a captured interstellar wanderer far older than the rest of Fomalhaut's system. At its core is a sphere of hot metallic hydrogen with strange and powerful properties based on exotic quantum physics. The Quick believe it is inhabited by an ancient alien Mind; the True believe it can be developed into a weapon, and the Ghosts believe it can be transformed into a computational system so powerful it can reach into their past, collapse timelines, and fulfil the ancient prophecies of their founder.

So... A lot more interesting than the cover suggests, I still think cover art needs to inspire some kind of reaction though. What do you think?


Aoife said...

For a book it get my attention it needs either an interesting cover or a good title...probably it's even much more the title as in bookstores most books that aren't new bestsellers are on the shelfes and you only see the spine and nothing from the cover.
But you're right...that cover is kind of...mediocre. I actually like the picture on its own but as a cover it just tells me nothing what the book could be about.

Carl V. Anderson said...

"Mediocre" is a good description of both covers, but especially the McAuley cover. The cover could have been exactly the same as far as layout, colors, etc. and had the artwork been of a little higher quality it would have had the potential to be quite awesome. Awesome to the point that I would have been tempted to snag it off the shelf immediately. As it is it looks like beginner digital work and is a disappointment.