Posts Categorized: Cover Art

THIS RIVER AWAKENS by Steven Erikson

What is this. I don’t even… It’s a placeholder, right? Should even placeholder covers be this bad? I mean, I know it’s not a Malazan novel (can you imagine?), or even Fantasy, but this is bad by any genre’s standards.

All I can think of is this.

THE WIND THROUGH THE KEYHOLE by Stephen King

I still don’t think we need another Dark Tower novel, but… holy wow. Beautiful.

EDIT: Courtesy Suvudu, we now have a synopsis!

For readers new to The Dark Tower, THE WIND THROUGH THE KEYHOLE is a stand-alone novel, and a wonderful introduction to the series. It is a story within a story, which features both the younger and older gunslinger Roland on his quest to find the Dark Tower. Fans of the existing seven books in the series will also delight in discovering what happened to Roland and his ka tet between the time they leave the Emerald City and arrive at the outskirts of Calla Bryn Sturgis.

This Russian Doll of a novel, a story within a story, within a story, visits Mid-World’s last gunslinger, Roland Deschain, and his ka-tet as a ferocious storm halts their progress along the Path of the Beam. (The novel can be placed between Dark Tower IV and Dark Tower V.) Roland tells a tale from his early days as a gunslinger, in the guilt ridden year following his mother’s death. Sent by his father to investigate evidence of a murderous shape shifter, a “skin man,” Roland takes charge of Bill Streeter, a brave but terrified boy who is the sole surviving witness to the beast’s most recent slaughter. Roland, himself only a teenager, calms the boy by reciting a story from the Book of Eld that his mother used to read to him at bedtime, “The Wind through the Keyhole.” “A person’s never too old for stories,” he says to Bill. “Man and boy, girl and woman, we live for them.” And stories like these, they live for us.

As Wizard & Glass (the best volume of the series) was also a story-within-a-story… I’m kinda even more intrigued now.

THE HEROES  by Joe Abercrombie (Trade) BEST SERVED COLD  by Joe Abercrombie (Trade)

Photography by Michael Frost; Photo Illustration by Gene Mollica

Orbit’s had a few swings at the plate now with Abercrombie’s series (this is the third cover they’ve done for Best Served Cold, each vastly different from the other eg. 1 // 2). How’d they do this time? Well, I appreciate that they took a standard image of a badass dude™/badass chick™ and tilting expectations a bit by cropping in tight on the characters; but it works much better on The Heroes with the abstract arm, and less well on Best Served Cold, with the pretty leather-clad girl. One of my major issues with featuring characters on a cover, especially photo-realistic characters and models, is that rarely do they match the image in my head or, really, the characteristics of the person they’re supposed to convey. Abercrombie’s novels are known for their nihilism and no-holds-bar approach to the scum of humanity and the terrible things we can do when we feel justified; the girl on the cover of Best Served Cold just can’t capture the ruthlessness of Monza (the protagonist of Best Served Cold) or the proper tone of Abercrombie’s novels. The tight, blood-spattered sword, however, hits it out of the park. Strange that they didn’t go similarly abstract for both covers.

Still not in the realm of the UK covers, but the best stuff Orbit’s done for the series by quite a mile. Lauren Panepinto, creative director at Orbit Books, and Abercrombie have both posted some interesting reactions/thoughts to the covers on their respective blogs.