Echo City by Tim Lebbon (US cover)


Echo City by Tim Lebbon (UK cover)

I first stumbled upon Echo City when I ran across the wonderful cover for the US edition, published by Bantam Spectra. I didn’t know anything about the novel, I’d never read anything by Lebbon, but I was instantly drawn to the obviously post-apocalyptic image.

When I heard that the UK edition, published by Orbit Books was going to sport a different cover, I was a little dismayed. Why would they mess with a good thing? My fears were proved unnecessary when I finally got a glimpse of the UK cover and found it to be, if not better, equally bold and attractive. Both feature similar aspects, but the swapped colour palettes both lend a different feel to the post-apocalyptic world. It’s rare that a novel will change covers between regions and manage to be effective in both cases. Lebbon lucked out, big time.

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  • James January 24, 2011 at 4:46 pm

    I bought this a few weeks ago because I could have sworn I was seeing positive discussion and good reviews for it. Then I got home and was unable to find more than the occasional post about it, so I am both mistaken and clearly imagining things.

    Both covers are striking. I am tempted to lean towards the US, because the color scheme appeals to me, as does the placement of the title. However, the city feels out of place and reminds me of a generic science fiction cityscape (for good reason) and that does a lot to detract from my overall opinion of it. The UK cover is well done though. No, the colors and titling do not reach out and grab me, but the bone-strewn wastes are a nice touch and the city does not stick out like a sore thumb. Plus, I think the Erikson quote is a much better blurb than the US cover’s “Bram Stoker Award-winning author of a book I have never heard of.” and may serve to sell a few more copies. But, certainly, both covers are very nice and I would pick either of them up in a heartbeat (and have, for that matter).

    This is my current read and, at around a hundred pages in, I am still trying to decide if I like it or not. There hasn’t been anything to turn me off of it just yet, so that is good news.

  • JamesY January 25, 2011 at 1:11 am

    The only Lebbon work I have read is the short story that appears in the ‘Swords ad Dark Magic’ anthology, and I really enjoyed it. I fully intend to buy Echo City as it is set in the same universe.

    As for a cover, I also prefer the UK edition. I find the US edition cover is overly dominated by the foreground, distrcating too much from the distant city. Furthermore, as a big fan of Erikson, I’d be curious to read a book he would be happy to endorse as opposed to a fantasy novel from a horror writer, award winner or not.

  • Rob B January 25, 2011 at 6:45 am

    Both covers are very nice. You know, Lebbon’s a writer I should have been reading for years. My pal Hobbit (aka Mark Y) at SFFWORLD has read through a substantial portion of his work, including his Noreela sequence begun with Dusk and has had nothing but good things to say about the books.

    This book seems as good as any to give him atry.