The Killing Moon by N.K. Jemisin The Shadowed Sun by N.K. Jemisin

Since the release of her first novel, The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, N.K. Jemisin’s been nominated for the Hugo, Locus, Nebula and World Fantasy awards. It’s a tremendous novel (see my REVIEW), but I also think a lot of its success can be attributed to some of the early excitement and speculation created by the release of the gorgeous cover. Of course, cover art is never used as a metric when nominating for or judging these awards, but the novel gained some significant buzz among the blogosphere that likely wouldn’t have existed (especially for a debut novelist without much in the way of published short fiction) if not for the striking work of designer Lauren Panepinto and artist Cliff Nielsen.

I like these covers for much the same reason as Jemisin’s previous colour: impactful use of colour. As they stand (and this could very well change between now and the final polished versions), I feel that the typeface seems a little out of place, though I like that it’s been kept simple (instead of something like this, for instance). It could also be solved by using a foil-technique (as Orbit used on the paperback of Brent Weeks’ The Black Prism, also seen on the recent paperback release of Towers of Midnight by Brandon Sanderson and Robert Jordan), which generally looks sharp. In all, it’s a niggling complaint and I can’t wait to see the final copies in hand. Just as with The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, I’m bloody excited for these novels based on the covers alone without even knowing what they’re about. I can’t think of higher praise for the designer/artist.

  • Bets Davies October 12, 2011 at 11:50 am

    Beautiful art indeed. I agree covers do make a difference in the buzz that then garners other attention. The type is starkly out of place. The images are so museum perfect in their integration of elements, the words look odd and intrusive. If a border around the words was created, perhaps, out of the image that therefore tied in the words within it might work better. You tend towards realistic art, don’t you? Stuart Downing is a great artist, but tends towards an integration of anime-esque elements.

  • […] events in The Riyria Revelations. You can find the Kindle edition ($0.99) here. -Aidan posted the covers for the upcoming duology by N.K. Jemison. -Suvudo posted an interview with David Anthony Durham. […]