Saturday, August 27, 2016

Two Covers, Separated at Birth

I've been reading N.K. Jemisin's The Fifth Season, which just won the Hugo award last weekend. It's very good so far, and I stopped by my favorite science fiction book store (Uncle Hugo's) to pick up the recently released sequel, The Obelisk Gate.

No problem, it was right there on the shelf. And nearby was another book by another writer. No connection to Jemisin's books. But the covers would make you think they were related:

Google tells me the Tigana cover is a 15th-anniversary edition of that book, which was originally released in 1999. It's not from the same publisher as Jemisin's books. I'm not finding info on the designer of the Tigana cover online; Jemisin's cover is by Wendy Chan.

What's the problem? It's not only the fact that both use the font Trajan (which is also drearily popular on movie posters). It's also the large, enigmatic architectural detail as subject matter, the muted color scheme, the circular shapes.

They're conceptless covers in both cases, too, though I suppose they're harmless compared to the usual dreck that afflicts the genre. But it does make shopping for books a bit confusing.

1 comment:

Gina said...

Fantasy books seem to have gotten into a rut of using covers very similar to these. I've been seeing ads lately for fantasy series that show book covers that you couldn't tell apart, they're so similar. Book covers are supposed to set a book apart on the book shelf, not confuse the customer/reader.