The Geomancer


Big Cover Art Roundup

The folks at SFSignal have another brilliant Mind Meld discussion up. This one asks, "What do you feel is the primary purpose of a book cover: To accurately reflect the story or to visually 'sell' the book? How do you balance these two ideas when creating a cover?" Answers come from such noted artists as Bob Eggleton, Bruce Jensen, Irene Gallo, John Picacio, Boris Vallejo, Dave Seeley, Todd Lockwood, Dan Dos Santos and Glen Orbik. All the responses well worth reading, though I'm struck by this line from Picacio: "The most invigorating stuff rises to the challenge and still explores that fertile place where the signs of the times and the signals of the story converge."

And on the subject of cover art, here's the full jacket to the forthcoming Stalking the Vampire: A Fable of Tonight. Artwork by Dan Dos Santos, design by our own Nicole Sommer-Lecht.
What do you think?


  1. That is a wonderful cover! I especially like the background and the way the cover is reversed on the back. First my eye is drawn to the man - then it wants to read all of the posters. I'm not a vampire fan usually (although there have been a couple of short stories I've read and liked) and I don't usually read Mike Resnick (my hubby likes him though!) but I just might have to read this one.

    Thanks Lou!

  2. The best part has to be the blurbs. (Thanks! :))

    I've read a couple of Resnick's John Justin Mallory stories and this artwork captures the mood quite nicely. I like the overall design, and how the background wall is faded to offer contrast to the title, though I think it might be even better if the title were not transparent at all. Even so, looking at his makes me want to pull out my old (still unread) copy of STALKING THE UNICORN to read it in preparation.

  3. Hey, thank you both.
    Ces - I'm not typically a vampire fan either, but this isn't exactly your usual vampire book, by a long shot.
    John - the title has a shadow cast across it, not on it. See the new Unicorn cover for how the catgirl moves in front of that title.
    But yeah, I like the whole pulp/ Bmovie feel. And the posters all have references to the actual story too.

  4. Ah - I see it now. I saw the shadow lines on the logo and assumed transparency, plus the lettering looks textured in the image which I mistook for the wall showing through.

  5. I read "Stalking the Unicorn" and before that, a Mallory story which prompted me to to read Unicorn.

    I think the cover evokes Mallory very well, especially as a gumshoe in a fantasy world.

  6. OK, another book to add to my ToRead pile. Sigh. It's supposed to get smaller (indicating that I've actually read some of it) - not bigger.

  7. Smaller, you say? When do they ever get smaller?

    And Paul - glad you approve as one who knows Mallory!

  8. OK - book ordered from Amazon.

    Smaller. Hmmm. Maybe when I die it'll get smaller. Of course, knowing me, I'll take it with me.

    I did just finish Silverberg's "Son of Man" though.

  9. OK, John warned me that the book was very sexual & psychedelic. So with that in mind, I read it.

    I found the various zones very interesting & very definitely different. I’m not sure which son of man I’d like to be though. Here’s what I sent John: “Having been born in 1950, and being 21 when it was copyrighted (1971) & having had an exciting time in Frisco in the summers of 1967 & 1968 (although I have never done drugs, haven’t even ever smoked marijuana) I found the book very familiar & in a way comforting. The sexuality didn’t bother me – that’s the way people were then. Nor did the psychedelic-ness of it. He definitely is a good wordsmith although some of his sentences just seemed to ramble, very much like the atmosphere of the time he probably wrote it in ….. It’s definitely not Majipoor Chronicles!"

    I liked it!

  10. For me it's bits like the enormous godlike thing, all by itself on the weirdly flat plane, that haunt - images that are so alien you can't know what they mean or how they could possibly relate to anything we here and now could find our way to.

  11. Yup. And there are lots of those bits too. The one that was the least alien to me was the robot & its world - there's a robot in Frisco's Exploratorium that I thought of immediately when I got there.