Five Types Of Covers I See In Sci-fi

Update:  It appears that since the move from blogger to WordPress a lot of these pictures have gone AWOL.  Sorry about that.  I will slowly work on updating the photos.  Nathan 10/3/13

Ok, one of the disadvantages of reading on the Kindle is I very rarely see covers anymore.  I see a small picture when I add it to Goodreads, but rarely admire the covers the way I would when holding a paper copy.  So when typing up my review of Ancillary Justice I glanced at the cover from Goodreads.

Two things came to mind.  One, that cover tells me nothing about what the book is actually about.  It looks like a space adventure but that is about as far from the truth as possible.  Two, hey that read ship looks familier!   So I pulled out my copy of ‘The Icarus Hunt’ and saw that maybe not as close as a thought.  Still, same basic style on two very different books types.  Oh, and I picked my next read.  So that worked out.

So I decided to do a post about Sci-fi covers.  It seems to me, and this may be nothing more than my perception, that fantasy has a more diverse range of covers than its futuristic brethren.  Sci-fi, despite its diverse nature, seems to have much more generic covers (fantasy’s current reliance on cloaked men aside).  Not that many of them are not mind blowing awesome, the very nature of the settings make for some amazing visuals.  But if someone hands me a sci-fi book I have figured out that I can pretty much expect one of only a few cover options.  I narrowed them down to five.  Because that is what you do when you are bored.

Originally I was going to rank them in some way based on how accurately they portrayed the story itself. (Hint: for most of them, not at all).  But I realized that was more work than I wanted to put in.  So instead I am just going to throw a bunch of covers up.Spaceship & Landscapes – The default.  Space ships or futuristic cities.  To show perspective, add a ship of a different size.  I give this one about a 50% chance of actually conveying what is in the book.
Adiamante   Rendezvous with Rama (Rama, #1)   Leviathan Wakes (Expanse, #1)CryoBurn (Vorkosigan Saga, #14)
Aliens! –  Depending on when the book came out I expect different things.  If I see an alien on the cover of a newer book it is probably a pure and simple space adventure.  On older books however, its a little harder to judge.
Decision at Doona (Doona, #1)     The Judas Solution (Blackcollar, #3)
People with Weapons –  Right there with the aliens.  Not really a separate bullet, though often it is even more in your face and macho.  At least the aliens sometimes look peaceful. 
Ciaphas Cain: Hero of the Imperium  The Far Side of the Stars (Lt. Leary, #3)   Razor's Edge (Star Wars: Empire and Rebellion, #1)
The WTF-  Do they make covers like this anymore?
              Keith Laumer: The Lighter Side
Only the Face! Not sure what to make of this one but it seems to show up a lot.  Just the face.  Perhaps in a visor, but ya.  Only the face. 
Fortune's Pawn (Paradox, #1)       Brass Man (Agent Cormac, #3)       The Forever War (The Forever War, #1)
Admittedly I did not put a lot of thought into this.  Mostly I just googled covers for about an hour, but it was mindless fun for a while.
  What cover style did I miss?  Already one stands out.  The ‘Dune” knockoff, featuring a vast landscape of sand. Too late!  I am done for today.

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