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Letters from Proxima Thule

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The Habitation of the Blessed Cover
prester john
catvalente
It's not Ghost Rider, I swear!

I'm SUPER curious about y'all's reaction to this--do you like it, does it make you want to buy it, is it evocative? Opinion me, O Livejournal!



The first thing I thought when I saw the picture on my friendlist, before reading who posted it, was "RPG sourcebook"

First thing: I feel like the artist used Jonathan Rhys-Meyers as his model. If that guy's supposed to be Greek... um. I personally am not really seeing it. I mean, I like Jonathan Rhys-Meyers, but.

Second thing: the text for "Habitation" and "Blessed" seems really blurry. I'd prefer a sharper look. Personally I'd also drop the "Volume One".

The fact that your name is outside the inner border and Windling's quote is inside throws me a bit. Could they make it two lines and shift the quote outside the border? Or something, IDK. Your name just seems crowded out and like they had to throw it up there to even fit it in the space.

On looking at it, he does have rather large hands, doesn't he.

I like the illumination, and I like winged-chick, but it is way too crowded.

My assumption from the cover would be that he summoned her from the book, in which case I'd probably have preferred a cover where he is reading it and she is emerging from it, but with one of them basically shadowy (either one would be fine). If that's not actually the case...

As for whether I'd buy it... just from the cover, no. If I saw you'd written it, maybe. But there are other books of yours I've yet to read, and I'd probably look for them first, to be honest.

I don't hate it, but it wouldn't encourage me to buy the book if I didn't already know your work. Knowing your work, I would buy the book regardless of what the cover art is....but I suppose, here, that the issue is whether or not the cover art will attract new readers to your work - it's possible. It might well attract people who tend to buy books based on that style of cover art who have not previously picked up your books.

Huzzah and hello! I finally created a livejournal account so I can be a part of the conversation here! I agree with bodlon that the art has a nice luminous quality, but, as limabeanbreath said, it looks YA. I think it looks very young. I guess the artist went for a stained glass window rather than the Medieval manuscript look? And umm, I like the colors?

Look, essentially I heart you and your writing and I want your covers to appeal to everyone so that everyone will buy and read your books. I just don't think this is good enough.

You are awesome and I feel bad leaving yet another negative comment, but, yeah, it's too busy for my taste. Like, if I had just seen the art by itself, as a piece of art in and of itself, I would have found it very pretty, but as cover art, it feels too busy. Also, it took me more than one try to know what the title was, so I think the font is difficult to read, though I get what you were going for. It feels sort of like an ARC or fanzine-y. Also, the title is so long that maybe you need simpler art in order to let people process that title. I'm glad you fought against your characters being whitewashed, though! That's really admirable.

I'm glad you fought against your characters being whitewashed, though! That's really admirable.

Or, you know, just the basic decent thing I'd hope anyone in her shoes would do.

One of the negatives for the online world may be that when this cover is in a smaller, thumbnail form, neither the title nor the author name are legible. See here for example, and compare with the other cover images on that page.

What's odd is that Night Shade are usually quite obsessive about putting the title lettering in more readable fonts in front of more solid colors--Jay Lake's Trial/Madness of Flowers are just the start of a long list of their titles I could name. And it's a style used by the two Orphan's Tales books to good effect as well.

They clearly seem to be trying to push these books into more traditional high-volume epic fantasy territory (although that makes the Windling quote quite odd: does she have epic fantasy street cred?), but I wonder if that really works--they did that for Nathalie Mallet's Princes of the Golden Cage (which was much closer to that traditional epic type of book than I imagine yours will be), and while I don't know what its sales were, it's certainly not a book that achieved a great deal of traction: what were sales of the recent sequel like?

Granted, my personal artistic ideal would be for something more like The Grass Cutting Sword, with an image like your Prester John LJ icon and very subtle gloss-on-matte map stuff going on in the dark parts. I like teh sophisticated minimalism.

I would have preferred that, too. The ways of these things are mysterious.

YES! Hooray for a cover with ART on it instead of photography!

I appreciate the art of photography, but I MISS good old-fashioned fantasy art on covers. Love it.

Pretty art but I think the fonts need work. Your name fades in the background and the letters for the title are a little distracting and hard to read so I might not bother to read the title. The hands on the book are a little distracting and the cover seems a little generic for fantasy.... Pretty but I'm not sure that I would stop to pick the book up. If the words Prester John were a little more noticeable, I might pick it up though but that bit is easy to skip....

I like the floaty hennaed you in the background!

I have to agree with whomever said it looked like the standard late 80's/early 90's fantasy book cover. If I was just browsing in a book store and didn't know anything about the book I would probably pass it over. Sorry =/ I would probably feel kind of embarrassed to be seen in public with a book with that cover (but I feel embarrassed about a lot of things, so I don't know if it matters)

Luckily, the cover doesn't deter me now, since I know what book it is! :D

Sorry, this wouldn't interest me visually at all. Especially the point an earlier commenter made about being smacked with the 'blessed' in the title.
Although I have to admit the line from Sooj's 'We are Shangri-la' got me curious about Prester John, of whom I had never heard except for matociquala and co's offhand remarks. Research followed, so if I didn't pick it up because I couldn't see it was your work, the subtitle might have caught my eye.
But ya know what they say about books and their covers, and at least his head's not on fire. . .

Love the artwork, but not so keen on the size of title. I'd drop it a few points and make the sub-title banner a bit bigger. It's a Prester John book, that's it's selling point after all. Plus the capital B doesn't really look good at that font size, it looks blobby and mucks up the image composition.

I'm not a fan of the cover (for reasons that others have already stated), but in all honesty, the biggest problem is the size of your name and the size of the Windling pull-quote, which would be the biggest draws on the front cover even if you'd landed Charles Vess as the cover artist.

My husband (and I) both felt it looked like a graphic novel cover. A second look at the art makes clear that the art is nice -- but the gestalt looks semi-pro.

And the type? Too much. It's actually hard to read. The banner for Prester John is nice and clean, but the Habitation of the Blessed, not so much.

I am looking at this with a friend of mine who has done graphic work. I asked her opinion and she thinks he looks super creepy - like one of the school shooters. She also says it's overall too dark. I think his hands look fucked up and don't understand teh feather boa curled up behind his head? Graphic friend says that it looks too modeled in places where itmaybe ought to be detailed - needs details to pop. She also says that the font is somewhat difficult to read. I do want to read this book, but if I did not know anything about it, I'm not sure that this cover would make me more interested in it. Plus, your name needs to be bigger, bb