Fairyland by Paul J McAuley uses a holographic foil and irridescent cover stock; The Separation by Christopher Priest uses an uncoated stock and a deboss; and Hyperion by Dan Simmons uses a spot varnish over black. […]
From a quick browse of a few online sci-fi forums it looks like existing readers aren’t overjoyed at the new look, but that’s really not the point â€” these covers are designed to reach out to a new audience who wouldn’t dream of picking up the standard sci-fi book.
There are eight in the series, produced in-house by Emma Wallace, with a brief that was simply ‘do what you want, but bring them to a new audience’. She’s done that in spades.
Jacob and I are sort of design snobs, so this new vision is welcome as far as we’re concerned. He suggests that there are likely many peopleâ€”sci-fans includedâ€”who are turned away by fantasy-art-style covers, despite that the article suggests that “existing readers” prefer the old look. As he pointed out to me, though, there’s probably a big overlap between the readers who like such covers and the readers who frequent sci-fi book forums. I wonder, then, who will really be attracted by this new approach: the less hardcore (or less “faithful”) SF fans, or those who typically wouldn’t even have read SF in the first place?