Rachel Neumeier

Fantasy and Young Adult Fantasy Author

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How many bad Vorkosigan covers can there be?

Here at tor.com, a post that takes a look at Memory.

Ellen Cheeseman-Meyer says, “The tradition in this reread blog is that we kick off the new book by examining some book covers. What does Memory have in store for us?”

And then we see many covers of Memory, for all kinds of different editions. And . . . drumroll . . . all of them are bad. She doesn’t say so. The badness of all the covers is my personal judgment. She says she loves the Czech cover. As a piece of artwork, so do I. As a representation of Miles or a cover for Memory, I think it’s dreadful. “Honors the story’s emotional heart”? Maaaaybe, but . . . no, not seeing it.

Click through and take a look. Which is the worst cover? Hard to choose. Which is the best? Do any seem to hit the mark to you?

And, bravely asking the important questions, I feel compelled to ask: Is there actually a curse laid on this series so that it’s impossible for any Vorkosigan book to actually have a good cover?

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6 Comments How many bad Vorkosigan covers can there be?

  1. Kootch

    Lol, you’re so right, Rachel! I had a quick google and all the covers in the Vorkosigan series are not very good. Well, maybe Cryoburn? The thing is, I never noticed! The first Vorkosigan book I read was “Shards of Honor” and I liked Cordelia and Aral so much I read all LMB’s books, good cover or no (although I liked the “Curse of Chalion” and “Paladin of Souls” covers).

  2. Evelyn M. Hill

    The cover for The Civil Campaign made me furious. A tall, dark and handsome man in a military uniform smiling down at a simpering blond. About as far as you can get from the actual characters.

    Speaking of which, I just got to see the cover of my book. Say what you will about Harlequin, their art department goes to a great deal of effort to represent the characters on the cover–right down to the kitten in my case :)

    If they can do it, why can’t the Vorkosigan publishers? Especially since she’s got to be one of their most popular authors.

    p.s. The Chalion cover always worried me. They’re going to gallop those poor horses off a cliff!

  3. Rachel

    Kootch, luckily everyone agrees with you about ignoring the covers and enjoying the books. But how ridiculous is it — as Evelyn says — that such a popular author gets such terrible covers?

    I’ve always been okay with the Chalion cover. I guess I always just assumed they would stop. However, now that I go and look again . . . I must admit, it does look a whole lot like they’re going to go over that cliff. Goodness. Not so wonderful with the cover design there.

    Evelyn, you mean your forthcoming His Forgotten Fiancee? That is a good cover. Also, the kitten is a wonderful touch. Being fully clothed and petting a kitten definitely makes your male lead stand out among the shirtless guys that adorn so many romance covers. And I like the way the woman is standing so close to the guy, but without touching him.

  4. Evelyn M. Hill

    Thank you, Rachel. I’m so glad they included the kitten and that my hero got to keep his clothes on. Though with an inspirational romance I’d be surprised if he was showing off his abs. I think romance novels would get a lot more respect if most of the covers weren’t so cringe-worthy.

  5. Kootch

    Totally agree with Evelyn on the “Civil Campaign” cover. My copy of “Chalion” has the castle in the distance and the crow in the foreground, so more in keeping with the tenor of the book. I googled the cover with the horses; I will be charitable and assume that they just stopped short of going over the cliff. But it was the two girls who did the cross-country ride so this image is not even in keeping with the book. Anyway, it was fun looking back at the covers and cringing.

  6. Rachel

    Kootch, I actually re-read most of The Curse of Chalion after taking it off the shelf just to look at the cover. Because Bujold is just like that.

    Evelyn, the kitten is incredibly distinctive and also alluring. I’m sure that cover will be an asset.

    I know most of the Shirtless Hunk covers are just to signal This Is A Romance, which they do, but I do agree they probably encourage many people to dismiss the genre.

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