It's finally done. It was a lot of work, collecting suggestions, scouring the 2013 release lists, deciding which covers to include, narrowing it down and finally, coming up with an actual Top Ten list of Book Covers for 2013. This is the first year I'm doing this, but I hope I can make this an annual thing, which I suppose will depend on how many people agree with my choices and thus decide to follow my blog and read my rants and generally feed my ego.
By far the hardest thing was to track down who the artist was in the majority of the cases. I failed to do so in one case.
A few words about the list: I included only novels, novellas and anthologies. So no comic books or magazines. I didn't include any books published in December 2012, though beginning next year, I will start from December 2013 for the 2014 list. I tried to link to each book's Amazon page, each artist's portfolio and each publisher's website. I didn't always succeed in finding them. I (of course) didn't include any of my own covers.
If you find an omission, please let me know.
Artist: Matthew Woodson Author: Alex Sargeant Publisher: Black Hill Press
Ryan Singer sits on the edge of that terrible time in everyone’s life when they realize they’ve either already started their career or need to. Ryan tries his best to navigate this world where awkwardness, New Media, science fiction, love, drugs and intrigue all slam together with hilarious and tragic consequences.
Artist: Chris Walker Author: Eli Wilde Publisher: Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing
When he was a very young child, Evan Jameson believed in angels. He thought they were watching out for him, protecting more than merely his innocence, he thought they were supposed to stop bad people from doing bad things to him. After his family moved house and he went to school for the first time, he started to believe in monsters. Seeing them each day as they cruelled their way through his formative years, he realised angels were not looking out for him after all. And God too, He seemed to be looking out for someone other than Evan. Despite the sun searing images of his childhood nightmares into his mind like a laser etched from hell, Evan managed to hide them from his conscience, never gazing upon them until he was older and his first child was born. Even then, it was not until he felt the first urge to cruel his baby son that he began to search for reasons why. What he revealed when he gazed into his dark past, was not only the reason why he could become a monster, but also the reason why he awakened each day wanting to end his life.
Lyn works at an isolated roadside diner. When a retired combat veteran stages an assault there her world is turned upside down. Surviving the sniper’s bullets is only the beginning of Lyn's nightmare. Navigating hostilities, she establishes herself as the disputed leader of a diverse group of people that are at odds with the situation and each other. Will she - or anyone else - survive the attack?
The Lost is stories of hope, tragedy, and the people the world turns away from. From a young woman struggling with addiction to a streetwise Santa looking out for his friends, these stories range from literary to magical realism. The Lost is an anthology of stories that confront issues of homelessness and the people our society ignores.
Thousands of years in the future, the division between the sexes is entrenched, turning to warfare. Many technologies are lost and much history forgotten, but gynogenesis (by which two women may have a child) is becoming the scientific foundation for the Empire of Her Majesty, Berenice I. Amidst the haunted marshes of outlying Essex, the routine and romance of homes and offices in the Surrey heartland, and the crumbling feudal heritage of Lundin town, the action unfolds like the panorama from a stagecoach window.
Jane is a sixteen-year-old civil servant under Her Majesty. Sent to audit the spoils of battle, she falls for Captain Modesty Clay, precipitating a maelstrom of events that force her to grow up fast, and in which she catches the eye of the Empress herself.
Mary's life is going fine. Except for being a freshman in high school. And having anxiety attacks. And her dad having no job. So, introduce one boy who can fly, kidnap the little brother she's supposed to be babysitting, and drop a military quarantine on her town and that should make her anxiety completely disappear, right? Wrong.
Seventy-year-old Gerald Forsyth dreads Halloween. Every year, on October 31st, a lone child has knocked on his door – a nightmarish reminder of a tragedy from Gerald’s past. As each Halloween came and went, Gerald has been able to keep his door locked and the monstrous memory at bay, but the ravages of emphysema have left him a disgruntled and feeble-minded old man. When a new hospice nurse named Kelli arrives unexpectedly to replace his regular nurse on Halloween night, Gerald is caught unawares and before he can warn her, Kelli is inviting the threat into his home. The horrors that unfold will be no trick and the only treat the child will accept is the old man’s soul. Before the night ends, Gerald will have no choice but to bring his dark secret into the light.
Artist: Superbrothers Author: Austin Grossman Publisher: Mulholland Books
When Russell joins Black Arts games, brainchild of two visionary designers who were once his closest friends, he reunites with an eccentric crew of nerds hacking the frontiers of both technology and entertainment. In part, he's finally given up chasing the conventional path that has always seemed just out of reach. But mostly, he needs to know what happened to Simon, his strangest and most gifted friend, who died under mysterious circumstances soon after Black Arts' breakout hit.
As the company's revolutionary next-gen game is threatened by a software glitch, Russell finds himself in a race to save his job, Black Arts' legacy, and the people he has grown to care about. The deeper Russell digs, the more dangerous the glitch appears--and soon, Russell comes to realize there's much more is at stake than just one software company's bottom line.
9. Earth Thirst
Artist: Cody Tilson Author: Mark Teppo Publisher: Night Shade Books
The Earth is dying. Humanity — over-breeding, over-consuming — is destroying the very planet they call home. Multinational corporations despoil the environment, market genetically modified crops to control the food supply, and use their wealth and influence and private armies to crush anything, and anyone, that gets in the way of their profits. Nothing human can stop them. But something unhuman might. Once they did not fear the sun. Once they could breathe the air and sleep where they chose. But now they can rest only within the uncontaminated soil of Mother Earth—and the time has come for them to fight back against the ruthless corporations that threaten their immortal existence.
They are the last guardians of paradise, more than human but less than angels. They call themselves the Arcadians. We know them as vampires. . .
10. The One-Eyed Man
Artist: John Jude Palencar Author: L. E. Modesitt, Jr. Publisher: Tor Books
The colony world of Stittara is no ordinary planet. For the interstellar Unity of the Ceylesian Arm, Stittara is the primary source of anagathics: drugs that have more than doubled the human life span. But the ecological balance that makes anagathics possible on Stittara is fragile, and the Unity government has a vital interest in making sure the flow of longevity drugs remains uninterrupted, even if it means uprooting the human settlements.
Offered the job of assessing the ecological impact of the human presence on Stittara, freelance consultant Dr. Paulo Verano jumps at the chance to escape the ruin of his personal life. He gets far more than he bargained for: Stittara’s atmosphere is populated with skytubes—gigantic, mysterious airborne organisms that drift like clouds above the surface of the planet. Their exact nature has eluded humanity for centuries, but Verano believes his conclusions about Stittara may hinge on understanding the skytubes’ role in the planet’s ecology—if he survives the hurricane winds, distrustful settlers, and secret agendas that impede his investigation at every turn.