Apr 7, 2010

Covering Covers: The Evolutionary Void - Peter F. Hamilton

Late this summer, Peter F. Hamilton, "Britain's Number One Science Fiction Writer," completes his latest trilogy with the release of The Evolutionary Void, out August 31st in the US and September 10th in the UK.  Regardless of whether or not that moniker is true, there is no denying that Hamilton is one of the premiere SF authors writing today. I was browsing the Del Rey summer/fall catalog and I was impressed by the US cover so I thought I would share it here along with the UK cover art for reference. 

Cover Artist: John Harris                       Cover Artist: Steve Stone 

Atypically, I would have to say that the US cover is vastly superior. Mostly because of the sharpness of the image and the clean feel of the text. The UK cover's text looks like bad WordArt from an old edition of MS Word. The Peter F. Hamilton is a little large on the US cover but I love the vibrant yellow color and the tear away view of a space scene. It's fairly generic but still stunning. You aren't going to get a Hamilton novel without some sign that its Science Fiction. I think the US cover is superior compositionally as well. Regardless of which one I find more pleasing, I think both are successful in the respect that they communicate the core message: this is an SF novel by Peter F. Hamilton with SPACESHIPS!

And this trend of cover art isn't restricted to just the third volume, here are side by side comparisons of The Dreaming Void and The Temporal Void, Books 1 and 2 in the Void Trilogy. John Harris is the cover artist for all three US covers and Jim Burns is responsible for the first and second UK editions. There is something about the UK covers that just looks rough. It might be the font or the sharpness of the image, I'm not sure but I like the US covers much better. The US covers are also more cohesive looking.

I think the US wins hands down but I'm trying to build a poll for this to see what you readers think.

On a related note, I never realized that John Harris was responsible for so many of my favorite SF covers. Ender's Game, Old Man's War, a few Jack McDevitt and Allen Steele covers. Check out the full list here.

Unfortunately a detailed description of The Evolutionary Void was not available.


  1. No way, Yeti. The UK covers are the bees' knees. Can't say I'm taken with the Stateside artwork at all. Generic is right.

    Of course, beauty, eyes, beholders... all that.

  2. I gotta agree with Niall, UK rocks, but I am a Hamilton fan boy. Saying that the US ones are generic is kind to them, plus they really don't fit the content at all, unlike the UK ones :)

    As for detailed description, I've got the full and lengthy synopsis on my blog (on the iPhone so can't paste a link, sorry!), although Peter has told me that it will likely be changed due to the length of it.

    Also, hate to be a pain, but the new UK cover is done by Steve Stone rather than Jim Burns whodid the first two.

  3. at least get the names right of the cover artists you absolute imbecile.Do you need me to tie your shoelaces aswell?

  4. I do need help tying my shoes! Now if only you hadn't hid behind that Anonymous username I would know what genius to ask for help.

    Whatever am I to do...


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