Frequent readers will recall that the talented Marcelo Orsi Blanco designed the cover for my space pirate novel Nethereal.
As you can probably tell just by looking, Marcelo's cover was a smash hit. Several readers told me that they decided to buy the novel based solely on his cover art.
I was justifiably ecstatic when Marcelo agreed to design the cover for the next Soul Cycle book, Souldancer.
Whereas Nethereal is a space opera romp with undercurrents of horror, I wrote Souldancer to do what every good sequel does: expand on themes that were only implicit in its predecessor.
My goal was to heighten the sense of horror and wonder by unveiling many of the cosmic mysteries hinted at in the first book, all without sacrificing the action and adventure that's made the series fun.
A deeper story presents new design challenges.
To be honest, I didn't envy Marcelo. An SF-horror novel really just needs a cool, menacing-looking ship on the front. Coming up with a cover that conveys the mood, tone, and general themes of a more complex and metaphysical book like Souldancer presents a much bigger challenge.
I had faith in Marcelo's skills, and he more than proved himself equal to the task. Here are his rough concept sketches for Souldancer.
Only one sketch will be chosen.
Which of the two designs above will serve as the basis for the final cover?
That's right. I'm doing my modest part to transfer power from NY publishers to the readers by putting Souldancer's cover to a popular vote.
You're invited to participate in the A/B test already in progress here. The sketch that has the most votes at midnight CST tonight will be made into the official cover.
Cover A or Cover B? It's your call. Make your voice heard!