Hugh Howey
Hugh Howey

Bestselling author of Wool and other books. Currently sailing around the world.

Closer?

3 replies to “Closer?”

Hey Hugh, it’s Owen from Watauga Library. Just perusing your site this morning and saw all this about Half Way Home. I didn’t know that you were so far into it- I remember when you mentioned the idea to me here at work.
Now, to get serious- I don’t like this cover at all (to be brutally honest). It’s a great photo for a horror novel or, as someone else said, a crime thriller, but not nearly fantastic enough for a scifi book, specifically the one that you’re working on. I do really like the blue and black cover- the image is amazing, I believe others are calling it the ganglia?- but that one isn’t quite creepy enough. The one that has the perfect balance of the creepy and the fantastic is the swamp cover, but that one looks like the cover to a fantasy story, not a science fiction. Is there a way to scifi it up (and can scifi be used as a verb?)?
Anywho, just my two cents- I guess that’s one of the downsides to having a public forum on stuff like this- you get opinions from everyone, including peons such as myself.
Hope the writing is going well! Look forward to seeing you here at the ‘brary again sometime.
Oh, and I finally finished the Parsona Rescue (loved it). If you’re interested, I reviewed it for our blossoming review blog, waBLAUGa library (great title, right?)
Check it out at wablaugalibrary.blogspot.com

Wow, Owen! Great feedback and awesome review of Parsona Rescue. One of the deepest, most well-written reviews I’ve had. I’ll be spreading the link around, so I think more than “two readers” will get a chance to admire your prose. :)

I’ll work on the cover some more this afternoon. I’ve had the non-sf critique from several people, so I know it’s valid. I wish that image didn’t capture the meat of the book so well. Yes, the premise is science fiction, but really only to explain how they arrive at the planet. From there on, the book is more like a horror fantasy novel, so I think the reason I don’t see the clash is because of my familiarity with the story. Maybe I’m trying to protect younger readers from the language and violence within, I’m not sure. Possibly I’m just captivated by the photography and trying to shoehorn it onto the cover.

Oh, and I’ll drop a copy of Land of Light by on Thursday before the HCW meeting. :)

Well, interestingly enough, you’re on to something with the photography thing. There was a recent article I read in School Library Journal about covers for YA books and the author had determined that more young readers like covers with actual photos on them, not artwork. So photo = good.
I’m going to be honest though and just say that this photo flat out terrifies me. This is a testament to the quality of the photo, for sure, and it may not be such a bad thing in the end because it could have a significant draw for most of the non-wimpy readers out there. And different isn’t necessarily bad when it comes to SF covers- quite the opposite in fact. Case in point- the Land of Light cover is awesome. The right amount of creepy with enough draw to attract a large amount of readers and not turn off the squeamish ones.
So, I dunno, play with the photo, see if you can keep the horror theme but tone it down? Or maybe there’s a similar photo where you could see the person in profile, or even silhouette, but still in the pit- cuz the legs is just freaky, know’m sayin?
And, dost my ears deceive me? A copy of Land of Light? I shall be waiting with baited breath, good sir.

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