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Shanna’s Road Journal | It’s All About the Cover…Changing Roles, Beautiful Art
Shanna's Road Journal / October 27, 2010

At FenCon last month, one of the more interesting panels I attended was about cover art. I’ve been lucky in the covers for my books, but I’ve done my share of mocking the covers that aren’t so great, as well as the cover trends that get out of control. In fact, my Halloween costume a couple of years ago was a Generic Urban Fantasy Book Cover. A group of artists who have worked on book covers discussed some of the trends in science fiction and fantasy book covers, as well as where book covers may be going in the age of e-books. David Lee Anderson said when he entered the business in the early 80s, most cover art was representative, depicting scenes and characters from the books in a realistic way. “This was what science fiction people expected.” Starting in the late 1990s, the trend shifted to vague representation. John Picacio said these covers are more enigmatic, giving a sense of the spirit of the book rather than literally representing anything from the book. Brad Foster said the more symbolic art is often easier for the artist because it may take going through the entire manuscript to get all the…