Saturday, August 15 2015

Dear L. Neil Smith,

Next time, ask the publisher to spend more than $1 on cover design. The current cover for Taflak Lysandra will not sell to people who aren’t already looking for your more obscure works.

51IppMoEcoL SX331 BO1 204 203 200

At least on the original cover, in which Elsie was drawn rather than pasted from cheap 3D software, the artist actually skimmed the book and understood that she was a petite blonde wearing an environment suit and carrying a sidearm, not Lara Croft in a Victoria’s Secret “encounter” suit toting a blaster bigger than she is. Seriously, she’s what, 14? [Update: 15, and considers herself a shapeless maybe-never-bloomer, especially compared to the other human female around]

(admittedly, she’s also supposed to be dark-skinned, being a test-tube baby with a healthy percentage of Australian aborigine in the mix, but whitening your hero on the cover was a definite thing back in the Eighties, so I doubt the original artist had a choice)

Also, I haven’t the slightest idea what she’s shooting at on the new cover, but I can instantly recognize both of the other characters on the original.

(and damned if I didn’t spend half an hour searching the house for my copy, and I still can’t figure out why I can’t find it; I know for a fact that I’ve seen it in the past few years, because I remember opening it up and reading a chapter)

And, yes, the new cover for Brightsuit MacBear is only less ridiculous because it at least looks like an environment suit of some kind, as imagined by someone completely unfamiliar with the book and the universe it’s set in. Still scraping the bottom of the barrel for cheap 3D cut-and-paste.

[Update: a reread reminds me that Mac and Elsie shouldn’t be the same age. Elsie was 9 in Tom Paine Maru (276 AL), and Mac’s father was alive and well. Brightsuit takes place in 283 AL, if Pemot is being precise, which works for Elsie but not Mac.]