Book Cover Poll: We Can See the Future

False Memory Design Challenge

In Dan Krokos’s False Memory, a genetically altered band of teens are bred to be the ultimate fighting machines. They may be called the Roses, but don’t let the sweet name fool you. Last week, we shared the story behind the False Memory cover, with its icy shock of blue and large, ominous circuit board hovering over two running forms.

Right now, you have the chance to design your own cover for False Memory—and win a copy of the book professionally printed with your artwork! Need some inspiration? Check out these eight futuristic book covers and tell us: Which one did it best? Vote below!

Cinder - Marissa MeyerCinder, by Marissa Meyer

This novel, set in post-World War IV New Beijing, marries the very new and the very old: it’s an update of the Cinderella fable. With cyborgs.

The elegantly curled letters of the big, bold title treatment read like antique script. It isn’t until you look a little closer and glimpse the faintly outlined machinery inside the cover model’s femur that you realize we’re not in Charles Perrault-ville anymore.

And that red heel? Timeless.


Origin - Jessica KhouryOrigin, by Jessica Khoury

A mysterious blank silhouette of a body contrasts sharply with the vibrant green of Origin‘s Amazon setting. Though the squarish, clinical typeface evokes scientists and laboratories, the lush foliage suggests living, growing things. The juxtaposition perfectly captures the main character’s situation: Pia, the book’s heroine, is a girl created in a lab to be the first in a new, immortal race of humans. She might just be a space-age Eve, in a new Garden of Eden …



Reached - Ally CondieReached, by Ally Condie

Novels about future societies often re-imagine the most basic elements of human life: love, family, death, birth. This cover, with its clean, ultramodern fonts, hints at what childbirth might look like in the centuries ahead: fully-formed people emerging from crystalline egg-globes. The transparent shell glimmers as pink as its former inhabitant. Is this vision of the future beautiful? Or super-super creepy? As in all the best dystopias, it’s a little bit of both.



Ready Player One - Ernest ClineReady Player One, by Ernest Cline

This book is set in the future, but it’s clearly not a shiny, whiz-bang, neon-lit future. Stacked cars in the background indicate that cities are still teeming with people, but the image is faded and distant. Life here doesn’t look so optimistic. The concrete jungle is desolate against the gray sky, relieved only by the occasional lick of color. The rounded title typeface evokes arcade games from the 1980s—a time period the inhabitants of Cline’s world are obsessed with.



2312, by Kim Stanley Robinson

2312 sure looks lonely—the Earth emerges from the background framing just one big tree, some clouds, and a few birds. The open landscape offsets the looming title, which is plastered across the sky. It makes for a grand and overwhelming image, that looks as if it were photographed from outer space and Earth simultaneously. You can tell this is going to be a book about Big Ideas.



The Kill Order - James DasherThe Kill Order, by James Dashner

In this prequel to The Maze Runner, people are falling sick and insane all across America’s East Coast. The cover doesn’t offer up much hope for the afflicted: more than half the cover consists of flaming, billowing clouds (evoking the devastating sun flares that have wreaked havoc on this world). The in-your-face title treatment provides a final punch, hovering ominously over an abandoned city.



Erasing Time - C.J. HillErasing Time, by C.J. Hill

Two pale girls see double, their fair skin contrasting with the jet-black background. The sketch in between them suggests an hourglass, a DNA helix and computer code all at once. Right away we know what kind of story we’re in for: something fast-paced and futuristic. The fact that the twins aren’t looking at each other only enhances the intrigue—we want to know what secrets they’re hiding.




Monument 14 - Emmy LaybourneMonument 14, by Emmy Laybourne

Its 2024: Darkness lurks on the edge of town when a series of freak disasters hits the United States, forcing a band of teens to take refuge together in a giant superstore. The ominous cloud formations of a brewing storm occupy most of the cover. The teen heroes face the tornado boldly, but they’re small compared to the looming trouble approaching. Each character is only shown from behind, but we can already tell from the well-chosen costume details and poses—someone in a hoodie, hands shoved in the pockets; a girl with her hip cocked, bra straps showing from under her tank top; little blonde girl clutching a teddy bear by the ear—that Laybourne is assembling a well-defined ensemble to face the coming apocalypse.

Blog index image by Flickr user Sebastianlund.

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5 thoughts on “Book Cover Poll: We Can See the Future

  1. I never saw the Matched covers as childbirth…I thought that each book represented one of the three pills, and it gradually shows her breaking free. I don’t get the whole childbirth analogy thingy though :p

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