We’ve spoken before on this site about book covers, where we listed a few of our favourite book covers.
Today we shine the spotlight the other way, those covers that are so bad, so very bad, that they become works of art in their own right.
We all know the ones, they are more prevalent in Science Fiction and Fantasy than in any other genre. A staple of the genre from the 60s to the 90s, there were some truly appalling covers that somehow passed the test and got actually published.
The genre as a whole seems to have somewhat improved on this front, perhaps its movement into the mainstream has helped the professionalism. However, the free availability of self-publishing has seen a marked increase in those hastily put together and poorly designed covers. That in itself is amazing, considering the talent available cheaply on market places like Upwork and Fiverr.
Rather than assemble our own list, we’re going to point you in the direction of a dedicated team that has been collating the best of the worst in book covers for over ten years!
Enter the wonderful world of GoodShowSir.
It’s probably best that we let them introduce themselves:
This is a site created in homage after some very long trips to various book stores across many cities of the world, reverently and fondly mocking the Science Fiction and Fantasy book covers found both there, and often soon after on our own bookshelves. For there is but one truth capable of uniting the broad church of Sci-Fi and Fantasy literature, and all must bow before it: Let the book covers be extravagant.
There are many pieces of cover art that are beautiful to behold. Yet, there are others which exhibit a rarer, odd form of beauty. We think that such conflicts of focal points, lettering choices, false perspectives, anatomical befuddlement, ridiculous transport vehicles, oversized and frankly unusable monster-hunting weaponry, clothing choices that would get you killed walking down the street let alone hiking a through a frozen wasteland, clichéd cat-people, and downright bad art deserve their own special form of tribute.
So after many years of passing snapshots around a group of friends, we want to give these hidden treasures the wider recognition they deserve. One can only imagine what in the three moons those brave artists, authors, and publishers were trying to do. Please don’t misunderstand, the content of these books are most likely very imaginative and brilliant. The art itself mostly excellent, showing clearly the time and effort an artist must put into their work. This is simply about what people decide to put on these book covers, with their own unique sort of imagination and brilliance. We laugh, yes, but wholeheartedly salute their greatness too.
Join us in sharing those Sci-fi and Fantasy book covers that elicit a response of both fear and wonder, for together we can create something truly great and show the world what sins have been committed by Sci-fi & Fantasy the world over. Because sometimes, a book cover is so bad that all you can do is step back in wonder and say “Good show, sir, good show”.
It really is an amazing collection, and it shows no sign of stopping, with new submissions being added to the gallery every single week!
Let us know which your favourites are!