I have to say that the Fantasy, Science-Fiction and Horror genres are still at their beginning in my country. And they are not properly appreciated as well. Still, I am happy to say that the things are moving forward, now you can see many classic and new names reaching the book market in Romania. And with a strong community the future looks bright indeed.
But if it’s a field where the things are moving even more slowly is the cover art. Unfortunately, the majority of cover art used in Fantasy, Science-Fiction and Horror genre are impersonal and stereotypical. Many covers use the same concept and although the art is changed a bit I cannot notice the resemblance with other books (usually released by the same publishing house) and the déjà-vu feeling they gave me. If I am not mistaken only one publishing house uses the original cover art, but not always.
Until I discovered the cover you see above I was thinking at the publishing costs, but this release made me re-think the aspect. You see in Romania the books are pretty expensive. And if I talk about the hardcover editions I don’t know how many of the readers are ready to pay the price. To give you an example I personally prefer to use Amazon most of the time, because although I am paying a great amount of money on shipping costs I usually have an average price per outside book cheaper than the price of the Romanian edition. So I was thinking that they were cutting the costs of production from the cover art.
But the Romanian edition of Gene Wolfe’s “Lake of the Long Sun” published by Alexandria Publishing House proved to have the same price as many of the books on the market, but with an excellent cover art and with a superior quality in aspect. What impresses me even more is that Alexandria is a new publishing house on the market and “Lake of the Long Sun” is their only forth release. But if they keep their work on this standard I believe that they have a bright future ahead. The artist credited for the cover art is Mariusz Kozik and I hope I am not mistaken but I think he is a Polish artist nicknamed Lacedemon and who has some wonderful works on his website. Anyway I think that this is one of best covers (if not the best) I’ve seen on the Romanian editions of Fantasy, Sci-Fi and Horror books and an example to follow by the other Romanian publishing houses.