Tuesday, 9 February 2010


Having had a go at a cover of a book by Charlie Huston recently (the one with the much-used stock image with a vampire fang inexpertly added), I have to redress the balance now. I just got hold of his newest novel, Sleepless, a noirish science-fiction story about a Los Angeles police detective trying to do his job in the midst of a plague causing total sleeplessness hitting the world. And the cover of the UK edition, published by Orion, is excellent and quite unusual. But what is excellent about it is quite hard to show online.

Online images of the cover look like this:

In the flesh the front and the spine are at first nothing but a regular pattern of white dots on black: there doesn't seem to be anything there. But if you tilt it or look at it from a distance (or, I found, through a camera viewfinder), the image, title and author name appear. To get something of the effect, look at the small versions below, then click for the full-sized versions. Really, though, you probably need to see the physical object--bookshops should soon be full of people squinting at this book, trying to get to grips with it.

Unhelpfully, no designer is credited on my copy (the Commonwealth-outside-the-UK edition), so if anyone in the UK sees the dustjacketed hardback, and it has a designer listed, I would love to know who came up with this.


Brian Busby said...

Wow. I trust the type inside is more, um, traditional.

Alan said...

See also the packaging to Soulwax's album Any Minute Now, though I like the addition of the dislocated eye a lot. Looks great.

JRSM said...

I wonder if it's the same designer. The image seems to emerge just from having the dots in that area be slightly irregular in shape, though not so much that you'd think it would work. I've spent so much time looking at this cover that my eyes are starting to bleed.

Weaver said...

Trevor Jackson did the Soulwax cover, but the Huston book doesn't appear in his on-line portfolio. He doesn't seem to do book covers at all.