Monday, 31 January 2011

Cover Identity | Moon Over Soho, Mofo

With the first book of The Folly, sometime Doctor Who scriptwriter Ben Aaronovitch seems to have made quite the splash. By the author's own admission, Rivers of London has sold more than 12 copies - one might imagine substantially more, given its very respectable sales ranking on Amazon.

In point of fact, Rivers of London (known in the enlightened world, where profits are hewn from guns and explosions, as Midnight Riot) has been such a huge success, if you'll pardon my Glados, that Ben Aaronovitch has been able to enlist the services of one Paul Graham Raven, your friend and mine, to set him up a proper website - where alas, I can't find the button to subscribe via RSS.

Anyway, renowned ganderer that I am, I took a one at earlier, and right there on the Books page, what do you know? Covers for both the UK and the US editions of the follow-up to Rivers of London: the wonderfully titled Moon Over Soho. I presume there will be bums? Here they are:

Once again, you'll note the UK edition borrows from artist Stephen Walter's incredible and incredibly detailed - "impish" I am reliably informed - remapping of London, while the American cover is just more of the same... rubbish.

I'm sorry; it is. We both know it.

Moon Over Soho is currently scheduled to hit bookstore shelves at the tail end of April, from the great Gollancz here in Blighty, and Del Rey in the States.

This is very good news, because Rivers of London was a right treat. You can read The Speculative Scotsman's full review here, or else take a trip through the blogroll, whereupon near-enough every one of my bloggery colleagues have had their say about Ben Aaronovitch's whiplash smart urban fantasy.


  1. While I agree that the US covers are pretty rubbish, I'd have to say (having not yet read the book - take this for what it's worth) that it much better describes the contents of the book. To me it says "urban fantasy" while the UK edition says "Charles Dickens". And, sadly, I'd have to say I like the US version more in that respect.

    Please tell me I'm wrong though because I fully admit I probably don't know what I'm talking about. :)

  2. The problem with you Limes is how you always believe you are culturally superior to the rest of the world. Actually the Brit cover looks more like Ye Olde English Cozy mystery. The Yank cover more like...napalm in the morning.
    Tally Ho Mate

  3. Seak, sure, I see what you mean, but in truth these books (at least judging from the first one) really aren't about heroes or guns or dramatic fiery explosions. The action is very much secondary to the setting, and I feel the London of Rivers and Moon Over Soho is far better represented by the intricate literary divisions of Stephen Walter's work - you really need to see these maps in person to get their glorious, OCD detail - than the prototypical urban fantasy covers Del Rey are contenting themselves with.

    Just my two cents, o' course. :)

  4. And Bob: lovely of you to stop by. Mr Fingerman, ladies and gentlemen! What gave us Pariah, a wee while back. Not to mention flynching.

    In defence of Limes everywhere, and "our" cultural superiority complex - as you say, Bob... we did used to rule the world. Back in the good ol' days, eh? :P

  5. Then I'm glad I've been proven wrong. :) From what I was hearing, and I guess that wasn't completely true or maybe I assumed some things, I thought the UK was completely wrong. Turns out it was just me.

  6. Honestly, whichever of the two covers better represents the spirit of the books of The Folly - and whatever my opinion, I wouldn't ever say you're wrong, mate - the UK art would win my vote any time of the day, simply because the Stephen Walter maps are so incredible. Click through that link, Seak, or Google image search the guy; you can spend long hours lost in one of his pictures. So good!

  7. I just came across these books last night and as soon as I discovered that there were alternate covers for the books (and alternate titles?) I immediately decided I was going to have to order the U.K versions of the books. I find it really strange how they put in such an effort to appeal to the American "tastes" when the Urban Fantasy market is already such a small niche. Also they changed the title to Midnight Riot because we all know no self respecting American would be caught dead buying a book called Rivers of London. I really hope they go ahead and rename the second book something like "Monster Orgy Smasher" it'll end up on the New York Times Bestsellers List for sure.