Here Come The Sand Men

Christopher Fowler
I'm really sorry about this but I seem to have another novel coming out this summer, just as you're getting over the arrival of 'The Burning Man'. To be fair, I'd been working on it for three years, and it underwent a massive revision after I got notes from a New York editor who's a friend of mine. It was called 'Dream World' until recently, but the title underwent a change after a similarly-titled book went ahead of me. No worries, though, as I prefer the new title. Here's what I think the jacket blurb will say; In Dubai there's a new world of high-end, high-luxury resorts emerging for the super-rich — but at what price to everyone else?
Lea, Roy and their 15 year-old daughter Cara move from London to a gated community reserved for foreign workers. Roy has been hired to deal with teething problems at Dream World, a futuristic beach complex.
In the oppressive heat, the wives appear happy to follow behind their husbands, cooking and arranging tea parties, but Lea finds herself a virtual prisoner in a land where Western women are regarded with suspicion on the streets.
A few outsiders hate the conformity of the ex-pat community - but then one night the most outspoken one, Milo, is killed in a suspicious hit-and-run accident.
Milo's death is the first in a string of terrible occurrences that divide the foreign workers. Lea's neighbours start to blame migrants, Arabs and even each other.
Lea is convinced that deliberate acts of cruelty are being committed — but is there a real threat to her life, or is she becoming paranoid? What if the thing she fears most is really happening? And who are the Sand Men? In a future that's only five minutes away, in a place where only the rich are important, rebellion against conformity can lead to the unthinkable…
So, today's question for you is this - without having read the book, which of these rough early designs do you prefer for the cover? I have a preference, but if you'd care to pick your first and second choices I will forward them to my publisher. This is writer-reader democracy in action! sand men


wayne (not verified) Sat, 25/04/2015 - 08:44

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Top row far right. for me. Already have this on order from that well known online retailer named after a river.

Rh (not verified) Sat, 25/04/2015 - 09:11

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

+ 1 for top far right but good selection to choose from!

Ness (not verified) Sat, 25/04/2015 - 09:47

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Number 5, followed by 10

Hazel Johnstone (not verified) Sat, 25/04/2015 - 10:07

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

top right but quite like bottom right too

Jo W (not verified) Sat, 25/04/2015 - 10:33

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Number six,then number five. I could get used to this simple voting system. No electioneering for weeks on end!

Vivienne (not verified) Sat, 25/04/2015 - 10:58

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

10 or 11.beginning to veer to 11.

Alan Morgan (not verified) Sat, 25/04/2015 - 11:19

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Eleven, then five. I like the motif of eleven to thirteen. But also number five has that vibe of something by the radiophonic workshop in the background, sort of 70s sci-fi. Okay slight change, five *then* eleven.

Xas (not verified) Sat, 25/04/2015 - 12:13

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Just to be utterly contrary, my first choice would be 9, and the one below 12 (sorry, I can't read the number properly), would be second.

Mish (not verified) Sat, 25/04/2015 - 14:32

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

# six (first row, far right)

Another book! Gleefully rubs hands together....

J. Folgard (not verified) Sat, 25/04/2015 - 15:46

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

That would be 5 and 12A for me, it will be a must-read anyway.

Helen Martin (not verified) Sat, 25/04/2015 - 15:47

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

#5 and #13 but #6 has a strong pull

Radiophonic Workshop? Is that what attracts me?

Christopher Fowler Sat, 25/04/2015 - 16:33

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

OK then, let me tell you this: I immediately picked one no-one else has voted for - No.4 - but I really like No.6. The problem with No.5 - although I like it a lot - is that there's nowhere to put the author's name. Which brings us on aggregate to 5 & 6 - I'll forward this to the publishers and see what they say...
BTW you can read the numbers if you double-click on the image to expand it!

Jackie H. (not verified) Sat, 25/04/2015 - 17:13

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

12A and 6 - hard to choose between them.

agatha hamilton (not verified) Sat, 25/04/2015 - 21:46

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Design expert here chose 5, but sees point about author's name, so his second choice is 12A.
I like 4 and 6, particularly 4, because it's the one that stands out most strongly.

Leigh Bellinger (not verified) Sun, 26/04/2015 - 02:37

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

#6 gets my vote! (I know I'm late to the game, sorry)

Helen Martin (not verified) Sun, 26/04/2015 - 04:07

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Well, totalling it all up (counting first choices only) we have
#6 with 7 votes #5 with 4
#10 with 2 #4 with 1
#9 with 1 #13 with 1

If you give second choices a half vote you get
#6 with 8 #5 with 4 1/2
#13 with 4 1/2 #10 with 2 1/2 and
#4,9, and 11 with 1 each.

Doesn't change the order much, except that 13 was a strong second choice.
Raise the "Men" in number 5 with a strong line for it to rest on and put author's name in contrast on the bar. It might change the weight of the image, though.

Jason Armopp (not verified) Sun, 26/04/2015 - 16:09

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

10, because it's such a clever and visual concept. Ideally with a completely different title 'font', mind!

My second choice would be 4.

Adam (not verified) Sun, 26/04/2015 - 19:39

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Bit late, but I like 6 then 4.

m (not verified) Sun, 26/04/2015 - 22:13

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

I like 5 and then 4?
I really don't like 6 because it's hard to read/visually parse. I can't see the red text on orange and the figure is shard to spot. I figure if you can read / make out the image in thumbnails it'll be easier to spot on bookstore shelves too. :)

Vivienne (not verified) Sun, 26/04/2015 - 22:16

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Really don't understand 6. Looks so complicated and I'd never buy it. Sorry.

Peter Lee (not verified) Mon, 27/04/2015 - 08:34

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

#5 for me (and couldn't the author's name go along the top of the cover?) It's the only one that would catch my eye if I saw it in a shop. As for the others they all have that cheap / self-published look to me.

Kathleen S (not verified) Mon, 27/04/2015 - 15:33

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

I like #6 and then #7. Maybe #7 a little more because of the simplicity and the title offset in the dune.

Julie Turner (not verified) Wed, 29/04/2015 - 20:37

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

11. it reeks of heat, fragility and suspense
6. civilisation against killer desert.
but it's the title that is the creepy bit - pings on the memory of my mum saying something like 'the sandman will come and put sand in your eyes to make you go to sleep' - it's the type of thing that traumatises young 'uns.
love the TITLE - it's that would have my hand reaching toward the bookshelf.

RobertR (not verified) Thu, 30/04/2015 - 18:28

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Like 5 & 6 -also Chris's first choice No.4. (except it does remind me of some other cover of the past two years - possibly non-fiction? Anyone feel the same?)
Meanwhile could you combine the image of No.5 with the effect of the title (& author name!!) of No.4?
So the title etc. is a shadow, curtain blown from the window with a mini-sandstorm creating the author name below??

Christopher Fowler Fri, 01/05/2015 - 07:17

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Well, the cover choices went to the publisher and they came back with further refinements (I can't run them here for copyright reasons). 4,5 and 6 are clear favourites (not with Vivienne, though) and we'll see what they select in the final round...

Keith (not verified) Mon, 04/05/2015 - 08:06

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

I find no. 6 the most striking Chris. Looking out over the dunes. Kind of puts me in mind of Giovanni Drogo, looking out from the Bastiani Fortress in the Tartar Steppe.