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A Tale of Two Covers: The Race and The Rift by Nina Allan

Friday, June 30th, 2017 | Posted by John ONeill

The Race Nina Allen-small The Rift Nina Allen-small

Last July Titan Books released Nina Allen’s debut novel The Race, which was nominated for the British Science Fiction Award and short-listed for both the John W. Campbell Memorial Award and Locus Award for Best First Novel. Her second novel The Rift arrives from Titan next month, and I immediately assumed — based on the strikingly similar art, title font, and cover design — that it was a sequel.

Turns out looks are deceiving (maybe?) Nothing I can find points to any kind of connection between the two. The Race (which we covered here last year) is a loosely connected set of four stories set in a near future Britain ravaged by ecological collapse, and The Rift is about two sisters re-united after two decades, when one of them claims to have been abducted by aliens.

There’s nothing wrong with using similar cover designs for disconnected books. I suppose it’s more of a refection of the times, in which the default assumption for a second novel is automatically that it’s a sequel. Of course, if it turns out the two books are connected, then ignore everything I just said. In fact, here’s the description for The Rift. Make up your own mind.

[Click the images for bigger versions.]

Selena and Julie are sisters. As children they were closest companions, but as they grow towards maturity, a rift develops between them.

There are greater rifts, however. Julie goes missing at the age of seventeen. It will be twenty years before Selena sees her again. When Julie reappears, she tells Selena an incredible story about how she has spent time on another planet. Selena has an impossible choice to make: does she dismiss her sister as a damaged person, the victim of delusions, or believe her, and risk her own sanity in the process? Is Julie really who she says she is, and if she isn’t, what does she have to gain by claiming her sister’s identity?

Here’s what Nina Allan said about the cover on her blog:

Titan gave me an early Christmas present a couple of days ago when they dropped this into my inbox – Julia Lloyd’s stunning cover design for The Rift… Seriously, I couldn’t be happier with what Julia has come up with. The overall feel of the design forms a clear and interesting counterpoint with the cover of The Race, whilst being very much its own thing. I particularly love the strength of the colours. The image provides a wonderful visual interpretation of the novel itself and I hope it whets readers’ appetites for the story to come.

The Rift will be published by Titan Books on July 11, 2017. It is 400 pages, priced at $14.95 in paperback and $9.99 for the digital edition. The cover design is by Julia Lloyd.

Our previous articles in the Tale of Two Covers series include:

The Last Page by Anthony Huso
Stand on Zanzibar by John Brunner
Ellen Kushner on Basilisk
Shadows and Tall Trees 7 edited by Michael Kelly
Alan Baxter’s Crow Shine and Sarah Remy’s The Bone Cave
Swords Against Darkness
Richard Adams’ Watership Down
The Collapsing Empire by John Scalzi, and The Corroding Empire by Johan Kalsi
A Tale of Three Covers: Allen Steele Resurrects Captain Future
Skullsworn by Brian Staveley
The Loney by Andrew Michael Hurley
Infinity Engine by Neal Asher
Chasers of the Wind by Alexey Pehov
Only the Dead Know Brooklyn

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