In honour of the end of the Olympics held here in Canada, I thought I’d give out medals this round to our illustrious winners. Once again we had dynamic round of voting in the Ugly Covers Competition IV. The voting was fairly consistent with three books taking the majority of the votes with only one other with a significant number of votes.
Those of you familiar with my summaries know that in addition to typing this while wearing a long gown, heels and dripping in diamonds (as any good awards show hostess would), I look at the descriptions of the books to determine if the cover shows a connection to the plot or characters of the story. In general I’ve found this to be true, even if in a less than aesthetically pleasing manner.
And who was the “lucky” gold medalist you ask? With 12 strong votes, The Menstruating Mall by Carlton Mellick III!!! Congratulations Mr. Mellick on winning back-to-back Ugly Cover Competitions. There is talk of retiring Carlton and his books from the competition to make way for newer uglier covers by relatively unknown authors who are hoping to reap the benefits of this prestigious award.
The Menstruating Mall takes place in a mall. Surprise! Ten stereotypical consumers find themselves unable to leave the mall. Despite the fact that the mall doors are unlocked and other shoppers come and go, the ten can’t leave. They eat in the food court, sleep in bedding displays and eventually start being killed off. It’s said to be a parody of Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None. It actually sounds like an interesting premise. Does the cover make sense? Ummm. No. Unless it is meant to depict two of the ten people who are trapped. As there is no detail I don’t know if a scrawny goth tattooed boy? girl? is there along with a large one-eyed man? woman? who end up kissing? eating each other? acting like cats? So I have to say that this time, there is nothing on the cover or in the blurb that would make you say “ah ha, of course it all makes sense now”. I’m sorry Mr. Mellick, I’m calling this one an epic fail … or win I suppose in this case.
The silver medalist is Super Fetus by Adam Pepper who had 10 votes. When a woman makes a decision to abort her child, she discovers that he is determined to be born. He does push ups in the womb night and day until he’s “amazingly buff” and prepared to fight off all tools of the trade and the Dr. himself. Too tough to be aborted, Super Fetus fights back! Oooookay. Sounds pretty weird and I have no clue if it’s a statement against abortion or just a whack idea the author came up with. But yes, the cover makes sense even if it’s disturbing and unattractive
The bronze medal goes to …. wait, wait. Oh, this is a surprise. We have a double medal winner in the same competition. Carlton Mellick III wins not only the gold, but the bronze with The Cannibals of Candy Land which received 8 votes. Well done Mr. Mellick, that certainly is an achievement. Most of us seemed to agree that the artwork was well done on this cover if the image was disturbing. This is the story of a man, who as a boy saw his siblings killed by a member of a race of cannibals made out of candy who live underground but lure their prey, children, with their candy sweetness. He spends his whole life trying to prove their existence and finds a way to their lair where he is determined to bring one back dead or alive. It says it’s an erotic story so I assume there is some candy stick lickin’ going on. 😉 The cannibal who killed his siblings is described in the blurb exactly as the woman on the cover, with pink candy floss hair. So in this case while the cover is unpleasant, I think it matches the description of the story very well and gives you an idea of exactly what it’s all about.
An honourable mention, with 5 votes which I felt compelled to acknowledge, is Lionsbane by Marteeka Karland. While this is an m/f romance and I know many visitors to our site don’t read m/f, it is at least a romance whereas many contestants are general fiction. Also I know that I, as well as other faithful m/m readers enjoy Changeling Press books so I wanted to acknowledge (maybe they’d rather I didn’t?) a “friend” of m/m readers.
In a world where humans are low on the food chain, 18 year old Jayla’s family were murdered 8 years ago and she seeks the shifter she feels was responsible. While she’s taught herself to fight and hunt, Kane has been protecting her and following her (stalking?) since her family was killed. Now he needs her help to defeat the rogue family who destroyed her’s. Will she accept that he is not the killer she thought and help him (and have tons of hot smexin’ while she’s at it)? This is one book in a series called Frozen Earth. Unfortunately the covers of the other books in the series are not appreciably better, although they seem to have given up on putting humans on the cover which may be a wise move. In this case the cover seems merely to depict the couple involved and the fact that he has a talented tongue.
I hope that you enjoyed our fourth contest in the series. There have been suggestions for a “Horrible Title Contest” as some of the names of the books are worse than the covers that try to interpret the titles. Perhaps in future we will run one but we may have to excuse Mr. Mellick from competition as he is hogging the limelight and we really must let others have their share of the glory. So keep an eye out for those attrocious covers and goofy/outrageous titles for the next call for contest sumbissions.