I sell a lot of short stories, both original and reprint, so it stands to reason that my work has appeared not only in magazines, but also in countless anthologies.
Sometimes, the antho cover is a bit of a disappointment. Most times, though, they are wonderful, with either beautiful artwork or brilliant design jumping out at readers. But, since I’m an expert at neither art nor design, choosing my favorites ends up being a question of personal opinion without too much basis in argument of any kind.
That, of course, has never stopped me before so, without more ado, I present my five favorite antho covers from books in which my work appears, in no particular order.
A High Shrill Thump makes the list because that Etruscan zombie on the cover is an illustration of my story “Comrade at Arms”. I’m pretty sure this is the first time the cover illustration of an anthology was based on one of my stories.
Made You Flinch. This one makes the list because, all these years later, I still remember it. The reason was that, as I was working my way through the lowest ranks of the indy press, the quality of artwork was often iffy at best. This one was striking, and anything less than iffy. I don’t recall much of the stories inside (excpet mine, “Topside”), but this cover is unforgettable.
Sha’Daa Toys. I always loved the Sha’Daa covers, even before I managed to convice the editors that I was good enough to join this particular shared world antho series. And the Toys cover is creepy and dark and moody and everything that it should be for the apocalypse.
American Monsters Part One. The Fox Spirit Books of Monsters represent the most critically acclaimed series of anthos on this list, and with good reason. They have a powerful lineup of writers from all over the world writing about the monsters near and dear to them. It’s understandably powerful. But the artwork is also wonderful. How and you not love these sepia-toned images? My story “Vulnerable Populations” is included in there.
Sinisterotica. Normally, this cover wouldn’t have made the list. I don’t love it when computer-generated humans land in the uncanny valley, and those fonts are… questionable. But the cover is also the bravest, boldest thing I’ve seen in a long, long time. Only the judicious use of shade keeps it from landing in the adults-only section behind a brown paper wrapper but, as they say, no guts, no glory, so this one makes the list among more professionally executed covers. It contains my story “Top of the Food Chain”.
There are so many more that I love, and I hate to leave out such a massive number of great publishers and editors. But I had to cut somewhere and these are the five I thought of today.
Ask me again tomorrow, and I’ll probably pick a different five.
Gustavo Bondoni is an Argentine writer with over 300 published stories. His latest collection is Off the Beaten Path, a curation of stories that take place outside the usual American and European settings. They will make you think, and they will entertain you. You can check it out here.