7 thoughts on “F&SF Reveals Cover for Nov-Dec 2017 Issue

  1. No offense meant to anyone, but this cover could have come out 25 years ago without any significant change, and 40 years ago or more the only major difference would be the logo font.

    I can’t imagine that F&SF makes a lot of sales on the newsstand (I doubt many special-interest magazines do), but there’s got to be ways to appeal to younger audiences (who’ll see this kind of image on the net, I guess, when they see it) while still satisfying the existing readers. Looking at F&SF and looking at Tor.com is like utterly different worlds.

    I don’t know what that better way would be, mind you, but there must be something.

  2. I agree. The hairstyle of the woman on the cover looks very late 1970s/early 1980s. Of course, that might be deliberate, if the cover is supposed to illustrate a story set during that time. But it still sends the wrong message.

  3. The hairstyle of the woman on the cover looks very late 1970s/early 1980s.

    And the ghosts seem to have design sensibilities that smack of the 1950s and the 1970s, since they look like some guy from DARBY O’GILL AND THE LITTLE PEOPLE and the psi-sensitive dude from a 70s SF TV show of some sort.

    There’s also no apparent hook to the cover — it gives us information, but the woman doesn’t seem to care much about her situation, and neither does psi-elf guy — and there’s nowhere for the text to go, so it got stuck in an area where it wouldn’t cover any faces, resulting in Kate Wilhelm’s first name ghosting out.

    It’s just not designed to catch the eye or to emphasize anything, and the type is perfunctory. If the job of a magazine cover is to make you interested in what’s inside, this cover just doesn’t do it.

    Strike a tone, establish a mood, grab the eye…it won’t chase off older readers, but it might bring in some new ones.

  4. I actually went back up to the top to check that this was a report about a current issue. Even the names I recognize are old enough that this could have been an old magazine.

    ETA: Also, a new Kate Wilhelm story? Cool!

  5. I’m pretty sure that cover is based on an old photo of Kate Wilhelm herself. (I don’t think I’ve seen a “Special _______ Issue” from F&SF for a while, the ones that used an honored author’s — Sturgeon, Knight, others — likeness. Would have been nice to dedicate the issue to Wilhelm in similar vein.)

    I see a pretty strong resemblance in this photo of Kate Wilhelm, though a bit older than depicted on the F&SF cover and with the splendid silver hair she sports nowadays.

  6. @Bruce Arthurs: There’s been a Wilhelm issue. I remember buying a copy for the kid’s mom’s birthday. (The kid’s mom is a big Wilhelm fan.) I hid it behind something on the mantelpiece, and then called a few weeks later on her birthday to tell her to look there for her gift.

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