The Night Face by Poul Anderson

The Night Face by Poul Anderson

This cover for The Night Face by Poul Anderson is simply astonishing. An unconscious man is being dragged through a misty forest by a group of sinister-looking, maned apelike creatures — one of which is holding a blade of some sort. The detail here is incredible, and the mostly-green color scheme works really well.

The Night Face is actually a republished version of an older Poul Anderson novel, Let the Spacemen Beware! Anderson actually hated that schlocky-sounding title, and in the introduction to this edition of the book, he states:

At first this was a novelette called “A Twelve-Month and a Day.” I revised and expanded it for book publication, whereupon the then editor stuck it with the ridiculous title Let the Spacemen Beware! My thanks to Jim Baen, now in charge, for recognizing that readers have more intelligence than they were once given credit for having. In return, I admit that he’s probably right in considering the original name too cumbersome; hence the new one.

Poul Anderson

We agree with Anderson here. The Night Face is the best of the three titles.

The Night Face by Poul Anderson - Back Cover

The cover art is by Michael Whelan, an incredibly accomplished artist who’s done work for novels by Stephen King and Robert Heinlein, as well as reprints of H.P. Lovecraft books. He also did covers for Piers Anthony’s Xanth series.

You can see more of Whelan’s impressive art at his personal website.