2020 SF/F Books with Black Covers

Apparently 2020 is the year of black covers over here in Sci-Fi/Fantasy land. It wasn’t until after I was looking at my pre-order list that I realized just how many there are, but golly y’all, every book I’ve bought or pre-ordered this year except for one has had a black cover! I wonder if this is something that’s intentional marketing (maybe black books are selling better right now?) or whether it’s just a coincidence. It might say something about how darker books are more popular right now too.

Anyway, I’m not complaining because all of these book covers are just jaw-dropping. Some seriously awesome cover design.

These are in no particular order.

A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik

In this case I think the black cover is definitely meant to reflect the content of the book. I think there’s dark magic involved, and the school involved seems like it’s probably a pretty dark place in every meaning of the word. Anyway, this cover is sooooo cool looking. I love its simplicity and the way the gold pops against the black. A Deadly Education comes out in September.


Harrow the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir

I mean, it’s a book about necromancers in space. Of course it’s got a dark cover, lol. I actually like this cover even more than Gideon‘s cover because I love the way the designer played with the blue light while keeping the cover dark and moody. It’s so striking!


Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse

This black cover that is meant to represent the darkness of a solar eclipse, which seems to be the central event of the book. This cover is definitely unusual, and it’s very evocative of an ancient time. Black Sun comes out in October.


The Angel of Crows by Katherine Addison

This cover I’m not too sure about the why behind the color, other than that maybe a good chunk of the book takes place at night? There’s certainly lots about werewolves and vampires in the blurb. Also crows are black. But mostly I think we’re supposed to understand that this book has a dark feel? Anyway, it’s literally impossible to go wrong with a London skyline, and I love this cover design. My order is finally here, so I can’t wait to read this book soon!!


The Year of the Witching by Alexis Henderson

How delightfully moody is this cover?!?! I have aboslutely nothing to say about it, it’s PERFECT. It sets the tone for the book beautifully. My pre-order only just came in (it took a while!), but I’m very excited to finally read it.


Other black books out this year

Even the books that I haven’t pre-ordered are all black too! Here are some more books either out or coming out in 2020 with black covers:

  • Invisible Life of Addie Larou by V.E. Schwab
  • The City We Became by N.K. Jemisin
  • The Unspoken Name by A.K. Larkwood
  • A Peculiar Peril by Jeff VanderMeer
  • To Sleep in a Sea of Stars by Christopher Paolini
  • Piranesi by Susanna Clarke

Have you read or pre-orderd any of these books? Are there any more black covers you’ve seen this year? Let me know in the comments!

12 thoughts on “2020 SF/F Books with Black Covers

  1. Funnily enough because of that bookstagram black stacks challenge I was just confronted with the fact that I own hardly any black books. My collection definitely falls into the pastel end of the spectrum. Maybe it’s a genre thing?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Definitely! YA books tend to be more bright and colorful, and literary fiction also has a lot of bright colors right now. I usually think of fantasy as having lots of great colors on the cover too, but I think dark fantasy is more popular at the moment than whimsical.

      Liked by 1 person

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