Judge the book by its cover?

Crown of ShadowsYou know what your reading mentors said, whether that was a teacher, parent, friend, or other - "Don't judge a book by its cover."  We do it though.  Hey, I'll admit I do it.  Give me a catchy cover, and I'm likely going to pick up the book if I've never heard of the author before.  Well, in the realm of SF, fancy covers and their creators have a life of their own.  Iconic images of Stephen King's Gunslinger or Michael Moorcock's Elric were crafted by artist Michael Whelan.  What about Bob Eggleton's dramatic draconic images for Harry Turtledove's alternate history World War II series?  Artists that resonate in the SF community, Todd Lockwood, Shaun Tan, Jody A. Lee, and so many others, take the imagery presented in words by authors and bring them to vivid and epic life.  So, next time you judge a book by its cover, don't feel too guilty.  You're just recognizing some fabulous artistry in its own right.  I found some of my favorite authors this way.  Have you?