Tor Books is facing criticism after acknowledging that artwork on the cover of Christopher Paolini’s next book might have been generated using artificial intelligence.

The publisher issued a statement on Twitter that read, “Tor Books designed the cover for Fractal Noise by Christopher Paolini. During the process of creating this cover, we licensed an image from a reputable stock house. We were not aware that the image may have been created by AI.”

AI illustrations have been a sore spot for artists, who believe that computer-generated art could create less demand for original illustrations. Earlier this month, a tech worker drew criticism after announcing that he’d created a children’s book using AI.

Tor said it was not changing the cover for Paolini’s book. “Due to production constraints, we have decided to move ahead with the current cover,” the publisher said. The novel is scheduled for publication on May 16, 2023.

Many Twitter users were unimpressed with Tor’s statement. Author Xiran Jay Zhao wrote, “Tor...really? ‘Production constraints’? The book’s not out until MAY. You just don’t want to bother with doing a new cover because you’re eager to get those sales ASAP.”

And writer and artist Trung Le Nguyen tweeted, “I might not be able to judge a book by its cover, but I sure as hell will judge its publisher.”

Paolini defended Tor’s decision not to move the publication date of the book, writing, “Shifting the release date for Fractal Noise at this point would mean it probably wouldn’t even be published next year.”

Michael Schaub, a journalist and regular contributor to NPR, lives near Austin, Texas.