This is topic Ender's Game needs a new cover! in forum Discussions About Orson Scott Card at Hatrack River Forum.

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Posted by Xaposert (Member # 1612) on :
If an Ender's Game movie is finally going togo into production at some point soon, the first thing Tor or whoever it is that is in charge of marketing the book needs to do is to get a new cover. And I'm not talking about that version for kids. I'm talking about a new adult cover.

This is a matter of marketing more than anything else. The fact of the matter is, the current cover can't possibly attract more readers than it repels. I know that I and a few of my friends were initially repelled for that reason alone. The cover itself just screams out "I am for sci-fi fans, not for regular people." I suppose the original publishers wanted to attract only the sci-fi crowd, but at this point it's already going to have that crowd just by virtue of being one of the most famous sci-fi books. EG needs some sort of cover that will attract everybody else - people who are browsing the mainstream fiction section, not just the sci-fi section.

I know I'm not the only one thinking this, right?

Maybe if a movie comes out they'll just put the actors on the cover, like with LoTR. But one way or another, the book needs some new artwork, IMHO.
Posted by fallow (Member # 6268) on :
Is IS a science fiction story, and one primarily featuring themes related to pre-pubescence and early adolescence?

I'm not sure this could be marketed to adults as something other than, "here's something to take your turbulent teens" to see that they might enjoy and come away with something.

Posted by Zotto! (Member # 4689) on :
Tres, dude, I can't recall a single OSC book that DOESN'T need a new cover. [Smile]

...and y'know, OSC has a wealth of arteests right under his proverbial nose; Annie and I, among others, spring to mind. [Big Grin]
Posted by fallow (Member # 6268) on :
any ideas zotto?
Posted by Zotto! (Member # 4689) on :
For the cover? Not a one. You're quite correct that the book's content makes it ridiculously hard to get a non-cheesy cover (as do MOST of Card's books, heh).

And Ender's Game wasn't the worst of 'em, IMHO. [Smile]

...but then I suppose that just makes me one of those people who complain about something without being able to do better, right?

Well, *I* might not be able to do better, but maybe Annie or someone could? [Big Grin]
Posted by fallow (Member # 6268) on :
I don't think it has to be THAT cheeseball.

What were the dominant themes of Ender's Game?
Posted by Zotto! (Member # 4689) on :
Hmm. I don't really notice "themes" while reading, sorry. In my view, Ender's Game was "about" loneliness, friendship, the horror of war, and desire for communication; I'm not sure how that would translate to an image, though. [Smile]

*ponders* I was thinking of, say, some of Michael Chrichton's books, where the cover mostly consists of the title, his name, and a small iconic image. Something along those lines, maybe? Still not exactly wonderful, but better than bad Star Wars rip-offs. [Smile]

An aside: Although I'm complaining about 'em right now, I DO have a great deal of sympathy for the humble little sci-fi illustrators of the world, no matter how bad; considering some of the conditions many of them work for, it's really not very surprising that they produce not-so-hot work. [Smile]

Yeah, I use too many smilies.

Edit: Took a glance at my pretty-darn-formidable OSC collection, and the only cover I'm actually fond of is "Hart's Hope" (which is nearly my favorite book of all time, so I'm kinda relieved I like the cover.) I also liked the cover for "Enchantment", but I realize that it may be too "romance" for most people. [Razz] "Seventh Sun" and "Red Prophet" don't seem too bad to me either.

The rest, tho...bleh. [Smile]

[ March 14, 2004, 03:29 AM: Message edited by: Zotto! ]
Posted by fallow (Member # 6268) on :

you just laid out some of the main themes. can't be that hard to come up with images tied to those, can it?

Posted by Zotto! (Member # 4689) on :
We probably have different definitions of the word "theme", because I don't think of what I listed as being themes. [Smile]

Regardless, I'd still have a hard time trying to condense any of those "themes" into an illustration (which is Bad Thing, as I'm hoping to find work in the illustration field! [Angst] )

Perhaps an image of clasped, gloved hands? (I'm thinking of that cover to Schindler's List but in a futuristic setting)...though that's still not great...

*laughs* I dunno, dude. Help me clarify mah thinking! We simply MUST help Tres out with this thing!
Posted by fallow (Member # 6268) on :
What did you list out as main points of the book? Can you associate any of these with a visual cue?

Posted by T.J. (Member # 6267) on :
well how about the battle of dragon vrs salamander
with all the guys in the battle room
Posted by fallow (Member # 6268) on :
That would be dynamic, but it might not capture the other themes associated with Ender's story.

probably good bits for a trailer, though!
Posted by Scott R (Member # 567) on :
Not hard at all.

Have a picture of some hulking Bugger warships, massing around a single planet-- and in the foreground, place the 'Oh-He's-Just-A-Boy!' Ender Wiggin. This accentuates the sense of Wiggin's vulnerability, and the humans desperation against overwhelming odds.

Some of the posters on pweb would make good book covers, too.

While we're talking about promoting the movie, someone over at pweb had this idea: run commercials from Ender's time. I think the example presented was a commercial criticising Thirds. Very cool idea, and I think it would be a really effective marketing strategy.
Posted by fallow (Member # 6268) on :
I'd suggest something quieter and meditative.
Posted by TomDavidson (Member # 124) on :
My suggestion:

White background divided by a green grid rampant, a spherical, orrery-like arrangment of colored orbits to which geometric shapes labeled in a "system" font are pinned. It's clearly meant to suggest the game displays from Command School, but could just as easily be a nuclear or planetary orbit if not recognized.
Posted by mr_porteiro_head (Member # 4644) on :
It could be worse. All of the covers could be done by the guy that does those horrible fantasy covers (like all of Robert Jordan's books).

Is that the same guy that did the cover for Crystal City?
Posted by imogen (Member # 5485) on :
I really like the cover art of Shaun Tan - he's an Australian artist (and a friend) who started off doing covers for sci/fi fantasy.

An example of one of his covers, and another.

He's now very successful in his own right, doing picture books for children and young adults - like The Red Tree - and only does covers as favours for people. But I think he'd do a great job on OSC's work.
Posted by Loial (Member # 5788) on :
Do you know what was on the cover of an early Hebrew edition of Ender's Game?

The Enterprise !
(or perhaps I should say the Enderprise)
Posted by St. Yogi (Member # 5974) on :

Is that like the standard cover for Science Fiction books? I imagine there being hundreds of books on the rack with the exact same cover but with different titles.

[ March 16, 2004, 10:38 AM: Message edited by: St. Yogi ]
Posted by The Wiggin (Member # 5020) on :
I just thought of waht I think is a cool idea for a new cover (or a cool movie poster atleast). In the middle of the cove a chess board at and angle with the bugger queen on one side as a player with there home world as the king and ships and buggers as the other pieces, then on the other side of the board are Enders jest and ships as the main pieces and Earth as the king as for where Ender should be I can't decide on wheter he should be the player since he leads the human forces in battle of if he should be the queen piece since he's also being used by Graff and Mazer so it could also be one of them as the player. And if the planets aren't used as kings then the Earth should be sitting in the middle of the board.

The Reason I used a chess board is that OSC once said that the title Ender's Game came for the End Game of Chess and chess is simular to what they are doing in the battles only more complex.

Let me kow what you think. [Dont Know]

[ March 16, 2004, 03:55 PM: Message edited by: The Wiggin ]
Posted by Xaposert (Member # 1612) on :
I dunno... a lot of these examples sound too sci-fi. The idea of the cover is marketing - to attract non-sci-fi fans as well as sci-fi fans. If it's got too many spaceships or weird aliens it's not going to work.

But, going with the chess idea, how about this:

The background is space, very dark. Thin, barely visible greyish-blue lines make up a sort of virtual reality grid through the space at the bottom of the cover - making it look like a chessboard. In the front center square is a single white pawn that stands out from the dark background. It has to be a pawn, because Ender was a pawn.

At the top in system font or something similar is the title, written like a command line.
Posted by The Wiggin (Member # 5020) on :
Ya, after think about it your idea is a bit better since your idea is right about trying to make it look less Sci-Fi. But mabey insted of a pawn have Ender satnding in the pawns area and have the board kinda transparnt over Earth don't know just an idea.

[ March 16, 2004, 05:09 PM: Message edited by: The Wiggin ]
Posted by Loial (Member # 5788) on :
Actually the chess board was also used in a later Hebrew edition of Ender's Game. The board has only one piece - a pawn (which probably represents Ender)

You can see it here :
Posted by rivka (Member # 4859) on :
*giggles at the title* Of course, that's what it HAS to be called in Hebrew -- I just never thought about it before.
Posted by Xaposert (Member # 1612) on :
Hmmm.... that's basically my idea! They took it! [Wink]

Or here's another variation: Make the whole cover just blank white, except for two chess pieces - One pawn standing alone, and one king knocked on it's side. Then just add the title and you're done.
Posted by fallow (Member # 6268) on :
I'll throw down on a small figure in the dimensions of the ad, staring into a computer screen, illuminated by it, and surrounded by the compelling figures and points of the story (possibly even elder versions of Ender)

that's what I'd do.
Posted by Geomancer (Member # 6299) on :
I like the cover. It should NOT be changed. When the movie comes out, they will need some shots from the movie, but until then, NOTHING should change.

"Potassium should be used in homemade underwater fireworks... [Evil] "--Me
Posted by Toda Mariko (Member # 6392) on :
I always thought that the main theme of Ender's Game was the making of a true leader. Ender's a genius, the Buggers are evil aliens, they're all in a space ship... yes. But the whole book is about Ender being drawn out from being just a gifted kid into being a Commander.

So I think the cover should show Ender and his army, maybe Ender at the portal of the battleroom pointing and shouting commands and all the other kids dropping down with their guns ready. Or else Ender at the simulator - maybe him and the simulator on the corner, upper left or lower right, and the simulator fading into actual space and real space ships on the opposite corner.

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