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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Discussions About Orson Scott Card » Judging a book by it's cover...

   
Author Topic: Judging a book by it's cover...
Saint
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Who exactly is on the cover of Shadow of the Giant?

http://www.sffaudio.com/images/large/ARShadowOfTheGiant500.jpg

Halfway through the book I concluded it was Bean and Petra, but when I finished the book I found out that was impossible, because Petra didn't go with Bean.

The man is significantly taller than the woman, so whoever it is I'm guessing he has Anton's Key.

I was thinking maybe it's years in the future, and the man is Bean, and maybe the woman is Bella grown up.

Or it could be Randi and Young Achilles on their journey to a colony planet (which I think is unlikely, because Achilles wouldn't grow that much in the few years they'd be traveling.)

Or maybe it's just an interesting picture that OSC thought that fit well on the cover. Who knows.

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OSTY
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I guess I always assumed it was Graff and Petra watching Bean's ship leave, but honestly it was probably just a good picture. OSC doesn't get to pick the art work for the covers. He explained this once with Wyrms which he hates the cover of (or was that Capitol).
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King of Men
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The man isn't so tall, he's only a head taller than the woman. But anyway, it could easily be Bean and Petra before the ship leaves, and they are looking at stars because the artist didn't read the book and thinks it takes place in a starship.
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Primal Curve
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Here's Ender's Game's cover:
http://www.hatrack.com/osc/books/endersgame/covers/Israel.jpg

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Shawshank
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OSC has mentioned on numerous occasions that he has no say at all in the cover art- otherwise- why would "Magic Street" have a picture of a white person on there? Or half the Alvin Maker books make Alvin look like a Native American Fabio?

[ June 16, 2006, 11:09 AM: Message edited by: Shawshank ]

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Jeesh
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quote:
Originally posted by Shawshank:
why would "Magic Street" have a picture of a white person on there?

I have argued so many times about that...
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Shawshank
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What about it?
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Primal Curve
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quote:
Originally posted by Shawshank:
Or half the Alvin Maker books make ALvin look like a Native American Fabio?

I actually laughed out loud when I read that. Great turn of phrase!
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Euripides
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quote:
Originally posted by Primal Curve:
Here's Ender's Game's cover:
http://www.hatrack.com/osc/books/endersgame/covers/Israel.jpg

I thought that cover was a joke... until I saw the url and looked at the other covers.

My personal opinion is that the two people on the cover are purely ornamental. A bit like the way this cover doesn't seem to have much to do with Ender's Shadow, and this Ender's Game cover is puzzling even if it's meant to represent the Fantasy Game...

The UK edition covers of the original Ender series are pretty good - beautiful and sufficiently ambiguous.

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Shawshank
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quote:

quote:
Originally posted by Shawshank:
Or half the Alvin Maker books make ALvin look like a Native American Fabio?

I actually laughed out loud when I read that. Great turn of phrase!


Well we all know that it's true. I brought those books home and brought them around as I was reading the series and my parents and relatives were all looking at me like- "I'm not sure if you need to be reading that."

It's especially bad if you look at the Heartfire cover http://www.hatrack.com/osc/books/heartfire.jpg

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BlackBlade
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I dunno The Crystal City is pretty bad too,
http://www.hatrack.com/store/images/BARGAIN_TheCrystalCity.jpg

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Shawshank
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I meant in terms of just how Fabio-ish he looks. At least on the Chrystal City one Alvin is flying. I don't think even Fabio can fly.
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Primal Curve
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I suppose the Crystal City cover does give new meaning to the words: "Flying Buttresses"
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Elmer's Glue
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Have you seen the covers for Red Prophet and Prentice Alvin? I have to be carefull not to let anyone see it, because I don't want them thinking I am reading a romance novel meant for women.
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Shawshank
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I know how you feel Elmer.

Oh by the way (this is for you Elmer) my Latin teacher said her grandfather invented the glue. Said he worked for the Elmer's company and invented it.

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Saint
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I felt the same when I was reading the Alvin Maker series.

I just kept the book low, or read it when I was alone.

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Tresopax
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Is this a good time to mention how much I hope they come out with a new less sci-fi-stereotypical Ender's Game cover whenever this movie comes out....
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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by Elmer's Glue:
Have you seen the covers for Red Prophet and Prentice Alvin? I have to be carefull not to let anyone see it, because I don't want them thinking I am reading a romance novel meant for women.

This is what just sets off my insano alarm at the bookstore when I see these covers- they look like dime romance novels! I simply can't believe that OSC doesn't have the geshtalt to veto these aweful covers. Every single on of the Ender covers, and a few I've seen that aren't in this directory, as just LAUGHABLY bad. Why would a famous novel get so many bad covers?
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neo-dragon
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This comes up a lot. Long story short: the covers of the Ender books are random images that have nothing to do with the stories, drawn by artists who aren't even familiar with the stories.
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beware_of_moose
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And that's pretty sad, when you think about it. I mean, when you look at the art done for Steve King's Dark Tower stuff (at least in the Grant publishing), it's all specialized art commissioned specifically for the story at hand. I don't know if it's a publisher deal or what, but... it cuts into my enjoyment to have to read Alvin Journeyman in privacy, away from snickering others.

Ah, well. In the end, it's about the book. And most of these stories are worth a couple embarrassing conversations.

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CRash
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Fabric book-covers are wonderful things.
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Lissande
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It seems to me that publishing companies clearly consider the cover artist reading the book not only not important, but in fact a thing to be avoided. I rarely see characters on a book cover who match their description in the book - assuming they can even be identified, which is not a given.
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Artemisia Tridentata
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quote:
Said he worked for the Elmer's company and invented it.
It was the Borden Dairy Company. They had "Elsie the Cow" and "Elmer the Bull" as their sales icons. The glue, which is dairy based, was intended for a male market. So, Elmer's was considered appropriate.
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neo-dragon
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quote:
Originally posted by Lissande:
It seems to me that publishing companies clearly consider the cover artist reading the book not only not important, but in fact a thing to be avoided. I rarely see characters on a book cover who match their description in the book - assuming they can even be identified, which is not a given.

I don't see why it should be the artist's responsibility to read a whole novel just to draw a picture on the front. Why can't someone who works for the publisher who's actually read the book (like an editor maybe) give the artist a description of characters or a specific scene to draw? Maybe for marketing reasons they sometimes need the cover art before the author is actually done writing, so they have to go with something generic?

[ June 20, 2006, 05:02 PM: Message edited by: neo-dragon ]

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Saint
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That's what I'm thinking. They need to advertise it, but the novel hasn't been finished and they need something to show for it.
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RunningBear
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Mr. Card should have a contest. where his readers draw the next book cover, or replacements for the current ones.
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Saint
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I second that. Especially Ender's Shadow.
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Ionienne
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The cover for the French version of Children of the Mind was quite good, well in my opinion!!

For you to judge:
http://www.lanfeust.com/media/archives/books-cycleender.jpg

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Orincoro
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alright, but non-specific to the book. All in all, that isn't a bad thing, considering that many of the drawings seem to have been selected specifically for the text by someone unfamiliar with the text. Thus you get Shadow of the giant with a pictures of two people in an airlock... it seemed like a good idea at the time...
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CRash
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quote:
Originally posted by Ionienne:
The cover for the French version of Children of the Mind was quite good, well in my opinion!!

For you to judge:
http://www.lanfeust.com/media/archives/books-cycleender.jpg

The tree has HANDS!
Okay, that's enough weirdness for me for today.

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Artemisia Tridentata
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The tree is a hand, the fingers have hands, which have hands, etc.
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Ionienne
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I thought it was a good way to represent the links between all people (it is "philotes" in French, is it the same in English?)
At first i had also thought of Ender's children, but they are Mind children so I gave up.
But maybe it could represent the idea of life, community and solidarity... Well I just liked it, even if it was not linked to the story, and I wanted to share it with you [Smile]

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JennaDean
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Oh.

See, I immediately thought of that tree that held Father Quim hostage until he ... well ... you know.

But wait, that was the book before, wasn't it?

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dantesparadigm
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I don't see a problem with forcing the artists to read the book before they draw the cover art. I mean if these people are actually artists shouldn't they have some sort of knowledge base they can use as inspiration for their drawing. Why must cover art be relegated to the realm of cheesy drawings of irrelevant things? If the cover art was an artistic reflection of the content of a book, then we could finally judge a book by its cover, which would save tons of time.
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pooka
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And wait additional months for the book to be released, or pay them for their hours of doing the reading?
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CRash
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The U.S. illustrator of the Harry Potter book covers reads the books, doesn't she? I like book covers that relate closely to the book material.
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neo-dragon
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I still say that making an artist read hundreds of pages that they may have no interest in at all is an illogical waste of time when an editor can simply tell the artist what to draw and maybe refer him/her to to the pages where it is described. They're artists, not literary critics.
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Soara
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The cover of Seventh Son is nice...
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Wowbagger the Infinitely Prolonged
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I emailed the artist of shadow of the Giant a long time ago about the cover...here's what he said


Hi,
It's Bean and petra looking out to space
From the observation deck of the space station.


bob

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CRash
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Space station, eh?
*mutters about them not being out in space together since Eros*

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neo-dragon
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Not to mention that the man in the picture isn't that much taller than the woman. Certainly not tall enough to be considered a giant, unless Petra is too.

[ June 26, 2006, 05:30 PM: Message edited by: neo-dragon ]

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Scooter
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quote:
Originally posted by Shawshank:
OSC has mentioned on numerous occasions that he has no say at all in the cover art- otherwise- why would "Magic Street" have a picture of a white person on there? Or half the Alvin Maker books make Alvin look like a Native American Fabio?

I never thought that person looked White...I still don't (at least in the sense that people generally don't consider a "mixed" person white--though I have never really embraced that idea, but that is a different can of worms.)
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Primal Curve
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To add to the discussion: in general, I prefer abstract covers for my favourite fiction. I don't like it when artists try and convey the appearance of characters or the settings of the story. It usually falls flat. Just give me a generic SF/Fantasy cover that may or may not directly relate to the story and I'm fine.
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