35 thoughts on “The Cover to the Czech Edition of Redshirts

  1. So – where’s the Redshirt, Scalzi…?

    If you haven’t done one before, I’d love to read one of your rants sometimes about cover art that looks so generic it could be about anything, or is completely inappropriate to the story you’re telling. :D

  2. I know your foreign edition covers don’t always relate to the content inside the book, perhaps just the imagined content. But this is a really awesome cover, and it made me wonder if you’ve ever considered writing books to match some of those cool covers you’ve gathered over the years. :) Ah, idle thoughts.

  3. Meg:

    In fact the reason there’s a planet with a ring system in The Ghost Brigades is because the John Harris cover was finished before the book, and featured a planet with a ring system.

  4. I could imagine a good way to get inspired when you are having trouble would be to go through your old foreign covers and find one like this with a ton of story in it…

  5. Czech is out!
    *waits for laughter groans to die down*

    In fact the reason there’s a planet with a ring system in The Ghost Brigades is because the John Harris cover was finished before the book, and featured a planet with a ring system.

    Heh, and here I had thought those were particle beams or something, only now noticing they encircle the planet in the background.

  6. Greetings from Czechland! These covers are always so silly and generic, but I have to admit to liking them anyway. And I had no idea that’s how you translate Red Shirts into my native tongue (got myself an English copy from British Amazon). Will definitely get this one for my dad! @Jennifer – at least you know it’s not called Czechoslovakia anymore, right?

  7. I just finished Redshirts (enjoyed plenty) and I’ve got to say it would be hard to think of a cover that captured the spirit of Redshirts less well without actually showing a dragon in a Santa outfit. But it *is* a nice painting.

    Here’s a thought – what SF novel should it really be the cover for?

  8. Too bad this publisher is infamous for using unbelievably unskilled translators (case in point: “Redshirts” is hard to translate, but word-for-word literal translation ain’t the way to do it) and generally doing a terrible job.

  9. “In fact the reason there’s a planet with a ring system in The Ghost Brigades is because the John Harris cover was finished before the book, and featured a planet with a ring system.”

    John, I did so with some covers for my Perry Rhodan books, too. It’s fun!

  10. vx:
    I have just finished reading the Czech translation, I think it was excellent (except maybe the title, which means literally “Redcoats” in English – somewhat reminiscent of Firefly’s Browncoats/Hnědokabátníci in Czech). Generally speaking, here in Czech Republic the quality of translations of science fiction novels has increased dramatically since the 90s, when the quality was often horrible.

  11. As an author, it must be interesting to see how your words are packaged and sold around the world? Eastern Europe always seemed to have a totally different sci-fi aesthetic vocabulary than anything out of America or Western Europe, well, at least when they put pictures on it in posters and on books, which I guess they do because they think their regional audience will click better with the regionalized covers and buy it? I’m sure we all know the Polish posters for American films and in many instances we go “What the…”, probably totally missing the cultural context and what not. (I really do enjoy those poster. The Star Wars poster is awesome. http://retrorewindtoys.com/2011/08/01/polish-empire-strikes-back-poster-by-michal-ksiazek/)
    I still personally like the original cover the best. I wonder what the Danish edition will look like (hint, hint, Danish publishers. Get off your .. and treat us to the royal Scalzi treatment, please).

  12. Yeah, I think that cover is a misrepresentation but then maybe the Czechs see things differently. Did Star Trek get translated there?

  13. @Frankly – I can assure you, Star Trek is very well known in Czech Republic. :-) Not just all the series and movies, but several dozen novels have been translated into Czech as well.
    @gleonguerrero – “Krasni” means “red” just in Russian (and languages closest to Russian), I believe. In Czech and Slovak, “red” is “červený”.

  14. Bloody hell, that looks fantastic?

    Question: do the publishers sourcing local artists to do the covers in some countries/translations?

  15. Here’s a thought – what SF novel should it really be the cover for?

    Ironically, it would make a much more sensible cover for an OMW-verse novel, being at least infantry-related, than most of the vast mysterious space hulks or spacefighters-shooting-laserbeams they actually get.

  16. Krasnyy means red only in Russian – not even in the other East Slavic languages. It’s a complex story about how the word for beautiful got mixed up with the color word. The actual Slavic word for red, cherven (and slight variations) exists in Russian in a few phrases about gold, and as an archaic word for scarlet. The kras- root does double duty, showing up in red words and words for painting or beautifying, plus the words for a beautiful woman or gorgeous guy.

  17. Thank you for the badge, John and the person who made it (sorry, so many comments I can’t remember your name). I wholeheartedly agree with both your rants!
    I posted this badge and the link to your blog in one of my FB forums. I am an actress and have done commercials and voice-over work for three decades now. Unless I am doing promos for my employer, I never have and never will do voice work or acting for free anymore unless it’s something I really, really want to do for myself. So please don’t ask.
    I am also a fiber artist and do many forms of needlework that I usually give as gifts and donations for charities I support (i.e. our local music festival). I don’t sell my work often because as I tell people, if I charged them a reasonable rate for my time, effort and creativity, would you pay $60 for a hand-embroidered bib? My online stitch group has long discussed reasonable rates of pay for your work and having the guts to say ‘No’, even to offers of exposure. We feel the same way you do. Those who usually ask can afford to pay, so make them.

  18. I just finished reading Redshirts, and now I plan to read everything you’ve written. Also, this is the first time I’ve visited a blog (I’m pretty old). What fun you are. Thanks.

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