Zoe’s Tale Podcast
Posted on October 20, 2008 Posted by John Scalzi 13 Comments
Zoe’s Tale is the subject of the most recent installment of “Tea in Space,” a podcast from Ingram Library Services in which four female fans of science fiction (including my pal Alethea Kontis) talk books and enjoy a hot beverage.
I’m happy to say that by and large they seem to be happy with the book; oh, there were quibbles here and there, to be sure (including about the cover, which, despite the good reasons for it, I suspect I’ll continue to hear about until the end of time), but in the end they’re pretty happy with it. Which makes me happy. What also makes me happy was that each of them was a new reader, so ZT’s standalone-ability was tested by their reading. Did it stand up? You’ll have to tune in to find out.
It’s a Jonathan Harris cover. What the heck is wrong with a Harris cover? You could have done better, you could have had a John Berkey cover (well, with the help of a time machine), but unless you’re going for Stephan Martiniere, you’re not going to do much better than that!
So it isn’t a “young adult” cover, according to some. It’s az cool cover.
There’s nothing wrong with the art. It just doesn’t speak to teenage girls.
Back to the YA cover discussion again, eh?
It could be worse.
But a smug looking teenager with her arms crossed in front of her, flanked by two spider-giraffes, with alien-looking forest silhouetted in the background (perhaps with a werewolf-like shadow) is probably what your focus group is looking for.
Too obvious? Maybe.
Depens which teenage girls you are trying ot speak to. Wouldn’t appeal to tenage girls who want to be princesses and spend all day planning their wedding and daydreaming about ponies.Bet it appeals fine to teenage girls who love space odyssey and james bond.
Aha. Feed’s working again.
“Its just a fun book”
Just ordered my copy of Zoe’s Tale and I’m really looking forward to it.
Well, my teenage son LOVED the book. My preteen son is reading it now.
I don’t think the cover had much to do with him reading it, anyway. MY DH and I enjoyed the book, and we talk about books a lot in out house, so the kids love it when they can read something we’ve read and join in the discussions.
I had to double-take on this.. For a moment I thought you were talking about the ‘teaparties in science fiction’ bit being repackaged.
That’s what I get for skimming..
Both of my teenage sons liked the cover and the book. So it does work well for some of the YA set.
Well, it’s perfectly understandable to use the obligatory space battle cover to increase sales for the adult market. That doesn’t mean the increasingly irrelevant and misleading covers are good, mind you. They’re just somewhat pretty, higher-selling crap.
I suspect you don’t mind this.
I will note it was your blog and the tor.com giveaway that got me started on your books; I never would have given the books a second thought if I saw them in a bookstore.
Oddly enough, I barely registered the cover art when I first picked up my copy (“hmmm. . .greenish”), but went right to the story inside. Oddly, I say, because ordinarily I tend to notice, and sometimes to dwell on, covers.
Scalzi, what is this strange power you have over me?
Hmm… I haven’t read Zoe’s Tale, but I just realized that when I read The Last Colony I vaguely imagined those two looking like Alice the Goon from Popeye.
No, I don’t know why.
Ah. Teenage girls. Then you probably should have had Zoe im-ing somebody?
My nine-year-old (mentally going on fifteen years old) daughter that it was “pretty cool” when I showed it to her. But then again, she is simultaneously reading 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, the Myths of King Arthur, The Jungle Book and The Swiss Family Robinson (I’ve created a monster!!!!).