From the “How Cool is This” Department

A few months ago my French publisher L’Atalante asked me if they could use my short story “After the Coup” for a giveaway chapbook to promote their line (and my books). I said “sure” and then promptly forgot about it until this afternoon, when in my mail were a couple dozen copies of the chapbook, with the cover you see above, done by Didier Florentz, who does my other L’Atalante covers as well. The title has changed; now it’s “Diplomacy in Three Rounds,” which is of course exactly what goes on in the story, and the cover captures a nice moment in the story too. Overall, a nice surprise for the day.

35 Comments on “From the “How Cool is This” Department”

  1. Hmm, I guess my French is a little rusty. From looking at the cover, I had that translated as “Teen Hulk vs. the Gorn.”

  2. It hadn’t really hit me until I saw this picture, but between the green skin and the engineered-perfect physiques, the Colonials must look like an Army of Hulk.

    Which is pretty cool.

  3. Speaking of the Hulk, the cover makes me wonder what would have happened if the Korban had made Harry angry.

    It looks to me as if the design of the Korban was based on the Japanese series “Ultra-man”.

  4. no spoilers, but the first time I read this story, I died laughing. Died. I had to be revived and everything. True story*.

    Anyway, I love that the cover has an old school, pulpy vibe without looking outdated. Good times.


  5. All kidding aside, at least the artist has read the story and made the attempt at relevence. It beats the German way which involves large space dreadnaughts and laser blasts for every Science fiction title out there. Any Frenchmen would tell you they have more class than the Germans. Well, he’d tell you they have more class than anyone, but that’ another thing entirely..

    I like this very much.

  6. I don’t suppose there’s a way for US-ian fans to get hold of a copy? Unhopeful cat is unhopeful.

  7. Mensley:

    Fly to Belgium and go into a bookstore. Otherwise, probably not. I might give away one or two, but don’t get your hopes up, I’m pathetically disorganized.

  8. Annalee@9: “…the cover has an old school, pulpy vibe…”

    Wow, you’re right! Change the green skin and dark hair to shades of bronze and you’d have a Doc Savage cover.

  9. Love the cover. Clearly you and your dog had nothing to do with the design. :)

    By the way, where does this story fall in the OMW series time line?

  10. John Scalzi@13:
    That’s about what I figured, but thought it couldn’t hurt to ask. Thanks.

  11. Dave H @ 17:

    Change the green skin and dark hair to shades of bronze and you’d have a Doc Savage cover.

    You’d also need to give the guy a torn shirt.

  12. This would be a most awesome addition to my collection although I would have to learn some French. It might be quite funny through Google translate too though.

    I shall keep my eyes peeled for any signs of a giveaway.

  13. I downloaded this story from your site, when I first discovered it. And this it TOTALLY how I pictured the two of them going at it.

    Who knew the French were so literal?

  14. mansley@12:

    You could also probably get a copy in Quebec, Canada, which is a bit closer than Belgium. The bookstores here tend to import French books on a fairly regular basis.

  15. Y’know, every time a character in OMW and TGB mentioned the green skin, I went “Oh, right…” And looking at that cover, it took me a second to realize that wasn’t the Hulk. I just can’t seem to keep that idea in my head.

    Which leads me to a question for John: if, in the process of developing an OMW movie, a producer or director wanted to cut the green skin, (too distracting; too Avatar-esque) how strenuously would you object?

  16. I was taught that ‘cool’ in French is ‘chouette!’. Mind you, I learned French in the eighties so by now that is probably a totally square thing to say. (or cool again, in a kind of retro way, you never know with these kids)

    On topic: the cover really fits my mental picture of the story very well.

  17. So few french here ? And don’t go to Belgium, go to France ! I like L’Atalante job andeven if it’s not my favorite cover, it has style.

  18. mensley@12, John Scalzi@13

    what matt@25 said.

    Also, if you’re planning on flying all the way to Europe to buy a book in French from a French publisher, you might want to try France first.

    That being said, if Canada fails you, you can always order it online from (when it’s available), and for a measely €17 they’ll fedex your order over.

  19. Don’t really love the cover. But it’s nice from Atlante to make a cover related to the story.

    A rare thing nowadays.

    @Scalzi : As an author who rocks (it has to be said). Would like very much seeing a movie based on ‘old man war’.

    @Philbert : you were taught wrong ;)

    The word ‘cool’ in french is ‘cool’. Chouette is a synonym but as you guessed it’s a little outdated.

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