Book Covers From Distant Lands
Posted on October 12, 2010 Posted by John Scalzi 22 Comments
Hey, wanna see some of my book covers from Romania and South Korea? Sure you do:
The one on the left is the Romanian version of Old Man’s War, which took a long and arduous path to publication but finally made it into print this last week; the one on the right is the Korean-language version of The Ghost Brigades, which has been out for some time, apparently (I was sent it by my Korean translator, who was asking me a question about The Last Colony, which he’s currently prepping).
Both are handsome-looking covers, and quite green, I have to say, keeping with the soldiers in question. And the way I have them arranged, it looks like the starburst from the Korean cover is causing lens flare on the Romanian cover. It’s just a coincidence, I’m sure.
Sweet! You seem to have a charmed career when it comes to illustrators. Or illustrator. Maybe there’s just one big “the works of John Scalzi” painting somewhere and publishers around the world are licensing pieces of it for their covers. That could explain how well the lighting lines up between these two.
That Romanian cover would look right at home on Starship Troopers. (I count that as a plus. Your opinion may vary.)
That’s a very Starcraftian helmet setup on the Romanian one. I would have expected that more on the Korean, although I have no idea how big Starcraft may or may not be in Romania (stranger things have happened).
Wow – how many translations does that make for OMW? You should be able to fill up a full bookshelf with them by now, I’d think.
John, do you get copies of your translations from your U.S. publishers? I know that at least one of my technical books has been translated into Japanese, and I believe several other languages, but when I asked my editor for a copy, he said that they don’t keep foreign copies in the office, as they wouldn’t have room for them all. Further, he wasn’t even sure exactly which languages my book had been translated into, so I let the matter drop. Going by my own experience as an in-house editor, that seems to be pretty much normal, at least for technical and medical publishers; translations were handled by the foreign rights department, and the editors usually didn’t know about them.
So even though I understand it, there’s still a part of me that thinks it’d be really cool to have a copy of my book in Japanese.
“John, do you get copies of your translations from your U.S. publishers?”
No, since they don’t own the translation rights, I do. I get my copies from the foreign language publishers.
I don’t think it’s just coincidence that the starburst on the one cover lines up with the lens flare on the other. It looks like there’s a fairly clearly-right vertical position on a book cover for a bright flash to go, whether that’s an actual one (on the Korean cover) or an implied one (from the lens flare on the Romanian one).
Hot damn, that’s some pretty sweet artwork, in both cases.
I like them both better than the American covers. Both show more life and action and emotion.
@john: glad you like it. and especially glad we finally pulled it out, after so many adventures.
@hargrimm: i am not familiar with starcraft myself, but i was already told the artwork has a starcraft feel to it. the illustrator, who’s big on games, has confirmed it :) i simply liked the piece and the one i have comissioned for “the ghost brigades” should be even more effective (it’s due to come in in a week or so).
@8: If you mean John Harris’ covers, I must say I really, really love them. They are very reminiscent of the pulp-SF-covers of the Fifties and Sixties, art style, motive and all.
Those two covers are very good, but lack a certain atmosphere that Harris’ covers have in my opinion.
I love the South Korean cover. I’m actually in negotiations with a South Korean publisher for my debut SFF novel. With any luck, it’ll serve as a international launching platform . . .
@hargrimm: Starcraft is fairly big in Romania, especially since the launch of SC2, of course not at the level of South Korea, but we are on the Starcraft map.
I’m sure the romanian cover for The Ghost Brigades will be more impresive than the south korean one(but I am a little bit biased) :)
I spent a long weekend in Kuwait City, and I was disappointed to find that none of your work has been translated into Arabic, at least not in any of the bookstores I went to.
It’s interesting that in the huge malls in Kuwait City, there are many stores for clothes,jewelry, and other big-ticket items, but several of the malls there don’t have even one bookstore. Can you imagine such a thing? A lot of the bookstores in Kuwait City either double as news stands, or are the cliched dusty holes in the wall with shelves that run floor to ceiling.
The Romanian cover is pretty hardcore. I quite like it. I also notice a Starcraft marine feel to it as well.
The American covers for the Old Man’s War series are nice too.
Though, I do have to admit that I’d love to see what Jim Burns would do with his brand of cover art for Old Man’s War, The Ghost Brigades, or The Last Colony.
Both are nicely badass and I’d by then if I read either language.
I will say the one on the left looks a little more like this Batrinilor fellow has just written your biography.
cripes – “…buy them…”
Wow, that Romanian Old Man’s War looks totally badass. Is it bad I immediately thought of something from Starcraft when I saw it?
That really is a fantastic cover. Wow.
@craig, nathan: thanks, means a lot for us.
@alex: you have a beer on me next month. :D
@Rob your right, there are very few good book stores in Kuwait .
You will like this store
My first glance of the Romanian cover made me think “Why is G’kar on the cover?”
Romanian cover for The Ghost Brigades : http://uglybadbear.files.wordpress.com/2010/11/10-11-scalzi2-front.jpg?w=500&h=779
Take that South Korea
Korean traslater is female.