Korean Cover of Fuzzy Nation

I’m not gonna lie to you, Internet: This is a staggeringly cool cover.

One note of errata: If the woman on the cover is meant to be Isabel Wangai, the skin tone (and hair color, and eye color) are off a bit, as Isabel is Kenyan (as noted in the next). There may be blonde, fair-skinned, blue-eyed Kenyans, but Isabel isn’t one of them. It’s entirely possible the artist was not informed of Isabel’s heritage before he or she went to work.

Other than that bit of errata? Love it.

27 Comments on “Korean Cover of Fuzzy Nation”

  1. So my Korean is terrible (something I need to improve if I don’t want my wife to eventually kill me) but it seems the title in Korean is “Little Friends of the Planet” or maybe “The Planet’s Little Friends”

  2. changterhune – Before you hear lies from Chang Terhune himself, we thought we’d tell you the truth: without us, his old action figures, he’d be nowhere. He loved science fiction from way back and began reading it at an early age, but it was through us that he acted it all out. That’s what led to the writing. He watched a lot of science fiction shows like Star Trek, U.F.O, and movies, too. But we were always there to do his bidding. And it’s like they say: you always forget about the little people on your way up. Oh, the 70’s and early 80’s with him were good times! He’d use these blocks and make all the crazy buildings for us to be in his stories. I gotta say the kid’s imagination was pretty damn fertile. Oh, he had friends, but they just weren’t into it like him. He was like the Lance Armstrong of action figures. And of science fiction. At first, when he began writing in the eighth grade, we didn’t mind. He still made time for us. And we knew that when he was holding us in his sweaty little hands and he got that far off look in his eye, he’d come back to burying us in the back yard or - god forbid! – blowing us up with firecrackers. But it was worth it for a part in one of those stories. We loved him for it. He kept us around even when we were minus a leg or two - or even a head. In that mind of his, he found a use for all of us. Then he discovered girls. October, 1986. It was like the end of the world. One day we’re standing in the middle of this building block creation he’d pretended was some marble city on a planet near Alpha Centauri and the next we were stuck in a box in the closet. Not even a “See ya later!” Nope, it was into the closet, then we heard some high-pitched girly-giggles then silence. We didn’t see him for years. We got word about him once in a while. Heard he took up writing, but it was crap like “The Breakfast Club” only with better music. We couldn’t believe it. Not Charlie. What happened to those aliens with heads he’d sculpted out of wax? Spaceships? Those complex plots? All gone. For what? You guessed it: Girls. Emotions. “Serious fiction.” I tell you, it was like hearing Elvis had left the building. During our two decade exile in the closet, we heard other things about him. He went to college. He wrote a lot, but not much he really liked. We knew it even then. It was like he didn’t dare write science fiction. Some of us had lost hope and just lay there. Others kept vigil, hoping for a day we didn’t dare speak about. Then we heard he’d stopped writing in 1996. Did he come to reclaim us? No. He took up music for ten years or so. He took up yoga. Once in a while, he’d visit us in the closet. But it was half-hearted. His mind was elsewhere. Then one day, he really did come back for us. One second we’re in the dark and the next thing we know we’re in a car headed for Massachusetts. Suddenly we got a whole shelf to ourselves out in broad daylight! Then he bought a bunch of others form some planet called Ebay. He’d just sit and stare at us with that old look. But why were we suddenly back in the picture? He had a wife now, who didn’t mind that he played with us. So what had happened? Turns out he’d never forgotten about those stories. He’d been thinking about all of us and the stories he’d made up and then remembered he’d been a writer once. From the shelf we could see him typing away. Before long he’s got a whole novel together! Then he’s working on another one. Word is there are two more in the planning stages! Some short stories, too! It’s good to see him using his imagination again. Its good to know he never abandoned us. He returned to his true love of science fiction. We hear the stories are pretty good. Someday we’ll get one of the cats to score us a copy of the manuscript. Man, it’s good to be out of the damn closet! --- I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me

    Jesus it gives the whole book away!!!

  3. It’s a cool cover, so I want to be precise that I ask this next question without snark. Unintentional whitewashing on account of assuming a white Westerner would write all white characters?

  4. Gulliver: If unintentional or intentional whitewashing occurred it probably has a lot more to do with Korea’s own internal issues than with any assumptions they may have made about a western author’s issues. Korea is improving every year, but racism in this country towards those of darker skin colors is something they can pull off just fine on their own. I sincerely hope the artist just didn’t know about the character’s heritage, but I’m guessing some people in the publishing industry here at least believe white characters on covers would sell better than black or brown. That may have played no factor at all into this cover though. It is, in all other ways, a very cool cover. I may have to go see if I can find it in a bookstore.

  5. @ Jeff Xilon

    It’s a great book, especially if you’ve read the original which I just happened to have read a couple of months before John announced his reboot. They’re interesting to compare plot-for-plot.

  6. I think the “cat + E.T” hieroglyph text bubble is about the coolest thing I’ve seen on a cover in a while.

    Also, welcome back from the raw sewage escapades.

  7. Oh, I heard the artist bought an existing artwork(Roy Lichtenstein’s I guess, but I have to check out) and changed with purpose. I mean the man and the woman, not the hieroglyphs. And she couldn’t find a perfect woman pic… Still, it was really interesting to read comments about skin color and Korean culture. You gave me something to think about.

    Anyway, I’m glad you like it, and thank you for your understanding(sorry!). – your korean translator

  8. So “Fuzzy Nation” translates to “The Planet of Little Friends.” That’s actually pretty typical for Korea. As is assuming every foreigner is blonde and blue-eyed. Though it is entirely possible that the artist knew the heroine’s colors but made her blonde anyway because it will sell more books.

  9. Oops, I can’t change my comment. so
    Add: Of course I’m not the artist nor the publisher, and I can’t read minds. So I’d better shut up… but I’m assured it’s not intentional. Not this case. Sorry to bother, again.

  10. Yeah, planet of little friends is right. I live in Korea and am reasonably sure it was an intentional change for the cover, I doubt many Koreans would buy a novel that has a black main character. Even my Korean friends, who are incredibly progressive by Korean standards, are still pretty racist about certain groups. It’s taught in school and by parents. My students are always flabbergasted if I show them a picture of a city in Africa and they see black people who aren’t living in mud huts and eating babies. “Teacher, they have buildings?!”

  11. Er, little friends’ planet. The 의 is the possessive particle. 작은 Small 친구 friend (though not in the same sense as the English word, more of a person the same age/station as you–it’s translated as friend but not terribly accurate) 들 plural particle 의possessive particle 행성 planet, literally.

  12. I met a blonde and blue eyed Tanzanian on a train a couple of months ago. Nice girl with one of those accents I just couldn’t place. So it’s not completely impossible.

  13. I just want to say when I saw that cover it just worked for me. Not the prettiest thing to see, but dang if it didn’t put the crux of the story down in pictures. Somebody did their homework back in Nippon. Kudos to them.

  14. (Pssst, gleonguerrero: “Nippon” is Japan, not Korea.)

    I remain fascinated by the different cover trends/aesthetics/fashions of each country and culture. It’s wonderful to see that other places do things not just different from American publishers, but often radically different. Ah, humanity, sometimes I love you so much.

  15. Did I just say ‘Nippon’? Ohhh, bad me, BAAAAD. I used to be married to a Korean too. Bad me, BAD. I took a Korean martial art. BAD me. Wow, can’t believe I did that. Like I can’t tell Hangul from Kanji. Bad, just plain bad. I’m going to go and hide in shame now.

  16. Ignorant white guy wonders what it says in the bubble above the woman’s head?

    I figured out the “OHHH” and the “BOOM”

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