Friday Faceoff – I never let my schooling interfere with my education…


This meme was started by Books by Proxy, whose fabulous idea was to compare UK and US book covers and decide which is we prefer. This week the theme is school covers, so I’ve chosen Ender’s Game – Book 1 of Ender’s Saga by Scott Orson Card – a distinctly futuristic educational experience.


This is the offering produced by Tor in April 2010 is a lovely uncluttered cover, allowing us to fully appreciate the lovely artwork. I particularly like the depiction of Ender, who looks young and fragile for all his techie suit and cleverness – which is exactly as Card wrote him. This is my favourite cover.


This cover produced by Starscape in February 2002 gives us another view of Ender, who is clearly older here. But I love the colours and the detail as he struggles to prevail in the lethal game he is playing. It’s just a shame the title and author crunch so aggressively through the cover art.


This cover produced in October 2013 by Tor is clearly heavily influenced by the film. For all that, while I don’t like it quite as much as the previous two covers, I don’t dislike it, either.


This effort was produced by Orbit in 2011 is basically the cover of the film, featuring all the main characters superimposed on Ender’s face. For all that, I really like this one. It successfully captures the flavour of the book and as the casting was both clever and creative, even if the film fell some way short of the quality of the book, I think it is very successful.


This is another edition produced by Starscape in February 2002. While I know the definition is rather fuzzy, I like this one, too – especially as Ender is suitably young. I like the fact we have his classmates floating around in the background as well.

I think these are all good covers, though the first one just edges it for me. Which one is your favourite?

27 responses »

  1. The first one is definitely the most beautiful one (though I do feel it’s been influenced by the movie’s aesthetics too), while the last is charming, because it says “classics!” and yes, Ender seems the right age and appropriately “naive”.
    I agree that the second is too busy and cluttered: the artwork is already very busy, and the title/author name don’t help.

  2. Definitely the first one! But the fourth one is also not bad. The rest really just look like movie posters or computer games… I’ve actually never read Ender’s Game even though I’ve known about it for years! Nice pick.

  3. I like seeing how different these are and still common elements. I also like the first one, but the second to fourth covers have a stronger sci-fi feel. I haven’t read the book yet so I am not sure what fits the best, but the third one is the one I’ve seen so far and feels most familiar because of that. I do like that one, but really all of these look pretty great and sound like they fit the book as well.

  4. I concur on that first book. It’s become a beef between me and Hollywood when it comes to aging up the protagonists for the sake of film marketing: Percy Jackson, The Giver, and apparently this, too. The stories use children for a reason, don’t they? Angst and crushes aren’t meant to take center stage as they usually do with teenaged characters. Why the forced adult themes into children’s stories? GAH!
    So yes, I like that first cover. It’s sleek AND youthful. 😉

    • I suspect there are also practical considerations – child actors who can act convincingly for the camera are rare and also require schooling breaks, chaparoning, etc that older teens may require but in less intensive quantities… But I’ll agree that it is annoying for the reader/viewer!

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