Friday Faceoff – I collect hats. That’s what you do when you’re bald. (James Taylor)


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 hats, so I’ve taken the idea of hats into space by choosing The Martian by Andy Weir – see my review. After all, he is wearing his helmet on his head – it must count as a type of hat…


This is my personal favourite. I love the drama of the swirling red dust as poor old Mark is being swept away and think this is the cover that most effectively depicts the initial drama the starts the book. It was produced in February 2014 by Crown.


This edition, produced in February 2014 by Edbury Digital is produced as a movie tie-in cover. So it is Matt Damon suffering on the cover, with flashes of the faceplate hinting at the helmet as he considers his plight after being stranded on Mars. Again, the colour of the cover and his agonised expression captures the drama of the situation.


Published in February 2014 by Broadway Books, this is the ‘arrested’ version – we all have them. The photo of us that looks like it’s been taken at a police station after we’ve done something naughty… I’m quite comforted to see that even film stars endure such pics, as I thought it was only one’s children who specialised in taking these efforts. Suffice to say this isn’t a cover that would persuade me to rush out and buy this book.


This cover, produced by Autopublished in September 2012, is clearly a DIY effort. Having said that, I’ve seen worse – the biggest criticism of it being that it is very generic. However, that clearly didn’t stop people buying this book in droves, as it subsequently attracted a publishing deal based on its popularity.


This Russian cover is another strong contender. I like the drama and fact it depicts the full horror of Mark’s situation. Produced by ACT in September 2014, I like the fact we are seeing exactly what Mark sees – although I’m not sure there are quite so many clouds in a Martian sky. Which cover do you like best?

25 responses »

  1. I own the Broadway Books version, but my favorite is the first one by Crown. The red dust everywhere, the hint of Martian landscape in the background, and how it all darkens at the bottom – it’s aesthetically beautiful. And I’ve never seen the Russian one before, but I really like that one, too.

    • Yes – the first one is awesome, I think:). And I agree – the Russian one is also a great cover – very effective. It’s a cracking read – I thought the film was something of a disappointment as it didn’t fully convey either the humour or sufficient drama on the long trip he made.

  2. Haha you can definitely class this under hats in my opinion – space hats?! All the covers work quite well but I HAVE to choose the Crown cover as my favourite. I love that dusty red backdrop with the lone, stranded figure – very evocative! 😀

  3. I love this pick- good one! I agree the first cover is definitely my favorite. I do like the DIY one though because I always love a desolate planetscape, and that one delivers. The Russian cover has some of that too…

    • I’m glad you like it, Greg:). It’s a favourite read of mine. Yes – you’re right about the DIY cover, it certainly gives an effective idea of the book… It’s encouraging that I have had two weeks in a row without any bad covers.

  4. The 2014 crown published cover is my favorite , partly because my copy of the martian has that cover and partly because I really don’t like movie covers

    • Thank you Lynn – I couldn’t find one that did the job without bending the rules, unlike you:)). Yes – I think the Russian cover is also a strong contender.

    • They are a much better selection than some I post about, that’s for sure:). Thank you for popping in, Rae – especially as I know you’re very busy right now.

  5. I’m not a big fan of movie tie in covers but I do really like the first one. There’s so much intensity there. I agree the 2nd one looks like either a mug shot or a driver’s license picture.

    • lol… I hadn’t thought of the drivers’ licence pic – but you’re right:). Yes – I have a soft spot for the first one as it happens to be the cover on the Kindle edition I own.

  6. I saw on another post–happy birthday! Hope it was a celebration to remember. 🙂 I can see why you like the first cover the most–I think it’s the weightlessness, the fact he’s not even grounded and in mere dust, makes the situation simply terrifying. But I gotta admit that Russian cover is my favorite; yes, he’s grounded, but clearly on alien ground, bleak ground, with no sense of life ANYwhere. That and it’s just a pretty picture. 🙂

  7. I like the first one the most. It not only portrays the initial drama well, but also the theme of the book: the struggle against the environment.
    The ones with head shot, well, they just feel like trying to draw the movie’s audience, and the planet one feels empty and unfinished. Though the Russian one isn’t bad. Still, the first one wins in my eyes. 🙂

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