Friday Faceoff – After every storm the sun will smile…


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 a cover featuring the sun, so I’ve selected Sundiver – Book 1 of the Uplift series by David Brin.


This cover, produced by Bantam Spectra in July 2010, is certainly full of drama. They certainly have the tone of the novel nailed – bossy aliens and overwhelmed humans clearly on the back foot. The artwork is dramatic and pleasing, though it’s pity about those blocks of brown topping and tailing the cover.


This edition was produced by Orbit in December 2011 and is a copy of their 1996 design, which I actually prefer because I think the shadowed lettering stands out far more successfully. Unfortunately, because it is a photo of the cover, the definition is poor. But for all that, this is my favourite. That torus is just so beautiful against the sizzling heat of the sun…


Published in November 1981 by Bantam, I also really like this one. Where the previous cover is all about drama, heat and fire – this one is darker with shadows and… things lurking there that may or may not be threats. The sphere looks suitably otherworldly, too. The big problem with this one is the lettering – it blends into the artwork far too much.


This French edition, published by Le Livre de Poche in June 1995 is another good effort, with all those swirling solar winds. I like the rather quirky font, too. However the overall effect is rather crude which is why it isn’t my favourite, though I do have a soft spot for this one…


This German edition, produced by Heyne in February 2014 is another very pleasing effort. I love the simplicity of the design, which really pops in thumbnail size and the fade effect on David Brin’s name is very effective. It is wasn’t for that amazing torus, this would probably have got my vote this week. Which is your favourite?

24 responses »

  1. I haven’t read this book, but it looks like a big donut on the cover of the Orbit edition! I really like the retro look of the Bantam edition.

  2. Pingback: The Friday Face-Off: …But Icarus Flew Too Close – Books by Proxy

  3. Oh man,I’m glad I’m not the only one who thought doughnuts! But I’m reading this before breakfast, so maybe SunDiver shouldn’t be touched until after a full meal. 🙂 That said, there’s something about the crack in the sun on the French cover that makes me think of adventure, and journey. The previous cover with the orb has this totally different tone, as you point out, something dark and mysterious. Yet of all these covers, I think it’s the first that gets me with the more intimate conflict at the forefront and the interstellar adventure in the background…

    • The Uplift novels were a revelation to me when I read them – such a very cool premise! And the first novel probably gives the emotional tone most thoroughly even though I don’t like it very much. I’m still all about the torus:)).

    • Lol… well if you keep seeing FOOD flying around, then you clearly aren’t going to bond with the cover:)). But the cover featuring the sphere is beautiful, too.

  4. Yeah, I completely agree with your choice this week. A giant flying donot – what’s not to love about that. Only kidding – it’s a great cover (even if it does want me to eat a Krispy Creme.
    Lynn 😀

    • Lol… I was a bit poleaxed when folks kept seeing donuts:)). But I’ve read the story and still have my head in torusville… And now you mention is – are those lights or are they hundreds and thousands sprinkled all over a chocolate covering??

  5. I think I’m in the simplicity mood, because I like the 1981’s one the most. Though the last one is also eye-catching. And this time I’ll disagree with you: the torus made me cringe and I scrolled down quickly.

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