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 meme is currently being nurtured by Lynn’s Book Blog and the subject this week featuring on any of our covers is a SCREAM. I’ve selected Alien by Alan Dean Foster, as it could be argued that the tag is about a scream. And any crew member who encountered the alien at close quarters certainly ended up hollering.
This edition was produced by Grand Central Publishing in March 1979. Unusually, the film came first, then Alan Dean Foster was commissioned to write the Alien novels. This cover features that famous tagline from the movie, while the image featured shows a cracking egg. I think this is an incredibly dreary, and rather boring cover when considering the amazing visual impact of the film.
Published in September 2015 by Aelph, this Portuguese edition actually features the alien in all her spooky glory. I choose to think she is really very cross about human beings infecting her planet as she’s heard they are terrible for the environment. Or maybe she is suffering from a hangover – whatever it is, she is clearly very grumpy. As a cover, this is far more effective than the previous offering.
This edition, published by Nova Cultural in 1987, also hails from Portugal, but this time around features some original artwork, presumably of the aliens’ planet. I do love the title – The Eighth Passenger which I think is far more satisfactory than Alien.
This Portuguese edition – they were clearly a bit obsessed about this book – was produced in 1979 by Abril. I’m pleased they decided not to pinch any artwork from the film and I think the image is really striking. What spoils it for me is that white textbox splatted across the top of the design, which really undermines the effect of the design.
This Hungarian edition, published in 1987, is my favourite. I love the artwork, which puts me in mind of some of the quirky modernist science fiction covers of the 1960s and 70s. Featuring that fateful moment when a hapless crew member from Nostromo picks up one of the lethal eggs, it has plenty of drama. I also love the artwork in the background, which has echoes of the amazing set in the film. I think it’s striking, well designed and the best cover here by a long country mile. But what do you think – which is your favourite cover?
Alien always freaked me out- the first movie. I liked Aliens more I think because of the more military tone- the horror aspect of the first one creeped me out haha. Anyway- I think the Hungarian edition might be my fave too.
The Eighth Passenger is an interesting title, I definitely like it more.
Thank you, Greg. Yes – Alien was a real spine-chiller and I always preferred the storyline in the second book, which was also less of a cliche. We have the Director’s cut of Aliens, which makes a lot more sense of the story, too.
I’m glad you also agree that The Eighth Passenger is a good title:). Have a great weekend.
ok? My favourite is the Portuguese edition. The 2nd one. She’s all in her glory 🙂
She certainly is, Jackie:)). I think it’s a wonderful thing about that first film – you don’t really get to see her until near the end…
Interesting options! I prefer the first cover with the egg and the eerie colors, which lend an air of mystery if one doesn’t know the story. Book covers with faces usually don’t appeal to me. I DO like the title, “The Eighth Passenger,” however!
That’s fair enough – especially if you don’t like covers featuring faces. You’re right in that it certainly produces a sense of mystery and horror. And the title is better, isn’t it?
Yes, it’s much better!
Ah perfect, especially considering the Alien tagline! I gotta go with the second one – the classic xenomorph shot and the sight that has sent terror through sci-fi fans for decades! The 1979 one made me giggle though, that one looks a bit goofy from far off 😛
Yes – that second one is quite a draw, isn’t it? It’s got to be one of the most effective alien depictions ever. And the most terrifying!
I love this choice and the second one is the one for me although I love your choice with it’s retro feel. Such a scary movie and one that I think has stood the test of time.
Thank you, Lynn. Yes, it’s been a while since I’ve watched it, but I was struck then at how well it stood up. And I still think this is one of the best aliens depicted on screen, ever…
I really don’t like any of these except the Aelph edition, which is the only one remotely connected to the movie. But this was a fantastic choice for the theme this week!
Interestingly, the first one was also linked to the movie, but I do think it is rather underwhelming:).
The Hungarian edition is truly a good one because it features what one might call the inciting incident in the whole story – the moment when, no matter how many times I re-watch the movie, I always find myself shouting “don’t go near that thing!”. On the other hand, how could I resist the terrifying “beauty” of the creature, poised to strike, in the second cover?😊
Yes… I was tempted by the second cover – in fact, until I encountered the final one, I thought that would be my favourite – but I, too, loved the fact that it was featuring THAT scene…
I agree with your choice! Though I also like the 2015 by Aelph one that features the Alien
Yes, the Alien cover is very striking, isn’t it? Thank you for swinging by:))
I love the retro feel of that last one.
I’m all for that last cover too, with the foreboding egg and the astronaut hesitantly reaching to touch it, which we all know is the LAST thing one should do when in outer space. 🙂 The problem with the giant Alien alien (the xenomorph, yes?) is that it screams horror, when the story itself isn’t much of a horror at all.
Yes… the age-old problem of getting the genre right via the cover…
I really like the Hungarian edition for its classic scifi feel. I also like Aelph one just because aliens are eye-catching, and the whole cover is visually appealing.
Fun fact about the Nova edition: the planet on the cover is Earth, just slightly titled to the right and upwards (from a traditional, Europocentric view). We’re looking at the northern part of Africa and Arabian Peninsula. 🙂
That is an interesting fact! And you’re right – we generally do have an Eurocentric view of the world, or the planet… Doesn’t it make a difference, when we don’t??