Friday Faceoff – I would love a robot butler… #Brainfluffbookblog #FridayFaceoffrobotcovers #@SciFiMonth2019


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 this week we are featuring ROBOTS. I’ve selected Robots and Empire – Book 4 of the Robot series by Isaac Asimov. I’m also linking this post to @SciFiMonth2019.


This edition was produced by Voyager in 1996 and you can clearly see the influence of the Terminator films in this iteration of the robot. I really like this offering. The artwork is uncluttered by a lot of chatter and there is something innately disturbing in watching him attach that arm. The author font – the main selling point – is also looking awesome, for a pleasant change.


Published in November 1986, this is one for those who like their covers old-school sci-fi. The detailed artwork, the figures in the middle of a dramatic moment and the lumpy font, complete with a flashy textbox adding some sales patter gives this cover a 50s/60s feel. I think it really works.


This hardcover edition, published by Doubleday & Co Inc in August 1985, features the font in a metallic, futuristic style that I love. This cover makes such a statement! I love the extra details of the robot and human protagonists depicted in those boxes, which are highlighted by the patterning. I love the clean, no chatter approach which means we get to enjoy the design without any needless distractions. I’d like to think this is a highly embossed cover. It is my favourite.


This Spanish edition, produced by Plaza & Janes Editories Sa in January 1991, instead, zooms in on the robotic face. It grabs our attention with that oh-so-human gaze. I also really like this one. But while I like the bright yellow colouring on the fonts and the quirky slant – I’m not sure exactly what that blue textbox is supposed to represent. It distracts my attention from that amazing face and yet doesn’t seem to be part of the overall design, which is a real shame. This one would have been contender, otherwise.


This hardcover edition, published in September 1985 by Grafton, is another gem. I love this classic old-school cover with those lovely Metal-Mickey type robots toiling away – the blue-grey is beautifully highlighted against that gorgeous orange/red backdrop. And that punchy font works fabulously well – yes again, no clutter, no chatter, no textbox *swoon*. I’m in heaven. If it wasn’t for that fabulous Doubleday offering, this would be my choice of the week. What about you – which one do you prefer?

28 responses »

  1. The final (Grafton) cover is the one I owned for so long and reread twice. If I had to “vote” for the best, I’d choose that out of nostalgia. ALL of the covers are excellent this time.

    • Thank you, Rae! I completely agree that all the covers are marvellous – and seeing them without all that chatter splattered across them, I feel completely vindicated in regularly moaning about their disfiguring presence.
      I’ve read the first book in this classic series – but not the others. Clearly ones to add to my TBR. Thank you for the recommendation:))

    • It is a cracking cover, isn’t it? I love it when the quality of all the covers means that it comes down to personal choice, as I find it fascinating to see which turn out to be the most popular.

  2. I need to get my nose in more Asimov soon. Feel like I haven’t read nearly enough sci-fi lately.

    As for these covers, the last one is definitely my favourite! Simple and timeless 👌

  3. Glad to see someone mention Asimov. Nobody reads his books these days I feel. I love this series a lot and it introduced me to Scifi along with his Foundation series. I own the first cover and like it.

    • Yes – it’s easy to dismiss his books, but you’re right – he introduced so many of us to sci fi. And the Robot and Foundation series established the groundwork of the genre…

  4. Wow, there are some awesome styles at work here! I agree on that Terminator style–the robot’s cold look while dismantling itself is pretty unsettling. Having human and robot on the same cover invites the foreshadowing of conflict, which is nice. The play with fonts promises all sorts of different things, like epic adventure, cold futures, and more. Honestly, I think each cover’s got something great to offer!

  5. It’s a tough choice, but I think I’ll go with the last one just because it’s so eye-catching. I didn’t like the Spanish one at all (to me it’s dull), and although I like the second one for its retro-feel, my first impression was to wonder whether its Star Wars franchise. 🙂

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