Friday Faceoff –Each man should frame his life so that at some future hour fact and his dreaming meet… #Brainfluffbookblog #FridayFaceoffframecovers


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 being nurtured by Lynn’s Book Blog and this week we are featuring covers with FRAMES. I’ve selected the first book in the mighty series – The Many-Colored Land – Book 1 of the Pliocene Saga by Julian May.

Del Rey 1985

This offering was produced by Del Rey in January 1985. This is full of drama and colour, featuring one of the powerful alien women, accompanied by a human torc-wearer. The stormy sky denotes the time tunnel that links the Pliocene era with modern Earth, allowing people to make the one-way journey into the past. While I like the cover design and am a fan of striking title fonts – the vivid fuchsia clashes with the colour palette in the rest of the cover and unbalances it visually, rather spoiling the overall effect.

Del Rey 1983

Published in June 1983, by Del Rey, I think this cover is more successful. I really like the punchy colours and clever design. The horse-riding warrior apparently riding out across a modern cityscape with a space ship in the background raises interesting questions that would make me want to pick up this book. I also like the title and author fonts, both their design and the colours, which work well with the rest of the cover. However, I don’t like all that chatter crammed across the top of the cover which detracts from the awesome image.

Fawcett Books 1982

This edition, published in March 1982 by Fawcett Books is beautiful. I love the stylised landscape, with those volcanic mountains disappearing into the distance – clearly in the other timezone. And that amazing time tunnel wending its way across the world, apparently floating there. And yes… I know there is a black textbox chopping off the fabulous image across the bottom of the cover AND there is too much chatter at the top. But there is also a really funky sci fi font that looks awesome and adds to the sense of science fiction otherness of the whole design. This is my favourite.

Houghton Mifflin 1981

This edition, published in January 1981 by Houghton Mifflin, is also a strong contender. We have a stream of people from across a variety of times trekking towards the tunnel. We can see the other version of Earth in space, beyond where everyone has congregated ready for their new lives. The title and author fonts do the job – but I very much like how the textboxes have been left transparent, so we can still appreciate the cover design, while the title and author are suitably visually set apart from the action.

La máquina que hace PING! 2019

This Spanish edition, published by La máquina que hace PING! in September 2019, is a close contender. I love the haughty look on the beautiful woman’s face and the odd mixture of clothing she is wearing. I also like the backdrop – presumably the entrance to the tunnel on the other side in the Pliocene era, judging by the luxuriant ferns. The coloration and strong design make this an eye-catching cover that has me wondering what is going on. What about you – which is your favourite?

23 responses »

  1. Hi there Sarah! Never even heard of this series! But what lovely covers. I like the Houghton Mifflin one the most.

    I’ve featured Friday Face-off in my Friday post again. Lots of fun! Hope you will have a good weekend. Weekend Book Friends

    • It’s a fabulous series – Julian May’s world is turbulent, violent and sexy, but beguiling and filled with strong, charismatic figures and wonderful details. It altered my reading tastes forever and completely turned me onto SFF, because all those worthy literary novels seemed so VANILLA by contrast… I don’t reread, but if I did – this would be a series that I’d revisit:)).

  2. I’m going with the Houghton Mifflin 1981 cover. I love the gorgeous skies and terrain and the way the group is staring off into the distance😁

  3. The 1983 Del Rey cover is the one I remember from when I worked in a bookstore in the 80s. (Oddly, though I started there in 1984 and worked for the same chain until 1990, I don’t remember ever seeing the 1985 cover.)

    I agree, though, that the Fawcett cover is the best.

    • Oh, that is odd… Though perhaps they had a large print run of the 1983 edition – books were printed in their thousands back in those days and it took a while to sell them all… The cover on our printed copy is boring and blue – and certainly not a patch on the Fawcett cover:))

    • I’ve found myself increasingly fond of this one – I love the strong, warm colour tones and it’s captured the exotic, rather dangerous feel of the book, which is a very neat trick:)).

    • Oh, I know! When I encountered this book in my trawl for vistas within worlds – it HAD to be this one. I think I read the first four books back to back – something I hardly ever do. And then had to wait while I tracked down the others…

      As for the covers – they are both really good and I think it comes down to personal taste:)

  4. I think the Houghton one is my favourite this week – it’s really well done and I love the oddball collection of people clearly making their way somewhere..
    Lynn 😀

  5. Pingback: The Friday Face-Off: Framed – Books by Proxy

  6. I am such a sucker for good sci-fi font. 🙂 Sure there’s chatter, but it’s squished down in the corner so that amazing floating tunnel isn’t covered up at all. That’s a killer cover, that is!

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