Friday Face-Off: Soldier
Welcome to The Friday Face-Off, a weekly meme created by Books by Proxy! Each Friday, we will pit cover against cover while also taking the opportunity to showcase gorgeous artwork and feature some of our favorite book covers. If you want to join the fun, simply choose a book each Friday that fits that week’s predetermined theme, post and compare two or more different covers available for that book, then name your favorite. A list of future weeks’ themes are available at Lynn’s Book Blog.
This week’s theme is:
“No soldier outlives a thousand chances”
~ a cover featuring a SOLDIER
Old Man’s War by John Scalzi
Still my favorite John Scalzi novel even after all this time, Old Man’s War is the author’s exciting and hilarious take on military space opera which draws heavily on the themes of Starship Troopers by Robert A. Heinlein for inspiration. In this story, 75-year-old protagonist John Perry is given a second chance to be young again, but the only catch? He has to enlist in the Colonial Defense Force in order for his consciousness to be transferred to a young, genetically enhanced (and green) body so he can help fight for Earth’s colonies against hostile alien races.
Generally regarded as the book that brought Scalzi to prominence, Old Man’s War has since been reissued multiple times, not to mention translated into many different languages. Not surprisingly, there are a lot of covers, so let’s take a look at a selection of them now.
First row, from left to right: Tor Hardcover (2005) – Tor Paperback (2005) – Subterranean Press (2007) – French (2016)
Second row, left to right: German (2007) – Romanian (2015) – Hungarian (2012) – Spanish (2007)
Third row, left to right: Portuguese (2015) – Russian (2016) – Turkish (2012) – Polish (2016)
Hmm. No clear favorite for me this week even with all these choices, though in general I think I prefer the newer covers over the ones pre-2010. The one exception would be the Tor Paperback (2005) because it has that old-school sci-fi look that I think many genre readers would feel a natural affinity for, and it’s also the cover I know best. I also really like the designs for the French (2016) and Polish (2016) covers, but unfortunately neither of them are a good representation of the tone and style of the novel.
Taking in account these factors along with a whole bunch of other considerations, ultimately I think I’m going to have to go with the Portuguese (2015) cover as the winner. For one thing, it’s very action oriented, depicting the conflict between the aliens and Colonial Defense Force soldiers. Its style is also very reminiscent of Starship Troopers, which tells me that the designer understands the intent behind the novel and demonstrates that by giving a nod to the story’s inspiration.
What do you think? Which one is your favorite?