Friday Face-Off: Purple

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:

“As purple as the heather ”
~ a cover which is mostly PURPLE

Mogsy’s Pick:
Altered Carbon by Richard K. Morgan

One of my earliest experiences with the cyberpunk noir genre was Altered Carbon, a novel that takes place in a future where humans are implanted with a cortical stack which stores their consciousness including memories and personalities digitally. This information can be transmitted and downloaded to new bodies, called sleeves. So if a person dies, their stack can be recovered and resleeved or stored indefinitely, resulting in a kind of artificial immortality.

Thing is, only the very wealthy can afford to acquire replacement bodies on a continual basis. One of these people, Laurens Bancroft, is so rich that he even has remote storage that automatically backs up his stack every two days. When Bancroft dies of an apparent suicide, he was resleeved from the latest backup, which has no memory of what happened in the previous 48 hours. He doesn’t buy he killed himself and instead believes he was murdered, and hires our protagonist Takeshi Kovacs to investigate his case.

As with most highly regarded novels, this one has a ton of editions and different covers. I am only going to feature a selection of the cooler looking ones, and fortunately several of these fit today’s theme of “Mostly (Shades of) Purple”.

First row, from left to right: Tantor Audio (2005) – Del Rey (2006) – Hungarian (2006) Portuguese (2008)


Gollancz (2002) – Gollancz (2008) – German (2014) – Greek (2005)


Portuguese (2017) – Italian (2004) – French (2003) – Del Rey (2003)



Oh boy, how to choose a winner, when there’s such a huge range of art styles to choose from? To be honest though, I don’t think I have a favorite, but there are a few interesting ones here for sure. In the end, it wasn’t a purple cover that jumped out at me; it was the dark and gritty, rust-colored and industrial-style look of the Portuguese (2017) edition that caught my eye. I certainly wouldn’t mind it as a poster on my wall.

What do you think? Do you have a favorite?

20 Comments on “Friday Face-Off: Purple”

  1. I’ve also not heard of this book. Sounds very good though. Covers – bit difficult to choose one, I like your choice and I like the first one too – it’s a bit ‘crazy’ somehow.
    Lynn 😀


  2. What a fantastic choice:). I really loved Altered Carbon… My favourite is the Del Rey cover, which has been slightly varied for the Portugese, Italian and French editions – I’m a sucker for a beautiful cityscape.


  3. This is a tricky one, but I think I like your final choice best. It’s less difficult on the eyes because of the more subdued tones, but still has a lot going on. Lots of details to explore.


    • Yeah, a lot of the designs are very busy. I think that’s why my second choice would probably be the Italian one with its clean lines and simple shades. I kinda like the Del Rey 2003 too, it’s a very flattering pic of the main character 😛


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