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There’s something to be said about a novel whose cover can stand the test of time. Timeless covers like those that grace the face of To Kill A Mockingbird and A Clockwork Orange can be re-designed again and again and will never lose their original appeal.

Then you have novels whose faces get a…well, much-needed facelift. Such is the case with Orson Scott Card’s classic sci-fi work, Ender’s Game, when it was reproduced with a new ebook cover:


Isn’t it absolutely gorgeous? Here it is compared with the first edition, also published by Tor:


Not yet having read Ender’s Game myself, I was enthralled as I read art director Irene Gallo’s account on how the ebook cover design came to be. The cover art was painted by artist and illustrator Sam Weber, and the type layout by Jamie Stafford-Hill.

From Irene Gallo, after the final design:

…the publisher seemed happy, I was ecstatic, the editor loved it, and Orson Scott Card called it, “the best cover art ever to appear on Ender’s Game.”

The best Ender’s Game cover art ever, people. And apparently there’s been a lot.

There are so many things I want to gush about when I look at this cover. It’s alluring. Its sense of space and depth is at first subtle and discreet, then smartly calculated. In no way does this cover make me feel as though it belongs in the children’s or YA section of a library or bookstore. Its tone feels emotionally heavy, as 10-year-old Andrew “Ender” Wiggin’s expression is haunting, almost as if he’s trying to mask a myriad of emotions and thoughts.

I highly recommend you check out the post over on Tor’s site, especially to see Weber’s initial sketches and the walkthrough of the painting cycles. You’ll geek out over there ten times as much after reading this post, I promise.

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Bryan Williams