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Centennial Editions of Ayn Rand’s novels

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As far as I read it is not a "change". But the Centennial covers are from the original editions of the books. So it is more nostalgia than a change in a new direction.

The new softcover editions have the cover images of the original editions. The new paperback editions, however, have brand new cover art (as can be seen on Amazon.com).

The e-mail I got from the Ayn Rand Bookstore today announcing these centennial editions seemed to be explicit about explaining that the cover art was created by artists employed by the publisher, and not by them.

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Am I missing something, or do all the paperback book covers of the Centennial editions look like modernist art-school junk?  I think Gaetano’s illustrations make the best book covers I’ve ever seen, and Bryan Larsen had some great ideas well, so why the change?

Eh, I agree. I liked the old covers better. It's a good idea, though, to include Night of January 16th, Ideal, and Think Twice in one book.

Did you notice, too, that the centennial edition of The Early Ayn Rand is going to include a new unpublished short story?

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Although I have to admit, I don't think they look all that bad. Not from a visually-pleasing, decorative standpoint. I wouldn't consider them works of art like the Gaetano images are. I think the Atlas Shrugged cover is the best out of the three.

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Although I have to admit, I don't think they look all that bad. Not from a visually-pleasing, decorative standpoint.  I wouldn't consider them works of art like the Gaetano images are.  I think the Atlas Shrugged cover is the best out of the three.

i cant see any picture, which means it looks like post modern art,oh the horror

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The new softcover editions have the cover images of the original editions.  The new paperback editions, however, have brand new cover art (as can be seen on Amazon.com).

The e-mail I got from the Ayn Rand Bookstore today announcing these centennial editions seemed to be explicit about explaining that the cover art was created by artists employed by the publisher, and not by them.

Ah, I should read more carefully! I don't think the new covers for AS and FH are that bad. I don't know what is up with the lightbulb for Anthem. These aren't as bad as some I have seen. There was a real goofy cover from the 70's for AS paperback that looked a little drug oriented-all I can remember is some ladies half open eye...it was weird.

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When Yaron first announced the centennial editions at last year's OCON, he made it sound as if ARI successfully prevented the publisher from using even WORSE cover art. I think he said something like, "You'd be happy with this cover art if you saw the publisher's first proposal." I myself find the cover art satisfactory...obviously, it isn't art...but I think it looks good on bookstore shelves and will probably sell books.

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For what it is worth, I have a friend who is learning about Objectivism and we went to a Hastings Bookstore today. He has read Atlas Shrugged and owns a copy of the movie The Fountainhead. His wife is now reading Atlas Shrugged and is nearing the end of part two.

He wanted another book about Objectivism and I suggested The Ayn Rand Lexicon: Objectivism from A to Z by Harry Binswanger. They did not have that so he settled for The Virtue of Selfishness.

It was in the centennial edition cover. Personally, I think the covers look unimpressive but, I know that it is what's inside that counts.

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Something that has always puzzled me; why is there a man with wings (which I assume is an angel, which alludes to christianity and mysticism) on the cover of the Romantic Manifesto?

Why do you assume an angel rather than a figure such as Daedalus or Icarus?

Why are you so quick to assume a dark interpretation? Does it have something to do with your screen name?

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Why do you assume an angel rather than a figure such as Daedalus or Icarus?

Why are you so quick to assume a dark interpretation? Does it have something to do with your screen name?

I don't thnk he's ever really looked at the cover that thoroughly. I have the cover in front of me right now and those are clearly not angel wings. Icarus would be a much more accurate designation. Although I always assumed it was just a symbol of man's assent through art.

I would like to know why, even if it was an angel, why that has to have a negative interpretation.

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Maybe it's the cyberpunk postmodern lover in me.  :P

What does "cyberpunk postmodern" mean?

And to repeat my original question, what is in the artwork on the covers that appeals to you? What characteristics does the artwork have that you like? This is a question of esthetics. What in the nature of the artwork itself evokes your response?

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Cyberpunk would refer to William Gibson, The Matrix, Lawnmower Man, among all the popular images I can conjure.

More of an appeal to science fiction then anything. Future technological advances with a dash of Quentin Tarantino.

As for the art work, I believe the designs provide excellent symbolic imagery almost reaching to the depths of something sci-fi and philosophic. Don't get me wrong, I didn't hate the previous art work, but I was simply bored by it.

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Cyberpunk would refer to William Gibson, The Matrix, Lawnmower Man, among all the popular images I can conjure.

More of an appeal to science fiction then anything. Future technological advances with a dash of Quentin Tarantino.

What I am asking for is a definition -- by genus and differentia -- of "cyberpunk." You have given examples (?) above -- William Gibson, and so forth. Unfortunately I am not familiar with any of these examples.

Is cyberpunk a kind of science fiction story (the genus), the kind that emphasizes future technological advances (the differentia)?

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Does anyone know the name of the artist finally picked to do the cover art? That information would help explain Yaron Brook's comment that ARI kept the publisher from using someone even worse than the final outcome.

In any case, maybe I can give some insight into the situation. Reprinting Ayn Rand's books with new cover art was the decision of the publisher, and although ARI did not have much say aesthetically, Leonard Peikoff- who, technically, has no public role with ARI- did.

I was able to see samples of some of the sketches submitted. Before Bryan Larsen was enlisted, the other major candidate did nothing more than some multi-tonal blue haze with title and author for Fountainhead in block letters.

Bryan Larsen took the route of creating scenes from the novel, Atlas Shrugged, and creating abstract scenes (Abstract thematically. For instance, Atlas turning away from the Earth). For some time, Bryan seemed to be the major player.

My knowledge of events ends with Bryan Larsen's rejection, and at that time a new candidate entered the realm, an artist specializing in Christian literature illustration who was the sole recommendation of Peikoff. If, however, this was not the artist chosen (I cannot find or remember his name), then Yaron Brooks' statement about even worse art is understandable.

Personally, I abhor the new cover art because no ideaological knowledge of Ayn Rand's works was neccessary to create it, and they relay no significant abstract values to the viewer, whereas Gaetano and the sketches submitted by Bryan Larsen do so quite well. AS is just a picture of the New York statue. No knowledge required there. Hell, all the artist needed was the title. FH? Oh, it's about architechture, better draw some beams. And the same with Anthem. A lightbulb in the story, a lightbulb on the cover.

If Penguin Publishing wants proof that Bryan Larsen was the right choice, just visit Quent Cordair Fine Art. Every oil painting he's created based on Atlas Shrugged so far (more are to come) has sold immediately upon completion, and many of the red-pen and watercolor sketches as well.

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What I am asking for is a definition -- by genus and differentia -- of "cyberpunk." You have given examples (?) above -- William Gibson, and so forth. Unfortunately I am not familiar with any of these examples.

Is cyberpunk a kind of science fiction story (the genus), the kind that emphasizes future technological advances (the differentia)?

I don't think he's going to give you a definition. If no one minds, I'll divy it out. Cyber-punk is a sub-genre of science fiction. Its focus is on the information technology of science, "cyber-worlds" and so forth. Most action takes place with the character's minds "jacked-in" to worlds that are merely computer constructs. It is dystopian in nature (at least that is what its practitioners have made it) and largely value-neutral, and sometimes nihilistic.

Character development is even more minimal in cyber-punk than other science fiction genres. Heroes are usually non-existent.

So far it is largely a worthless genre in that it offers no values, no hopes, no future, no answers, and little if no semblence to anything we can relate to except a loose semblence to the technology we are familiar with.

Since you indicated you were unfamiliar with any of the examples (and I wouldn't waste your time with suggesting a reading of any of this material) the best taste of it is the The Matrix movie (the first one, view other two at your own risk). It has heroes, a tight storyline-a plot even! Ends on an upbeat note, and was very innovative technically for film. Don't go see it for philosophical content, you could drive a truck through that. It even has stuff in it to appreciate from an Objectivist perspective, again in storyline, not ideas.

The rest of it, I believe, belongs in a garbage can. But, I have not sampled widely from the field, just the representative pieces.

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Wow jeez Thoyd, if I want to give him a definition I will. No need to prophesies my actions.

Is your paragraph correct, yes, in some ways that’s what certain authors focus on. Cyber punk can relate or refer to a book genre, movie, hackers, or culture. The only thing I’d find wrong with the genre is it’s post-modern elements. Though may novels I’ve read from say William Gibson, I wouldn’t describe as entirely hero less, yes there’s usually no caricature we can all “look up to”. The genre usually has an element of pulp detective noir novels combined with only what I could say japanese anime. (For example Ghost in the Shell)

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