Week 4: Discussion Response to “The Art of Sci-Fi Book Covers”

So for today’s discussion response, we get to watch a video! You will find the link at the end of this assignment as well as in the Week 4 Summary.

Now we are venturing into the bold new territory of visual rhetoric. Perhaps you’ve heard the old adage: “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” This saying becomes particularly interesting once we start to consider it within the framework of rhetoric. Again, please submit your answer as plain text with no images into the text entry field and make the response somewhere between 250 and 500 words. As usual, your submission will be checked for plagiarism by the program “Turnitin.”

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Don’t worry about talking about visual rhetoric! It’s the same idea as textual rhetoric. We just need to get in touch with what we think the objective of the artist is and what tactics they use to achieve that objective. The best place to start is to ask yourself: “What do I think of or feel when I look at this image?” That will give you some rhetorical effects to examine.

Please try to make your response as close to a tiny little essay as possible. Basically, I am looking for you to support every claim that you make with evidence, organize your response into paragraphs if necessary, and to join everything together with logic. Definitely don’t spend too much time on this response (your draft of your actual essay is more important), but do use this response as a chance to practice!

Here are some questions for you to consider after watching the video:

1.) What are some potential rhetorical objectives of the person who designs a Sci-Fi book cover? What rhetorical strategies do they use? Now that we are talking about images, feel free to write about features such as color, shadow, movement, dynamism, composition, scary faces, shiny metals, natural imagery, unnatural imagery, or anything that you feel is producing an effect on you when you look at a Sci-Fi book cover.


2.) For this question, please pick a Sci-Fi cover either from the video or from doing a quick image search using the terms: “Sci-Fi Book Cover.” Tell me what the Title is and who the author of the book is as well. Then start to talk about how this specific book cover makes you feel as well as what it makes you think or wonder about. How is this book cover affecting you in this way? What techniques is it using to influence you to think and feel in this manner? And lastly, if you were to make a decision about buying or borrowing this book based on the cover, would you want to read it? Why or Why not?


3.) This final question asks you to take a moment to think about the connection between text and imagery specifically within the Sci-Fi genre. Do you feel that sci-fi is a genre that is particularly well-suited to imagistic rhetoric? Do images help the rhetorical objective of a Sci-Fi story, or do they hinder it? Tell me how. Would you prefer to watch a sci-fi movie (a combination of story and visual rhetoric) or read a sci-fi story with no images? Why? What do your feeling about stories vs. movies tell you about the effect of certain rhetorical strategies on you as a consumer? That is to say, do you have a sense of which rhetorical strategies or modes (text vs. image vs. moving image) affect you personally more than others?

Here is the video!

here is the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M7Qm_UJML54

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