Thursday, April 24, 2008

Feast Your Eyes...

Because I can't talk about artwork enough, here are the covers of three forthcoming Pyr books. On the left is Chris Roberson's End of the Century,as envisioned by Dan Dos Santos. (Full illustration, sans text, is here.) This is a tale of a young woman named Alice Fell, a teenage American punker who has been having visions of the London Eye all her life (and before there was such a thing), so follows her vision to the UK and falls into a conspiracy that moves through secret societies (and shadowy assailants) all the way back to the origins of the Holy Grail myth. One part urban fantasy, one part secret history, there are also odd parallels with a completely different Pyr book that was being written at the same time. No I won't say which one. But I will say this is the best thing Roberson has written thus far, and he's a damn good writer.

Then over here on the right we have Stephan Martiniere's cover for Ian McDonald's Cyberabad Days, a collection of all the stories that have sprung out of the brilliantly-realized future India he crafted for River of Gods.There's a Hugo winner, a Hugo nominee and a 25k original novella here, so what's not to love, right? I don't think it's unfair to say that this is going to be a talked-about book in 09.

Then back on the left is a cover by Todd Lockwood - our first time working with Todd, who was wonderful - for a really interesting debut fantasy novel, Tom Lloyd's The Stormcaller: Book One of the Twilight Reign.This is a tale of Isaak, a "white eye" - a person born with more charisma, more strength, and more anger than average people, created by the gods to be leaders of men, but limited by those gods as well, who is thrown from humble origins into courtly politics (and courtly intrigues, and, of course, killer battles replete with trolls and dragons). It's a really intricate, lush, fully-realized fantasy world, of the grim and gritty variety, a sort of Elric set loose in Middle Earth, that I am VERY excited to be releasing in the States. Todd's full cover is a wrap-around too, so this is only a taste.

More covers starting to appear on our forthcoming books page too. And here's a handy Amazon list too. Please also note that John Picacio's utterly fantastic cover for Fast Forward 2 is still being worked on, so as great as it is, it isn't final (and hence not reproduced here).


Tim Akers said...

Remind me to tell you about my friend who did this sketch of me, and what he's done about his portfolio. As in, he may actually have one! Someday. And he might be coming to Worldcon! Maybe. Is that something that happens, people walking around a con with a portfolio? I don't even know. And all his work is digital, so...

Anyway. I'm proud of the little scrapper.

Lou Anders said...

You did tell me. I saw the sketch, and I made a recommendation about what his next steps should be. Did anything come of it?


Send me a link to his portfolio again.


As to "is that something that happens?" - well, I get solicited pretty much daily now, but 99.9% of that is unacceptable and about half the rest is good but not a fit, but good stuff does rise to the top. That's how I discovered Brian W. Dow, for instance, and how I met the very talented Lee Moyer (who is great, but who we haven't worked as yet.) Irene Gallo frequently blogs very helpful do's and don't's. What she said.

ces said...

Yeah, Iren's current blog has a pointer to a do's & dont's discussion at - it's a wonderful thread, with lots of insight from professionals and AD's.

Anyway, thanks for the HUGE images Lou! You can really see all of the detail, which is wonderful for viewing Martiniere's cover. And an awe-inspiring cover it is too! Lockwood's is also nice, but I'm just not crazy about his work. Or maybe I'm just tired of seeing dragons. When is Cyberabad Days going to be released? i went to Amazon, but they don't show it.

P.S. I finished The Scar - didn't care for it. So, my order, now having read all 3 books, is Perdid Street Station, Iron council, & The Scar. I hope he writes more novels set in Bas Lag.

Lou Anders said...

Cyberabad Days is a Feb 09 release. If you following the "forthcoming books" link, you can see more about it. Very glad you like the cover. I think it's a great match with RoG.

So, sorry you didn't care for The Scar - which do you prefer of the other two?

ces said...

Yeah, the cover is a great match with RoG - you can see that the book is about RoG people, environments, etc. Yet the Cyberabad Days cover stands on its own also. I had followed the "forthcoming books" link - even copied it into a PDF file - but somehow missed the Feb. 9 part of the date.

You know, after putting it aside, and then restarting it, I actually like Perdido Street Station the best. Remember the conversation we had about sequels? Well, here's another case where the sequels, for me at least, weren't as interesting as the original.

Lou Anders said...

I like the politics-at-the-front of Iron Council and the slightly tighter restraint of the prose. But Perdido is the one that introduces this incredibly rich world, so gets points for that above the others.

Oh, and if you go to our catalog page, you can download a PDF of the whole season.

Tim Akers said...

And of course I'm a Scar man, myself. I think he was still feeling out the world in PSS, and had maybe gotten out of hand with the weird in IC. I liked both of those novels, but I think the shiny tip of the world was found in The Scar, well honed but unchipped.

Shara said...

Pretty cover for the McDonald, but I'm stoked about getting my hands on the Robson, your anthology, and of course, the Kenyon. :)

ces said...

Hmmm. You're right about Iron Council's politics and the prose was definitely tighter and more restrained. But I actually got used to the descriptiveness in PSS & would spend time imagining in my mind what he was describing would look like (so of course, it took me forever to finish it). I'd really like to see some of our favourite artists interpret some of the PSS descriptions, especially the moths and the Remade. Anyway, what lessened IC for me was the way he'd skip around - one chapter on Person 1, 2 chapters on Person B, one on Person 1, 3 on Person C, etc. - that just really interrupts the flow for me, & I really get disgruntled after a while.

Have you read King Rat?

Anonymous said...


Not only do I like the cover art here, but think the title of Chris Roberson's novel is a good one. Puts me in mind of a certain Ramones song...


Lou Anders said...

Shara, I am not kidding about book three with Kay. And I'll be VERY interested in what you make of Justina's third book too.

Ces, I have not read King Rat. For some reason, when I jump onboard a writer at a particular book, I always move forward, not backward (which is why I am gonna start Banks with Consider Phlebas and not Matter).

Of interest - Stephan Martiniere read and loved PSS, so maybe one day you'll get part of your wish, and can I be immodest and direct you here.

Lou Anders said...

I see IC more as a return.
Robert - I think you'll really like that one. In some ways, its sort of the Rosetta Stone to Chris' whole universe(s).

ces said...


Thank you very much for the link to your interview! it was wonderful, and very informative. I read it sort of quickly - & I copied it so I can go back (when I've had some coffee to wake me up) and reread it more carefully. Mieville appears to be a very thoughtful interviewee, answering questions carefully and truthfully, if somewhat wordy. I read another interview of him (found someplace on the internet - drat I didn't save it), and he struck me the same way.

P.S. Congrats to John & Martiniere on their Locus Artist Award nominations!

ces said...

Oh, and I'd love to see Martiniere interpret PSS!!!

Both the environments and the characters!

I'd love to see Andrew Jones do both also!

Tim Akers said...

My problems with IC were very particular to me, I think. I'm not even sure I can explain it properly, other than to say that it was too self-referentially weird, without actually being weird. It was a line by line problem, and once I got past it...smooth sailing.

Aaron Hughes said...

Great covers, Lou.

The Stormcaller cover is much more overtly high fantasy than the British cover. Is there a reason you wanted to go that way, when you didn't for, say, the Abercrombie books?

(BTW, your forthcoming list shows that as an Oct '09 release -- should that be '08?)

Lou Anders said...

Hi Aaron.
First, thanks for the catch - that should indeed be '08. We'll fix it shortly.

Second, with The Blade Itself, there was a great deal of awareness/buzz for the title over here from the UK edition, and we didn't want to lose that instant, unconscious recognition - that nanosecond of familiarity that a casual browser might hit on just walking down the isles. However, The Stormcaller is less well known over here (even though the book is going very well in the UK and I have no doubt that Tom is one of the emerging big names of the new breed of fantasy author). But that meant we weren't losing anything if we didn't keep faith with the UK cover.

Also, though I've not read Steve Erikson yet (and Tom himself only read him after the comparisons started coming out), The Stormcaller is indeed drawing comparisons to Steve Erikson's Malazan books for the detail of its world-building, its complex politics, and its grim and gritty style - so Todd Lockwood, who does the Erikson books as well (although I'd forgotten that when I first approached him), is an ideal choice for catching the attention of US readers who appreciate this brand of fantasy. It's the difference between saying "here is that thing you've heard about" to "here is something you should pay attention to you may not have heard of yet."

Finally, I had a secret weapon here - a Sensei at my dojo who buys $30 to $40 a week of fantasy novels off the shelf, who can't remember an authors name to save his life, but knows what he likes. I gave him a copy of the UK edition for his opinion. He loved the book but said the cover wouldn't have caught his eye at all, confirming my suspicions that the book needed a different look for the needs of the US market - which is not to knock the UK edition at all.

Lou Anders said...

Ces, this Andrew Jones?

Tim, the smokestone is one of my favorite fantasy bits ever.

ces said...

No, no . . . this Andrew Jones: - -

He's a co-founder of both Massive Black Inc. & He's 1 of the 4 authors of "d'artiste - concept art" - Ballistic Publishing. And he did Nintendo's Metroid Prime 1, 2, & 3, in addition to Metroid Hunter, so it'd be interesting to see his take on the non-human characters. he's done lots of other stuff, but I'll let you read about him if you aren't familiar with him. I don't think he's done book covers, although he's done lots of posters.

He's kind of a free spirit (30 yrs old), but he's in my favourite artists trio (along with Martiniere & Picacio). He's also a genuinely nice human being, and I've told him so.

Tim Akers said...

Yeah, I'll have to explain it sometime. I liked the smokestone, too. Understand my issues were very minor and, frankly, niggling. Just if I had to scale the three books, it would go Scar, IC, PSS. But I'd still rank PSS over most books I've read.

Lou Anders said...

I understand that. I'd rank IC, PSS, Scar, but wouldn't advice anyone to start with anything other than PSS. And I don't necessarily rank them; they work very well as one entity taken together.

ces said...

OK, here's my ranking: PSS, IC, & The Scar.

I found The Scar ending to be melodramatic.

Lou Anders said...

Melodramatic? But it's a non-ending?

ces said...

Yeah, melodramatic.

Everything just tied up so neatly in the end. The avanc is dying. The female lover escaped. The mutiny succeeded. Burolac survived. Tanner is mourning yet he is going on with life. Bellis is going home.

And, of course, Bellis's letter just happens to be to the Reader & just happens to explain everything that wasn't explained.

And I still feel like Bellis is a whiny, oh poor me, person feeling very sorry for herself.

Non-ending? Yes, I think so. It just sort of seemed to stop.