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Category: Covers

Cover Launch: TRACKING THE TEMPEST

Peeler_Tracking Tempest (MM)And the first new cover for the Spring/Summer 2010 season is the next book in the Jane True series: Tempest Rising by Nicole Peeler. (Just because I will be seeing her in the Orbit HQ this week and I don’t want her to kick my butt for not posting it yet)

Of course I went back to the fabulous (and award-winning) illustrator Sharon Tancredi for our next look at Jane True. Tracking the Tempest finds Jane learning how to cope with her new view of the world, and the powers that come with it, in the midst of a very action-packed story. Where in the first book, Tempest Rising, we had more of a portrait of Jane on the cover, this time we wanted an action shot. Jane is learning how to control her powers, and growing as a character, and I think Sharon did a fabulous job of picking this scene out of the story to illustrate that.

I love how Sharon kept the theme going from the first book with the illustrated frame, and a new take on the heart icon that is very apt to the story.

Read the rest of this entry »

Found! One Creative Director

hanleia Sorry folks, I know I’ve been a little absent from the new-and-improved-now-with-author-posts orbit blog, but, as you might surmise from the photo to the left, I was off getting hitched. Not only that, but I had been feverishly working for months on the covers for the new Spring/Summer 2010 season, finished almost every one, had a huge Sales meeting here at Orbit HQ, and then ran off and got married in a supremely geek-flavored way. Among other geeky touches, Han and Leia over there were the cake toppers, and I made all the wedding party enter the reception to the opening theme to Star Wars.

Just wanted to let you loyal readers know, Orbit HQ is staffed with geeks at literally every level.

Now let the cover posts commence! (And yes, work on the WORST COVER EVER continues…)

The Most Awesomely Bad SFF Cover in the Universe!

The votes are in and we have a winner! We’re pleased to present to you the title for your worst cover ever.

(drumroll please)

Across a Trembling Sea the Cyborg Fairies Dance

It was an incredibly tight race, with Rise of the Fallen, Book Seven, The Pre-Antepenultimate Battle in second place, but in the end the Cyborg Faries put down the Fallen.

So there you have it. Our fearless art director is warming up her Photoshop as we speak, but before she can start we need two more key cover elements: the author name and the reading line.

Author names are straightforward enough (if you’re having problems, heed Dr. Ronald Chevalier’s advice).

The reading line is a more delicate matter — for that we need the top-line description of the book that will inform everything. The best reading line will give the reader a hint about what to expect in the book – even if that hint is wholly inaccurate.

Suggestions below.

Award Winner – and not even published yet!

 Congrats to Sharon Tancredi, the fabulous illustrator of TEMPEST RISING by Nicole Peeler – She is being honored for her work on the cover by inclusion into the prestigious Communication Arts Illustration Annual. It’s in “unpublished” because the book doesn’t come out until November, but the buzz is already building for our new half-selkie heroine, Jane True. Read the rest of this entry »

Cover Launch: HAND OF ISIS

Hand of Isis is the next book from Jo Graham that we are repackaging for the mass market version. If you’ll recall the cover launch for Black Ships, Mario Pulice and Debra Lill had designed lovely covers for the original trade paperback version, but we wanted to go with a more traditional fantasy look for the new versions and commissioned new artwork from the famous, and fabulous, John Jude Palencar.

Black Ships and Hand of Isis definitely go together, but I wouldn’t call them a series, exactly. You can read either first, but as you read more of the books (I am lucky enough to have already read the next book, Stealing Fire, which comes out in 2010) you will realize that while the characters are different, the souls of the characters appear again and again. But you don’t need to know anything about that to enjoy any of the books alone. They’re just fabulous historical fiction, with a fantasy leaning. If you like Mists of Avalon, this is definitely up your alley. Jo Graham’s great accomplishment on these is the very personal perspective her characters give you on famous events everyone already knows the story to. Read the rest of this entry »

The Most Awesomely Bad SFF Cover in the World

Here at Orbit we’re very proud that our books tend to be smart, sophisticated — dare we say, awesome? (yes, we dare) — but there’s still a part of all of us that loves the look and feel of a truly, epically bad SFF book cover. And since we don’t get a chance to publish books that fit that profile we thought we’d call on our readers to help us create one — or at least create the jacket for one.

Over the next few weeks we’ll be asking for your help coming up with the most ridiculously bad high-concept SFF book cover in the universe – think Wyvern II: The Wyverning, or Martian Under the Doormat. (We know you can do better) Once we’ve settled on the titles we’ll work out the reading line, the blurbs, and cover elements. And then, with your help, our fearless Orbit US Creative Director Lauren is going to design a cover for it that will present it in all its mad glory.

Think you can help? Leave your suggestions for titles below (*)

(*) As much as we appreciate good satire, the point of this exercise isn’t to riff on the titles of an older work, or to haze existing covers — we want to come up with new vistas of badness, so original titles only please.

An Interview with a Knight

Ever wonder where those fierce looking warriors on the front of fantasy covers come from? Brian Ruckley has a fascinating interview over at his blog now with the (real life!) knight pictured here.

A few weeks ago, I was sitting at home when I got a text from a friend. It was a jpg, and I couldn’t quite make out the image. I handed my phone to my son, and he squinted at it saying, ‘It looks like YOU! Yeah, I think it is you, on a poster or maybe a book cover … Fall of Thrones? No, the Fall of THANES?’

Read more

Cover Launch: Black Ships

Ah, John Jude Palencar, how do I love thee? Of all the “big name” fantasy & science fiction illustrators working in the genre, John Jude Palencar has always been my favorite. From a book fan and an art fan’s point of view, I have to say it’s gotten to the point that I will pick up a book simply because J.J.P. did the cover art. It was a fabulous piece of luck for me to be able to work with him in my very first season here at Orbit. Seriously, people, these are the kind of days you love your job.

John Jude Palencar is working on the mass market editions of all of Jo Graham’s books for us, (Hand of Isis is next) and the matchup between art and content couldn’t be better. I love the designs of the trade paperbacks, done by Mario Pulice, the Creative Director of Little Brown, and Debra Lill, a fabulous photographer and illustrator, but it’s always nice to change it up for a re-release in a new format. When the art (an actual oil painting! by Fed-Ex!) came into the office, I ran around like a giddy schoolgirl showing everyone. In fact, I will be very sad to have to eventually send the original art back to Mr. Palencar. Read the rest of this entry »

Cover launch: Traitors’ Gate by Kate Elliott

We’ve been loving the opulence of the latest cover in Kate Elliott’s Crossroads series, just in, and I thought I’d share it here. The rich colouring very much evokes the wonderfully vivid world-building and dramatic storytelling that categorises Kate’s work, plus it will look gorgeous on the shelf with the first two books, Spirit Gate and Shadow Gate.

Traitors' Gate by Kate Elliott - UK large paperback

It’s out in September this year in large format paperback and, to whet the appetite, here’s a little summary of the plot:

“GUARDIANS HAVE RETURNED TO THE HUNDRED, NOT TO DISPENSE JUSTICE BUT TO SPREAD CHAOS AND DESTRUCTION UNDER THE BANNER OF A TWISTED STAR.

Reeve Joss is struggling to defend a country ravaged by the assaults of twin armies. His men now patrol a land of burning villages and homeless refugees as Joss tries to separate traitor from friend. The Reeve’s days are also plagued by thoughts of the intriguing Zubaidit: pleasure-giver, spy and temple-trained assassin. But Zubaidit is focused on a dangerous mission, her target being warped Guardian Lord Radas. His death would leave the invading militia in chaos, but the old tales tell truly of the Guardians’ immortality – and of the powers they now wield to twist the hearts of men.

Joss’s nights are troubled too, disturbed by dreams of Marit. His old love has returned from death to become a feared Guardian herself, but Marit rejected the corrupt temptations they offered. She now seeks others of her kind, praying some are yet uncontaminated by the blight on the land – and have the will to fight it.”

And lastly a few quotes for the series to show just what a damn fine read is in store:

“Beautifully descriptive passages oozing with texture, taste and even aroma. Spirit Gate is the common thing done uncommonly well … accomplished storytelling” SFX

Shadow Gate is the plump and mouthwatering second dish … This is every bit as full of texture and flavour as Spirit Gate, sure to leave you begging for more” SFX

“This is gritty, character-driven fantasy where no battle is easy and, crucially, no one is safe. Elliott juggles characters and plots with consumate ease” DeathRay

“An absorbing blend of action, romance, Fantasy, and the oriental … will ensure readers return for the next instalment” Starburst

Spirit Gate by Kate Elliott, UK paperbackShadow Gate by Kate Elliott, UK paperbackTraitors' Gate by Kate Elliott - UK edition

Cover Launch: Mr. Shivers

Welcome to another week and another new cover! Sorry this post was delayed a bit by the Creative Director being a bit under the weather with a nasty cold. Anyway, on to…Mr. Shivers by Robert Jackson Bennett.

There was already buzz about this book back when I started in November, and the cover design was already underway by Ms. Ploy Siripant, one of the fabulous designers upstairs at Little Brown (who, if you’ll recall, were handling the Orbit designs before I was brought in to be all-Orbit-all-the-time). I just finished reading it while in bed with the above-mentioned cold, and the cover is even better once you’ve read the book. It’s set in the Midwest during the Great Depression — an incredibly bleak landscape where hobos travel the rails and dust-storms cover the land. I think this cover perfectly evokes the feeling of the book, and the period, without looking too historical. Trust me, the screen doesn’t do the texture any justice. You’ll just have to wait to see it in print. Read the rest of this entry »

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