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Lowachee_Gaslight Dogs (MM)One of the best parts—and hardest parts— of my job is getting to match up artists with a new book or series. You have a big responsibility to get the image “right” — there’s nothing worse to me as a fan than reading a book and picturing it in your mind and loving it, then having an image on the cover that just doesn’t capture the depth or feel of the book. This can be true of a cover whether it’s designed or illustrated, but there’s something about an illustration that locks the image of the character or world in your mind, and it’s unshakeable. So you want it to be RIGHT.

The Gaslight Dogs by Karin Lowachee was definitely one of those books that begged to be illustrated. And the editor and I both thought Sam Weber had the perfect style for the book—both for his beautiful but haunting figures, and for his stark backgrounds. We thought he could perfectly evoke that arctic wasteland feeling, while giving us a compelling but accurate picture of the main character and her spirit form. That’s the tricky thing about hiring an illustrator also—you don’t just want them to paint a scene straight from the book—you want them to add something to it. Another layer, a feeling, it’s hard to describe, but you know it when you see it. It’s a very elusive quality, and one of those things that makes Creative Directors tear their hair out in their sleep.

Well, in my opinion, I think Sam did a fabulous job bringing The Gaslight Dogs to life. You immediately get a feeling for the book, and it lets you know enough of what the book is about without having to depict too much. The streetlight evokes a victorian feel without hitting you over the head with steampunk details, and the starkness of the background is absolutely arctic. I love it, and hopefully you’ll like it enough to pick up the book, and then you can come back and let us know after you read it if we got the image right, ok?

Here’s a description to get you interested:

At the edge of the known world a new empire built on war, technology, and religious fervor faces a new enemy.

A young spiritwalker of the Aniw and a captain in the Ciracusan army both find themselves unexpectedly thrown together, the Aniw girl a prisoner taken from her people, the soldier a reluctant student of a forbidden talent—one that may turn the tide of the war and will surely brand him an outcast.

From the rippling curtains of light in an Arctic sky, to the gaslit cobbled streets of the city, war is coming to the frozen north. Two people have a choice that will decide the fates of nations—and may cast them into a darkness that threatens to bring destruction to both their peoples.

Lowachee_Gaslight Dogs (MM)

And as an added treat,because I know you guys like seeing behind the curtain a bit,  here’s a few of Sam’s pencil sketches so you can get a feel for the different directions we were considering…


  1. Nicole Peeler

    Nicole Peeler

    October 19, 2009
    at 1:44 pm

    This gave me the chills. LOVELY! Bravo, Orbit!

  2. Amanda Downum

    October 19, 2009
    at 3:14 pm


  3. N. K. Jemisin

    October 19, 2009
    at 7:07 pm

    I. Love. This. And had no idea Karin Lowachee was coming out with a new one! Looking forward to it!

  4. Karin Lowachee

    October 21, 2009
    at 11:43 am

    I just LOVE this cover and I have to give the traditional bow to both you and Sam and DongWon. Everyone I have shown this to – my friends, readers, family – have all loved it hands down. So thank you so much!

  5. Lingeorge

    October 21, 2009
    at 11:52 am

    It is about time Karen came out with a new book. I just love the graphics, and am so looking forward to the book.

  6. Melangell

    October 21, 2009
    at 1:50 pm

    Have been looking forward to this book forever, the cover makes it all that much more real. Beautiful. Super excited.

  7. AD

    October 21, 2009
    at 2:25 pm

    I cannot wait for this to come out! The cover art is absolutely fantastic. It’s pretty neat to see the other possible covers. :)

  8. janicu

    October 23, 2009
    at 4:43 pm

    I’ve been waiting for this book since I heard it was coming out earlier this year. I love the covers. Really looking forward to reading this one because I loved Lowachee’s other books.

  9. Pretty pictures « Janicu’s Book Blog

    October 23, 2009
    at 5:03 pm

    […] week Orbit books posted these sketches by artist Sam Weber which I also love. The process to get a book cover is fascinating. Here’s […]

  10. ljo

    October 24, 2009
    at 11:02 am

    Wow, sounds really cool, and the cover is amazing! I can’t wait for the book to come out!

  11. Tim

    October 27, 2009
    at 3:18 pm

    That is a beautiful cover. Can’t wait to read the words that go with it. :D

  12. […] fantastic? The author does not have a whole lot about the book on her site, but she did link to a very cool post about the cover on Orbit Books’ blog, which includes some of the cover artist’s pencil […]

  13. Grisel

    December 22, 2009
    at 1:49 pm

    Can’t wait to get my hands on this book. A new Lowachee, finally!
    May dear Karin delight us with many more in the future. I guess, she will.

  14. L.C. Felske

    January 11, 2010
    at 11:58 am

    This cover is great. They definitely picked the best of the sketches for it. I’m really looking forward to reading the book! I loved Karin Lowachee’s previous books and I can’t wait to have something new from her to read.

  15. Chloe

    January 14, 2010
    at 7:36 pm

    Karin’s my favourite author and since she’s yet to let me down I’m excited for this – the Warchild books were brilliant, and I’m sure this’ll live up to that standard! :D

  16. […] instances where the main protagonist of color was portrayed as white and light-haired – Orbit did a cover launch for THE GASLIGHT DOGS featuring this lovely example of Covers Done Awesome: The Gaslight […]

  17. […] Author Website: http://www.karinlowachee.com Gaslight Dogs Cover Launch (some really beautiful cover art!): http://www.orbitbooks.net/2009/10/19/cover-launch-the-gaslight-dogs/ […]

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