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Cover Launch: THE HYDROGEN SONATA by Iain M. Banks

This October will bear witness to one of the biggest SF events of the year – the release of Iain M. Banks’s brilliant new Culture novel, THE HYDROGEN SONATA.

Here are the UK and US covers (click to enlarge), which subtly reflect both the new book’s title and the story within:


And here’s more on that story:

The Scavenger species are circling. It is, truly, the End Days for the Gzilt civilization.

An ancient people, organized on military principles and yet almost perversely peaceful, the Gzilt helped set up the Culture ten thousand years earlier and were very nearly one of its founding societies, deciding not to join only at the last moment. Now they’ve made the collective decision to follow the well-trodden path of millions of other civilizations; they are going to Sublime, elevating themselves to a new and almost infinitely more rich and complex existence.

Amid preparations though, the Regimental High Command is destroyed. Lieutenant Commander (reserve) Vyr Cossont appears to have been involved, and she is now wanted — dead, not alive. Aided only by an ancient, reconditioned android and a suspicious Culture avatar, Cossont must complete her last mission given to her by the High Command. She must find the oldest person in the Culture, a man over nine thousand years old, who might have some idea what really happened all that time ago. It seems that the final days of the Gzilt civilization are likely to prove its most perilous.

Orbit will be publishing THE HYDROGEN SONATA worldwide in print, ebook and audiobook editions this October.

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  1. Alan

    June 28, 2012
    at 6:00 am

    Oh that’s really exciting. Looking forward to it!

  2. Jared

    July 5, 2012
    at 3:12 pm

    This is being released while I’m on vacation… I hope they have bookstores in Hawaii. But here’s a question: why have different covers? Both have merits from a design perspective, but could easily be combined to form the perfect cover. :\

  3. Bob

    July 6, 2012
    at 10:50 pm

    Needs more lensflare.

  4. Monocles

    July 11, 2012
    at 11:00 pm

    Little bit of a pro-tip here; Next time that you decide to release different regional titles, it helps to not have to badly mangle the source art in Photoshop.

    There’s a whole load of easily visible bodge work (looks like they just tried to patch out the US cover text) and compression artifacts in the UK image.

  5. Steve Leadbetter

    August 1, 2012
    at 5:24 pm

    Literally can’t wait for this. Banks Geekspaz!

  6. Lewis

    August 2, 2012
    at 11:25 am

    This is going to be awesome! I’ve read nearly all the other culture novels and they were all great

  7. Deena

    October 5, 2012
    at 10:27 pm

    Have read all the culture novels, am ready to sublime to culture, not matter that Gorbachev Horza has major
    Probs with it. Still and all, am living the dream, awaiting with much huffing and puffing for the next adventure.

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