Posts Tagged ‘Art’

The Enterprise of Art

Niklaus Manuel Deutsch is an artist all but forgotten in the modern age. I’m not claiming this is some great travesty, for his work, while quite good, is not necessarily outstanding, nor was he particularly prolific. In fact, Manuel abandoned painting and etching in the last decade of his life to focus on poetry, play writing, and one of the trickiest arts of all, politics. Had he stuck with one or two disciplines perhaps he might have produced a single work that endured through the ages, as opposed to creating many worthy but unexceptional pieces that have been swept away in the great flood of history, occasionally bobbing to the surface in this coffee table book or that academic tome on plays of the Swiss Renaissance.  Of course, that’s simple conjecture–it’s entirely possible that had Manuel lived an extra thirty years and painted every single day of every single one of them he may never have produced anything more memorable than what we already have of his work. It is possible, uncharitable an observation as it is to make about any artist, that the man was simply not a genius, not a savant, that he was as good an artist as he ever could have been. (more…)

Cover Launch: THE FINAL EVOLUTION by Jeff Somers

I hate to see a good series of covers come to a close, but I can’t be too sad because Avery Cates is finishing with a bang…or, more accurately, with SILVER INK. This is a case where the cover jpeg just doesn’t do the image justice, because there’s just no way to show you the metallic silver hotness this cover will convey in print. Just trust me.

The Final Evolution by Jeff Somers is the 5th Avery Cates book and if you have been enjoying the series so far you certainly won’t be disappointed. If you haven’t been reading the series yet — I understand, there are some readers out there that can’t stand being tortured by open-ended series and will only read series as a set — now is the time to get started!

After the jump, I’ll give you a bit of a teaser and all the covers in the series… (more…)

Cover Launch: GERMLINE by T. C. McCarthy

Here’s a fresh new cover launch for everyone this gloomy Monday. For your viewing pleasure, I give you GERMLINE by T. C. McCarthy. It’s a story about a journalist in the vein of Hunter S. Thompson who is embedded with a group of US soldiers in a near-future war. It’s a fabulous look at what a war in the future could be like, but the perspective of the character we see it all thru keeps it really grounded and human. It reminded me simultaneously of The Forever War by Joe Haldeman, Starship Troopers by Robert A. Heinlein, and the Transmetropolitan comics written by Warren Ellis. The author has experience in the CIA and works in biotechnology, so the books are amazingly well-informed, and plausible.

What’s also cool is we just finished the cover for Book 2 (no, I can’t show you yet) and the story is awesome. This is definitely going to be a series to keep up with. Each book is going to be told from the perspective of a different person in the war.

Anyway, back to the art! Steve Stone did the photoillustration and I just love the tone and texture. It definitely says military, definitely says future-but-not-too-far, and it really captures that there’s more going on under the surface here. I love the textures Steve worked in.

Here’s a little teaser: (more…)

Hoboglyphs Win Prizes!

Mr Shivers, the critically acclaimed horror debut from Robert Jackson Bennett, is released in paperback today. Chronicling one man’s journey through the Depression blighted Texan Dustbowl in search of the mysterious, scarred vagrant who murdered his daughter, the book is a must read for fans of old school horror, literary dystopia or anyone looking for something to knock their socks off this autumn. To celebrate the paperback release of Mr Shivers we have 10 copies of the book to giveaway. (more…)

Cover Launch: DEEP STATE

Cyberpunk is not really my cup of tea, so I was surprised when I got into This is Not a Game as much as much as I did. It’s all about connectivity, and how fast information and communication flies around the world now. There was of course also a cool thriller plotline along with it. Deep State is the next book by Walter Jon Williams, and picks up with the heroine & story of This is Not a Game. If you like William Gibson and Snow Crash-era Neal Stephenson, then you should check out these books. (more…)

Cover Launch: LIGHTBORN

Tricia Sullivan is the Arthur C. Clarke Award-winning author of an impressive body of work, including Maul, Double Vision and Sound Mind.  Here’s just a sample of the praise that has been heaped upon her work:

‘A challenging, disturbing, often compulsive read’ Time Out

‘Tricia Sullivan returns to science fiction not a second too soon . . . I haven’t enjoyed a book so much in a long time’ Guardian

‘Painfully gripping throughout – read it if you dare’ The Times

Maul confirms an increasingly badly-kept secret – Sullivan is one of the best and most ambitious SF writers around’ Dreamwatch

‘Intelligent, sensitive and engrossing . . . You’ll be thinking about it long after you’ve finished reading’  SFX

‘Tricia Sullivan is why I refuse to give up on science fiction’ Pat Cadigan, Arthur C. Clarke Award-winning author

 
I think it’s clear from the above that Tricia is almost universally regarded as an audacious and original voice in modern science fiction. And what better way to signal that to the reader than with an audacious and original cover. Ladies and gentlemen (and other forms of life – we’re not speciesist at Orbit!), we give you Lightborn:

Lightborn is a revolutionary new technology that has transformed the modern world.

Better known as ‘shine’, it is the ultimate in education, self-improvement and entertainment – beamed directly into the mind of anyone who can meet the asking price.

But what do you do if the shine in question has a mind of its own . . . ?

 

Lightborn will be published in October. Design by Nathan Burton Design. Art direction by Duncan Spilling – LBBG.

Cover Launch: THE HAMMER

K.J. Parker’s critically acclaimed Engineer trilogy featured  three great covers by Keith Hayes. Since then, Parker has been writing  stand-alone novels, and any one of them is a great place to jump in without any series-long commitment. Of course, I’m sure you’ll be back at the bookstore buying the Engineer books as soon as you finish any of these books, but you can start slow if you don’t believe me…

The Company was really an ensemble story, so we wanted to show the characters on the cover, but for The Folding Knife and The Hammer, I really wanted to continue the “artifact” look of The Engineer Trilogy.

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Cover Launch: THE ENTERPRISE OF DEATH

The Sad Tale of the Brothers Grossbart had one of my all-time favorite Orbit covers, and I was thrilled to work with Keith Hayes from the Little Brown Art dept. and the illustrator Istvan Orosz on the design. So when I saw that a new Jesse Bullington book was on this list I was  really excited at the challenge — and really curious to see where Bullington would go after his violent, revolting, sensibility-offending debut novel (and I mean that all in a good way!)  Well, let’s just say The Enterprise of Death does not disappoint on any count — you’ll either love this book, or you’ll want to burn it at the stake.

Like Brothers Grossbart, the story takes place in a specific historical place and time — this time during the height of the Inquisition and Moorish expulsion from Spain in the late 1400s. Not only are there real-life historical characters in the  story, there’s also real-life art that’s critical to the story. That’s actually a challenge for a cover designer. Sometimes when you use fine art on a cover it can give the design a very quiet, even  static feel. Luckily for me, I don’t think anyone would call Death and the Maiden by Niklaus Manuel Deustch quiet or static.

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Cover Launch: LIFE, LIBERTY, AND THE PURSUIT OF SAUSAGES

Sorry folks, I know monday is usually cover launch day, but things are a little hectic in the Art Dept. and  this week wednesday is cover launch day. But never fear, I have a cover all ready for next monday too!)

Tom Holt is a funny guy. Orbit UK has been publishing him for a long time and I was thrilled to get to redesign his look with his US launch of Blonde Bombshell in June. I can’t wait to start applying the new look to the backlist titles waiting to roll out. But first we have another new book, one which wins for my favorite title of all time* Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Sausages.

Tom Holt is all about funny, absurdist scifi/fantasy, and when I read my first Tom Holt book I was pleasantly surprised how like Douglas Adams and Terry Pratchett it felt. and that’s high praise from me. I really like the humorous scifi/fantasy subgenre, and I think we’ve been packaging it well here at Orbit with the A. Lee Martinez books especially, and I’m really happy to add these books to the list.

I love a chance to hand-draw a cover, because most of the time everything happens solely on the computer. I especially enjoy hand-drawing type. I’ll have to try to work it in to more covers, even if it’s not as purposely rough-style like these covers. (more…)

Cover Launch: THE HEROES by Joe Abercrombie

And you thought we couldn’t get any bloodier than Best Served Cold? Here to prove you wrong is the cover of The Heroes, by Joe Abercrombie. It’s a standalone story, which is great for readers who haven’t read Joe Abercrombie before, but it’s set in the same world as The First Law Trilogy and Best Served Cold, and fans of those books will definitely be recognizing returning characters.

This is the hardcover version, so we’re keeping the general style of the somewhat controversial Best Served Cold hardcover, then we’ll be repackaging for mass market paperback with the graphic Best Served Cold mass market style. Just a quick note: the map in the background is not final, it’s the one I stole as a placeholder from BSC, until the artist finishes the new map. Steve Stone, an Orbit Books favorite, was responsible for the image reflected in the, um, gore. I’ll repost the cover with the new map when it’s finished, but this one was drawn by Dave Senior. (Yours truly was responsible for the agonizing blood photoshopping.) (more…)