covers

UK and limited-press cover art for The Last Days of New Paris by China Miéville

China Miéville’s newest novella, The Last Days of New Paris, is out now from US publisher Del Rey. I’m working my way through it slowly (I don’t have a lot of time for reading lately, but for the latter half of this year I’m hoping to return to my previous pace!) and it’s pretty interesting. I might review it here when I’m done — no promises though.

Anyway, I just wanted to share some cover art for the book that has surfaced recently. First, the UK cover art for the edition to be published early in 2017, by Picador. I have no idea why the UK gets it so much later than the US, when the opposite is usually the case for Miéville (and most British authors). Here’s the cover, anyhow:

paris_uk

It reproduces an “exquisite corpse” collage by surrealist artist André Breton and some of his contemporaries. I must note that this artwork is included in the US edition anyway, in the front pages of the story (and in black and white). I think it’s alright as a cover artwork, but it may turn some regular fantasy readers off.

The other new cover art is from Subterranean Press’s limited edition, and like several previous China Miéville books they’ve published, it’s illustrated by Vincent Chong:

paris_sub

Exceedingly creepy. I haven’t got to the portion of the novel this is illustrating yet, but I assume it’s based off another piece of surrealist art. The horror-like tone doesn’t particularly match the tone of the novel, I must say. But it’s still fascinating to look at.

That’s all for now. Perhaps I’ll be back in a while with some book reviews and other content! If you’re still with me during this drought of posts, thanks for your loyalty!

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Checking in with some Alastair Reynolds news

Beyond_the_Aquila_Rift_by_Alastair_Reynolds_tradeI’ll be quick, it’s late here and I’m tired. My new job is good, but it’s quite draining. Tonight I’m bringing you just a few pieces of info about some upcoming work by Alastair Reynolds:

  1. Subterranean Press has an alternate dust-jacket for Beyond the Aquila Rift: The Best of Alastair Reynolds, for the trade hardcover edition. I personally like Reynolds’ own cover more, but that’s quite a bit pricier.
  2. Reynolds has put a very short excerpt of his upcoming novel Revenger on his blog. I haven’t read it because I want to go into the novel completely fresh! Although, I have noticed a new bit of description on the Amazon UK page that describes the novel like so: “A superb SF adventure set in the rubble of a ruined universe, this is a deep space heist story of kidnap, betrayal, alien artefacts and revenge.” A Reynolds space-opera heist? Yes please.
  3. He’s also revealed that he’s sold two new short works, both set in universes of earlier works: “Belladonna Nights”, set in the House of Suns universe, and the longer (maybe novella-length) “The Iron Tactician”, in the Merlin universe. Both settings are incredible, so these will be a treat.

I hope those tidbits have whetted your appetites. I’ll be back soon with a book review or two, and I have some interesting posts on both Reynolds and China Miéville planned!

Beyond the Aquila Rift: The Best of Alastair Reynolds — first cover art and full contents!

Oh look! Subterranean Press has officially announced this year’s massive career-spanning collection of Alastair Reynolds’ short stories and novellas, titled Beyond the Aquila Rift: The Best of Alastair Reynolds. It’s a whopper of a book, about 250,000 words (or 768 pages) of quality SF material. It’s automatically a must-buy for me. Let’s break down the details of the announcement, starting with some cover art:

The_Best_of_Alastair_Reynolds

That striking artwork is, I assume, exclusive to Subterranean Press’s limited edition (the cover for Gollancz’s UK edition is sure to follow soon). I’m not sure off the top of my head whether the image is from a particular story, but I like it a lot. Weirdly, the full title isn’t on the cover, but maybe this is just a draft version.

Next up, let’s look at the contents (which are listed on the book’s purchase page). First, it’s strange that only eighteen stories are listed (plus story notes at the end), considering Gollancz’s original book description said the collection would feature twenty. Also, that description named “Signal to Noise” as one of the included stories, but that story is nowhere to be found in the released table of contents. I’m not sure if this means that Gollancz will include two more stories in their edition (“Signal to Noise” being one of them), or if the final contents have been trimmed down at the eleventh hour. We’ll have to wait until Gollancz reveals the details of their edition to find out. For now, let’s examine the Subterrean Press edition’s table of contents.

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We already have the US cover art for The Last Days of New Paris!

That was quick! This new China Miéville novel is supposedly coming out in August next year, but US publisher Random House has already locked in the cover art, which you can see below. They don’t have an official description of the book yet, which usually comes first, but you can read one from a Chinese literary agency in a previous post of mine. Here’s the cover:

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I’m so excited for an alternate-history novel from my favourite author!

Limited edition cover art for This Census-Taker

This is better than what we saw yesterday. Check out the nifty limited edition cover art of China Miéville’s new novella, illustrated by Vincent Chong:

tct_chong

 

Very cool. I love the damaged photograph look, and the little details — for instance, why is the census taker carrying a gun?

The limited edition of the novella is available through Subterranean Press for $45 USD.

Just a side note: this is my 100th post for this blog! It’s kind of amazing that I’ve reached that milestone. I hope I can continue to bring content about the books and authors I love, well into the future.

EDIT: Okay, this is weird, I just found more artwork for This Census-Taker on Amazon:

tct_kindle

It’s for the US Kindle edition, released in March. It might also be the paperback cover, but I’m not sure. It’s different to everything else released so far, and pretty visually interesting! It’s apparently a draft, so I’m not sure if it will end up being used. I hope it is, though.

The UK cover art for This Census-Taker is boring

Snore. Picador (the UK literary imprint handling China Miéville’s next book) have chosen to go with the same photograph for the cover of This Census-Taker that Random House did in the US. Check it out below, and compare it to the US cover art.

91rFoMIdwQL

At least the typeface is better than the “let’s see what Photoshop’s default fonts are like” look of the US cover.

It’s a real shame that this book breaks the unified look that Crush Creative had been producing for the last five years, in the UK and Commonwealth. That’s what happens when you shift your SF/F author to another imprint, I guess — is it calculated to distance Miéville’s new works from his genre fiction roots? I wonder what will happen for The Last Days of New Paris.

Cover art for The Medusa Chronicles by Alastair Reynolds and Stephen Baxter

I just wanted to share the cover art for the upcoming Reynolds/Baxter collaboration The Medusa Chronicles (out February next year), which was revealed by Gollancz in the last 24 hours. For more info about the book itself, check my post about what 2016 has in store for Alastair Reynolds fans.

medusa-chronicles-cover-reveal

It’s not bad, but there are some weird composition choices. Why not just have Jupiter itself in the background, instead of a fuzzy, transparent patch of Jupiter’s clouds? And why do the ship’s searchlights cast beams through vacuum? It’s a bit weird, but I’m just excited for the book itself so I don’t really care what the cover looks like.

Oh, and I’m still working on that review & recap of Arthur C Clarke’s original novella. Watch this space.

US cover and extract from This Census-Taker by China Miéville

Today io9 has our first sneak peek at This Census-Taker, the upcoming novella by China Miéville. It’s due out on January 5th, 2016 from Penguin Random House in the US, and February 25th from Macmillan in the UK.

(Edit: it’s actually coming out in the UK via Macmillan’s imprint, Picador, who generally publish more literary fiction. From this I assume the story will be fairly light on the SFF/weird content, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing!)

Here’s the cover:

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Like the US cover for Three Moments, it’s a little boring. But if you go over to io9 you can read a small extract which is much more intriguing. That poor boy…

To be honest, since I heard this was a novella (~200 pages) and since the announcement of a full-length novel coming later in 2016, I’m much less excited for this. But, it could end up being excellent. Who knows? Also, much like Alastair Reynolds’ recent Slow Bullets, expect to pay full novel price for this novella. It had better be worth it.

More info: US/UK

The limited edition cover art for Three Moments of an Explosion is stunning

Check out the absolutely gorgeous and haunting cover art by the one and only Dave McKean, for Subterranean Press’s limited edition of Three Moments of an Explosion:

Three_Moments_of_an_Explosion_by_China_Mieville

That’s just… beyond words. Too bad it’s completely sold out. I’ve never wanted a limited edition of a Miéville book so much before!

Am I the only one getting a slight Stanley Donwood vibe from it as well?

(In one more bit of Miéville news, Kirkus Reviews has their review of the new collection up now. It’s a hugely positive review and it gives some info on a handful of the new stories!)

Contents and US cover art for Three Moments of an Explosion!

3-Moments-comps-31Barnes and Noble had the exclusive reveal today of the US cover art and the FULL CONTENTS LIST of the new China Miéville collection! Maybe my blog will get an exclusive like that one day… But let’s freak out over all the new info!

Okay, so it’s not the most inspiring of cover art. In fact it’s downright dull. But I’ve never liked the US covers of China’s books compared to the excellent UK work by Crush Creative. Their cover for the new book is exciting and evocative. So putting the crummy US cover art aside, here’s the full story list, with never-before-published stories bearing an asterisk:

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Cover art for Poseidon’s Wake by Alastair Reynolds

Here’s the cover artwork for the UK edition of Alastair Reynolds’ new novel Poseidon’s Wake, the third in the Poseidon’s Children trilogy (sequel to Blue Remembered Earth and On The Steel Breeze).

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It fits well into the new look for this trilogy, but unfortunately for my own collection (and for many others, I’m sure) it doesn’t match the original 1st Edition design for books 1 and 2. Compare the new and the old below:

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poschild

Don’t you hate it when a publisher switches designs like that? I actually prefer the busier look of the original covers. They somehow made the book seem more epic. A lot of cover art these days seems to be going for the minimalist look, however. Oh well, it’s what’s inside that counts. The book is out in April, so get excited!

Cover art for China Miéville’s new collection

A quick post to say that the cover art for China Miéville’s new collection, Three Moments of an Explosion: Stories, has been released on the UK Tor blog! Feast your eyes on it:

threemoments

Love it! It fits so perfectly with the current design of his back catalogue. The antlers are most likely a reference to the story “The Estate”, so that’ll probably be in the contents. Other stories almost certain to be included (according to the Tor blog post) are “Covehithe”, “Polynia”, and “The Rope is the World”. Check out my thoughts on what other stories will be included here.

I cannot wait to add this to my book shelf!

 

International cover art gallery: The Scar

Screen Shot 2014-03-11 at 8.18.22 pmPresented here are all the foreign covers I could find for The Scar. There aren’t as many as Perdido Street Station had, because this book hasn’t been translated in as many countries as that novel.

This time around my favourites are both the old and new French covers (Les Scarifiés). The former has a cool Remade pirate (possibly Tanner Sack?) while the latter is an absolutely excellent painting of the Lovers. Look at all that detail in their scarred faces!

The old and new UK covers are also great (loving that creepy fish skeleton), as is the US cover: it’s pretty much the best cover of any US edition of Miéville’s books. The dual German covers have good art but I don’t like the version of Bellis portrayed in them. She seems too young, and what is she wearing in the second one? Turkey’s cover is a real turkey: look at that big dumb fish! It seems to be ripping off the newer UK cover as well.

What are your favourites?

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International cover art gallery: Perdido Street Station

Screen Shot 2014-03-05 at 9.10.06 pmI’ve scoured the internet for as many foreign covers for Perdido Street Station by China Miéville as I can find. I might do the same soon for The Scar and Iron Council, and maybe China’s other books too.

There’s a great variety of cool design and illustration choices on display here. My favourites are probably the first two French ones, in all their chaoticness. I also like the newer Russian one, with the big stone-carved head. And of course the new UK one with the butterfly/balloon combo. The Croatian cover is weird though: it’s like a bizarre reappropriation of the UK one (by Edward Miller), with a really creepy looking khepri added.

Check the covers out! Clicking any of them will bring up a full screen slideshow thing. Some aren’t the best quality, sorry about that.

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Edward Miller’s awesome cover art for the Czech editions of China Miéville’s books

Edward Miller’s work is instantly recognisable, and graces the cover of many fantasy and SF books published in the last few decades. Miller, actually a pseudonym used by the prolific artist Les Edwards, painted the covers of the original UK editions of Perdido Street Station and The Scar; but while Pan Macmillan stopped using Miller’s art for all subsequent Miéville books, Miéville’s Czech publishers Laser Books knew that a unified look was worth sticking to. In fact, Miller has painted covers for other books released by the Czech publishers (viewable here) as well.

Collected here are the ten Miéville covers (in Czech) painted by Edward Miller. This image looks awesome when tiled on a computer desktop, by the way.

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Some of the details are excellent, especially when you view the covers up close on Miller’s (AKA Edwards’) website. Here for instance is a high-res look at the Railsea cover. Check out the figures on the gun turrets, and the alien tentacles coming down in the distant sky. It’s just wonderful.

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