Artwork by James Hance:
Just waaaaay too cute. Like the Victorian-style portraits before them, these are an awesome example of a distinct art-style being mixed with a universe we all love. More of Hance’s art (including Sesame Street-inspired Star Wars portraits), along with prints, can be found on Hance’s Website.
It’s more generic than many of the other covers, and doesn’t scream Wheel of Time like some of the others, but still a nice piece of artwork. It’s strange seeing a creature on the cover, given Wheel of Time‘s proclivity towards conflict between humans (or at least humanoids). That said, I’m unfamiliar with the scene in the novel, so it could be an obvious choice to those who’ve read The Gathering Storm.
One thing that always impresses me about Lockwood, and isn’t immediately apparent when looking at his art, is that he’s a digital painter. Unlike many who work in the medium, Lockwood’s art looks like it’s hand painted and avoids that uncanny valley that artists like Jon Sullivan fall into. His use of colour, as always, is wonderful. There’s a great video showing Lockwood’s progression as he works through the painting for The Gathering Storm:
Another nice cover, if not the best in the series.
The Official Hugo Award website:
- Best Novel: TIE: The City & The City, China Miéville (Del Rey; Macmillan UK); The Windup Girl, Paolo Bacigalupi (Night Shade)
- Best Novella: “Palimpsest”, Charles Stross (Wireless; Ace, Orbit)
- Best Novelette: “The Island”, Peter Watts (The New Space Opera 2; Eos)
- Best Short Story: “Bridesicle”, Will McIntosh (Asimov’s 1/09)
- Best Related Book: This is Me, Jack Vance! (Or, More Properly, This is “I”), Jack Vance (Subterranean)
- Best Graphic Story: Girl Genius, Volume 9: Agatha Heterodyne and the Heirs of the Storm Written by Kaja and Phil Foglio; Art by Phil Foglio; Colours by Cheyenne Wright (Airship Entertainment)
- Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form: Moon Screenplay by Nathan Parker; Story by Duncan Jones; Directed by Duncan Jones (Liberty Films)
- Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form: Doctor Who: “The Waters of Mars” Written by Russell T Davies & Phil Ford; Directed by Graeme Harper (BBC Wales)
- Best Editor Long Form: Patrick Nielsen Hayden
- Best Editor Short Form: Ellen Datlow
- Best Professional Artist: Shaun Tan
- Best Semiprozine: Clarkesworld edited by Neil Clarke, Sean Wallace, & Cheryl Morgan
- Best Fan Writer: Frederik Pohl
- Best Fanzine: StarShipSofa edited by Tony C. Smith
- Best Fan Artist: Brad W. Foster
And the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer (presented by Dell Magazines): Seanan McGuire
Aaaaaaand, there’s not much I can say about the winners. I enjoyed The City & The City, so I guess that’s cool. Also, it looks like I need to read Bridesicle now; I put it off because it has a ridiculous title, but a Hugo Award is a convincing argument. Oh, and Up should’ve won.
Snagged from LA Weekly:
Beautiful Victorian-style portraits? Check. Star Wars characters? Check. Artist behind some of my favourite films of all time? Check.
Seriously, what’s not to like about these portraits from Greg Peltz? Love the stylized look of them, love the little details that perfectly capture the characters (Darth Vader holding his helmet? Genius.)
You can find more of the Star Wars portraits on the LA Weekly blog.
I remember that it was midmorning.
Gardening was my favorite task of the day. I’d had to fight for it, because my mother’s terraces were famous throughout the territory and she didn’t quite trust me with them. I couldn’t really blame her; my father still laughed over whatever I’d done to the laundry that one time I tried.
“Oree,” she would say, whenever I sought to prove my independence, “it’s all right to need help. All of us have things we can’t do alone.”
Gardening, however, was not one of those things. It was the weeding that my mother feared, because many of the weeds that grew in Nimaro were similar in form to her most prized herbs. Fakefern had a fan-shaped frond just like sweet ire; running may was spiky and stung the fingers, same as ocherine. But the weeds and the herbs didn’t smell anything alike, so I never understood why she had such trouble with them. On the rare occasions that both scent and feel stumped me, all I had to do was touch a leaf-edge to my lips, or brush my hand through the leaves to hear the way they settled into place, and I would know. Eventually Mama had to admit that I hadn’t tossed out a single good plant all season. I was planning to ask for my own terrace the following year.
I usually lost myself in the gardens for hours, but one morning something was different. I noticed it almost the moment I left the house: a strange, tinny flatness to the air. A pent-breath tension. By the time the storms began, I had forgotten the weeds and sat up, instinctively orienting on the sky.
And I could see.
N.K. Jemisin‘s The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms is one of my favourite books of the year. It was a haunting, original take on the Fantasy genre, and instantly catapulted Jemisin’s work to the top of my I-want-it-so-bad-it-hurts list.
After such an impressive debut, there’s a lot of pressure on The Broken Kingdoms to deliver on the promises of its predecessor. What intrigues me most about Jemisin’s trilogy is that each volume tells a complete story, expanding on the fallout from previous volume, and starring a new cast of characters. Very similar to Terry Brooks’ early Shannara novels, which feature some of my favourite inter-connected stories in all the genre.
And, hey, two books from a series in on year? Can’t complain about that one bit. Especially since she’s well into writing the third and final volume.