Now, Sam’s a good friend of this blog (seriously, he’s behind one of my favourite interviews I’ve conducted), but I can’t give him (or, more accurately, his publisher, Gollancz) a free pass here. Seriously, this cover hits on every metric for what’s wrong with Fantasy art today. Overly aggressive and poorly representative of the Fantasy genre? Check. Bland typography? Check. Uncanny valley? Check. Flaming water (wait, what?)? Check. Insane, weird pull-quote that tells you absolutely nothing about the book? Check. Poorly photoshopped H&M model with basic glow filter attached? CHECK CHECK CHECK!
I appreciate the continuity with the series’ previous cover art, but here’s hoping Lou Anders will have the sense to put a better cover on the Pyr Books edition when it’s released in North America.
Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy is hosted by io9, and this episode features an interview with Charles Yu, author of How to Live Safely in a Science Fiction Universe.
Episode #24 — Charles Yu
Charles Yu, author of How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe, joins us this week on io9′s Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy podcast to discuss time travel and parallel universes. Plus, what’s the best time travel story ever?
Some of my favourite snippets from the show notes:
3:25 What books inspired Yu to become a writer? They include Asimov’s Foundation series and Piers Anthony’s Incarnations of Immortality
8:48 The rules of time travel in How to Live Safely in a Science Fiction Universe
10:35 The setting in How to Live Safely in a Science Fiction Universe
28:20 What makes a time travel story believable?
36:25 Dave explains how to meet a time traveler!
43:43 Have you ever run into a time traveler? Is so, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
49:34 Flux Capacitors! Find out if Dave was able to convince his dad to build one.
58:15 John doesn’t think they don’t use cassette tapes in the future
So head on over and listen to Episode #24 of Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy.
And the wraparound:
Wonderful. Great, crisp colours. Delightfully old school, but contemporary at the same time thanks to the sharp typeface. Love the pink letting on the spine. Absolutely can’t wait to get my hands on this!
The Tor Books cover:
And the small run PS Publishing cover:
Greymane believed he’d outrun his past. He now ran a school for swordsmanship in Falar and was looking forward to becoming fat and lazy. With him was Kyle, though the plains youth was not quite so contented with civilian life outside the mercenary company the Crimson Guard. Yet it is not so easy to disappear when you are an ex-Fist of the Malazan Empire, especially one denounced and under a death-sentence from that very Empire.
For there is a new Emperor on the throne of Malaz, and his thoughts turn to the lingering drain of blood and treasure that is the failed invasion of the Korel subcontinent. In the record vaults beneath Unta, the Imperial capital, lie the answers to that disaster. And out of this buried history surfaces the name Stonewielder.
In Korel, Lord Protector Hiam, commander of the Stormguard, faces the potential annihilation of all that he loves as with the blood of his few remaining men and a crumbling stone wall that has seen better days, he labours to stave off the sea-borne Stormriders who would destroy his lands.
Meanwhile, religious war has broken out all across these lands as the local cult of the Blessed Lady, who has stood firm for millennia against the assaults of the Stormriders, seeks to stamp out all rivals; a champion refuses to stand against the alien ‘Riders’ and takes up arms in rebellion; and a local magistrate innocently pursuing the mystery of a series of murders is brought to the very heart of a far larger and far more terrifying ancient crime that has stained the entire subcontinent.
It’s interesting to see how they parallel each other in subject, but are utterly different in tone. The PS Publishing cover has better art, but it looks like a Patrick O’Brian, rather than a novel heavily entrenched in the farthest reaches of Epic Fantasy. Alternatively, the Tor Books edition suits the tone of the series, but I’m not a huge fan of the CG-heavy artstyle – though, of course, it fits in well with the rest of the Malazan novels.
The Internet’s abuzz with the release of Towers of Midnight, the penultimate volume in Robert Jordan’s (and Brandon Sanderson’s, to be fair) Wheel of Time series. I don’t have a review myself (but I *do* have an interview with Sanderson), so I thought it might be worthwhile to round up a few of the early reviews, almost all of which are positive.
I haven’t read any of them myself (besides the quotes I’ve pulled), so beware of spoilers!
So, then, there you are. Expect more reviews to appear over the next couple of weeks, especially from UK bloggers, most of whom weren’t provided with review copies. If you’ve got a review or know of a review, let me know and I’ll add it to the list!