The Lowest Heaven, edited by Anne Perry and Jared Shurin The Lowest Heaven Details, art by Joey Hifi

Each story in The Lowest Heaven is themed around a body in the Solar System, from the Sun to Halley’s Comet. Contributors include Alastair Reynolds, Kaaron Warren, S.L. Grey, Lavie Tidhar, Jon Courtenay Grimwood, Sophia McDougall, Maria Dahvana Headley, Adam Roberts, E.J. Swift, Kameron Hurley and Doctor Who’s Matt Jones.

The stories are illustrated with photographs and artwork selected from our world-class collection, while the book’s cover and overall design are the work of award-winning South African illustrator Joey Hi-Fi. Joey has provided us with an exclusive Q&A about how he created the design for the cover artwork.

In collaboration with Royal Museums Greenwich, Jurassic London is publishing this anthology on June 13th, 2013 to celebrate the mysteries of our solar system. I’m a great fan of what Perry and Shurin are doing at Jurassic London, and this appears to be one of their most accomplished publications yet. In discussion with the, artist Joey Hi-Fi, explains where the idea for map-styled art originated,

With The Lowest Heaven being an anthology, the brief was to create a piece of artwork that would tie all the stories together. Since the book features stories based on various celestial bodies in our Solar System – creating a bespoke solar system map seemed like an interesting way to do that.
Plus, having a fascination with all things cosmic (bordering on Kosmikophilia), I couldn’t resist. I used to draw maps of alien solar systems as a kid – peppered with space battles of course. So this is a childhood dream come true.

I was inspired by the wall hangings in the National Maritime Museum collection. These were produced by the Working Men’s Educational Union in the 1850s and based on astronomical themes. The hangings were printed lithographically on cotton, which gives them an interesting appearance. I liked their simple, yet striking design. One in particular (see jpeg) formed the basis of my design.
I just took a more modern approach – if you can call it that. My map has more of a 1950s aesthetic as opposed to one reminiscent of the 1850s.

It’s… gorgeous. Ethereal, mysterious, adventurous and worthy of hanging on a wall. Now, the big question is, can The Lowest Heaven, published by Jurassic London, which is co-founded by Jared Shurin and Anne Perry, the same duo behind the Kitschies, win an Inky Tentacle at the Kitschies for ‘Best Cover Art’? ‘Cause, well, there’s a damn good chance that it’ll deserve it. I’ve said it before recently, and I’ll say it again, I’d be hard-pressed to find a current cover artist who’s doing better, more consistent, and astonishing work than Joey Hi-Fi. Everything the guy touches is golden.

Discussion
  • MoreThanHorror May 10, 2013 at 2:30 am

    I found you on the top 100 on distancelearning net. Congrats! Honestly I know nothing about sci-fi (more of a horror / goth guy myself) but learning and enjoying your blog so far. I might end up a sci-fi guy after all. Looking good. I’ll definitely be coming back. –Thanks

  • Em May 10, 2013 at 8:42 am

    It’s certainly got that bland flat single color background and wacky design elements that the Kitschie art awards always go for. I love all his other work but I find this kind of stuff a bit dull frankly.

  • [...] good golly, that cover art. I said that Joey Hi-Fi should take home an Inky Tentacle for his cover for The Lowest Heaven. He’s not eligible, so, damnit, let’s give the award to The Melancholy of Mechagirl, [...]

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  • 2014 British Fantasy Award Winners September 7, 2014 at 7:35 pm

    […] Joey Hi-Fi, one of the best artists working science fiction and fantasy, walk away with the award. He’s amazing. And, of course, the wonderful and amazing Ann […]

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