follow_our_rules_by_aquasixio-d6ynbbsprotect_me_from_what_i_want_by_aquasixio-d55oynncalypso_by_aquasixio-d62qd70life_is_now_by_aquasixio-d7whbjmPrismatic_by_AquaSixioaccording_to_my_jealousy_by_aquasixio-d5q1cqtswamp_of_soap_by_aquasixio-d5awxiwkatharsis_by_aquasixio-d78h3poBlowing_Bubbles_by_AquaSixiospringtime_in_our_hands_by_aquasixio-d5hrquu

Cyril Rolando, known online as AquaSixio, is a French illustrator who works predominantly with digital mediums, such as Photoshop. “My artistic approach is set between surreal and fantasy style… in one word : Otherworldly,” he says of his art.

“I want to ‘tell a story,’ not just ‘show pixels,'” says Rolando of his digital art. “Tim Burton and Hayao Miyazaki are both the roots of my own world. I like the surrealism movement, especially the work of Boris Vian and his Foam of the Daze (l’écume des jours). I like the absurdity, the creativity and the enchanting universes, where colors bring more emotions than thousand smiles or a million tears.”

Living on an island, I’m drawn to many of the thematic elements that Rolando incorporates into many of his images: waves, underwater, aquatic life, snow, rice beds. Doubly impressive is the way that the running theme of water is utilized without all of the images feeling repetitive or same-y. Rolando fills his images with deep blues, rich purples and reds, and nurses out a lot of evocative emotion through his use of colour.

You can follow Cyril Rolando on Tumblr and DeviantArt. His art is available for purchase through his online store.

the-spiders-war-by-daniel-abraham

I’ve got one response for this:

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(Okay, I actually have more than one response, natch, so bear with me. Orbit Books is one of the few big SFF publishers that understands the value in building a brand for its authors. When they weren’t happy with Brent Weeks’ cover for The Black Prism, they recovered the whole series and created an eye-catching and instantly recognizable series on bookstore shelves. They’ve done so with James S.A. Corey’s The Expanse, and Ann Leckie’s Imperial Radch series. The packaging and branding for Daniel Abraham’s The Dagger and the Coin was never their finest work, but it was bold and the emblematic weapon (sword, axe, torch, shield and spear) were consistent and matched scale. Read More »

The Mirror Empire by Kameron Hurley

Publisher: Angry Robot Books - Pages: 544 - Buy: Book/eBook
Cover art for The Mirror Empire by Kameron Hurley

In the world of Kameron Hurley’s The Mirror Empire, where magic users draw their power from one of three heavenly satellites, a dark star is rising, one whose ascendance heralds a time of cataclysmic change and war between realities. For Lilia, who crossed from one world to another in childhood, fleeing the wrath of an alternate, militaristic version of the peaceful Dhai culture she now inhabits, this means discovering her mother’s hidden legacy before it can destroy her. For Akhio, the younger brother and now unexpected heir of Dhai’s deceased leader, Oma’s rise brings politicking and treachery, both from Dhai’s traditional enemies and from within his own state. For Zezili, the half-blood daijian general of matriarchal Dorinah, charged by her alien empress with exterminating the nation’s daijian population, it means an uneasy alliance with women from another world; women whose plans are built on blood and genocide. For Rohinmey, a novice parajista who dreams of adventure, Oma brings the promise of escape – but at a more terrible cost than he could ever have imagined. And for Taigan, a genderfluid assassin and powerful omajista bound in service to the Patron of imperial Saiduan, it means watching cities burn as invading armies walk between worlds with the aim of destroying his. How many realities are there? Who can travel between them? And who will survive Oma’s rise?

The Mirror Empire hooked me in from the very first page.

The Mirror Empire, the first volume of the Worldbreaker Saga, is Hugo Award-winning writer Kameron Hurley’s fourth novel, and from the minute I first saw the blurb, I knew I had to read it. The entire concept – backstabbing politics, polyamorous pacifists, violent matriarchs, sentient plant-monsters, doors between worlds – is basically my personal catnip, and when you throw in my enjoyment of Hurley’s first novel, God’s War, my expectations at the outset were understandably high. Which is ordinarily a risk factor: the more I invest in a story beforehand, the more likely I am to wind up disappointed. But The Mirror Empire, with its sprawling, fascinating mix of original cultures, political wrangling – both within the narrative and as cultural commentary – and vivid, brilliant worldbuilding, hooked me in from the very first page. The only reason it took me so long to read, in fact, was a personal reticence to have the story end: I’ve been drawing it out over weeks and months, prolonging the inevitable.

Read More »

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Conversations with
My Favorite Author

“Guess how long the space ships are in this book!”

“Guess how long the space ships are in this book!”

The conversation often starts something like this. Sometimes it’s, “Guess how many different genders are in this world!” or, “Guess what Gwenna just discovered about Annick!”

I’m not the person asking. My husband poses these questions, and it is my job to answer them. If I don’t guess correctly, I’ll get another opportunity in a few minutes, a few hours, a day or two. When he’s reading a new book, each masterful bit of world-building is fodder for a conversation like this one. When he’s writing a new scene, each plot point or moment of character development is an opportunity for a pop-quiz.

“I don’t know,” I reply. “Half a galaxy long?” I think this is a plausibly impressive size, given his enthusiasm, given the volume and intensity with which he has asked the question. He knows that I cannot tell a furlong from a parsec, but he refuses to believe that a person can live in the world without understanding basic measurement and scale. Read More »

final_by_shirotsuki-d6qc5wtosprey_agape_satori_by_shirotsuki-d6sfq9dprincess_by_shirotsuki-d715aov2e97c17bb2dc402438c5afaa885a6a55-d39zfjh07_final_by_shirotsuki-d61rnmqaa0d9a409fff9c2890501a760a0a6ee1-d4teper48e9dde3894c42bbaf21b50632e70d4e-d53832nsnowdarling_colored_by_shirotsuki-d7159ti

“Allie Strom has spent her entire life drawing things,” says the official website of the American artist, and that lifelong devotion to her art certainly paid off, with a diverse and imaginative portfolio of art. I think what stands out most about Strom’s art is that no piece looks like the last. From tone, to composition, to subjects, they’re unique and individual glimpses into the worlds of the artist’s imagination. Beautiful stuff.

You can find more of Strom’s art on her DeviantArt page, her personal portfolio, and on her progress Tumblr. I recommend spending some time this weekend with all the talented young artist has to offer. Her imagination is boundless.