Posts Categorized: Art

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Michael Whelan’s official website revealed that the legendary artist, who rarely works on cover art since semi-retiring to focus on fine art in the early 2000s, will be painting the cover art for Tad Williams’ The Last King of Osten Ard, Williams’ sequel trilogy to his modern classic, Memory, Sorrow and Thorn.

The official back cover blurb provides some hints to what awaits Whelan:

In this new trilogy, Williams journeys back to the magical land of Osten Ard and continues the story of beloved characters King Simon and Queen Miriamele, married now for thirty years, and introduces newcomer Prince Morgan, their heir apparent. Also expanded is the story of the twin babies born to Prince Josua and Lady Vorzheva—a birth heralded by prophecy, which has been the subject of feverish fan speculation since the release of To Green Angel Tower in 1993.

This is tremendous news for fans of Williams and Whelan, as the artist’s work has become synonymous with Memory, Sorrow and Thorn. Since the trilogy was released in the 90s, the North American editions have never featured different artwork. Let us hope, however, that we get more inspired work than Whelan’s last cover.

The first volume of The Last King of Osten Ard, The Witchwood Crown, will be released from DAW Books and Hodder and Stoughton in 2016. It is unclear if both publishers will use Whelan’s paintings, though the art that Whelan produced was not used on the Gollancz editions of Brandon Sanderson’s The Way of Kings and Words of Radiance.

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These are just too cute. As a new parent, it’s beyond heartwarming to see some of my favourite video game ‘families’ represented in French artist Andry ‘Shango’ Rajoelina’s Super Families series. You can find more of Rajoelina’s art on his official Tumblr account.

Who are some of your favourite video game ‘families’?

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We first fell in love with Jian Guo‘s evocative art style when he created these iconic covers for the Chinese edition of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. Now, the Chinese artist is back with these wonderful cover paintings for Gene Wolfe’s classic Book of the New Sun. If you’re a fan of Book of the New Sun, don’t miss Chris Gerwel’s epic retrospective on Gene Wolfe‘s impact on science fiction and fantasy.

Now, go get lost in Jian Guo’s wonderful portfolio.

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I’m a big fan of Kotaki’s (he’s even written for A Dribble of Ink!), but there’s something here that doesn’t quite work for me. I miss Kotaki’s usual sense of energy and action, or the intricacies of his armour design and landscapes. The cover for Trial of Intentions is static and ponderous, and lacks for wonder, which is something I never thought I’d say of Kotaki’s work.

The gods who created this world have abandoned it. In their mercy, however, they chained the rogue god—and the monstrous creatures he created to plague mortalkind—in the vast and inhospitable wasteland of the Bourne. The magical Veil that contains them has protected humankind for millennia and the monsters are little more than tales told to frighten children. But the Veil has become weak and creatures of Nightmare have come through. To fight them, the races of men must form a great alliance to try and stop the creatures.

But there is dissent. One king won’t answer the call, his pride blinding him even to the poison in his own court. Another would see Convocation fail for his own political advantage. And still others believe Convocation is not enough. Some turn to the talents of the Sheason, who can shape the very essence of the world to their will. But their order is divided, on the brink of collapse.

Tahn Junell remembers friends who despaired in a place left barren by war. One of the few who have actually faced the unspeakable horde in battle, Tahn sees something else at work and wonders about the nature of the creatures on the other side of the Veil. He chooses to go to a place of his youth, a place of science, daring to think he can find a way to prevent slaughter, prevent war.

And his choices may reshape a world . . . .

What’s more exciting, though, are the plans that Tor and Orullian are cooking up for the relaunch of this series. Trial of Intentions is the follow-up to Orullian’s 2001 debut, The Unremembered. Five years later, he’s returning with an author’s preferred edition of The Unremembered, one that better matches the vision he had for the series from the get go (snafu’d by a labyrinthine journey through the politics of book publishing and editorial authority), and by all accounts is more streamlined, easier to sink into, and more focused on introducing readers to the series without overwhelming them with a tidal wave of world building.

The “Author’s Definitive Edition” of The Unremembered arrives on April 7th, 2015, with Trial of Intentions following on May 26th, 2015.

Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson

I wasn’t too impressed with the cover for Words of Radiance, the second volume in Brandon Sanderson’s mega-series, The Stormlight Archive. Despite being a big Michael Whelan fan, the cover felt phoned in, like it had gone through the ringer with the most vanilla focus groups ever.

I was doubly disappointed when the book released with a gorgeous painting from Whelan featuring Shallan, who features most prominently in the novel. Even the usually hyper-masculine /r/fantasy sub-reddit agreed. Why wasn’t that the cover? Sanderson answered that question today on Reddit’s /r/fantasy sub-forum: it wasn’t created until the cover was finished.

“Michael Whelan, the artist, is one of the few in the business who likes to read every book he does a cover for, if possible,” Sanderson explained. “In this case, he had to start working on the illustration before the book was actually done. So I sent him a description of the ending sequence, and he started sketching out the scene that eventually became the cover.” Read More »