Yesterday, it was announced that Michael Whelan, legendary artist who long provided art for the Fantasy and Science Fiction genres, including Anne McCaffrey’s popular Pern novels, will be providing the cover art for an upcoming anthology celebrating McCaffrey. Tor.com has details about the anthology:
On August 6th, Smart Pop Books is releasing Dragonwriter: A Tribute to Anne McCaffrey and Pern, a compilation of essays remembering the dragonwriter herself, Anne McCaffrey, and including contributions from Elizabeth Moon, David Brin, Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, Elizabeth Ann Scarborough, Richard Woods, Jody Lynn Nye, Angelina Adams, and more.
This is notable not only for Whelan’s previous contributions to the series, (including one of my favourite covers of all time), but also because he retired from the cover art industry several years ago, only popping out here and there to provide art at special times (like the release of A Memory of Light by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson, replacing the late Darrell K. Sweet). It nice to see Whelan return to the world of Pern. You can see more of Whelan’s Pern artwork in his tribute post to McCaffery.
Dragonwriter: A Tribute to Anne McCaffery and Pern will be released on August 6th, 2014 by Smart Pop. It is available now for pre-order.
Seems alright. Inoffensive, at least. The trilogy (Wards of Faerie (REVIEW), Bloodfire Quest) as a whole has a nice continuous look, including the screaming red I’m-not-a-sticker sticker. Still, we all know it’s the big, juicy name of the author that will sell these books, not the cover. In all, I’d say it’s a wash with the US cover.
There has long raged a debate about the quality of UK vs. US cover art and the different ideals behind design aesthetics in the two regions. In general, fans seem to consider the UK to be the stronger market, and for a long time they were, but it’s my feeling that in the past couple of years, thanks to publishers like Tor, Night Shade Books, Pyr Books and Orbit Books, that the US has eclipsed the UK and is generating much more interesting cover art in general. Hurley herself said, “I am told the UK market is way more stuck-up about their covers. I adore my Conan covers, but $1 says the more mainstreamy-cover sells more books.”
If this is a ‘mainstreamy’ cover, I’m not sure I like where Del Rey UK is taking the series. Still, It’s nice to see Hurley seeing a release from a major publisher. What some people might not know is that Del Rey was originally meant to publish Hurley in the US, first picking up her novel, God’s War, before, for a variety of reasons that I’m not clear on, deciding to let Hurley and the series go. It, and its edits, were then picked up by Night Shade Books. Continue reading
Jonathan Strahan, a popular anthologist, has announced his next project, Fearsome Journeys, a collection of stories from some of today’s best traditional Fantasy authors. The Table of Contents is impressive:
- Introduction, Jonathan Strahan
- “The Effigy Engine: A Tale of the Red Hats”, Scott Lynch
- “Amethyst, Shadow, and Light “, Saladin Ahmed
- “Camp Follower”, Trudi Canavan
- “The Dragonslayer of Merebarton “, K J Parker
- “leaf and branch and grass and vine”, Kate Eliott
- “Spirits of Salt: A Tale of the Coral Sword”, Jeffrey Ford
- “Forever People”, Robert V S Redick
- “Sponda the Suet Girl and the Secret of the French Pearl”, Ellen Klages
- “Shaggy Dog Bridge: A Black Company Story”, Glen Cook
- “The Ghost Makers”, Elizabeth Bear
- “One Last, Great Adventure”, Ellen Kushner & Ysabeau Wilce
- “The High King Dreaming”, Daniel Abraham
I mean, I was sold on this by Daniel Abraham alone (we all know of the enormous crush I have on the man’s fiction), but look at the rest of that Table of Contents: Bear, Kushner, Ahmed, Parker, Lynch? It’s like Strahan reached into my mind and gathered together a list of authors to appeal directly to me. I suppose the list of included stories is a little short, but, given the amount of short fiction that I read (i.e. not enough), I’ll take quality over quantity with a smile on my face. Also, note that the page count is listed at 416 pages, meaning an average of 33 pages per story. This collection reminds me a lot of Swords & Dark Magic, also edited by Strahan, alongside Lou Anders, which collected some wonderful authors together to celebrate the resurgence of Sword & Sorcery-styled Fantasy. Strahan suggests that this could be the beginning of a new series of anthologies, thought that depends on the success of this publication. So, well, buy it, damn you.
Fearless Journeys will be released on May 28th, 2013 by Solaris Books.
It’s a nice cover. Clean, and reminiscent of high end literary journals without looking stale. It’s a cute play on expectations to change the letters of the keyboard as well.
Of the project, Landon says:
Our goal, if any such thing can be claimed, is to create a record of all the incredibly rich content being created on the web. We put out a call for submissions from the community at large and received over 200. Accounting for our own finds, that means well over 300 pieces of non-fiction that range from reviews, to essays about the field, to what it means to live the genre life (or something to that effect).
I’m very excited for this project, and contributed several handfuls of links and articles around the web for consideration by Shurin and Landon. I’m hoping to see some of these articles, written by my favourite online members of the fan community, make it among the 40-50 articles published in the collection. Speculative Fiction 2012, The Years Best Online Reviews, Essays and Commentary is a great step towards not only chronicling the best online fan writing, but also for providing a new audience for these writers. How great would it be to see a collection like this appear in packages distributed to members of major conventions, like WorldCon or the World Fantasy Convention? Speculative Fiction 2012, The Years Best Online Reviews, Essays and Commentary is set for release in late February or early March by Pandemonium Fiction.