Art by Richard Anderson.  Design by Christine Foltzer.

Art by Richard Anderson. Design by Christine Foltzer.

I am very proud to reveal the cover for Sunset Mantle by Alter S. Reiss, one of several novellas coming later this year as part of the debut lineup of SFF novellas from’s new short fiction imprint. As always, I’m a big fan of Richard Anderson’s work, and Irene Gallo’s art team, including designer Christine Foltzer, has done a fine job of wrapping a cover around Anderson’s work.

For fun, here are some of Anderson’s early concept sketches:

SunsetMantle_Thumbnails_01_raSunsetMantle_Thumbnails_02_ra[1]SunsetMantle_Thumbnails_03_ra must’ve felt that a severed head being thrown into a waiting army was a hard sell, considering it didn’t make it into the final version of the cover, but, all around, Anderson’s artwork provides a sense of scope and frenzy that sounds perfect for Reiss’s story.

About the Book

With a single blow, Cete won both honor and exile from his last commander. Since then he has wandered, looking for a place to call home. The distant holdings of the Reach Antach offer shelter, but that promise has a price.

The Reach Antach is doomed.

Barbarians, traitors, and scheming investors conspire to destroy the burgeoning settlement. A wise man would move on, but Cete has found reason to stay. A blind weaver-woman and the beautiful sunset mantle lure the warrior to wager everything he has left on one final chance to turn back the hungry tides of war.

Sunset Mantle was the fifth novella submission I read for, and the first I fell in love with,” said Editorial Assistant Carl Engle-Laird. “One of the first things I asked Lee Harris when we hired him as our Senior editor was, ‘Can I finally buy this novella?’ I’m glad he said yes.

Sunset Mantle is the kind of epic fantasy I want to read, with none of the drag. It has stalwart, desperate characters who must balance their needs against the laws they hold dear in a fascinating world, plus a heart-pumping plot that gets started immediately, without a hundred pages of preamble. I hope you’ll enjoy Sunset Mantle as much as I did.”

As a reader, I’m ridiculously excited about the idea of novella-length epic fantasy with all the fun stuff that’s often found in big door-stopper novels: big battles, mysterious relics, and an exotic, far-reaching fantasy world. I’m all for bringing back the short novel, hearkening back the early days of sword and sorcery. Much love, once again, to the Imprint for giving a home to novella-length SFF, we’re all better off for being able to read these stories.

More covers from the debut of’s novella line-up can be found on io9, and they’re all predicatably awesome. (Particularly David Palumbo’s cover for Nnedi Okorafor’s Binti!)

  • Paul (@princejvstin) June 9, 2015 at 9:18 am

    Yep, interested and excited by this, myself.