Joe Wright just sent over this absolutely fantastic Ten Little Astronauts artwork! It’s based on a scene from the novella that a very small handful of people will have heard me read at the International Agatha Christie Festival.
Chances are you’ll have come across Joe Wright’s work before, as he also produced the image I’ve been using in almost all my promotional materials for Girth Loinhammer’s Most Exponential Adventure. This one’s very different in terms of style, though:
I was trying to make something that was reminiscent of old sci-fi pulp novels, which I understand isn’t exactly the aesthetic you’re going for, but I think it’ll help catch the eye.
It may not be a direct representation what’s described in the book (in which the U.N. Owen is not much to look at), but for the overall tone I think this is a great match. The pulp style harks right back to the time of And Then There Were None, and the image itself certainly captures the tension at this point in the story. But to find out what’s really going on here, you’ll have to pledge for the book!
If you’d like to see more of Joe’s work, one handy place to look would be his profile on deviantART. He’s a writer as well as an artist, and regularly takes part in the same Flash Fiction Month event as I do: you’ll see his stories referenced in a number of my own, typically those written as part of a challenge involving another author’s entries for the event.
Flash Fiction Month 2015 starts today! From now until July 31st, I will be writing, editing and posting one (very) short story every single day. I can’t say what the stories will be like. I can’t say when I’ll manage to collect them together into a book. What I can say is that the cover will be blue.The “rainbow party” colour convention for my Flash Fiction Month books started entirely by accident, and like a lot of things I’m involved with mostly got going because somebody on the internet said “Heh, that’s funny.” Based on the first cover featuring an orange object and the second cover featuring a red one, somebody spotted that it would be possible to make the book covers form a rainbow as the series went on.
That was reason enough for me to go ahead and do it, but the design had the added bonus of making the paperbacks identifiable by their spines, which aren’t always thick enough to have the titles printed on them. It also meant that I could reliably turn one free stock image into an eye-catching book cover, which is really handy because I can’t afford to commission a book cover a year.
The thing is, the colour scheme itself seems to suggest something of a natural end point: orange, red, purple, blue, green, yellow. After that (barring a bold move into the non-visible portions of the electromagnetic spectrum) I’m out of colours. The only way I can really go beyond six books is to start again at orange, and that’s exactly what I intend to do. There may be a limited pallette of colours, but there’s a virtually infinite range of coloured objects. Still, that means that each run through the spectrum will form something of a complete set. Continue reading
We always joked that having gone down the rabbit hole, stepped through the mirror, one day we would walk right into Alice.
Well, one day we did.
~Pvt. John Reynolds, Alterworld Expeditionary Force
It’s been a while since I posted anything Alterworld-related, largely because I’ve been working towards writing stories to go in the collection. However, there’s been one development I’m more than happy to share:
I’ve got in touch with Thomas Venner, a local artist whose work is absolutely spot-on for this setting. The scene above–from Never Look Away–should hopefully give some idea what a difference this could make to the stories themselves. Dealing with a world in which there is no light, and where seeing or not seeing can be the difference between life and death, having something visual alongside the text seems especially significant.
I’d also just like to point out that I didn’t ask for this scene specifically. Despite writing the thing, I couldn’t even imagine what this creature looked like, so it seems like a particularly ambitious thing to tackle. Seeing it done, though, it all works so well: there’s just enough visible to suggest something entirely alien, but at the same time not enough to build up an complete idea of what it looks like, or even what it is.
Fun fact: at exactly this point while writing this post, my internet connection cut out for five days. So much for getting this out there straight away!
Thomas has told me quite a bit about the thinking behind this image–particularly the quality of light emitted by the lantern and how it interacts with the creature–but I’m really not qualified to pass any of it on. Visual art isn’t my strong point, which is one reason it’s so nice to be able to work with someone who properly understands it. Still, even just at a glance I feel like it all works. Having the creature’s “face” partially obscured by the character’s shoulder is a particularly nice touch: again, it provides enough detail to suggest something really creepy, but not enough to give away the complete madness-inducing view.