Here is my illustration and design for Empire’s Child, the début science fiction novel by Nick Lewis.
Nick’s work has previously featured in the two Visionary anthologies published by the British Interplanetary Society, to which I also provided the cover art.
The ebook and paperback editions of Empire’s Child is now available for pre-order on Amazon.
Humanity is old. Long, long ago It re-engineered the Galaxy for its own convenience. Empires have risen, empires have fallen. Technologies close to magic have come and gone.
But the need for cabbages remains. Threnador is one of the poor agricultural worlds supplying food to the richer worlds of the Confraternity, until, one day, Time stops on Threnador. All trade with the Galaxy ceases.
A young woman, Mihana, tries to find out why. Befriending an intelligent, shape-shifting craft, she flies it across her world and beyond. Ride with her and uncover the truth behind a three-thousand-year-old chase whose consequences have shaped her life, and which has treated Threnador as collateral damage.
New cover art! Station Down is the forthcoming science fiction novel from Alice Sabo. I’ve worked with Alice long enough now to bypass the concept sketch stage of work and just dive into the final artwork. We always enjoy a fruitful author/artist relationship, which is one of the keys to success of getting the cover art you want on the front of your book.
Here is a piece of artwork which until now, has never been displayed online. I’ve titled it “Longing” but it was in fact a book cover commission from 2015. I’m hopeful that the book it was intended to grace will eventually see the light of day, but I’ve always been particularly pleased with this piece as it is one that really epitomises my style and approach.
My latest cover illustration is for Terry Grimwood’s forthcoming SF novel Interference, which is will be published by Elsewhen Press. For this cover, Terry wanted to depict an alien world with a red, burning sun. The scene is within a city, which is made up of tall, curved featureless buildings.
Gardens of Earth by Mark Iles is the first book of The Sundering Chronicles, coming soon from Elsewhen Press.
Elsewhen contacted me to illustrate the cover, as they knew it would be a good match for my style, having worked together on several previous occasions. Gardens of Earth literally spans several genres – the story tackles alien war, a future that may be considered either dystopian or utopian, a protagonist dealing with personal demons, the remnants of Earth’s inhabitants now living in a sparse society under the watchful eye of the strange plant-like Spooks, and returning human colonists intent on reclaiming the Earth.
While you might primarily consider Gardens of Earth to be a science fiction novel, elements of myth and magic fantasy are also present. So how do you represent all this in a single cover image?
You don’t even try! A cluttered book cover with too many elements fighting for attention never looks good. We knew this of course, so the challenge for this cover was to come up with an image that would set an overall tone for the book and draw the reader in via a single snapshot.
An email conversation between myself, Mark and Elsewhen resulted in a couple of concepts being discussed. The first was the view of a greener Earth with some of the Spooks closing in. We also looked at the idea of our protagonist and female humanoid companion staring out over a vista of forestry and simple human settlements, again with the Spooks looming on the horizon.
I worked up rough sketches for both, and we agreed the version showing the two figures was the right approach – however Mark wanted to see a city backdrop rather than forestry. Cityscapes have long been a recurring theme in my artwork, so it was a concept I was immediately comfortable with.
Mark had also gone over some specific, minor details – such as the insigia we see on the female’s left shoulder or the pilot’s commando knife at thigh level. Their coveralls were also to be dark green, which for me, set the colour palette for the overall scene. I wanted some atmospheric, hazy light that could be either sunset or sunrise, and chose a palette of turquoise through to yellow – the green tones in between also linked back to the greener world featured in parts of the story.
The team at Elsewhen had already chosen a typeface for the series, so we worked together to agree on the most effective layout. I suggested having the title in a dark blue to contrast the illustration but also match the darkest colours present – this little touch glued it all together. My original illustration extended beyond the cover format, so we were able to extend it around the spine and on to the back of the book.
Gardens of Earth is available to pre-order as an eBook on 6th August, and will be out in paperback in October. Keep an eye on the Elsewhen Press website or social media pages for further details!
To commemorate four years since my “Windows On Other Worlds” exhibition, I have added a new page to the Special Projects section. While only a small, local affair, exhibiting my work outside of a convention context was a big thing for me, and it was great! You can read more about it hereand download the exhibition brochure, which details the artworks that were on show.
Barry Rosenberg’s science fiction epic Pillar of Frozen Light is due to be unveiled this weekend at Novecon (the UK’s longest-established science fiction convention), by publisher Guardbridge Books.
The story has been described as character-driven journey from self-indulgence to enlightenment, and follows Jonan, a man driven by his desire for a remarkable woman, pursued by a shadowy menace, and intrigued by mysterious pillars found on distant worlds that hint at a knowledge way beyond human understanding…
The brief for this project was to convey that traversal of space and alien vistas alongside the story of desire, and the strange, ominous pillars of light that form the core of the story.
My cover art for Pillar of Frozen Light will also feature in the Novacon art show.