I’ve loved all of Will Staelhe’s covers for Adam Christopher’s books. Still, I was a little bit hesitant when The Burning Dark came up. I was worried that people may expect something a bit more traditional hard SF with this book. But in the end I was just too much of a fan of Will’s, likewise the editor and author, so we just had to see what he could do with the story. And I’m so glad we did. Will handed in a dozen great options, all of which would have made for an interesting cover. In the end, the one above seemed the best example of a tense and claustrophobic world.
It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of Will Staehle—I think he’s one of the best cover designers in the business, and I’m very lucky to have him work on my books. Will is constantly surprising—this cover is absolutely nothing like what I expected, and I absolutely love it. It’s spacey, and dark, and creepy as anything. It’s brilliant!
Here are some of the options that Will created for this title.
I loved both of these. A lot. But in the end, they proved to be just a little too difficult to read without clearing conveying that it is a science fiction book.
Another great set... I think the white version would look great on the full-wrap of the hardcover jacket, but it felt just a bit too clinical and quiet. The space ship is awesome but, even Will labeled it the “safety comp”—it’s got a lot of energy but we have so many opportunites to show ships from the outside, it was fun to take advantage of the interior above.
The catalog copy for Burning Dark describes the book:
Back in the day, Captain Abraham Idaho Cleveland had led the Fleet into battle against an implacable machine intelligence capable of devouring entire worlds. But after saving a planet, and getting a bum robot knee in the process, he finds himself relegated to one of the most remote backwaters in Fleetspace to oversee the decommissioning of a semi-deserted space station well past its use-by date.
But all is not well aboard the U-Star Coast City. The station’s reclusive
Commandant is nowhere to be seen, leaving Cleveland to deal with a hostile crew on his own. Persistent malfunctions plague the station’s systems while interference from a toxic purple star makes even ordinary communications problematic. Alien shadows and whispers seem to haunt the lonely corridors and airlocks, fraying the nerves of everyone aboard.
Isolated and friendless, Cleveland reaches out to the universe via an old-fashioned subspace radio, only to tune into a strange, enigmatic signal: a woman’s voice that seems to echo across a thousand light-years of space. But is the transmission just a random bit of static from the past—or a warning of an undying menace beyond mortal comprehension?
Burning Dark will be out this March. Editor Paul Stevens is proud to announce that Tor will be publishing two more books in this series.