The best kind of torture for an art director is receiving a bunch of comps and wanting to publish them all. Thankfully, in the internet age, we can show off the alternates, even if we can’t officially publish them.
I’ve wanted to work with designer Will Staehle for a while—I loved the covers he did for Kelly Link’s Pretty Monsters, Adam Christopher’s books, and others. When Tor Books editor Claire Eddy came to me with the premise for Ian Tregillis’ new novel—a Raymond Chandler-inspired murder mystery set in Thomas Aquinas’s vision of Heaven—it felt like the perfect fit.
He sent in the comps below just before Christmas. I lived with them a long while before chosing the version above…the more I looked, the more obvious the choice became but…still, you gotta love what’s happening in all of them.
I asked Will to say a few words about the project:
“As the details slowly unfurled, the project revolved around a vintage, pulp-ly, noir theme that dealt with a group of angels, and the murder of a rather famous archangel. A genre mash-up of sorts, which I was very excited about.
I did a bit of research, and tried some designs with noir versions of classic illuminated manuscripts, but with little success. So, I refocused myself on finding a way to showcase the angels as well as the major noir elements. My favorites of the bunch are the final cover (the sort of John Heartfield-esque collage piece,) the angel chalk outline, and the angel shadow behind the frosted glass door. I especially liked how the frosted door version gave you all the various elements with only showing a vague silhouette.
Something More Than Night was a fun project overall—a very good read, and I’m rather happy with how the jacket turned out.”
Something More than Night comes out from Tor Books this fall. Here is what our catalog has to say about it.
Something More Than Night is a Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler-inspired murder mystery set in Thomas Aquinas’s vision of Heaven. It’s a noir detective story starring fallen angels,
the heavenly choir, nightclub stigmatics, a priest with a dirty secret, a femme fatale, and the Voice of God.
Somebody has murdered the angel Gabriel. Worse, the Jericho Trumpet has gone missing, putting Heaven on the brink of a truly cosmic crisis. But the twisty plot that unfolds from the murder investigation leads to something much bigger: a con job one billion years in the making.
Because this is no mere murder. A small band of angels has decided to break out of heaven, but they need a human patsy to make their plan work.
Much of the story is told from the point of view of Bayliss, a cynical fallen angel who has modeled himself on Philip Marlowe. The yarn he spins follows the progression of a Marlowe novel — the mysterious dame who needs his help, getting grilled by the bulls, finding a stiff, getting slipped a mickey
Angels and gunsels, dames with eyes like fire, and a grand maguffin, Something More Than Night is a murder mystery for the cosmos.
Irene Gallo is the Art Director for Tor Books.