We’re pleased to reveal the cover for Nisi Shawl’s long awaited novel Everfair, a historical fantasy / steampunk novel set in the Belgian Congo. Learn more about the novel below, and get the full look at Victo Ngai’s gorgeous cover art!
Everfair publishes in August 2016 from Tor Books. From the catalog copy:
Everfair is a wonderful NeoVictorian alternate history novel that explores the question of what might have come of Belgium’s disastrous colonization of the Congo if the native populations had learned about steam technology a bit earlier.
Fabian Socialists from Great Britian join forces with African American missionaries to purchase land from the Belgian Congo’s “owner,” King Leopold II. This land, named Everfair, is set aside as a safe haven, an imaginary Utopia for native populations of the Congo as well as escaped slaves returning from America and other places where African natives were being mistreated.
Shawl’s speculative masterpiece manages to turn one of the worst human rights disasters on record into a marvelous and exciting exploration of the possibilities inherent in a turn of history. Everfair is told from a multiplicity of voices: Africans, Europeans, East Asians, and African Americans in complex relationships with one another, in a compelling range of voices that have historically been silenced. Everfair is not only a beautiful book but an educational and inspiring one that will give the reader new insight into an often ignored period of history.
Here’s what author Nisi Shawl had to say about the cover art:
“Is it immodest to call what Victo Ngai has done “gorgeous”?
There’s a direct correlation between the cover art and the novel, for sure. The lamp at the cover’s center is basically the national symbol of Everfair, the fictional Utopia at the novel’s center. The mechanical hand reflects the prevalence of prosthetics among people maimed by Leopold’s grim enforcement of rubber production quotas; the dark-skinned hand the prevalence and primacy of dark-skinned peoples in the part of Africa where most of the story takes place. And the way it all glows together—I hope my words shine as well.”