Get Deeply Comfortable With the Cover to Tamsyn Muir’s Gideon the Ninth

You’re going to have so much unmentionable fun with skeletons in 2019.

Tor.com Publishing is thrumming with excitement to reveal the cover to Tamsyn Muir’s debut novel Gideon the Ninth, which arrives on shelves on September 10, 2019.

The Emperor needs necromancers.

The Ninth Necromancer needs a swordswoman.

Gideon has a sword, some dirty magazines, and no more time for undead bullshit.

Creating the perfect cover to visualize such noncompliant serenity was risky. The character of Gideon is so well-realized that the Tor.com office often mistakenly writes emails to Gideon instead of about Gideon, so how could there possibly be a single visual that everyone would…

Oh.

OH.

Gideon the Ninth Tamsyn Muir cover

Art: Tommy Arnold. Design: Jamie Stafford-Hill

“It’s stunning,” says author Tamsyn Muir. “Tommy Arnold has captured Gideon Nav more completely than I ever thought possible: courageous, ready and intimidating, with top notes of being a galactic dirtbag.”

Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir arrives on September 10, 2019.

If you feel compelled to pre-order it now? We understand.

Or at your preferred independent bookstore.

Please sanctify these first three paragraphs of Gideon the Ninth and join us in its propulsive thrall:

In the myriadic year of our Lord – the ten thousandth year of the King Undying, the kindly Prince of Death! – Gideon Nav packed her sword, her shoes, and her dirty magazines, and she escaped from the House of the Ninth.

She didn’t run. Gideon never ran unless she had to. In the absolute darkness before dawn she brushed her teeth without concern and splashed her face with water, and even went so far as to sweep the dust off the floor of her cell. She shook out her big black church robe and hung it from the hook. Having done this every day for over a decade, she no longer needed light to do it by. This late in the equinox no light would make it to her for months, in any case; you could tell the season by how hard the heating vents were creaking it out. She dressed herself from head to toe in polymer and synthetic weave, even if they were bad and scratchy. She combed her hair. Then Gideon whistled through her teeth as she unlocked her security cuff, and arranged it and its stolen key considerately on her pillow, like a chocolate in a fancy hotel.

Leaving her cell and swinging her pack over one shoulder, she took the time to walk down five flights to her mother’s nameless catacomb niche. This was pure sentiment, as her mother hadn’t been there since Gideon was little and would never go back in it now. Then came the long hike up twenty-two flights the back way, not one light relieving the greasy dark, heading to the splitoff shaft and the pit where her ride would arrive: the shuttle was due in two hours.

Brought up by unfriendly, ossifying nuns, ancient retainers, and countless skeletons, Gideon is ready to abandon a life of servitude and an afterlife as a reanimated corpse. She packs up her sword, her shoes, and her dirty magazines, and prepares to launch her daring escape. But her childhood nemesis won’t set her free without a service.

Harrowhark Nonagesimus, Reverend Daughter of the Ninth House and bone witch extraordinaire, has been summoned into action. The Emperor has invited the heirs to each of his loyal Houses to a deadly trial of wits and skill. If Harrowhark succeeds she will be become an immortal, all-powerful servant of the Resurrection, but no necromancer can ascend without their cavalier. Without Gideon’s sword, Harrow will fail, and the Ninth House will die.

Of course, some things are better left dead.

Here’s a quick glimpse at how artist Tommy Arnold brought Gideon to life further life.

Gideon the Ninth cover process Tommy Arnold

Applicable AO3 (Archive Of Our Own) tags include:

  • Swordswoman/Necromancer
  • Angst With Jokes
  • UST (Unresolved Skeletal Tension)
  • Lots of Queer Characters
  • Hurt/Comfort
  • Childhood Enemies
  • Bone Friends
  • Bone Prom
  • BonesBonesBones
  • Dad Jokes
  • Crying

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