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Bella Pagan

Revealing The Doors of Eden, a New Novel from Adrian Tchaikovsky

It’s an absolute pleasure to reveal the cover for Adrian Tchaikovsky’s exceptional new novel, The Doors of Eden. Pan Macmillan’s designer Neil Lang, in combination with Blacksheep Design Ltd, has done such a great job here. It’s asking a lot for one image to encapsulate something as extraordinary as this book… However, as Adrian’s editor, I really hope you can get a sense of the epic journey that awaits his characters (and the reader) as they pass from the known into the unknown. And I hope you can guess at the sheer amazing depth of worlds created just for us—which by the end might feel more real than our own.

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Revealing the UK Cover for John Scalzi’s The Consuming Fire

The Consuming Fire by John Scalzi is the dazzling follow-up to The Collapsing Empire—a space opera set in a universe on the brink of destruction. I just adored the first book, as it contained exactly the things that I love in SF: a story that completely immerses you in an exciting new adventure; characters you can really relate to (despite the apparent gulf between, for example, working in publishing in London and being emperor of a far-future empire…); and a feeling of freshness and life that keeps you turning those pages. Needless to say, I wanted to do the second book proud when it came to the cover brief.

I wanted to see something that linked visually to book one of course. But I also wanted to aim for a sense of spacecraft either fleeing towards or advancing upon one small planet at the far edges of the empire’s reach, as the pathways between the stars collapsed and died. That planet is appropriately named End—though it’s about to find itself very much at the centre of galactic events…

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Check Out the UK Cover for Laura Lam’s Shattered Minds

I’m delighted to show off our cover visuals for Shattered Minds by Laura Lam—and it’s rather “eye-catching” don’t you think?! (Sorry readers!) Our talented in-house designer Neil Lang worked on the cover, and we think he’s done a terrific job.

We wanted to go simple here, with a central iconic image as per False Hearts—Laura’s thrilling adult debut which was set in the same world. There was plenty of symbolism to choose from in her new book, as a bee, a rose, a thorn, a drop of blood, and two heterochromic eyes are featured. But I always love an eye on a cover—it really draws the reader into the design. And in this case, the eye is so relevant to the plot.

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Revealing the UK Cover of Susan Dennard’s Windwitch

Hot on the heels of our fabulous Truthwitch paperback, Tor Books UK has been working on the cover for its sequel, Windwitch. It’s been SO exciting to see the separate hardback and paperback looks take shape and I just love both of them. With the Windwitch HB, as with our Truthwitch HB, we are echoing the US look and going with the same character image – so the Windwitch Merik can look just as mysterious in both territories!

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Revealing the UK Paperback Edition of Truthwitch

I am delighted to show off the fabulous UK paperback cover for Susan Dennard’s Truthwitch! We at Tor Books UK have been blown away by the amazing response to our previous covers—both the hardback cover and the early reading copy (seen below). And of course US readers loved the US edition, too. Truthwitch fans are just the best!

But we felt the response to our early reading copy was something special. This led us to wonder… could we give UK readers something different again for the paperback, something that was in fact more like that early copy?

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Revealing the UK Cover for Gilded Cage

Gilded Cage is a firecracker of a novel, which deserves the most GLORIOUS cover to match! With its charismatic characters, Orwellian British setting and a dash of magic, Vic James has penned a rollercoaster of a read. My brief to our Design department included the words beautiful, sinister and brutal and I think designer Jo Thomson has absolutely nailed it with a stand-out cover (see below). I’ll tell you more about that process, and give you some ideas and covers that didn’t make it. But first, some plot…

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Starborn Artwork Reveal: The Evolution of a Cover

I’m delighted to at last reveal the cover for Lucy Hounsom’s epic debut fantasy—Starborn. And it’s epic indeed! It’s the first book in the Worldmaker trilogy, it’s out in the UK in hardback/ebook, on 23rd April and we’ll have a launch at first edition specialists Goldsboro Books on 30th April. I just can’t wait to see a stack of those bookish beauties once the precious tomes are printed.

And as it’s such a fine cover, I wanted to share a bit more about its evolution. Each stage takes time, a lot of different people and there is plenty of behind the scenes polishing, commenting and tweaking.

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UK Cover Reveal for Brian Staveley’s The Providence of Fire

I was absolutely blown away by the truly epic fantasy debut that is The Emperor’s Blades by Brian Staveley. And so I’m delighted to share the UK cover design for his next book, The Providence of Fire, publishing January 15th from Tor UK. See below for the full cover in all its glory—this book might even be, gasp, better than book one! You might think us editors are lucky to read books before everyone else, but my wait until book three will still seem interminable!

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Designing the Cover for The Thackery T. Lambshead Pocket Guide

The Thackery T. Lambshead Pocket Guide to Eccentric and Discredited Diseases is a uniquely entertaining collection, containing work by Neil Gaiman, China Miéville, Rachel Pollack, Liz Williams, and many others—and it’s been painstakingly put together by talented editors Jeff VanderMeer and Mark Roberts. The editors have also contributed submitted their own weird and wonderful pieces.

TorUK reissued the ebook with a fabulous new cover on 5th June. Learn more about the collection and see the full cover below!

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The Cover Art Briefing Process: Designing the Look of Banished

It’s so exciting as an author when you are asked to contribute to the cover art briefing process for your book. So much rides on the cover and of course I wanted to give all the help I could for Banished, my debut novel. Also, I was really impressed at how early these discussions took place—we were talking about cover art almost before we spoke about edits and I felt flattered that Bella wanted to include me in the process.

Bella asked me to supply detailed descriptions of the characters, including what they wore and how they moved. She was also interested in any images I could provide which might give an idea of where the book took place, the weapons they’d use etc. She also asked me to think about the book as a whole and to let her know if there was any imagery I thought stood out particularly.

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An Interview with Jeff VanderMeer About His Early Work

This month, Tor UK is reissuing three of Jeff VanderMeer’s wonderful early novels, including his first novel, with stylish new covers. The books are as fantastic as ever and Jeff has told me all manner of interesting things about them below—ranging from alternate titles and unusual editorial input to a narrowly avoided fake squid exposé. He also has some wise words on social media which I’d love to follow—but am not sure I can! So on to the interview itself…

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New UK Cover Art for Brandon Sanderson’s The Rithmatist

Tor UK is about to reissue Brandon Sanderson’s The Rithmatist—and you can see the full stunning cover art for the ebook below.

In the book, Joel studies in a school attended by his country’s best magic users. But he doesn’t have the gift – and that’s got to hurt, hasn’t it?! The magic is based on geometry, its users drawing powerful workings in chalk, and Joel would do anything to have it. That’s even when some of the most promising students start disappearing in suspicious circumstances. Soon it’s clear their gift could cost them their lives—unless Joel and his professor can unravel this crime and stop yet more murders taking place.

See the full cover and get more plot details below!

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Getting That Book Deal: Pitching Banished to Tor UK

Nothing quite prepares you (in a good way) for an agent pitching your novel. For me, this was signalled by my agent emailing me to say she’d put together a submissions list for my novel. I had no idea what that meant, so I asked Juliet (my agent) to talk me through the process.

She’d drawn up a list of editors to whom she’d already spoken about The Blackhart Legacy. These were editors who had in turn expressed interest in reading the completed manuscript. This would be the first tranche of people to get the manuscript. And if no offers were on the table by her deadline for a response, we would go to the next tranche of publishers and editors she’d approached.

Okay, I thought to myself. People—editors—will be reading my book. Complete strangers who I don’t know from Adam, will be reading my words and considering my novel for their list!? As if I knew what I was talking about!? It was terrifying and exciting, but mostly just terrifying.

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Dangerously Good Fantasy and New Jacqueline Carey Ebook Art

I remember when I first read Kushiel’s Dart by Jacqueline Carey, years ago now. It was a rare treat, an immersive, compulsive treat of a book of the sort that comes along oh so rarely. It’s a lyrically written (and at times rather racy!) epic of intrigue and power-politics, set in a fantasy world with the feel of Renaissance Italy. I was therefore delighted to have the opportunity to brief fabulous new ebook covers for the trilogy, which you can see below.

Bearing in mind the beautifully written eroticism that permeates the book, I guess it’s pretty reductive to say that it conjurers up Game of Thrones with a hint of Fifty Shades of Grey! But whatever the comparisons, it’s a damn fine, beautifully imagined read.

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