The Giant Georgia-O’Keefe-Like Vagina of Flame!

Not quite sure why MAG would use this cover for Echopraxia. It's basically the cover for Blindsight with tweaked gamma.

Not quite sure why MAG would use this cover for Echopraxia. It’s basically Blindsight with tweaked gamma.

Ah.  That's more like it.

Ah. That’s more like it.

So Echopraxia isn’t just coming out in North America, from Tor. It’s also coming out from Astrel/AST (in Russian), Fleuve Noir (in French), Heyne (German), MAG (Polish), and Tokyo Sogen (Japanese).  Hopefully it’ll eventually come out in other jurisdictions as well, but these are the guys who signed up sight unseen.  I can only hope the book justifies their faith.

It’s also coming out in English. Not US English, but English English.  The Queen’s fucking English.  It’s being released in the UK (and other Commonwealth nations, if a certain bit of Australian  cover art is anything to go on) by London’s Head of Zeus.  This is a first for me— not just because I’ve never had a separate English-language release outside of N’Am, but because this is the first time I’ve actually had a hand in the cover art.

I’m not just talking about being allowed to provide input on someone else’s art. I’m not talking about being handed a sketch and asked What do you think?, and saying Cool but this detail isn’t accurate, and them saying Well tough this is how we’re doing it.  I’m talking about actually being one of the cover artists.  Because if you look at the big beautiful cover at the bottom of this post, you might recognize that model of the Crown of Thorns I cobbled together in an obsolete version of Photoshop.

A vote for verisimilitude.

One vote for verisimilitude.

Firefall-Australia

I think this is how it looks in Australia.

You might ask why the Crown is in orbit around Big Ben, when everyone knows that it was Theseus that went out there? Well, that was one of the iterations we tried out— one I still prefer very slightly, just because I have a stick up my ass about narrative consistency. Aesthetically, though, Nic Cheetham at Zeus points out that the Crown is easier to see against the background. Mesopone, offered the same choice, opts for “the fat one”. And Caitlin, most eloquent of us all, opines that the Crown of Thorns constitutes “a more significant presence next to the giant, Georgia O’Keefe-like Vagina of Flame.”

You can see why I married her.

FIREFALL-ensmallened

Three for aesthetics.

You might also ask why Echopraxia is coming out as Firefall in the UK, and the answer is: it isn’t. Firefall ≠  Echopraxia. Firefall = Blindsight + Echopraxia, released as an omnibus volume in celebration of its UK debut. Echopraxia will be getting its own standalone release a few months down the road, so nobody’s forcing you to shell out hard-earned bucks for words you’ve already read just to get a crack at words you haven’t. (In fact, Nick actually asked me to write an introductory note for the omnibus, warning potential re-readers up front that they’d be paying for  two books instead of one. It’s a nice change from βehemoth days.)

So that’s the story. Except for the fact that I’ll also be providing HoZ with an illustration of Theseus for the Blindsight half of the omnibus (no, not the LEO picture from my last post— although both are based around the incredibly cool model work of  Andrew Chase. So if you’re into that kind of thing, the omnibus might be up your alley even if you have read the first half.

Also, that tag line: is it awesome, or what?
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

This entry was written by Peter Watts , posted on Thursday August 07 2014at 09:08 am , filed under ink on art, writing news . Bookmark the permalink . Post a comment below or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

24 Responses to “The Giant Georgia-O’Keefe-Like Vagina of Flame!”

  1. That’s a really slick cover, Peter. I love that you’ve tinted Big Ben so that it looks like a huge slab of bloody meat. Even if the suggestion of blood wasn’t intentional, it’s damned sure thematically appropriate.

  2. Actually, that wasn’t me; HoZ just took my image and meshed it with theirs (I asked Nic who else should get credit for the cover, but he just said “Peter Watts and Head of Zeus”).

    I agree the symbolic resonance is spot-on, though. I think I’m going to like working with these guys.

  3. Perhaps the MAG image provides immediate recognition as sidequel. #Marketing.

  4. Am I reading Amazon right that there’ll be a hardcover Echopraxia out in the UK on August 26th, but no ebook version (either standalone or as part of Firefall) until September 25th?

  5. “Giant Georgia-O’Keefe-Like Vagina of Flame” … is this some kind of search engine optimization trick? Because I think you probably pretty much own that particular combination of keywords.

    Or, given that this is the Internet, possibly not.

  6. This post confused me for a long time, as I was staring at the covers looking for Rorschach, which was at one point described as a crown of thorns the size of a city, and then I finally realized/remembered that that it’s also the name of the ship in Echopraxia (maybe named so because of Siri’s intercepted message?).

    If anybody else is like me, there you go. This is why you were confused.

  7. Congrats for the foreign deals!
    Can you explain why Amazon.de sells Firefall for 6.01€ (starting 2014-09-25) and Echopraxia for 9.99€ (starting 2014-08-26)? Is Tor soooo greedy?

  8. A true renaissance man! Scientist, writer, artist… outlaw, petri dish!

    :^P

  9. Re: MAG’s cover.
    From what I know, the idea was to make the cover immediately recognizable as a sequel to greatly successful Blindsight. But this is supposed to be Valerie, a female. My opinion was “not feminine enough” but the artist didn’t want to make her too cute, which is a fair point as well, I think.

  10. You said that the UK release is a seperate English language a couple of times in the post, not US English… the Queen’s fucking English… does that mean they changed the wording for the UK release? Or is it just that its being released to both markets simultaneously?

    Cool artwork too, love the Aussie cover. As for the Firefall, a.k.a. Flaming Vagina cover, I think I prefer the ‘skinny’ one. It keeps the whole “we are but specks of dust compared to the Universe at large” vibe going. Also for people who judge books by their covers, the Theseus brings to mind a ship by the name or Discovery One orbiting Jupiter from a certain movie.

  11. Andy J:
    Am I reading Amazon right that there’ll be a hardcover Echopraxia out in the UK on August 26th, but no ebook version (either standalone or as part of Firefall) until September 25th?

    I don’t pretend to know what’s going on with the e- vs dead-tree rights. My former agent (who dealt with Blindsight) gave away world English rights to Tor, while Howard Morhaim (my current agent, who negotiated Echopraxia kept those in reserve. So the whole UK-release thing got a bit sticky, involving three-way negotiations between Head of Zeus, Tor, and Howard. HoZ has rights free and clear on the sidequel, but had to negotiate a more limited deal on the original.

    Martin Schröder: Can you explain why Amazon.de sells Firefall for 6.01€ (starting 2014-09-25) and Echopraxia for 9.99€ (starting 2014-08-26)? Is Tor soooo greedy?

    I can’t really comment on Tor’s emotional state (even if corporations are people), but in general I think the prices charged for e-books — given their negligible storage, shipping, and printing costs— are unjustifiable. And I think the author royalties are worse.

    I may decide to do something about that, next book around.

    Jeremy C: You said that the UK release is a separate English language a couple of times in the post, not US English… the Queen’s fucking English… does that mean they changed the wording for the UK release? Or is it just that its being released to both markets simultaneously?

    That second thing. Except not “simultaneous”, insofar as I think the HoZ release is slotted for the fall.

    Jeremy C: Cool artwork too, love the Aussie cover.

    Me too. It has a hard icy beauty, it channels Kubrick where the other channels Lovecraft. But I’ve been told that it was an early iteration; the Australian (and New Zealandian, and Indian, and all-commonwealthean-except-Canadian) releases will share the flaming vagina cover.

    And I’ve just seen the whole dust jacket. Theseus does appear on the back.

  12. Cool.

    Got any wallpaper sizes of these? My desktop at work is just aching for it.

  13. The important question is, how can we get a copy of Firefall in the US?

  14. Trey Palmer,

    Regional restrictions seem to be enforced on ebooks but not dead-tree books, so any online bookshop in the Commonwealth (excluding Canada) should be happy to drop a copy of Firefall in the post.
    In the past I’ve been happy buying from amazon.co.uk or bookdepository.co.uk (though the latter is owned by Amazon these days).

  15. Yay! I just pre-ordered a hardcover of Echopraxia from Amazon. The trained seals and sled-dogs ought to have it here by at least mid-September.

    I have just one point of dissension. Wouldn’t that be ginormous labia of flame? O’Keefian notwithstanding.

  16. Jeremy C: Got any wallpaper sizes of these? My desktop at work is just aching for it.

    HoZ says that’s probably cool (they’ll even provide artwork without text messing up the view), but since apparently the final final layout is still being tweaked they’d rather hold off on distributing wallpaper graphics until things are definitive. Shouldn’t be long.

    Mr Non-Entity: I have just one point of dissension. Wouldn’t that be ginormous labia of flame? O’Keefian notwithstanding.

    Hey, take it up with the BUG; she’s the one with the corresponding plumbing, and I’m just quoting her. As for me, I was raised Baptist; I’m too scared to even cast my eyes that far down without closing them first.

  17. @Peter Watts, who wrote in-part: […] you might recognize that model of the Crown of Thorns I cobbled together in an obsolete version of Photoshop.

    Ah. I know that you probably don’t have time to dig in to the immense learning curve of really complex software, but you might put this on your shortlist of things to do when you have a week or three to spare and want to try out a new religion. Blender.org provides extremely powerful and free software for 3D modelling and animation. Their file formats and even some keystrokes are becoming standard. Even the free flightgear.org flight simulator system uses their .blend model file for the aircraft models. Some almost insanely good stuff has been made with Blender. That and a great graphics card can produce photorealistic output of anything you can model into it.

    And having recently seen “Space Pirate Captain Harlock” (trailer) I would venture to suggest that a film version of Blindsight/Echopraxia isn’t out of the realm of possibility. Though frankly if they called the pre-processing a “wrap” today and sent it off to the render-farm tomorrow, we still wouldn’t see it until maybe 2018.

    (Note, I have no idea whether any part of SPCH was done with Blender.)

    Cheers and looking forward to seeing your sales figures,

  18. I’m happy to say I just ordered my copy of the flaming vagina. I can’t wait!!!

  19. Peter Watts: HoZ says that’s probably cool (they’ll even provide artwork without text messing up the view), but since apparently the final final layout is still being tweaked they’d rather hold off on distributing wallpaper graphics until things are definitive. Shouldn’t be long.

    I would like to have a framed version of multiple covers in a grid, like family photos. I’m not sure it would look as cool in reality as it does in my head though. But, I was pondering buying physical books and then ripping them apart like a very horrible person to get my wall hanging. I’m not sure I can do that.

    …Maybe I could if I turn the rest of the book in to art as well.

    I could buy… five books, rip off hte covers, take a dremel or laser cutter to the remaining book bodies and carve out something. “Imagine you are” and maybe a book per letter. too many books though. maybe one book per word.

  20. It’s a fine cross section of a vagina.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vagina#mediaviewer/File:Scheme_female_reproductive_system-en.svg

    heck maybe the spaceship is an IUD from hell. and it’s falling out.

  21. Mr Non-Entity: Blender.org

    Three cheers for blender. Plus, you can draw your thing then print it out on a 3d printer.

  22. @Sheila: Ah, would that be dorsal, ventral, or axial cross-section… um never mind TMI.

    Re: Blender. Every now and then I ponder what would be the interface in the intergrade between VR and 3D-printing and possibly every other darned thing in Teh Futures, and while it might be horribly over-complex a means to order your house-bot to fetch you a peanut-butter sandwich, Blender might be a pretty good way to teach your house-bot to print the sandwich it ought to fetch you on voice command. It might be good for teaching it to not trip over the #warkitteh.

    Digressing again, I suspect that Our Gracious Host may be watching a certain CGI manga movie with the thought crossing his mind now and then “this is actually just about as dark and mopey as I’d like a film adaptation to be”. Trust the Japanese animation arts community to be able to do a comparable job of “whenever I find my will to live becoming too strong…”. :-D Hopefully I am not presuming too much.

  23. Mr Non-Entity,

    I cannot remember which cross section term goes with which cross section. alas. it’s whatever the cross section is in the wikipedia diagram.

    yay 3d printing.

    1.
    one of my friends was playing with blender the other day modeling an adorable monstor of dark dread to print out for a friend.

    2.
    I don’t know about peanut butter but we could probably do the rest.

    3.
    I once set a fan email to the corresponding scientists for an article about 3d printing squid-like tentacle suckers for their robots. I asked if they had any template files so I could print fan art in our 3d printer. No luck, but he pointed me to some diagrams.

    4. I wonder what ever happened to keanani. I haven’t seen her in forever and she would post neat long comments

  24. Hmm weird. I just realized that Firefall for Kindle is cheaper than Echopraxia for Kindle (in pre-order)…. But that’s how it should be – more digital pages, less deforestation, lower e-book price. Seems legit.

    And second lol when I saw that Peter wrote “Krakow City Guide”. My next buy science-fiction short story when I visit Krakow. ;)