Unwrapped Sky, Illustration One:
My publishers, Tor, not to long ago ran an illustrators Masterclass at Amherst University. The students were given my book, Unwrapped Sky, as one of their assignments. Here’s the discription the students were given:
Rjurik Davidson’s Unwrapped Sky, which will be published by Tor Books in the upcoming year, was a chance for the students to work with an unfamiliar story before being influenced by what the commissioned cover will be. They worked with the same few paragraphs of description and synopsis that the hired cover artist received:
A hundred years ago, the Minotaurs saved Caeli-Amur from conquest. Now, three very different people may hold the keys to the city’s survival. Once, it is said, gods used magic to create reality, with powers that defied explanation. But the magic—or science, if one believes those who try to master the dangers of thaumaturgy—now seems more like a dream.
Not too much, really, to go on. Like the cover that has been commissioned, there are a lot ofthe novel’s aspects missing here. The novel is more properly New Weird, I’d say, a bit science fiction-y, a bit steampunky – filled with modernist obsessions about machines – even if it’s not unfair to call it fantasy otherwise. So, given these limitations, the results are pretty cool. The first illustrator, Paul Pederson‘s, I like because it includes the city, which is an essential part of the novel. It has a dramatic comic-like feel to it – there’s plenty of movement in this one – and a nice combination of the classical and the alien to the architecture. If there was one thing I’d do without, it’d be the high cut up the side of the dress. Still, pretty impressive. The second two I’ll discuss in the coming days.