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I Have Seen Cover Art

July 12, 2011 at 8:51 pm

A nice surprise that came clear out of the blue today:  I've seen the new covers for the mass market paperback edition of Bitter Seeds and the hardcover/ebook edition of The Coldest War.

It's too early to unveil them yet.  But I will say this: Wowsers!

I just can't wait to have framed prints hanging in my house.  Can't.  Wait.  They're gorgeous.  Absolutely gorgeous.   And, when seen together, they're clearly part of the same series-- that elusive "package" has finally materialized!  And it is good.  It is very good.

The new covers are being done by Chris McGrath.  I'm thrilled beyond words that Tor hired yet another top-flight artist to create artwork for my books.  I feel like I've just hit the lottery twice in a row.  I'm the luckiest boy in puppettown.

I think they're beautiful, stirring, dynamic, and exciting covers.  I hope readers do, too, when they're finally out in public.  They capture the tones and feelings of both books very well.  (Here's hoping that such appeals to readers...) 

I know that more established authors with longer publication lists don't necessarily get so hyped up about new cover art.  Maybe, over time, I'll become more jaded.  But in the meantime, I've been waiting almost a year for this new marketing package to appear; the tumultuous publication history of the Milkweed books is tied, in part, to the struggle to find a new package.  So as you might imagine this was a very special surprise for me today.  Especially now that I've seen how gorgeous the new artwork looks!

Now I have to hope the stories on the inside live up to the amazing artwork on the outside of the books.


Steve Halter July 12, 2011 at 9:28 pm
Yay! That is excellent news.
Ian July 12, 2011 at 10:38 pm
Thanks, Steve!
Jenna July 13, 2011 at 12:37 am
Admittedly, I'll probably buy the digital version of The Coldest War (as I did with Bitter Seeds, after hearing your reading at the relatively-recent Phoenix LepreCon [Small though it was, you got at least two major fans out of the deal...]) but this is still great news. I hope the new covers bring you many, many more readers. And the fact that you've got the art makes me happy as evidence of coming publication... :D [Please excuse the plethora of parentheticals above...]
Adrienne July 13, 2011 at 2:40 am
I get a lot of news, bu this is the best all week. I can't wait to see these new covers. Now I have the is-it-Christmas-yets.
DMS July 13, 2011 at 7:36 am
Most excellent new. :)
Tom Porter July 13, 2011 at 8:44 am
Ian, Wonderful news, and a step closer! Does the hardback art for "The Coldest War" have the same flavor or feel as the HB "Bitter Seeds", or, in other words, will they look nice sitting on the shelf next to one another? best Wishes, Tom & Linda P.
Ian July 13, 2011 at 9:37 am
Hello, Jenna, and thank you for the kind words! It was very kind of you to stick around after Bear's reading at LepreCon-- I felt badly, and worried that you might have felt guilted into sticking around. So I'm glad, even relieved, to hear that you got something worthwhile out of it. That's a really nice thing to hear. Thank you. The wheels of publishing are definitely grinding away. My new editor has been amazing in terms of championing my books and shepherding them through the system. We've done editorial revisions on The Coldest War, so that one's ready for copyedits now. Her editorial notes were very shrewd; I'm convinced the book is better thanks to her input. In addition to the wonderful new exciting cover art for both books, there are some other cool things in the offing for Bitter Seeds and The Coldest War, but it's too early to say anything... Stay tuned :-)
Ian July 13, 2011 at 10:12 am
You get a lot of news because you have your finger on the pulse of the writing world. You've probably forgotten more about publishing than I could ever hope to know. I can't wait for people to see the new covers. I'm super excited. There's additional stuff, too, that I can't wait to share.
Ian July 13, 2011 at 10:15 am
Thanks, Dawn!
Ian July 13, 2011 at 10:15 am
Hello, Tom and Linda! Thanks for the enthusiasm. Much appreciated! The HB cover art for Coldest War, by Chris McGrath, is quite different from the original Palencar cover art for Bitter Seeds. The new paperback cover for Seeds matches the style of the HB cover for CW. The idea was that since these books will (one hopes) be in the bookstores at the same time, or just a month apart, they want to make it clear that they're part of the same series. But, alas, the hardcovers of Seeds and CW won't match... Of course, I like to think they'll always look nice together, no matter the styles ;-) Hope to see you both at Boskone next year.
Bradley Beaulieu July 13, 2011 at 4:33 pm
Awesome, Ian. I can't wait to see them. Such a tricky business, the artwork. Here's hoping these hit the target market like a bullseye.
Ian July 13, 2011 at 4:38 pm
Thanks very much, Brad. Congratulations on the launch of The Winds of Khalakovo! May it be a HUGE success! And welcome to SFNovelists, too. Nice to see you there.
Brit Mandelo July 13, 2011 at 4:55 pm
Ooh, Chris McGrath! Lucky.
Ian July 13, 2011 at 4:58 pm
Hi, Brit! I certainly feel lucky. How'd the GRE go?
Tengland July 14, 2011 at 11:08 pm
Palencar's art for Bitter Seeds appears in Spectrum 17, the annual collection of the Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art chosen by judges from the field. The art (sans lettering for which I'm grateful) gets a huge play, bigger than the HB cover, by itself on page 68. It's one of at least three Palencar pieces. It looks great in this book. Maybe the new artist will be chosen for the Bitter Seeds PB and the HB of Coldest War.
Jenna July 14, 2011 at 11:19 pm
Given the weird set up of the readings at that con, I can totally see how you might have worried. But I assure you, my companion and I honestly did have your reading highlighted on our schedules to hear, since the night before, even! And more importantly, enjoyed the reading immensely. And while I do have to blame you for one of those can't-put-the-book-down-and-go-to-sleep-nights once I got my hands on Bitter Seeds, I rather think that's a compliment... :)
Ian July 15, 2011 at 12:27 am
You know, I wondered if the Palencar cover art would appear in Spectrum. I'm really glad it does-- Palencar deserves huge recognition for creating such a beautiful and compelling piece of art. I'll always love that cover. You're exactly right. McGrath has done a cover for the paperback of Bitter Seeds and the hardcover of Coldest War.
Ian July 15, 2011 at 12:30 am
That is indeed a tremendous compliment. Thank you very much! I'm very glad you enjoyed the book. And I'm equally flattered that people would choose to attend one of my readings :-)
Sara G July 15, 2011 at 11:32 pm
This is very exciting and wonderful news! I know we can't see the covers yet but since you'll be hanging these in your house as well, I'm wondering if you are once again facing the specter of bad swastika juju?
Ian July 16, 2011 at 12:07 am
I think it's safe to say there's no danger of the new artwork becoming a poltergeist magnet.
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