Word count: Holiday mode.

No time for anything again today, as a last-minute spur-of-the-moment Deadpool viewing came my way. So I’m going to escape from this home office and the pile of bills that just tried to bury me (you failed, bills! Fuck you!), and spend an afternoon in Helsinki.

So instead, I’m just going to leave this here.


Coming soon. By which I mean “I just came. In my pants.”

The cover necessitated a slight rewriting of Gunton Falls to give it a bigger sun, but I feel it was worth the effort.

Book will be hitting e-shelves later in the week.

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8 Responses to Blaran

  1. I love that you rewrote a part of the book instead of asking the artist to make the sun smaller. 😀 It does look more dramatic with a bigger sun, so it was a good call.

    • stchucky says:

      Laughing at cover artists because of an absolute failure to show what is in the actual book is something of a historical pastime of mine. I decided right at the start that Gabriel is far too good to deserve to be laughed at.

      As a result, we collaborate on the covers so that I tell him what cool locations happen in the story, he picks one that takes his fancy, then he tells me how it would best work out in terms of composition and straight-up how planets and atmospheres and auroras and stuff work. He tweaks his drawing, and I tweak the descriptions if necessary.

      In this case, the size of the sun makes the title text more readable as well as making the whole scene more generally amazing. As a result, I had to up the size of the sun and then explain how a big, close-looking sun could still result in a cold planet but no massive irradiation. Also, the ship is really close to the planet, so I had to explain why that is possible (because starships aren’t atmosphere-compliant).

      I think it works, more or less. The ship is in very low orbit, and the atmosphere is pretty thin to allow the Tramp to be that close. Furthermore, the big red sun is physically cooler than a younger yellower sun, so that sort of works. Minimal atmosphere means the radiation can be shrugged away, and the cold is sort of explained. I reimagined Gunton Falls as the remains of a gas giant that was stripped down to an icy iron core when the sun began to expand. In a few more million years’ time, the sun will go red giant and then the planet will be incinerated.

      All totally worth re-writing.

      I also had to fix the description of the plaque, which was originally under a big crescent-shaped ridge to avoid the elements. A ridge would spoil the cover, but with the thinner atmosphere we didn’t need to worry so much about storms, so the plaque could be out in the open – and it’s made of artificial material so it can stand up to the elements better than the native rock anyway.

      • dreameling says:

        Physics aside, holy shit that’s a cool-looking cover.

      • stchucky says:

        Right? Any slight problems there might be with the actual location, screw it. We have much to learn about space, and in the meantime CHECK OUT THAT FUCKING COVER.

      • This cover is perfect, visually speaking, Gabriel is incredibly talented. I tend to think that getting illustrations right are part of the “if you’re going to write about X, you need to research X so that you know what the hell you’re talking about” things, so it pleases my little artist heart that you’re taking the time to collaborate with the artist to not only make sure that the visuals are right for the story, but to find a good common ground between realistic and beautiful. I know from personal experience how complicated it is to transfer visual ideas from one head to the other. I’d like to say it’s easier when the author is also the artist, but the internal dialogue can get pretty ugly. For example, I’m in the middle of designing the cover for what I intend to be my first-born book-baby, and my author self can’t seem to reach a settlement on the level of artistic liberties my artist self can take. 😀

      • stchucky says:

        I tried to make my own cover but I had to concede that I wasn’t that sort of artist. Gabriel’s work is well worth the cash.

        Super-excited to hear about your publication efforts though!

      • It’s really all about what type of art one wants/needs, to be sure! If I wanted super-realistic planetary landscapes, I’d need to hire an artist too, heh. While I can do planetary landscapes and realism (more so than you’re likely to ever see in my comic), my style is more painter-y, if that makes sense.

        And thanks. I have had and continue to have many projects under works, so I’m betting that you’ll be hearing about my publication efforts increasingly in the future. 😉

  2. aaronthepatriot says:

    Oh that’s a plaque! I thought it was a kindle. No, not a kindle fire. An old school kindle like the one I still use from like 5 years ago to read some books.

    Aw, but I’m sure the plaque did its best!

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