Simon Morden may be little known to most of you despite being short listed for a World Fantasy Award for his novella Another War and finalist for the Catalyst Award for his YA effort The Lost Art. He is also a rocket scientist so the science part comes easy for him. Early next year he will debuting his new series of Dystopian Thrillers starring Samuil Petrovitch through Orbit Books. This is another case of Orbit given fans instant satisfaction with publishing a trilogy of books over 3 months with the first Equations of Life coming out in April with Theories of Flight and Degrees of Freedom following in May and June. Now the look for the series is quite something to behold as Orbit has stepped out of the box on the design for something that will truly mess with your visual senses.
To give you a bit of background on the cover concept – we have taken advantage of some classic optical illusions, choosing images that speak to the role of Samuel Petrovitch as a physicist and mathematician. In the Equations of Life cover, the white and black centre seems to start breaking into other colours. The Theories of Flight cover plays with dimensionality and also plays off a model of space–time as Einstein theorized it. The Degrees of Freedom cover starts to break the maze-like design into cells and levels which, I think, really portrays the feeling of entrapment.I'm quite keen to see how these will look in finished form and plan on adding each to my shelf just to see them peeking out. I'm happy to see Orbit continue to take a daring approach on genre books. Below are larger versions along with descriptive copy for the first book Equations of Life. I found versions of the other two as well, but they seem a bit spoilery.
These online cover images truly don’t do the packages justice – each book has a single bright colour and in the printed version that will actually be a fluorescent ink. Spot gloss lamination and subtle embossing will heighten the effect of the illusions and make them very nice objects to pick up and stare at – they really draw you in when you see them in person.
Samuil Petrovitch is a Russian emigre with a smart mouth, a dodgy heart and a dodgier past. He's brilliant, friendless, cocky and - even in a world where the No. 1 rule is 'don't get involved' - stands out as a selfish, miserable bastard. When an uncharacteristic act of kindness lands him in the middle of a private war between rival crime lords, Petrovitch has to make some high-risk choices. Crooked cops, gun-toting warrior nuns, exiled yakuza and crazed prophets are the least of his problems: there's something stirring in the dark corners of the Metrozone - and by the time the authorities work out what, it will be far too late. Armed only with a genius-level intellect, a natural distrust of other human beings and a prodigious vocabulary of Russian swear words, Samuil Petrovitch might just be most unlikely champion a city has ever had.
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