I thought I’d give a shout-out to my friend Ian Tregillis, whose fine first novel Bitter Seeds has just been released in mass-market paperback.
This is Book One of the Milkweed Triptych, the very name of which will tell you that there are two more books somewhere in the pipe. (The next, The Coldest War, will be available in July.)
I’m hoping this series gets some traction, because it’s been lost somewhere in the Tor Abyss. The hardback came out two years ago. Who’s in charge over there?
But what, you ask, is the book about? The cover might suggest that it’s about a scowly woman in the Old West or something, but in fact the series has a deeply cool premise, especially for those of you who have been enthusiastic about the discussion of science fantasy held recently in this forum.
It’s 1939. The Nazis have supermen. And the British have warlocks.
Not nice caper-naked-around-the-magic-circle warlocks, either, but warlocks in contact with seriously malefic Lovecraftian entities inimical to all mankind.
Who’s worse? Hitler— or malefic entities from beyond Space and Time?
You should find out.
Also, you should probably demand that your local bookstore get copies, but if you want the cheap and easy alternative, here’s the appropriate pages from Amazon and B&N.
Since we’ve been chatting here about cover art, I’d like to talk about this particular sample. What exactly is there in this cover that says cool alternate World War II with Nazi supermen and magic? If it’s there, it’s so small I can’t see it. And if I can’t see it here, the odds are against anyone seeing it in a bookstore.
Now the notable thing about this cover is that it replaced another cover that graced the hardback.
Now in this otherwise excellent work by John Jude Palencar we see a young woman sowing a field full of skulls. Which is atmospheric as all hell, but the only thing that might suggest cool alternate World War II with Nazi supermen and magic is that the young woman is wearing a swastika armband so small you’d need a microscope to see it.
Now how much effort would it take to MAKE THE SWASTIKA BIG?
Because if you MAKE THE SWASTIKA BIG, people who are interested in the Second World War will know that this is a book they might be interested in. They might even pick it up and buy it!
Now maybe someone at the publisher is afraid that if they MAKE THE SWASTIKA BIG, people (by which I mean complete morons) might think they are somehow endorsing Hitler or his political philosophy. But then these people are complete morons, too stupid to read the book anyway, so who gives a damn about them?
No, I just think that if you MAKE THE SWASTIKA BIG, the book might have a chance of finding its audience. Who are not, I reiterate, actual Nazis!
That’s why, if you should happen to write a book with Nazis in it, you should insist that the publisher PUT A FUCKING SWASTIKA ON IT. Because then you could actually sell books and make money.
See also: Golfing for Cats.