Here it is Gentle Reader, the final gorgeous cover of Divinity 36: Tinkered Starsong Book 1 by Gail Carriger (it me).
Coming June 1, 2023!
Preorder on most vendors
or directly from me (comes with perks*)
Isn’t it just the coolest cover?
I am so excited. The cover artist is Paul Sizer and he has been a joy to work with.
The most fun I’m having with this cover is when I show it to people it always reminds them of something specific.
What does it remind you of?
Here’s some things people mentioned:
- The intro credits to the David Suchet Poirot mystery series. ~ My Mum (a devout mystery fan)
- Jodi Taylor’s Time Police spinoff series. ~ Beret Black Pudding, Scientist in Good Standing
- An advertisement for a Busby Berkeley performance. ~ Chirrup subscriber
- Shades of Terry Gilliam’s Brazil. The band VNV Nation. ~ several Chirrupizers & FB comments
- John Wyndham or Logan’s Run vibes. ~ FB Group discussion
- An old radio show like Jules Verne. ~ FB Group discussion
- The movie Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow. ~ FB Group discussion
- 42nd street set in space meets the Oscar’s. ~ FB Group discussion
- Kpop reality TV shows like Produce 101 & Boys Planet ~ various perceptive types (actually this was totally unintentional, Paul came up with that stage design all on his lonesome) I, who was watching Boys Planet at the time, was like “Woah! Synergy of the zeitgeist.”
- Niagara Mountain building Syracuse, NY ~ Calling card (this is a stunning 1932 building that I had never even heard of before!)
One reader wrote to say it reminded him of early sci-fi The Humanoid Touch by Jack Williamson and to relay to me some of his own history with the genre. I admit to tearing up a little at his kind thoughts. Because it made me realize that this cover is connected to my own early memories of scifi books, which have to do with my beloved British grandad’s collection of 1920-40 scifi, many of which were first editions, with very deco-esque covers. Most of which were my introduction to scifi.
So how did we actually arrive at this cover?
Ten Key Cover Elements
I don’t want to give too many spoilers but some of the things I discussed with Paul included:
- War propaganda posters. I wanted the unsetting feeling that someone may try to recruit you, or influence your opinion.
- Art deco style. I love this style of art and even though this is a sci-fi series with an entirely new cover art style (for me), I still wanted it tied to my own historical roots in the genre (since I started in steampunk). Also when I think of early scifi I usually think of books with deco cloth covers, I wanted to build on those roots.
- Entertainment under a dome (and the design of the Radio City Music hall). This whole series is about the power of art and influence and the alien’s dome tech is a key thread throughout.
- Different ways of representing planets & satellites. Obviously this cover still has to scream scifi but also Phex, the man character, moves through three different locations during the course of this book – so three spheres on the cover.
- Rule of three. For reasons, everything the Dyesi (the main aliens) do is in threes and sixes.
- How to show the influence that the performers have on reality? A lot of that was Paul. And if you get the print edition there is a clever foreshow as part of the art on the back cover.
- A cool watery color profile. Again this has to do with the Dyesi.
- Curves and circles. This is all me. I’m obsessed with spheres, I often decorate with them (you’ll see this in my office). I like round things.
- Shape and form of the figures on the stage. Since they need to represent multiple kinds of aliens and humans I wanted them to be more like statuary. I actually gave Paul quite a few images of ancient Egyptian and Greek clay and stone figurines.
- And of course the font. I am obsessed with fonts and the right kind for each book. Paul actually “got” the font right away, since it’s very married to the deco style you’ll see it on all the covers, keeping consistent it important. Both to me and the Dyesi.
Here’s the evolution of this cover:
So for reasons that will be made totally obvious the moment you start reading this book the traditional deco warm colors do not work for this story or universe. Thus commenced the back and forth chatter many of the elements mention in the 10 key points above.
That yielded up various iterations like so:
Which ultimately gave us the final amazing cover:
In talking with the artist and developing a design board, I also included links to various images, very old book covers etc… for inspiration, you can see SOME of them in Divinity 36‘s Pinterest inspiration board.
Here is one of the many inspirational images I used: Divinity 36.
Your Questions Answered in Brief!
- It’s a series? Yes, a trilogy. The following 2 books are already written and will ALSO release in 2023.
- How does this it connect to others? This book is set in Tinkered Stars Universe. This is the same universe as Crudrat and The 5th Gender. But it’s mostly in a different part of the galaxy.
- What age reader? I would call it YA, so good for teenagers and older but really depend on the kid in question. As always, I advise reading it yourself first, you know the child better than I ever would.
- Where’s the print version? Print edition is coming, it will release on or as close to June 1 as possible. Here is more on print editions and why so complicated.
- Where’s the audiobook? Audio is in the works but this will take a lot more time and is extremely expensive to produce, so please be patient. Here is why.
Sampel Divinity 36?
You can read the whole first chapter of Divinity 36 or watch Gail do it for you here.
Yours (destined to be killed by a tumbling TBR pile),
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Divinity 36: Tinkered Starsong Book 1
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The aliens are coming for us and they want our voices.
New York Times bestselling author Gail Carriger brings you a gloriously warm and unique scifi about the power of art, celebrity, and found family.
*Perk! If you preorder from me directly, you’ll get the book at least 24 hrs before everyone else. AND the preorder email comes with a sample – the entire first chapter! When the book actually releases you get a new email with the updated full manuscript.
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Quote to Sip
“An intriguing premise with Gail’s signature neat trick of creating a universe that feels both intricately wrought and unusual but also grounded and recognizable.”
~ One of the editors who decided against it, on DIVINITY 36Tags: Cover, DIVINITY 36, Tinkered Stars, tinkered starsong
Gorgeous cover! I was a parasol protectorate fan from day one. Now I have the glorious pleasure of reading the finishing school series together with my opinionated eleven year old (who would like you to know she loves the series, especially Bumbersnoot. Also her most repeated remark while reading is “how hot is Felix supposed to be? No one is hot enough to act like that. He is trash.” Since I am team Soap all the way I support this.)
Thank you so so much. Love the story abotu reading Finishing School with your kid, and hooray for love of Bumbersnoot! LOVE that she identified Felix as trash!
Fascinating discussion of the covers evolution! Thanks for sharing it.
Approve, thanks honey!