I have the honour to present you the cover of David Hambling’s upcoming fantasy novel, War of the God Queen! You might know David’s work through his Harry Stubbs series, three of which I reviewed here on the blog: The Elder Ice, Broken Meats, Alien Stars.
I personally haven’t read this new book yet, but have it on good authority that this novel features a character based on yours truly. This is my first time to be appearing in a novel and I can say, I’m pretty excited about my debut.
War of the God Queen will be released on January 17th, but you can already pre-order it for 0.99p here!
David Hambling is a journalist and author based in Norwood, South London. His fiction, starting with a collection, The Dulwich Horror & Others, explores the Cthulhu mythos in his own locale. His novels include the popular Harry Stubbs adventures, set in the 1920s, using local history and folklore at their launch pad.
War of the God Queen is part of the same universe, with a character from 1920s London being projected into the distant past by a malignant alien being.
The cover is by the talented Jacqueline Abromeit of GoodCoverDesign (check out her portfolio here) who I picked out after looking at a vast number of portfolios online.
Thrown back through time… Jessica has only her wits. Will she find a way to survive long enough to get back home? She was fresh out of architecture school and ready to take the world by storm. She wasn’t prepared for what came next. An alien encounter that sent her falling through a portal into another world Jessica’s plight looks hopeless -- she doesn't understand the language, the bronze-age culture, or even how to defend herself. She’s not a Connecticut Yankee and this is definitely not King Arthur’s court. The locals are unimpressed. What’s her next move? Her only goal is to get back home, but Jessica has landed in the middle of something sinister: in the ancient near east, circa 1000 B.C., a war rages. Can she stop an alien invasion through time? She’ll need help, but who can she count on? You’ll love this brilliant take on portal fiction, with twists and turns that are different than what you’ve grown to expect.
A Word from David Hambling
I wanted an eye-catching cover to dramatize the central theme — bronze-age warriors battling horrific tentacled monsters , showing we’re a long way from the usual orcs and dragons, but still squarely within the fantasy genre. The commissioning process was much easier than I thought; Jacqueline, who read the manuscript, grasped the requirement at once and after a little discussion and a few iterations we rapidly arrived at the final version.
“The look developed by reading the manuscript,” says Jacqueline. “I only ever have vague images in my head and trust that the artwork will ‘appear’ while doing it. Of course, I always keep the genre and legibility of text elements in mind.”
The story is in many ways a reaction against some of the traditional fantasy themes, so I wanted to avoid the usual sexy-woman-in-chainmail-bikini illustration. There is if course plenty of action, but the book also explores some of the subtler aspects of fantasy warfare. Fighting monsters involves a lot more than picking up a spear – especially when the monsters themselves are virtually unkillable – and Jessica has to develop a new form of warfare to deal with them. Equally, nobody can fight a war single-handed, and with Jessica’s search for allies things get really interesting. But I think the cover conveys the excitement and challenge of battling a horrifying alien threat with only primitive weapons.