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Cover Reveal

I have a new book coming out in the first week of July: it's The Annihilation Score (UK ebook link), and here's the cover Orbit have done for the British edition!

Annihilation Score cover

And in case that's not enough, because it's published on both sides of the pond, here's the US ebook edition, and the American cover art:

Annihilation Score cover

If you detect a certain violin-theme running through both covers, you'd be perfectly right. Because this may be the sixth Laundry Files novel, but there's a new twist: this one isn't about Bob, it's about Mo. And superheroes. And a certain bone-white instrument ...



Will you be releasing it on iBooks as well, and as usual? Your link is only to Amazon atm.

That doesn't mean I won't buy of course but it does mean I'll be jumping through the hoops to have it in the same eReader as the rest of my Stross collection.

Looking forward to reading it.


I ordered it yesterday.


You know how sometimes you're too close to see something? That. I couldn't see the violin on the first cover until I actually looked for it.

And on the second cover, well, sometimes a violin case is just a violin case, but I bet some readers will assume that case holds something a little less musical.

Both nice covers, which is something of a miracle in this day and age.


Aww right!

I like the font on the British edition more than the American. That "typewriter" type font appeals to me more.


Weird, I would have guessed that the yellow one was the American and the red one was British. For once, the American art looks better. It's particularly unfortunate how the violin curlicue comes out of Mo's head; at least, I presume that's Mo.

That photographic or faux photographic background seems very British to me, for instance, witness a lot of the British Ian Rankin covers. On the other hand, the yellow cover is not super American-ish; it's just more so than the red one.


Do you know yet if we'll be able to get signed copies via Transreal fiction as usual ?


The US cover is a lot better than some of your older ones (cof Saturn's Children cof). Shame us ebook readers don't really get to see it. (On a vaguely related note, there was some research recently into why the holes in a violin are f shaped.)


Yes, definitely (assuming I don't drop dead and/or Transreal doesn't suddenly go bust between now and pub date, of course).


I have a new editor in the US. I approve of her good taste. Also, as she noted, book 6 is usually about the right time to blow the dust of a series design.


The first thing I noticed were the f-holes, and then the Hebrew and Magen Davids around the shoulders of the fiddle. Are kabbalistic inscriptions involved in the making of bone violins?

And that's a very different, new direction for the US cover. A more serious look to go with a serious turn in the story?


Are kabbalistic inscriptions involved in the making of bone violins?

Ask the art director!


I thought that it might have been taken from a plot point in the novel. Also spotted the name Elohim a couple times in the lettering, so if someone of an orthodox bent were to read it and for some unknown reason dispose of it, they would have to take it to a synagogue for eventual burial. But that seems unlikely.


Just out of curiosity, what does "this machine kills demons" refer to?


Which I notice has already been updated to reference the book jacket... :-)


Totally off-topic Very sad news Pterry just died....

There will be much drunk taken at the wakes .....


Unplanned blog entry about PTerry coming up in the next 24-48 hours, once I've given the news time to sink in.

(As with Iain Banks, I wouldn't describe myself as a close friend -- on the other hand, I first met him about 30 years ago and have fond memories of hanging out in bars and occasionally restaurants with him.)


They say nobody is truly dead while someone remembers them. In PTerry's case, that means he's got a long way to go yet.

And yes, also not a close friend, but also memories of dinners and breakfasts and even a lunch or two. He's responsible for my marriage, and those of several of our friends.


Sad news indeed. Somehow I knew this was going to be a bad day, but I didn't think it would be this bad.


I wonder how many of pterry's fans are going to make the pilgimage to his gravesite with a black robe and scythe...


I'm so glad that they normalized the american covers to match the (IMO much superior) british cover designs, rather than sticking to the cartoony-people-with-oversized-heads style used in the american releases earlier. But, does this mean that they're marketing it as though it's a separate series? Usually even bad design decisions are kept through a whole series.


The Golden Gryphon covers were fine. Ace Books 3-5 had good backgrounds, but weird character heads. The porcine evangelical on Book 4 was particularly hard to take.


“And yes, also not a close friend, but also memories of dinners and breakfasts and even a lunch or two. He's responsible for my marriage, and those of several of our friends."

That sounds familiar. Not the Match Making though.

Ah, BUGGER! What year! I'm thinking of declaring a personal Financial Year Horribulus ending this April the Undetermined...So many Deaths including my Friend Shona -who was the Cat Like and thus Approved Keeshond of the Baskerviles. Terry would have liked Her and She would have liked Terry. Everyone liked Terry.

Damn! So many tears this year. Must be my age, for I too am the same age as Pterry.

Breakfast with PTerry after drinking with him the night before ? ...Oh, Bugger, over 30 years ago! A Memory of him bouncing up to my table at breakfast as I looked at something on a plate and tried to work out what would happen if I tried to eat it. I couldn't quite remember what it was or how it had got on the plate but someone was trying to drive an invisible wood chisel through my head, Temple to Temple, as it were and so that is explicable. Not so easy to explain is why PTerry was so pink and Healthy and Squeaky...piercingly SQEAKY!!! .. Clean as he joined me and declared that what I needed was a Style Consultant and this would be HE!! Rejoice and all that sort of thing...

I?! I... who was this person and would his Torments End Real Soon Now so that HE didn’t have to look at the contents of the Plate of Doom.

Bloody hell!! I didn’t look that bad, or if I did surely people should be Gentle in my Hour of Need? Instead of driving the Wood chisel yet deeper into my left Ear?

There followed a description of the NEW STYLISH ME that was in the Time yet to Come...and that would have looked uncannily like the Head of The Guild of Assassins. I should, he declared, begin with a decent HAT...which my Marks and Spenser’s Black Hat wasn't.

Ah, weel ..I promised to consider buying a DECENT HAT, as described by PTerry. I would have promised just about anything if only he would Shut Up !

It’s only this just now, after the dire news, and trailing through my complete PTerry shelves - as so many of us must have done with our own libraries this evening - that I've discovered an old bit of paper and a suggestion.

This, following linked, after having poked about the internet, looks about right. Maybe now I'll get around to the mildly embarrassing process... aka 'Keep off my Poor Head, Pratchett, You Fiend!!'of way back then .. Of measuring my skull and actually buying a ' Decent Hat' and also wearing the same...not the complete Head Assasin outfit though.


These are great covers.


Time to tell the Morris Dancers to take the clappers out of their bells for that last dance.


I tend to disagree that there's ever a good time to blow dust off a series design - I prefer my shelf looking consistent, thank you.

But you're also not marketing to me since I'm already sold on buying it, so I'm not sure that I even get a vote!


Awwww, we don't get the "This Machine Kills Demons" version over here because of 'murikan and gaaaaawwwwwddddd stuff I bet.


Oh god Pratchett? I just found out here... T.T


I think you meant "sᴏʀʀʏ", but I understand it's just a job.


back on topic, at least sort of.

Is there any known and legal way of acquiring one copy of the book, and copies of both covers?

Back off topic:- After seeing his video at the Satellite 4 opening ceremony, I'm not sure whether I'm sorry he's dead or feeling that it's more of a merciful release like it was when my grandmother who had Alzheimer's died.


Is there any known and legal way of acquiring one copy of the book, and copies of both covers?

Not really -- cover flats (dust jackets) aren't sold separately.


Thanks, and well you can at least honestly feed back to both editors that people like their cover a lot!


As it happens, my subscription to the Kickstarter for Ursula Vernon's Digger did net me two covers. But that's the only instance I can think of.

I suspect there are spare ones at the editorial offices, for wall displays and the like. But outside that? Not normally.


I like the US cover, but the I can't work out what the figure (Mo, I guess ) on the RHS of the UK cover is supposed to be doing. Playing an air violin? Waving a handgun? It's confusing, and that's not good. The book will be swept off the shelf at the earliest opportunity anyway.


It's the classic muzzle-to-the-sky pistol pose. I'm a little surprised anyone can find it confusing, but since you do, it must be a little more ambiguous than I'd have thought,


The wonders of globalisation: In Germany the UK edition comes out on 2015-07-02 and costs 11.99€. The US edition comes out on 2015-07-07 and costs 12.99€. %-}


Without any very great hope of success, I tried searching for it together with EPUB, and got only the usual range of pirate sites. I was curious as to whether they really HAD managed to get a copy already, so tried a link - yup, right in one, it was used as bait for either a sales pitch (if genuine) or scam (if not). I didn't bother to check further.

I shall look out for the hardcover, but my guess is that it will be the usual oversized form, so shall wait for the paperback, though the trade ones are pretty huge, too. I really do wish that modern fiction was available in a slightly less primary-school sized font! Where are the A6 (equivalent) sized books of yesteryear?


The UK and US editions are coming out from different publishers, who target different price-points with their hardcover editions because they're publishing in different markets with different customer expectations of retail prices. Ebook prices are in turn geared to hardcover prices (so as not to cannibalize the high-end hardcover sales too badly). In addition, there's VAT to pay on the ebook editions. And right now the Euro is in the tank against Sterling and the US dollar.

All of these factors combine to make it hard to tell what's going on here, but I think what you're seeing is mostly the effect of the Euro exchange rate slump against the dollar.


Huh, I must be in a minority for liking the Mark Frederickson covers. I hate to say it, but these covers look a little generic: city skyline, silhouettes of man and woman holding guns. The violin motiff is the only thing that has any unique connection to the narrative. Why, there isn't even anyone in a lycra bodysuit!

I — naturally — prefer this spoof bit of fanart I did a little while ago. (It was actually going to be part of a larger piece I haven't gotten around to yet.)


I can appreciate that as superhero art, but it doesn't IMO fit the Laundry Files (either as a book cover or a stylistic representation of Charlie's writing).


That's good, since it was meant to be the opposite to Charlie's vibe. :)

It's not completely successful, since I really should have twisted Mo to show the traditional boobs'n'butt pose (not to mention make the villain a tad more svelte), but I couldn't bring myself to do it in the end. But then again, UK comics such as 2000AD don't do so much of the superhero thing anyway.


Point of note: ANNIHILATION SCORE is the Laundry superhero crossover novel.



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This page contains a single entry by Charlie Stross published on March 12, 2015 10:00 AM.

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