Cover updates for THE BURNING DARK

As you know, The Burning Dark is out on March 25th from Tor in North America, and from Titan in the UK and Commonwealth (excluding Canada).

I’ve shown the covers for both editions before, but they’ve now been finalised with quotes and a few other little tweaks. And this is what they look like – the Tor edition on top, Titan edition underneath. Click to super-size.



Working with the publishers on the covers was actually pretty interesting. ran a little feature on the cover back in July, in which Tor’s Art Director Irene Gallo discusses the origin of the project. It was actually when I saw that Tor was using designer Will Staehle for Something More Than Night by Ian Tregillis that I dropped Irene a line, suggesting he might be interesting for The Burning Dark.

Something more than night RD 1

Will has done all of my covers for Angry Robot – in fact, he’s done seven covers for me: four novels, two variant covers, and the cover for my Seven Wonders ebook short. I quickly became a fan of his work, and seeing as he was now working with Tor as well, I thought it might make an interesting experiment.

I think both Irene and I were a little nervous – The Burning Dark is a “haunted’ space opera, and space operas tend to have spaceships on the front. Preferably exploding, if at all possible. Will is a genius, but he’s not that kind of cover designer.

But that was exactly the right kind of challenge – I think in my email to Irene actually said, “imagine what Will’s take on space opera would be like.”

As I’ve said many times before, I was delighted that Irene and my editor Paul Stevens agreed, and I think we were all blown away by the end result.

I’m also very pleased that Titan decided to keep the artwork for their edition, with some modification. The Tor edition is a hardback, so the cover will be physically larger, allowing for smaller typography. The Titan edition is a B-format paperback (a little smaller than a trade paperback), so a few alterations were needed to make sure the typography was legible at a smaller print size.

I think the end result is excellent, and it’s fascinating to see the two version side-by-side. Every time I look at the two of them, I see little tweaks I hadn’t noticed before.

My thanks to Irene and Paul at Tor, Natalie at Titan, and of course the man himself, Will Staehle.

  • It is a very effective cover. It gives that ‘spaceship’ feel that one might want to have on a space opera novel while also evoking a sinister mood. Going with Will Staehle was a really good choice for a number of reasons. It is arresting enough to make you stop and look and wonder just what might be awaiting the person seen in the distance. It gives off an appropriate ‘science fiction’ vibe. It also fits in somewhat with the covers for all of your other books which play up the importance of design. All of your covers are very crisp and utilize a limited color scheme to great effect.

  • Yeah, that’s it exactly – he managed to make it a science fiction/space opera cover, and a scary one at that, in an original way. I think everyone is really happy!

    Also doesn’t hurt to have kept the same designer across two (three) different publishers!