Tor’s Agent to the Stars Cover (and Spine)

Here it is:

Words are not sufficient to describe how much I like this cover. I was curious how Tor was going to handle it, and I totally wouldn’t have expected this take. But now that I see it, I think it’s awesome. Can’t wait to actually hold it in my hands. Hats off to Irene Gallo at Tor (she’s the art director) and also to illustrator Pascal Blanchet.

Incidentally, the pre-order page for Tor’s trade paperback edition of A2S is now up at Amazon, and it says it has a release date of October 28, 2008. It doesn’t have the cover art up yet. But I imagine it will soon.

Damn, I love being an author!

40 Comments on “Tor’s Agent to the Stars Cover (and Spine)”

  1. changterhune – Before you hear lies from Chang Terhune himself, we thought we’d tell you the truth: without us, his old action figures, he’d be nowhere. He loved science fiction from way back and began reading it at an early age, but it was through us that he acted it all out. That’s what led to the writing. He watched a lot of science fiction shows like Star Trek, U.F.O, and movies, too. But we were always there to do his bidding. And it’s like they say: you always forget about the little people on your way up. Oh, the 70’s and early 80’s with him were good times! He’d use these blocks and make all the crazy buildings for us to be in his stories. I gotta say the kid’s imagination was pretty damn fertile. Oh, he had friends, but they just weren’t into it like him. He was like the Lance Armstrong of action figures. And of science fiction. At first, when he began writing in the eighth grade, we didn’t mind. He still made time for us. And we knew that when he was holding us in his sweaty little hands and he got that far off look in his eye, he’d come back to burying us in the back yard or - god forbid! – blowing us up with firecrackers. But it was worth it for a part in one of those stories. We loved him for it. He kept us around even when we were minus a leg or two - or even a head. In that mind of his, he found a use for all of us. Then he discovered girls. October, 1986. It was like the end of the world. One day we’re standing in the middle of this building block creation he’d pretended was some marble city on a planet near Alpha Centauri and the next we were stuck in a box in the closet. Not even a “See ya later!” Nope, it was into the closet, then we heard some high-pitched girly-giggles then silence. We didn’t see him for years. We got word about him once in a while. Heard he took up writing, but it was crap like “The Breakfast Club” only with better music. We couldn’t believe it. Not Charlie. What happened to those aliens with heads he’d sculpted out of wax? Spaceships? Those complex plots? All gone. For what? You guessed it: Girls. Emotions. “Serious fiction.” I tell you, it was like hearing Elvis had left the building. During our two decade exile in the closet, we heard other things about him. He went to college. He wrote a lot, but not much he really liked. We knew it even then. It was like he didn’t dare write science fiction. Some of us had lost hope and just lay there. Others kept vigil, hoping for a day we didn’t dare speak about. Then we heard he’d stopped writing in 1996. Did he come to reclaim us? No. He took up music for ten years or so. He took up yoga. Once in a while, he’d visit us in the closet. But it was half-hearted. His mind was elsewhere. Then one day, he really did come back for us. One second we’re in the dark and the next thing we know we’re in a car headed for Massachusetts. Suddenly we got a whole shelf to ourselves out in broad daylight! Then he bought a bunch of others form some planet called Ebay. He’d just sit and stare at us with that old look. But why were we suddenly back in the picture? He had a wife now, who didn’t mind that he played with us. So what had happened? Turns out he’d never forgotten about those stories. He’d been thinking about all of us and the stories he’d made up and then remembered he’d been a writer once. From the shelf we could see him typing away. Before long he’s got a whole novel together! Then he’s working on another one. Word is there are two more in the planning stages! Some short stories, too! It’s good to see him using his imagination again. Its good to know he never abandoned us. He returned to his true love of science fiction. We hear the stories are pretty good. Someday we’ll get one of the cats to score us a copy of the manuscript. Man, it’s good to be out of the damn closet! --- I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me
    Chang, puppy wrangler!


    I hear lounge music. And the clink of metallic claws on a martini glass.

  2. I love the cover art. Was special permission necessary to use the Hollywood sign logo image thingy? (Please forgive the legal jargon.)

  3. That’s an excellent cover. The colors and use of textures, overlapping shapes and type usage, just fargin’ excellent. I hope they aren’t using the standard gloss cover and using one with a high rag content.

  4. OK, let me reiterate how much that cover rocks. I own a copy of ATTS in the original. I’m actually sitting here thinking about buying it again just to have that cover on my shelves.

    Yeah. Nobody buys books because of the cover art.

  5. First thing I thought of was “My Favorite Martian”…

    I agree – on the strength of that cover I’ll probably pick up a copy, even though I have the SubPress version. Safer to loan out to friends, too…

  6. catsparx – Canberra, ACT – Cat Sparks is a multi-award-winning Australian author, editor and artist. Career highlights include a PhD in science fiction and climate fiction, five years as Fiction Editor of Cosmos Magazine, running Agog! Press, working as an archaeological dig photographer in Jordan, studying with Margaret Atwood, 78 published short stories, two collections – The Bride Price (2013) and Dark Harvest (2020) and a far future novel, Lotus Blue. She directed two speculative fiction festivals for WritingNSW and is a regular panellist & speaker at speculative fiction and other literary events.
    Cat Sparks

    oh wow. That cover is seriously awesome. It could not be better in any way.

  7. I am in awe. Beautiful retro design and illustration that perfectly capture the spirit of the book. This cover should also have good cross-over appeal.

  8. ::applause::

    Well played. Everyone, check out the link to Blanchet’s portfolio. Illustration geeks, this guy is the unholy lovechild of Jim Flora and Maurice Noble.

    And, Scalzi. Your name above the title! Can’t beat that with a stick.

  9. It is full of yummy retro goodness.

    Now I need to go play my Sinatra CD.

  10. That cover is FABULOUS! I now have to, HAVE TO, buy it because that cover needs to be in my house.

  11. That is the sort of Esquivelicious cover I would pick up with my heart (and backing chorus) going zum, zum, zum!

  12. Man, that thing is like Saul Bass awesome, but better. Looking at it, I feel like it’s a snap shot of the opening credits for the movie. I can almost hear the crazy (as in good crazy) jazz track that would playing along with it and can only imagine what the next few frames would look like. Nice.

  13. Pretty, pretty. Wants to pets the precioussss.

    Chris G @ #28: That comment was so wrong, it’s right.

    Coffee through the nose: best way to start your morning.

  14. That’s gawjus. I hope it will inspire a whole spate of retro covers.

    Oh, and huge sales of the book, too, of course!

  15. Is it just me, or was the AD trying to make a subtle point about the alien-ness of Hollywood? You get three flying saucers, and then another shape that’s virtually identical, only in place of where the aliens would be peeking out (or the alien dogs would be lolling their alien tongues), you’ve got Hollywood.

    I’m probably overanalyzing, but I like the cover a great deal.

  16. I love that cover beyond words. It’s reminiscent of some artwork my oldest son gave me for Christmas a couple of years ago. Now I’m even more excited about the release of the book. Whoop!

  17. That cover art is made of WIN. I will have it on my shelf soonest!

    Well…at least the release date falls outside my just-imposed “I will not buy another book until I clear my shelves and tables and desk and more tables of the sad books that will never get read” period.

    (For the record, no Scalzi books will be liquidated in the pending purge…)

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