Zoe’s Tale Limited Cover Art

So, I thought you folks might like a look at the cover to the upcoming Subterranean Press limited edition of Zoe’s Tale, created by the estimable Vincent Chong, who has done the cover and interior art for all the SubPress editions of the Old Man’s War books so far. I’m quite pleased with this one: it’s nice to have Hickory and Dickory in there, looking all alien and stuff. Why Vincent Chong has no Best Artist Hugo nomination at this point is really beyond me; he’s doing great work, and not just for me (he’s won three British Fantasy Awards, you know).

For those of you who follow the link above to the SubPress order page for the Zoe’s Tale limited edition, I’ll note to you a small update, which is that the publishing date is likely Spring of 2011 (it currently says it’ll be published in “fall”). Whenever you get it, however, it will look fantastic.



31 Comments on “Zoe’s Tale Limited Cover Art”

  1. Wow. You would not believe how much that looks like my sister at that age. It’s actually kind of spooky. I am–if for no other reason–ordering this one fer sure.

  2. This is pretty good, I like that she has all her clothes on. I adore the cover art for OMW series. It evokes the starships and space stations feel of classic sci-fi cover art while not feeling dated. The rainbow colored airbrushed art of a lot of modern sci-fi covers sets my teeth on edge (Baen books being the most frequent offenders).

  3. I like it.

    Mostly because I just finished rereading The Last Colony again and had extreme problems trying to visualize the Obin. Now I know!

  4. Jonathan Crowe – Shawville, Quebec – I blog about maps at <a href="http://www.maproomblog.com">The Map Room</a>, review books for <i><a href="http://aescifi.ca">AE: The Canadian Science Fiction Review</a></i>, and edit a fanzine called <i><a href="http://www.mcwetboy.net/ecdysis/">Ecdysis</a></i>.
    Jonathan Crowe

    I had a hell of a time working out in my head what the Obin were supposed to look like. I like what Vincent Chong has done here.

  5. This is all kinds of awesome. I like very much.

    @Marcus Whitman – Um…why would you be expecting her to NOT be wearing all her clothes?

  6. Marvelous looking cover, and congratulations on landing yet another special edition version of your books. Somebody seems like their doing quite well at this whole book writing thing. Pssst. . . it’s you.

  7. Dave H – I can see Canada from my house – Aging dad, electronics nerd, embedded software developer. (I'm the guy who makes your microwave blink 12:00.)
    Dave H

    I just discovered that without my glasses, “Obin” and “Ohio” look identical.

  8. Would I be correct if I guessed that SubPress is contractually only able to sell limited editions of your Tor novels? This cover would be a lot easier to sell* to YA readers.

    *Metaphorically. My wife’s a 7th-grade English teacher.

  9. I agree with many other posters here… the Obin have always been difficult for me to picture what they might look like… this gives a much better “visual” to hold in mind while following the storyline… and Zoe looks slightly mysterious with a touch of “hotness”… nice!

  10. wicked artwork! that’s kinda how i imagined hickory and dickory… but a little spookier. zoe looks totally relate-able.

  11. They certainly look way more badass than I had imagined them.

    This will be my third copy of Zoe’s tale, it is so much *prettier* than the other two.

  12. I’m glad they put Hickory and Dickory on the cover. I kept picturing giant Alfs for some reason, despite the descriptions.

    However, Zoe looks awfully familiar. Am I seeing things?

  13. 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, who isn't going shopping for pet food at 9PM


    Is that seriously what the Obin look like? Not what I pictured.

  14. That’s an amazing cover. I totally pictured the Obin like that. Though clearly I spend too much time reading Whatever because I pictured Zoe to look more like Athena!

  15. Is it okay to judge a book by its cover if you already own it, but want the new one for the pretty picture? Its amazing Zoe ever got a date. Some fathers wish for guns to keep the boys away. Obin are so much better.

  16. It… hasn’t got… laser-shooting spaceships! Is this science fiction at all?

    More seriously, someone send this to that german publisher.

    Probably busted their covers budget for the century on 10001 laser shooting spaceships, and they don’t want to waste any of their sunk cost.

  17. The cover art is very helpful, especially since the names Hickory and Dickory got stuck in my head as suggesting minions from “Despicable Me.” It’s tough to read “The Last Colony” while visualizing the Obin as animated Twinkie shapes wearing goggles.

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