Friday, June 24, 2016

A Frontispiece and Map for Nightspore

A possible frontispiece for my upcoming novel, The King of Nightspore's Crown:

I spiraled silently down through the night,
slipping in and out of the pyramid's glow.
Scratch drawing in India ink. Since the cover is so organic and curvilinear, I felt that something starkly geometrical and minimalistic was in order.

And here's a pencil sketch of the map. It shows all the small sea of Tethys, rather than just its northeastern corner, where the first installment played out. Obviously the lettering has yet to be worked into it.

The Tower of Bel stands in the middle of the sea, linked to the coast-long city by a web of jointed viaducts. The equator, which I haven't drawn, runs through the Tower. This should go without saying, since the Hanging Gardens of Narva (reached from the Tower via space elevator) are in geostationary orbit, and such an orbit must lie over the equator, at a height about equal to the earth's circumference. (There, I knew I didn't take all those physics courses for nothing.)
I've decided that the image needs to sit sideways on a single page, rather than be split across two facing pages. The latter expedient is often resorted to in paperbacks, but here seems particularly unsatisfactory, seeing as how everything in my map lines up on the central meridian. The sideways map is a compromise, too, but The Silmarillion features one, at any rate.
Anyhow, Enochites imagine the solar system as revolving like a Ferris wheel rather than a carousel, so I suspect that they'd be OK with this either way.

Here, for comparison, is a draft of the map that appeared in Dragonfly:

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