300. Cyan in the Making (1)

Three hundred posts in A Writing Life. That’s a milestone, more so since there are more than three hundred additional posts over in the companion blog Serial.

This calls for a celebration and, since this blog was begun in support of my upcoming novel Cyan, it seems like a good time to announce the publication dates.

==The dates that were here were accurate==
==when I gave them, but have been changed.==
Click here to go to  post 316 for corrected dates.

I’ve seen the cover and I like it, but I’m not allowed to show it yet. Sorry.

Close to a year ago, my communication with EDGE became more intense. Cyan was scheduled for a near future release, which ended up being delayed, but the back and forth was useful and fascinating. I had no idea that they would ask for so much input. Certainly I had almost no input when Jandrax and A Fond Farewell to Dying were published, long ago. (see 133. and 134.).

One of the questionnaire’s I filled out was on cover design. I’m going to share part of it with you, because it is interesting, and because it is a good teaser for the upcoming novel.

Cover Design Questionnaire (in part)
this was for the editors and to be forwarded to the artist

Primary genre? science fiction

A potential subgenre? hard SF; near neighborhood, near future stelar exploration; SF realism —every company had it own definitions for subgenres. The guiding principle of Cyan was to tell a story about the kind of things that probably will happen in the next century or so.

List three comparative novels for cover suggestions–I went to B&N today to see what this monthʼs crop of covers look like. They are all beautifully done but essentially interchangeable. None of the covers gave much of a clue of what is going on inside the book, with the exception of Kim Stanley Robinson’s Red, Blue, and Green Mars.

My take on covers is that they should give the reader an idea of what he is buying. Cyan is a realistic, day-after-tomorrow story of colonization and exploration, with no battles and no fantasy elements. Most of the covers I saw today could as easily have been put on video games; that wonʼt work for Cyan. Cyanʼs cover should have no Terminator wannabes, no Conan clones, no Frazetta girls, and no Dystopian ruins.

Seven phrases for google searches:

science fiction
space exploration, fiction
space colonization, fiction
first contact
recombinant DNA
overpopulation, fiction

Hypothetically, pick a scene for the cover — A lot of things happen in Cyan; there are many scenes that would look good on a cover, but the one that most clearly conveys the overall sense of the book is the first ten minutes the crew spends on the ground. I will enclose the text of the scene. (To the artist, I didn’t enclose it here.)

If you do that scene, here is some backstory on the landing craft. Starships are built in space with unstreamlined, open structures. The landing craft is a squat cone with added complexities. It is fusion powered, so its tanks are small, but it has some cargo space for specimens. The tug, during the colonization phase, is similar in appearance but much larger, with a large cargo hold. Both are VTOL craft, landing upright. This is because of the absence of landing fields, but such craft have also become popular on Earth. Given compact fusion reactors, their inherent inefficiencies are of no consequence.

If you prefer to include the non-human characters, I have included an excerpt of Cyl on the hunt. I have also enclosed further descriptions of the Cyl. (Again,to the artist, not here.

this questionnaire excerpt concludes tomorrow


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