Sunday, August 06, 2006

The Blindsight Cover Art Debacle (and Other Stories)

Red giant swallows brown dwarf, but doesn't digest it

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A failed star that was swallowed by its bloated, dying companion survived the ordeal unscathed, a new study reports. But it is not in the clear yet: in another billion years or so its dead companion will begin consuming it.

Is there such a thing as a celestial ecology? Can you have one without life -- or are the panpsychists right and all things are really alive in some way?

In either case, that little note on brutal interstellar predation brings us to our next point ...


I have pimped Peter Watts' upcoming novel quite a bit, for damn good reason. Blindsight (October 2006) makes very important points about - while rebutting - the clichés inherent in First Contact, Singularity, anthropocentricism and the utility of consciousness as a means of parsing observable reality. Like the rest of Watts' ouevre, the relentless pessimism is only surpassed by the frightening plausiblity.

If all that hasn't sold you yet, the cast (aside from the protagonist with literally half a brain) includes a superintelligent vampire (see: the Vampire Domestication lecture for details) at least as evolutionarily plausible as those "Hobbits" they found last year. Blindsight is worth your time even if you don't usually read science fiction.

Can't think of a higher recommendation than that.

So I ask, why is the art department on the publishing end, wittingly or otherwise, trying to sabotage the book? I mean, check it: for whatever reason, whoever decides these things settled for this awful cheap-looking red-on-black thing for the cover art, like so:

Unfazed and with a little Photoshopping, he banged this out,

an obviously way better piece. Yet, despite this, the publishers stuck with their chosen piece-of-crap.

Thus, he and a collaborator came up with a rather genius plan ; the particulars are detailed here, but it can be summarized as Downloadable Open-Source Cover ArtTM.

Spread the word. This could be something.

mood: pimptimistic
reading: empire of bones, liz williams
listening: "Nämdemans-Ola" by Garmarna


Blogger Mac said...

I can't wait to read this... I'm getting chills just thinking about it.

9:22 PM  
Blogger razorsmile said...

Only a month and a half to go ... for you anyway :p

11:40 AM  

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