–Greg Manchess

Just when I thought I was completely finished with all the Above The Timberline paintings, I remembered one more that had to get done.

This is a closeup of part of the case cover, the painting that goes on the hardback of the book itself. It’s printed and mounted directly to the book boards. You’ve seen this done a lot for children’s books. If a child tears the jacket off, the same image is still on the book. (You’ll get to see the full piece on publication. Grin.)

These are two of a bunch of very loose sketches of ideas for the piece which will wrap around the cover, spine and all. I was open to doing many different approaches, from montage to single image. I’m a fan of still life because of the way it freezes a scene, yet projects activity into the objects, like an after-image of who might’ve held or used the items. So I drew one up and when I showed the idea to my editor, he responded positively right away.

It’s about Wes’ stuff, some of the equipment he carries with him on his search. It tells a lot about his character right upfront. A combination of oddball gear, from journal and oxygen mask to chronosextant and snowknife. The sort of things you need when traveling across the Phantom Waste in 3518.

You see, he was taught how to use this equipment while in the Air Service, during airship duty, in a time when they’re rediscovering old technology and the planet is covered in endless snow from pole to pole and…

…well, you’ll get to know all that when the novel comes out this October!