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The Alchemy of Sorrow Cover Reveal

SFF Anthology

The Alchemy of Sorrow Cover Reveal

Here be dragons and sorcery, time travel and sorrow.

The image shows a green textured paper torn diagonally across a book cover. Not much is visible beyond the text “of Sorrow” a portion of a person’s head, and what could be some broken glass, plants, and a bit of broken pottery.)

Vicious garden gnomes. A grounded phoenix rider. A new mother consumed with vengeance. A dying god. Soul magic.

These stories wrestle with the experience of loss – of loved ones, of relationships, of a sense of self, of health – and forge a path to hope as characters fight their way forward.

From bestsellers and SPFBO finalists to rising voices, 13 exceptionally talented authors explore the many facets of grief and healing through the lens of fantasy and sci-fi.

Authors:

M.L. Wang, K.S. Villoso, Intisar Khanani, Sonya M. Black, Angela Boord, Levi Jacobs, Krystle Matar, Virginia McClain, Quenby Olson, Carol A. Park, Madolyn Rogers, Rachel Emma Shaw & Clayton Snyder

Release Date: 1 November 2022

Preorder here.

About the cover illustration:

For the cover of The Alchemy of Sorrow, we wanted to create an image that was evocative of all the stories contained within its pages, without being specific to any single one of them.

Since most of our stories have female protagonists, we chose to center the image on a grieving woman. We wanted her to be a woman of color, to celebrate the diversity of our stories and authors, and to represent the majority of the world’s population. We asked the artist to portray her standing among ruins, with her grief transmuting into light, which in turn begins to transform her surroundings.

We also took inspiration from the Japanese practice of kintsugi – in which a fractured piece of pottery is restored using precious metals mixed into the lacquer so that the item’s cracks become a beautiful feature of the piece rather than a flaw to be hidden away – and we asked if the woman’s skin could feature cracks lined with gold.

From those sketchy details, Zoe Badini conceived of this stunning image of a woman standing before a broken stained-glass window, with light coming from the cracks in her skin. The light forms swallows, a symbol of rebirth, and renews the dying jasmine around her.

The cover illustration for The Alchemy of Sorrow. Image description: to the right of the image (the front cover) a woman of color stands before a broken stained glass window. Her body is riddled with glowing golden cracks. A pair of similarly glowing swallows flitter above her hands, held at chest level. She is surrounded by dead vines that curl around the window as well--here and there, a few glowing golden flowers are blooming. To the left of the image (the back cover), a pair of glowing swallows face each other in midair, framed by a few glowing flowers. The rest of the cover shows dead vines and a sense of decay, including a broken ewer

After receiving Zoe’s gorgeous artwork, the task then went to Virginia to design a text layout that didn’t detract from it. She did her best to convey all the information necessary and make it legible without obscuring too much of the artwork.

The cover art for The Alchemy of Sorrow. Image description: a woman of color stands before a broken stained glass window. Her body is riddled with glowing golden cracks. A pair of similarly glowing swallows flitter above her hands, held at chest level. She is surrounded by dead vines that curl around the window as well--here and there, a few glowing golden flowers are blooming. The text laid out across the ebook cover reads “The Alchemy of Sorrow” in gold across the top with a portion of the text hidden behind the woman’s head but still legible. Below that in white, the subtitle “A Fantasy & Sci-Fi Anthology of Grief & Hope” and below that, “ M.L. Wang, K.S. Villoso, Intisar Khanani, Sonya M. Black, Angela Boord, Levi Jacobs, Krystle Matar, Virginia McClain, Quenby Olson, Carol A. Park, Madolyn Rogers, Rachel Emma Shaw & Clayton Snyder” below that “Edited by Sarah Chorn & Virginia McClain

PS Livingstone: I’m honoured to be able to share this cover reveal. The Alchemy of Sorrow is a beautiful collection of stories, highlighting the often forgotten grief that marks and shapes our lives. The authors of this anthology have chosen a cover that reflects the scars left behind as we heal and go on. I hope you love it as much as I do.

 

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