News from down south … I’ve said in other posts on the mangasaga blog that Blackdog is being published in late 2011 or early 2012, but Pyr have now said it’s coming out in September. Somehow, September seems much closer than December. I admit it is in fact several months closer, but it seems almost like a different year, anticipation-wise. Things have moved along so swiftly since that first email not so many months ago, through maps and cover art and edit, that it still seems a bit unreal — not the work, but the fact of the book’s approaching existence. Mind you, when it comes to work, I like an editor to ask “can we have another bit in here?” allowing me to discover there was another chapter I had obviously forgotten to write, but which definitely belonged in the book.
I’ve seen sketches of the cover, and it’s beautiful and ominous. Can’t wait for the real thing. The artist is Raymond Swanland. The map is by Rhys Davies (the long-suffering, due to the map I gave him to start from having a few too many typos in the place-names, which I only noticed weeks later). I used to do scientific illustration myself, maps and graphs and things, and I know how aggravating it is to have corrections suddenly called for, after everything is all nicely inked and final. You thought. (Of course, that was in the days of light-tables, Staedtler technical pens, and Letraset — and, sigh, Liquid Paper, which was alright if you got it on smoothly enough, as the illustrations were then photographed before going to press.)
So, keep an eye on this blog for further Blackdog updates, and on Pyr’s catalogue. Blackdog‘s not there yet, but … September’s not that far off, really. Hey, we’re down to only a metre or so of snow in the backyard now, and yesterday the sap was running.