Friday, July 18, 2014

THE SEA IS OURS promotional artwork!

The steampunk postcolonialist is once again heading to San Diego Comic Con, but this time as a mere attendee on the sufferance of the amazing Ay-Leen the Peacemaker of Beyond Victoriana. She'll be on The Witty Women of Steampunk panel this year, as well as running the Tor booth, so please come out to visit her! 

I, for my part, will be swanning around with flyers for the Carl Brandon Society, and promotional postcards for STEAMPUNK WORLD (you know, the steampunk anthology I'm in with Nisi Shawl and the one with artwork by James Ng) and THE SEA IS OURS. I only thought about this last minute and ran about like a headless chicken trying to figure out how to put together a promo card for THE SEA IS OURS, and turned to Shing Yin Khor, of Sawdust Press, I'd been following her Tumblr for quite some time now--she has this lovely delicate watercolour style, just the sort of thing I like! (I would have appealed to the amazing calligrapher Likhain but she is rather busy right now.) 

"Shing," I said, trying to put as much wheedling into one email as possible, "Shing shing shing, can you pleeeeaaase throw together something for THE SEA IS OURS so we can use it at SDCC?" 

She asked me, "what do you want on it? Is there an overarching theme for the anthology?"

At this point Joyce and I have yet to make any final decisions (so far most of our decisions have been to reject all stories that don't take place in Southeast Asia, or are so problematic we couldn't recuperate them) but we tried to come up with some common images being used. Like. Trains. Puppets. Dragons. Miners. Aswangs. Fish. Lots of fish. At least two flying elephants. One intrepid vine. 

I suppose one could somehow put them together in a single image, but Shing offered me a few other alternatives. Since Bill needed to send it to print very soon while traveling, he gave us a deadline for a little less than a week. Shing warned me that she would have no time to revise anything, so we would have to go with just the first thing she came up with.

We agreed on a market alleyway--a typical sight in urban areas of Malaysia, especially long-established ones. Many shoplots built in the '80s have spiral staircases at the back, allowing shopkeepers to go up and down between shop and apartment without actually leaving their premises. Instead of a plain alleyway, which generally is the back lane of most shops (even though technically they were built to be storefronts, but people found it more convenient to flip them around, I suspect due to the rising car culture), Shing would populate it with, what else? Food stalls.

The result, gentle readers, is this wonderful portrait:

I am rather beyond pleased that this is our promotional image! (Beyond pleased is something in the realm of incoherent squeeing.) Thank you very much, Shing! 

In the meantime, I hope all submitters will be patient; Joyce and I are slowly but surely working our way through the submissions. We don't want to just skim everything and be done with it since we are also gathering some stats. We will send out the first wave of rejections and acceptances very soon!

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