When I first contacted artist Philippe McNally about creating the cover art for my forthcoming novel The Last Good Man, I told him I was leaning toward a minimalist design rather than a full-cover painting, and that I wanted an illustration rather than photo manipulation because the cover needed the suggestion of a machine element to place it in genre.
And what genre is that? The Last Good Man is a crossover. It’s science fiction because it’s set a few years into the future and deals with technology that is just over the horizon. But it’s close enough to the present time that it works as a thriller too.
I am so pleased with the cover Philippe created!
Click the image to see it in a larger version:
Philippe was very patient during the design process. We traded several emails. I talked more about what I was after, and showed him book covers that I liked. He found more book covers that suggested different design options. We weren’t looking at explicit details of those covers, but at the use of space and the different styles they employed. We gradually converged on the symbolic rendition you see above. Not an explicit scene, but suggestive of the novel’s theme.
I have an advance copy of the print edition and the cover looks fantastic with its matte finish. It also looks great at small size in my e-reader’s library.
The Last Good Man will be published on June 20. It will be available in ebook, trade paperback, and audio editions.
So what’s it about? Here’s the back cover copy:
Scarred by war. In pursuit of truth.Army veteran True Brighton left the service when the development of robotic helicopters made her training as a pilot obsolete. Now she works at Requisite Operations, a private military company established by friend and former Special Ops soldier Lincoln Han. ReqOp has embraced the new technologies. Robotics, big data, and artificial intelligence are all tools used to augment the skills of veteran warfighters-for-hire. But the tragedy of war is still measured in human casualties, and when True makes a chance discovery during a rescue mission, old wounds are ripped open. She’s left questioning what she knows of the past, and resolves to pursue the truth, whatever the cost.
The Last Good Man is a powerful, complex, and very human tale.
And here’s what Steven Gould says about it:
I asked to see an advanced copy of The Last Good Man: with the caveat that I was very busy and might not get to it. I was just going to glance at the first few pages but looked up to find myself halfway through the book in the wee hours of the morning. Only an early morning appointment kept me from reading on but I finished it the following evening.
Welcome to the future of war. Soldiers on the ground depend more on their augmented reality visors, net connections, and hosts of robotic allies, than their rifles, but as long as they tread in harm’s way, certain things do not change, including collateral damage, ethical challenges, and the grief of a mother, a warrior herself, when her son dies in action.
Set where war’s bleeding edge of technology slams into people’s lives, this is a very human story, brilliantly told.
And from Vonda N. McIntyre:
“The Last Good Man is a compelling and subversive novel, told by unique characters, especially True Brighton: sympathetic, prickly, determined, all too human. Linda Nagata has impressive insights into technological advances and their potential effects. Not to mention some very cool invented AI critters…. It was a privilege to read TLGM before its publication.”
If you haven’t done so already, please
[* * cue flashing lights * *]
Through the newsletter I can let you know when The Last Good Man is available for preorder, and I’ll send you a reminder when it’s available to buy.
To see more of Philippe’s work and to view his resume, follow this link.