Fun Quiz: Guess the 10 fantasy book covers

Fun for the all the family and friends, great prices to be won, well not really. What can I say I’m cheap!

Answers at bottom of page.

Cover #1

fantasy-cover-5

Hint: Not a formidably aggressive older woman, it’s the other one.

Cover #2

fantasy-cover-6

Hint: When Newton divided the spectrum he missed this one.

Cover #3

fantasy-cover-9

Hint: You don’t get one, if you can’t get this shame on you!

Cover #4

fantasy-cover-2

Hint: Don’t Panic!

Cover #5

fantasy-cover-10

Hint: No need to come up with your own language, Quel marth!

Cover #6

fantasy-cover-8

Hint: You may need your umbrella.

Cover #7

fantasy-cover-3

Hint: Get alone little doggy

Cover #8

fantasy-cover-7

Hint: Fierily Throne.

Cover #9

fantasy-cover-1

Hint: It’s very Shady in this Vale.

Cover #10

fantasy-cover-4

Hint: Eye Caption.

Scroll down for the answers… and please leave your honest score in the comments box below!

Just a little further …

#10 Brooks Terry by Shannara of Sword The #9 Jordan Robert by World the of Eye #8 The Williams Tad by Chair Dragonbone #7 The King Stephen by Tower Dark #6 The Butcher Jim by Front Storm #5 Tolkien R R J by Silmarillion #4 Adams Douglas by Galaxy the to Guide Hitchhikers #3 Herbert Frank by Dune  #2 Pratchett Terry by Magic of Colour #1 Douglass Sara by Battleaxe

Shortlist for the fourth annual Book Illustration Competition announced

The Book Illustration CompetitionSix illustrators have beaten hundreds of entrants from over 30 countries to be shortlisted for the fourth annual Book Illustration Competition, a collaboration between House of Illustration and The Folio Society.

The Book Illustration Competition invited entrants, who must not already be published by The Folio Society, to submit three illustrations and a binding design for Joseph Conrad’s masterpiece about a life-changing journey, Heart of Darkness. The winner will receive a highly sought-after commission, worth £5,000, to complete a total of nine illustrations and a binding design for the book, which will be published by The Folio Society in September 2014. Five runners up will each receive £500 cash. Three prizes of the six are awarded to student entries.

The winner will be announced at an award ceremony on 24 September at House of Illustration in King’s Cross.

After extensive debate the shortlist was selected by a judging panel comprising artist, critic, curator and committee chairman for the Royal Academy Tom Phillips, former Royal Academy of Arts Director of Exhibitions and House of Illustration trustee Kathleen Soriano, last year’s competition winner Finn Dean and Flora Craig from House of Illustration, together with Folio’s Production Director, Editorial Director and Art Director.

“I applaud the thought, skill and time that everyone put into their illustrations for the competition and hope to work with many of the entrants in the future! We were all particularly impressed by the intelligent responses to the text by the shortlist. Each has a unique style but is equally strong in technique and ingenuity,” said Folio Society Art Director Sheri Gee.

"A wonderfully varied collection of entries that were often surprising in their boldness and desire to depict the themes of the story and did a great job in capturing the atmosphere of the book," added last year’s Book Illustration Competition winner Finn Dean.

The Shortlist

Reto Crameri graduated in visual communication from Geneva University of Art and Design. In 2012 he was awarded with a grant for book illustration by the City of Geneva. He has also performed live drawing and worked on playful visual settings for exhibitions.

Max Häring studied at the Akademie der bildenden Künste München in Munich, Germany, and has worked as an independent artist since 1983. He works in mixed media in pen, ink and acrylics then digitally adds shading.

Sean McSorley is a freelance illustrator, originally from Cumbria but now based in London. He graduated with a degree in English Literature at Queen Mary University of London in 2006, and in 2014 he completed an MA in Visual Arts: Illustration at Camberwell College of Arts. His clients have included Sony Television, Paramount and Universal Pictures. Sean’s work combines traditional ink drawing and printmaking with digital techniques, his subject matter often reflecting his interest in early- and mid-twentieth-century cinema and literature.

Kit Russell is a 23-year-old Scottish designer living in London. Having graduated from Duncan of Jordanstone college of Art & Design in 2013 with a First Class honours degree in Illustration, he has spent the last year offering freelance design services as well as interning at some of the top design agencies in London. Kit was runner up in last year’s Book Illustration Competition and also won ‘Best of Year’ in the D&AD student awards 2013.

Magdalena Szymaniec is a Polish illustrator currently residing in Richmond, VA. She will graduate Ringling College of Art and Design, majoring in Illustration, in 2014. Her digital work is inspired by traditional media including watercolour painting and printmaking. She aims to create decorative and intellectually stimulating illustrations. Symbolism and literature are her main inspirations for narrative work. She likes cats and David Bowie.

Bethany White is a 22-year-old artist and illustrator from Manchester. Her work aims to lift the veil on the esoteric and arcane, delving into the vast subjects of occult philosophy and the pantheons of ancient mythology. This is explored through the combination of highly controlled dot work, ungoverned chance textures, and a range of different print mediums. Since graduating from Manchester School of Art, Bethany has participated in group exhibitions across the United Kingdom and produced work for occult musicians. Her latest artwork will be released via the Italian record label ‘I Voidhangar Records’ towards the end of 2014.

Congratulations to all those short-listed and here are there fantastic illustrations. Which one would you award as winner? My personal favourite is bottom right.

Shortlisted illustrations 1-3

Shortlisted illustrations 4-6

2014 Book Illustration Competition long-list announced

The House of Illustration and The Folio Society have announced the 25 long-listed entries for the Book Illustration Competition 2014. There were entries from 30 countries.

This year’s book is Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad, which first appeared in publication in 1899. Set in the upper reaches of the Congo river at the turn of the twentieth century, it is at once a critique of colonialism, an enigmatic travel narrative and an exploration of the depths of human psychology.

The Book Illustration Competition is a partnership between House of Illustration and The Folio Society. The annual international competition is open to illustrators over the age of 18, both student and professional, with the winner receiving a Folio Society commission.

The winning entry, judged by a panel of experts, will become a prestigious commission worth £5,000 to complete a total of 9 illustrations and a binding design for the book, which will be published by The Folio Society in September 2014. Five runners-up will each receive £500 cash. Three prizes of the six will be awarded to student entries.

The winner and runners-up will be announced in September 2014 on publication of The Folio Society edition.

My personal favourites are those illustrations by Sean McSorley, a student in the UK, of which the image below is an example of. Good luck to all those short-listed.

A Sean McSorley illustration

© Sean McSorley

The Book Illustration Competition 2014 announced

Book Illustration Competition logo.The Folio Society and House of Illustration have announced the launch of the 2014 Book Illustration Competition. Now in its fourth year, this collaboration between House of Illustration and The Folio Society aims to champion the art of book illustration and in 2013 received over 500 entries from across the globe. The annual international competition is open to illustrators over the age of 18, both student and professional, with the winner receiving a prestigious Folio Society commission. Previous books featured in the competition include Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories by Angela Carter and The Outsider by Albert Camus. The book to be illustrated in the 2014 competition is Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad, which first appeared in publication in 1899. Set in the upper reaches of the Congo river at the turn of the twentieth century, it is at once a critique of colonialism, an enigmatic travel narrative and an exploration of the depths of human psychology.

Entrants are invited to submit three illustrations and a binding design for Heart of Darkness. The deadline for entries is Friday 10th January 2014. The winning entry, judged by a panel of experts, will become a commission worth £5,000 to complete a total of 9 illustrations and a binding design for the book, which will be published by The Folio Society in September 2014. Five runners-up will each receive £500 cash. Three prizes of the six will be awarded to student entries. The winner and runners-up will be announced in September 2014 on publication of The Folio Society edition.

"Producing the finest illustrated books lies at the heart of our mission as a publisher. This important collaboration with House of Illustration helps us to discover and champion the very best illustrators of the future," commented Sheri Gee, The Folio Society’s Art Director.

"The Book Illustration Competition is a fantastic way of promoting new illustration talent, and we are delighted to partner with The Folio Society for the fourth year to present this prestigious award," added Flora Craig, House of Illustration’s Project Director.

For more information, please visit competitions.houseofillustration.org.uk/book-illustration-competition-2014

Competition: Win A Copy of Playing Tyler by T. L. Costa

The great folks over at Strange Chemistry have provided an advance reader copy of Playing Tyler by T. L. Costa to give away on Fantasy Book Review. Playing Tyler tells the story of Tyler McCandless, a young boy with a troubled life who gets a job testing a video game. Things are finally starting to work out for Tyler, until he discovers the game is more that what it seems.

PlayingTylerARCcoversmall.132824

To enter the give away for this book, all you need to do is follow us (@FanBooRev) and Strange Chemistry (@strangechem) on Twitter and post the following tweet:

“I am entering the @FanBooRev competition to win a copy of Playing Tyler by @TLCosta1 – #PlayingTylerGiveaway @strangechem

The competition is open to all contestants worldwide and we will be accepting entries up until the 31st of May, 2013, 23:59 GMT. Each contestant will be limited to one entry only. Once all eligible entries have been confirmed, one winner will be drawn at random from the list of eligible entries. The winner will be notified on Twitter, and if no response is received within 72 hours, we will draw a new winner.

Good luck!

Win a Nook E-Reader with Argos (UK competition)

*** THIS COMPETITION IS NOW CLOSED ***

Nook Simple Touch e-readerUpdate: February 25, 2013
Congratulations to sarahmorgan ‏@toots1607, the winner of the competition. The winning entry read:  I’m in the running to win an e-reader with @FanBooRev #competition. If I win, I’ll first read any book as I love all books.

I would just like to wish sarahmorgan many hours of happy reading!

Update: February 23, 2013
This competition is now closed. A big thank you to all who entered. The winner will be announced in the next couple of days via this page, Twitter and Google+.

Fancy having two months worth of fantasy fiction at your fingertips? We’ve teamed up with Argos to give you the chance to win just that! The Sony Nook (RRP £79) is an ingenious e-reader with enough memory to hold up to 1,000 e-books, ‘Best Text’ to give you crisp, clear reading even on bright sunny days and an extra-long battery life, too.

One of the great e readers you can get at Argos, it’s also got WiFi access which means you can browse and buy new books on the go; one of the biggest e-readers beside Amazon’s kindle fire, it’s also sleek, light and small enough to carry about (no more creased pages, crumpled covers or plot-obliterating coffee stains over that crucial twist in chapter 19).

To get in the running, simply follow @FanBooRev on Twitter and retweet the text below (filling in the blanks):

I’m in the running to win an e-reader with @FanBooRev #competition *URL*. If I win it, the first thing I’m going to read is _.

Terms and Conditions:
The winner will be selected at random from all correct entries received. Anonymous entries will be exempt from competition. The winner will be announced within 7 days of the closing date. The prize is as stated: no cash alternatives are available. This competition is open to UK entries only. The winner has 4 weeks from when they receive the acknowledgement email to supply their contact details or the prize will be forfeited and an alternate winner will be chosen. Argos reserve the right to amend the promotion at any time. This offer is online only exclusive and not available in retail stores.

Competition: Win a copy of The Magician King by Lev Grossman

*** This competition is now closed, a big thank you to all who entered ***

Update, 15th August 2012: The five winners are:

  • Joshua Turner
  • Maggie Lloyd
  • Diana Cotter
  • Karl Mersh
  • Kayleigh Young

Congratulations to the five lucky winners who will be notified by email today.

Competition is open to UK residents only

The Magicians series is an extraordinary magical journey from the pen of Lev Grossman, the modern heir to C.S. Lewis. The first book in the series, The Magicians, was published in 2009 and was a Fantasy Book Review Book of the Year. August 2, 2012 sees the publication, in paperback, of the second book, The Magician King, and five lucky readers can win themselves a free copy by answering the simple question below:

Lev Grossman graduated from which prestigious American University?

  1. Harvard
  2. Princeton
  3. Stanford
  4. Columbia

To enter the competition simply email the answer to the question above (click here for help) through to themagicianking@fantasybookreview.co.uk. The competition will run until midnight on Tuesday the 14th of August, 2012. Five winning email addresses will be chosen at random from the correct entries and will be announced on the Wednesday the 15th of August.

Competition is open to UK residents only

For those of you unfamiliar with Lev Grossman and the Magicians series here is the synopsis of the first book in the series, The Magicians:

Quentin Coldwater’s life is changed forever by an apparently chance encounter: when he turns up for his entrance interview to Princeton he finds his interviewer dead – but a strange envelope bearing Quentin’s name leads him down a very different path to any he’d ever imagined.

The envelope, and the mysterious manuscript it contains, leads to a secret world of obsession and privilege, a world of freedom and power and, for a while, it’s a world that seems to answer all Quentin’s desires. But the idyll cannot last – and when it’s finally shattered, Quentin is drawn into something darker and far more dangerous than anything he could ever have expected…

We interviewed Lev Grossman in June 2009, shortly after the publication of The Magicians.

Cover image of Lev Grossman's The Magician King.

Competition: Win a free copy of David Tallerman’s The Giant Thief

************

This competition is now closed. Congratulations to Euan, of Middlesex, who will receive a copy of The Giant Thief in return for this excellent entry:

"If I were a giant, I would get a gorilla suit made for me, wear it, and go to New York and re-enact the original King Kong movie."

Thank you to all who entered.

************

We have a paperback copy of David Tallerman’s The Giant Thief to give away to the winning entrant of our latest competition. All you need to do is live in the UK and answer this question in as unforgettable a way as possible:

In 140 characters or less, tell us what you would do if you were a giant for the day!

You can enter by either tweeting @FanBooRev with your tweet beginning "If I were a giant…" or  by emailing thegiantthiefcomp@fantasybookreview.co.uk, with The Giant Thief competition in the subject field. The most entertaining entry – received before midnight on the 27th of February 2012 – will receive the paperback of this intriguing book. Just to repeat, this competition is for UK residents only.

Meet Easie Damasco, rogue, thieving swine and total charmer. Even the wicked can’t rest when a vicious warlord and the force of enslaved giants he commands invade their homeland. Damasco might get away in one piece, but he’s going to need help. Big Time.

One of the most original and entertaining heist stories you’re likely to read and, according to Starburst Magazine "a gripping yarn, one that is difficult to put down once started.

Cover image of David Tallerman's The Giant Thief.

Senescence by David Rudden (winner of the FBRSSC*)

And so dear friends we come to the day that marks the end of the 2011 *Fantasy Book Review Short Story Competition. After 8 months and hundreds of great little stories we can now proudly publish the winning entry, the simply wonderful Senescence by David Rudden.

Frank P Ryan, who made the final judgements on the submissions, said of David’s story:

“An outstanding piece of short fiction for such a relatively young author.  Rudden creates an entirely believable word, edgy and threatened, yet leavened by a sense of community and compassion. The raw power of the characterisation and the subtlety and poetic earthiness of the language is as good as I’ve seen in short stories in any genre.  It reads as if Seamus Heaney had written a fantasy short story.”

An illustration, by Mark Salwowski, from the PDF of Senescence by David Rudden.

You can read this winning entry now, for which the author received an Apple iPad, by clicking on this link – Senescence by David Rudden – or by clicking on the images above and below. The magnificent artwork in the PDF template is the work of Mark Salwowski (www.salwowski.com), the illustrator who worked with Frank P Ryan on his fantasy novel, The Snowmelt River. Read and enjoy.

We also caught up with David and asked him about her entry and writing in general:

FBR: Was this your first short story competition?

DR: I’d entered a couple of competitions in school but the Fantasy Book Review competition is my first as an adult writer.

FBR: What was the inspiration for your short story? Where did the idea come from?

DL: This, like most stories I write, came from a half-formed idea and a couple of lines I knew the story would revolve around. I’ve always had a fascination with the old trades, the notion of master and apprentice and the idea of… not exactly secret knowledge, but specialised knowledge, the person in the community who knew things that others didn’t and so was given that little bit more importance.

This is one of the few stories where I’ve drawn heavily on my own experiences for material. I’m from a miniscule village myself (albeit without an arcane wasteland a few miles north) and after finding out that my own father (a woodwork and construction studies teacher) served his apprenticeship making coffins, the opening line popped into my head and proceeded to bounce around for a couple of years before taking shape. Carpentry is all about knowing the strength of materials, their breaking points, how much they will yield and how much they’ll resist. For a village right on the cusp of where things start to fray and break apart, knowing those things is important.

Text taken from the PDF of Senescence by David Rudden.

FBR: How long did your short story take to write? Was the writing experience a pleasant one or did you experience difficulties?

DL: Surprisingly it actually rattled along quite easily! Sometimes I have to walk away from a story for a few weeks and then attack it from another angle, but Senescence came together fairly rapidly. I started with a loose plan that organised what would happen and when, and then wrote it over the course of about a week. I’m lucky that I have a informal writing group that are very good for telling me when I’m writing nonsense or if I should keep going.

The ending completely changed in the writing though. I had a strange moment of ‘am I allowed do that?’ and then decided that if it made sense in the writing I’d keep it, and if not things would go a very different way. I like to think it worked out, though.

FBR: Were you happy with the finished story? Or would you have liked a little bit more time?

DL: I try my best not to fidget with a story when I’ve finished it. I usually put it aside for a few days and occupy my mind with something else as much as possible, then go back with a fresh set of eyes. There was a little bit of polishing to be done, especially towards the end of the story, but nothing that required more than a slight rework.

All here at Fantasy Book Review would like to congratulate David, thank him for his truly exceptional entry and wish him all the best with his future writing. Our short story competition, which ran from April until November of this year and was kindly sponsored by Swift Publishers.

Coin-Operated Boys by Kirsty Logan (2nd place in the FBRSSC)

Following on from the publication yesterday of To Ashes by Kat Zantow, the short story that placed third in our short story competition, today sees the publication of the story that placed second, Coin-Operated Boys by Kirsty Logan.

The three winning entries were chosen by bestselling author Frank P Ryan, who said of Coin-Operated Boys, “Elodie Selkirk, with her hooked nose and missing pinkie finger, is not interested in a regular suitor. What she fancies is a coin-operated boy. Ingenious, stylish, witty – I loved the basic idea, which plays on the whim of an excessively fashion conscious lady to have the perfect escort. Excellent play on sexual jealousy and a highly amusing twist in the tail.”

An illustration by Mark Salwowski from Kirsty Logan's Coin-Operated Boys.

You can read this winning entry now, for which the author received an Amazon Kindle, by clicking on this link – Coin-Operated Boy by Kirsty Logan – or by clicking on the images above and below. The magnificent artwork in the PDF template is the work of Mark Salwowski (www.salwowski.com), the illustrator who worked with Frank P Ryan on his fantasy novel, The Snowmelt River. Read and enjoy.

We also caught up with Kirsty and asked her about her entry and writing in general:

FBR: Was this your first short story competition?

KL: Not the first, but the first time I’ve won a Kindle! I won third place in the Bridport Prize last year for a story called Underskirts. That one was great fun because, oddly enough, PJ Harvey was at the prize ceremony. It was lovely to meet her but I was so nervous that all I could do was talk about the weather.

FBR: What was the inspiration for your story?

KL: The Dresden Dolls song, ‘Coin-Operated Boy’. I love the band’s aesthetic of Victoriana and dark cabaret, and I wanted to get that feel in the story. I also seem to have an obsession with clockwork body-parts and love substitutes – I’ve written about hearts that can be hired and returned, and a woman who makes a man out of paper.

An extract of text from Kirsty Logan's Coin-Operated Boys.

FBR: How long did your short story take to write? Was the writing experience a pleasant one or did you encounter difficulties?

KL: The first draft took a few weeks. I ran it by both of my workshop groups, and then it was perhaps another week to edit and rewrite it. I didn’t have any difficulties because the story had been bumping around my brain for a while before I wrote it down. I wrote it in the break between finishing my first novel, Little Dead Boys, and starting on my second, Rust and Stardust. I’m also working on a short story collection, The Rental Heart and Other Fairytales, and as I’m used to writing short fiction I find it difficult to be stuck in one narrative with one set of characters for the many months it takes to write a novel. By the time I’d finished the first novel, I was buzzing with ideas for fresh stories. I recently finished the first draft of the second novel, so I’m excited to write short stories again.

FBR: Were you happy with the finished story? Or would you have liked a little more time?

KL: I’m very happy with it. I wanted it to be sexy and creepy and a bit sad, and I hope I managed that. I didn’t ask permission from Amanda Palmer or Brian Viglione of the Dresden Dolls before writing the story, but I like to think they’d be flattered!

To see The Dresden Dolls perform Coin-Operated Boys, follow this YouTube link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j4gPZPKJc0s&feature=youtube_gdata

All here at Fantasy Book Review would like to congratulate Kirsty, thank her for her excellent entry and wish her all the best with her future writing. Our short story competition, which ran from April until November of this year and was kindly sponsored by Swift Publishers.