In January next year we are delighted to be reissuing Julian May's much-loved Saga of the Exiles series - and will be releasing these editions in ebook for the first time. Book One, The Many-Coloured Land won the Locus Award for Best Science Fiction novel in 1982, and the series has also been highly praised by a range of authors from Peter F. Hamilton, to Jean Auel to luminaries such as Fritz Leiber and Roger Zelazny. Take a look at our great new covers for her wonderful books, and scroll down to read about how we brought these classic books back to life.
In our initial discussions about the books we decided we wanted to create something bold and exciting, with a more fantasy-based background, and a single icon on each cover. Once we had confirmed our ideas with our in-house designer Neil Lang, Neil set about sourcing backgrounds and commissioning icons from illustrator Rob Hunter. We decided that a fiery author-name branding would perfectly capture the adventurous story, and Neil created the backgrounds from a selection of images, before colour-matching each one to fit the overall colour scheme of each cover. Neil Lang had this to say about designing the covers: ‘Back in the day I was a massive fan of Julian May’s Saga of the Exiles series and so I relished the task of creating covers that captured these amazing stories. I’m hoping these will attract a whole new generation of readers. My challenge was to capture the energy and excitement of the novels, so I chose a branding that I felt really captured this vibrancy and spirit of adventure. The trick was also to capture that balance between something that had a science fiction backstory, but felt like fantasy down to the new world the characters travelled to here. The books should also really stand out on the shelf (or internet!) and give the books a unique identity that is instantly recognisable.’
Commissioning Editor Bella Pagan, who’s looking after these books, had this to say: ‘I absolutely loved these books when I first read them as a teenager. In fact, they are still on my parents’ bookshelf and I saw them recently when I last went up there! The whole process of briefing new covers for these much-loved books and working with our designer Neil to bring these classics back to market was so exciting. It was one of the first things I did when I moved to Tor books last year and a big boost for me, so can’t wait to see them out there again sporting their new look.’
And if you want to see what the books looked like originally, here they are: