I was going to do another Gemsigns extract today, but that has been superseded by the news that – ta da! – the US cover is finally available for public viewing! (In fairness it’s been up on the Quercus US site for a while, but hadn’t been cleared for wider distribution.) Many thanks to the lovely folks over at SF Signal who splashed it up yesterday. So now I can do the same here, along with the full jacket copy:
For years a deadly syndrome that targeted adolescents threatened to decimate the human race, but a cure was ultimately developed by altering the human genome. The corporations that invented the cure then began to use the process to genetically engineer an entirely new class of workers. Known as Gems, these modified humans were physically and mentally adapted for jobs that could not be undertaken by normal human beings, and branded with a gemsign: glowing, neon-coloured hair or some other visible difference, engineered into their anatomy, forever setting them apart from the Norms they were bred to serve.
Now, decades later, the Gems are fighting for their rights, and for freedom from the companies that created them. As violence begins to threaten the severely stratified society, an international conference is scheduled to decide this critical civil rights issue once and for all. In advance of the conference, Dr. Eli Walker has been commissioned to gather detailed findings on the Gems. As an apolitical, nonpartisan figure in the debate, Walker’s analysis promises to be pivotal in deciding the fate of the Gems.
But with vast corporate profits at stake, and with the bloodthirsty religious zealots of the Godgangs determined to rid the earth of these “unholy” creations, the Gems are in a fight for their very lives against violent and powerful adversaries who will stop at nothing to keep them enslaved forever.
In terms of imagery and emphasis it’s a different approach to the one taken for the UK edition. I was part of the conversation in both cases, and I’ll be interested to see how it plays out in different markets and with different audiences. For the record, I don’t have a favourite – I really do love both sets of cover + copy. But I’d like to know if you prefer one over the other, and why!
By the way, clicking on the US edition in the sidebar will take you to the Amazon US purchase page – which, confusingly, is currently showing the UK cover instead of the US one. I have no idea why, but I do know that the Quercus US team are in the process of sorting it out. (And of course, the UK editions link to the Amazon UK pages.)
P.S. More guest postage! While I’ve been writing this the ‘Story Behind the Story’ piece that I wrote for Upcoming4.Me has gone up. If you want to know what started the ®Evolution, check it out here. (Moral of the story behind the story: Keep your staff interested in the job at hand. Unless you want them to run off and become writers.)