Monday 13 July 2009

Purple and Black - artwork and synopsis

This is an interesting upcoming release from Subterranean Press this month:

Subterranean Press is proud to announce a new novella by the enigmatic author of The Company and The Engineer Trilogy.

When his father, brothers and uncles wiped each other out in a murderous civil war, Nicephorus was forced to leave the University and become emperor.

Seventy-seven emperors had met violent deaths over the past hundred years, most of them murdered by their own soldiers. Hardly surprising, then, that Nico should want to fill the major offices of state with the only people he knew he could trust, his oldest and closest friends.

But there's danger on the northern frontier, and Nico daren't send a regular general up there with an army, for fear of a military coup. He turns to his best friend Phormio, who reluctantly takes the job.

Military dispatches, written in the purple ink reserved exclusively for official business, are a miserable way for friends to keep in touch, at a time when they need each other most.

But there's space in the document-tube for another sheet of paper.

Purple and Black will be printed in two colors throughout.

I really like this idea of using two different colours for the prose, purple for the military dispatches and then black for the personal correspondence. Sub Press are well-known for the aesthetic quality of the books they produce, so expect Purple and Black to look very swish indeed - especially if the striking, yet subtle, artwork is any indication.

As for the quality of the story, I've not read any of K. J. Parker's work before but I've heard some good things.


logankstewart said...

I've picked up The Engineer books before and mulled over reading them, but then opted for different ones instead. However, they continue to catch my eyes when I'm looking at the shelves in bookstores. Perhaps one day I'll read them.

I do like the cover art there, too. For some reason I see a little LOTR in there...

ediFanoB said...

So far I didn't read a K J Parker book.
This one sounds interesting. printed in two colors = purple and black?

Dan Smyth said...

KJ Parker is one of my all-time favorite authors. The Engineer trilogy was absolute genius, and I simply can't wait to get my hands on this book.

James said...

@logankstewart - yeah, same here: have almost picked up some of Parker's books on a few occasions, though never quite managed to. And yeah, can see why you made the LOTR connection.

@ediFanoB - as far as I'm aware, yes. Purple text for military dispatches, black text for personal correspondence. Should look classy, and it's a neat idea.

@Dan Smyth - cheers for the rec Dan, I might well check out the Engineer trilogy.

Jeff C said...

thanks for the reminder..this book sounds pretty interesting, and worth ordering, I believe. I read The Company, which was mostly good. Also had the same feeling for the first Engineer book. Havent read the last 2, though.

Liviu said...

This is a gem - got an arc and read it like 3-4 times; misses being a masterpiece by maybe 20 pages since despite its 120 page length advertised, it is maybe 80-100 in content

Will have full rv on FBC in pub week and it is a co-#1 for me in 09 fantasy so far and likely to stay there, I plan to get the hc too since I want to see the p&b design (the arc is just regular design)