It was the end of days . . . but a new beginning
We have something special for you today. Back in February, we announced the acquisition of Anne Corlett's debut novel. The Space Between The Stars is a poignant story about love, loss, and difficult choices, set in a post-apocalyptic future. Humanity has mastered space travel and colonized new worlds, but now a plague has spread through the galaxy leaving very few alive - and Jamie awakes one day to find herself possibly the sole survivor on her planet . . .
This is Station Eleven territory - a hugely accessible character-driven novel with a low-key science-fiction setting. You will find visits to other planets, civilization in ruins and a ragtag band of survivors. But the interplanetary road trip is woven with a more poignant journey, as one woman searches for a new beginning back on Earth. Anne Corlett writes movingly about the resilience of the human spirit, the choices we make and the wild beauty of Britain's coastal landscapes.
When briefing this cover for the Art Department, editor Bella Pagan picked out certain key themes and images in the story - the stars, of course, but also the sea and the coastline, boats and shells and seagulls. She also looked to other books that occupy this nebulous 'genre crossover' space between science fiction and so-called 'mainstream' fiction. Titles like the aforementioned Station Eleven, and The Book of Strange New Things. We looked at some female-led straight SF - The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet - as well as some more speculative literary fiction, such as The Gracekeepers and Our Endless Numbered Days. And for good measure, we looked around at some other successful novels with the kind of cover aesthetic we had in mind, even if the story or genre didn't particularly match up. Take a look at some of our inspirations:
We wanted a cover that would be accessible to readers who don't necessarily think that genre books are for them. So no spaceships on the front! But this is a beautiful, imaginative novel, and we also didn't want anything too generic. We wanted to convey the story's sense of warmth and humanity, hope and maybe a sense of yearning - and we think Ami Smithson in our Art Dept has done an incredible job in capturing all of that in her finished design.
After a virus wipes out most of humanity, Jamie leaves her isolated posting on the planet Soltaire and heads for Earth. She feels compelled to reach the Northumberland coast, to see if her ex-partner Daniel is still alive. Joining a band of misfits and fellow survivors, each with their own agenda, she struggles to understand her place in this new world. She'll wrestle with loss and heartache in order to gain one last chance at happiness. And when she reaches earth, Jamie will face something that could destroy that precious second chance - for all of them.