As a publisher, Angry Robot seems programmed to do one thing with relentless precision: locate the most exciting up-and-coming talent in SF/F, and unleash them on the world. In recent years, they’ve published debut novels from the likes of Lauren Beukes, Madeline Ashby, Adam Christopher, Wesley Chu, and Aliette de Bodard, and helped change the face of the genre. There seems to be a good chance that the name of Ishbelle Bee will soon be added to that list, especially if we’re judging this particular book by its cover.
Bee’s debut, The Singular & Extraordinary Tale of Mirror & Goliath, is a clockwork fable, a dark-edged fairytale about a young girl and her odd companion in very strange version of Victorian England, and artist John Coulthart perfectly captures the flavor and period in an intricate, ornate cut-metal design, which Angry Robot has kindly given us a chance to reveal to you… after the blurb.
1888. A little girl called Mirror and her extraordinary shape-shifting guardian Goliath Honeyflower are washed up on the shores of Victorian England. Something has been wrong with Mirror since the day her grandfather locked her inside a mysterious clock that was painted all over with ladybirds. Mirror does not know what she is, but she knows she is no longer human.
John Loveheart, meanwhile, was not born wicked. But after the sinister death of his parents, he was taken by Mr Fingers, the demon lord of the underworld. Some say he is mad. John would be inclined to agree.
Now Mr Fingers is determined to find the little girl called Mirror, whose flesh he intends to eat, and whose soul is the key to his eternal reign. And John Loveheart has been called by his otherworldly father to help him track Mirror down…
An extraordinary dark fairytale for adults, for fans of Catherynne M. Valente and Neil Gaiman.
The author, for one, is pleased.
“John Coulthart has beautifully captured the fairytale world of Mirror & Goliath with this fizzing electrical blue and gold leaf design, weaving motifs of the book (such as the ladybirds, death masks, clock mechanisms, and myrtle) masterfully into the space,” Bee said. “It’s a very, very special cover.”
If you love the book, you won’t have to wait long for more from the author, either: her follow-up, The Contrary Tale of the Butterfly Girl, is out in August.