Earlier today, we included Yoon Ha Lee’s Raven Stratagem on our list of the best science fiction books of 2017. Considering it’s the middle installment of the trilogy that began with Ninefox Gambit—not only one of our favorite books of 2016 but also a Hugo and Nebula nominee—you know we’re excited for what comes next. And today, we can give you a sneak peak, as we reveal the cover for Revenant Gun, the final book of the Machineries Of Empire trilogy, coming in June 2018 from Solaris.
The cover is of a piece with the other two in the series, which means it’s blisteringly colorful, featuring a stunning piece of art by Chris Moore; we wish there were going to be yet more of them, enough to make a whole rainbow. You can see the full image following the official summary. Then, keep reading for a quick five-question Q&A with Yoon, who answers a few of our burning questions about the cover.
When Shuos Jedao wakes up for the first time, several things go wrong. His few memories tell him that he’s a seventeen-year-old cadet—but his body belongs to a man decades older. Hexarch Nirai Kujen orders Jedao to reconquer the fractured hexarchate on his behalf even though Jedao has no memory of ever being a soldier, let alone a general. Surely a knack for video games doesn’t qualify you to take charge of an army?
Soon Jedao learns the situation is even worse. The Kel soldiers under his command may be compelled to obey him, but they hate him thanks to a massacre he can’t remember committing. Kujen’s friendliness can’t hide the fact that he’s a tyrant. And what’s worse, Jedao and Kujen are being hunted by an enemy who knows more about Jedao and his crimes than he does himself…
Yoon Ha Lee Answers 5 Questions About Revenant Gun
What are we looking at on the cover of Revenant Gun?
The cover shows my protagonist Jedao’s flagship (“command moth,” in the parlance of the books), called the Revenant, and the Fortress of Pearled Hopes.
How do the covers match up with the universe of your imagination?
I’m not a visual writer, so I didn’t really come into this with any but the vaguest sense of what things look like! That being said, the artist, Chris Moore, has done a fantastic job taking the names of things and interpreting them visually.
Without spoilers, can you explain what the title means?
In this book we see Jedao return, after a fashion, so he’s the “revenant gun” of the title. (He also named the ship “Revenant” because he has a weird sense of humor. Or maybe I’m projecting.)
As a trilogy ender, how does this book raise the stakes from Ninefox Gambit and Raven Stratagem?
Revenant Gun takes place nine years after the end of the second book. Immortal Nirai Kujen, the big bad of the series, is attempting to reconquer the shattered hexarchate and crush the fledgling democracy with Jedao as his general. In the meantime, Cheris is on a one-person mission to assassinate them both before they can destroy everything she’s worked for.
What’s next for you?
I’m currently wrapping up revisions on a middle grade novel, Dragon Pearl, that’s Korean mythology space opera with a fox girl heroine. After that, I’ll be working on a collection of hexarchate short stories.