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Sep 16, 2016

Searching the Beyond

Zeta's draft cover illustration
Zeta put together a first draft cover for A Search Beyond. She wanted to emphasize the recursive nature of the story, so she put multiple cover illustrations on the cover (see the image to the right on this page).

Image Credits
There are five people depicted in Zeta's draft cover image for A Search Beyond, but two of them are only hinted at by the presence of their hand at the left or right edge of the scene.

In the background is a distant exoplanet, one of the places in the "Beyond" that was the subject of a search for the origins of the tryp'At and the Ek'col. In this blog post I describe the sources of the images that Zeta used.

Hand Pose Stock - Gripping
by Melissa Offutt
Those two hands were obtained from a Hand Pose stock image by Melissa Offutt (see the cropped image to the left) who has an 'unrestricted use' stock image account (Melyssah6-Stock) at DeviantArt.

In the Hierion Domain
According to Zeta, the hands on the cover belong to two Retrofuturians who are exchanging stories about Deep Time. One of those stories is called The League of Yrinna. Special thanks to Miranda Hedman (www.mirish.deviantart.com) for the DeviantArt stock photograph "Black Cat 9 - stock" that I used to create the blue "sedronite" who is in this image.

Investigative Science Fiction
Only recently did I learn of the existence of the Retrofuturians. According to Yōd, they are a group of investigative science fiction writers, not unlike the Dead Widowers.

alien cat - 1957
cover art by Frank Freas
I like to imagine that there were analogues of science fiction magazines in the Ekcolir Reality. In our universe, back in the 1950s, there was a Sci Fi magazine called "Future Science Fiction". In the Ekcolir Reality, stories published in that magazine included stories about events that took place in the Asimov Reality.

The League of Yrinna is a story about the far future of the Asimov Reality, when a group of investigative science fiction writers finally discovered the secret of how aliens crafted humans into a primitive primate species with the ability to use the Bimanoid Interface.

'Spillway' by Crematia18
In the Hierion Domain
The other story that Zeta included in her draft cover illustration is a version of A Search Beyond. In Zeta's whimsical cover image for A Search Beyond, the blue-skinned sedronite is shown inside the Hierion Domain.

The background was made using a DeviantArt stock image called "Wyoming Dam Spillway Stock 2" (see the image to the right). In order to create an other-worldly scene in the Hierion Domain, I inverted the colors of the spillway image, turning the white ice into a dark background behind the sedronite.

Lykkadis 8 by Lia Konrad
Zeta used "Lykkadis 8" to depict the main foreground character because of the hair in that image. In the Exode saga, the are multiple artificial life forms who take on human form. They often have hair that is composed of nanites, with each strand of hair able to move independently, like a snake. Who is this character with the wild hair? Zeta will only say, "She's one of the artificial life forms who investigated how the alien Phari helped adapt humans for use of the Bimanoid Interface."

"alien cat" by  Andrew Kuznetsov
For the "alien cat" who is perched on her shoulder, I used an image (shown to the right) that was posted to Flickr by Andrew Kuznetsov.

'Ultra Planet' by Adrian Thomassen
The planet in the background at the upper left of Zeta's draft cover illustration is another DeviantArt stock image: Ultra HD Planet Stock III by Adrian Thomassen (see the image to the left).

Retrofuturians
Floating above the entire cover image is a thread-like depiction of several families of fundamental particles including sedrons and hierions.

Next: investigating the origin of the Retrofuturians.
visit the Gallery of Book and Magazine Covers.

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