Alec Nevala-Lee

Thoughts on art, creativity, and the writing life.

Attack of the “Cryptids”

with 4 comments

The May 2014 issue of Analog Science Fiction and Fact

When you’re a writer, one of the most surreal aspects of the process is seeing a story that exists only in the form of words on the page translated into visual terms. In some cases, the author has a chance to work closely with the artist involved, and the result can be a productive collaboration in its own right. More often, given the realities of the publishing industry, the writer is just as surprised by the result as anyone else. I’ve been lucky enough to have some degree of input into the covers of my novels, but the final version is designed and completed independently, and once it’s finished, my feedback is generally limited to small matters of typography. On the short fiction side, three of the eight stories I’ve published in Analog Science Fiction and Fact—”Inversus,” “The Boneless One,” and “The Whale God”—have boasted original interior illustrations, which I see for the first time when my author’s copies appear in my mailbox. For the most part, I’ve been pleased by the results, although there’s always some discordance between what I saw in my head and what the artist has envisioned. And that’s exactly how it should be.

Which is all just preamble to the fact that I’m thrilled to see my novelette “Cryptids” on the cover of the May issue of Analog, with gorgeous artwork by the legendary Vincent Di Fate. It’s the first time I’ve had an original cover illustration to accompany one of my stories, and I hope it won’t be the last. If you get a chance to read it, you’ll see that Di Fate has truly outdone himself here: it’s one instance in which the art is both remarkably faithful to the story and even more vivid than anything I could have imagined on my own. As I’ve done in the past, I’ll be commenting in greater detail on the story’s origins and development on the blog later this month. In the meantime, you can read a generous free excerpt on the Analog site, and as always, the issue is available both on newsstands and electronically. So far, the response to the story itself has been highly positive—I’m particularly gratified by the respectful notice I got from Prehistoric Pulp, a blog devoted to dinosaur and paleontology fiction—and I’m looking forward to seeing what the reaction from readers will be. But for now, I just can’t take my eyes off that cover.

Written by nevalalee

March 5, 2014 at 9:17 am

4 Responses

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  1. That is awesome. I will add that to my list of goals… “original cover illustration to accompany one of my stories”


    March 5, 2014 at 9:27 am

  2. Thanks!


    March 5, 2014 at 9:55 am

  3. I loved this story. Here’s a link to my review of it:

    Do you plan to have Karen and Amanda go back to this island?

    Keith West

    March 6, 2014 at 11:08 pm

  4. Thanks so much for the kind review!

    I’m not sure I’ll ever write a sequel, but there’s a chance that I may go back to expand the original story itself—there’s just a lot of potential material here that can’t be explored in the length of a novelette, and I agree with some readers that the ending feels a little rushed. Maybe someday…


    March 7, 2014 at 10:04 am

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