Polymath Tat

As part of my continuing effort to BLOG MORE OFTEN, I bring you some fan art of a very lasting nature. Jess Y has been a fan of mine since my first YA book, Midnighters, came out. She has a particular love of Dess. (I would say it’s their rhyming names, but Dess is my favorite character too.)

Jess recently decided to immortalize her Dess-love in skin ink. So I present to you the polymath tattoo:


As you can see, it’s still a bit new and raw.

For those of you who haven’t read Midnighters, each of the five characters has their own symbol. The symbol for each character appears at the end of any chapter that they are the viewpoint character for. (BEST. SENTENCE. EVER.)

What you may not know is that I designed the symbols using a fractal program. (Those who can’t draw, fractal.) Alas, all of the original designs have been lost do to software decay. That is, the fractal software I used will no longer run or open files on today’s operating systems.

Luckily, I did save one of my early attempts as a jpg. So here it is:

original fractal dess symbol

Pretty cool, huh? My fractal math has left the building, so that’s all I have to say.

Note that this is the third known midnighter tattoo. This guy also has Dess’s polymath tat, and this girl went for Jessica’s flamebringer tattoo.

Note: Book-related tats are not a requirement for my fans. But feel free!

See you soon, gaudily festooned poltroons.

More Midnighters Covers

Because Russia has to have new covers every year, or something.

Here they are:




I don’t have much to say about these covers, except that I love the darkling dragons in them. For the earlier versions, click here.

Insert here the usual apologies about not blogging lately. Yes, I have been taking rather a long break. But I assure you, it’s only because I’ve been writing loads. I’m at about 70,000 words in my current work in progress, currently titled Afterworlds.

Now, what does 70 kilowords this mean? That this book will be out soon?

Hah! I’m afraid not.Afterworlds is going to be a long piece of work, with two novels wrapped into one in a strange and mystical way. I’m maybe halfway done, so the novel isn’t going to be in anyone’s hands until late next year. (Or later, because art is no science.)

Anyway, thanks to those who continue to hang around my dusty windblown blog. I apologize for letting this space that we’ve all created together lie fallow. But rest assured that some day it will spark back to life, when I have more energy and time, or simply find something to rant about.

Till then, hope you’re all having fun.

Russian (and Hungarian!) Cosplay Alert

Hey, I’ve been lazy again (in all things, not just blogging) but fortunately, I have lots of lovely photos from my travels to show you. Posting photos is a bit easier than writing actual words, after all.

First, however, here’s some cool Russian cosplay for you.

These folks are doing Leviathan, complete with a plush hydrogen sniffer!

This first set are from Hungary, in fact. Got these emails while I was in Brazil and didn’t keep track. They’re from the Hungarian Steampunk and Anachronist Society, and you can see more pics on my Hungarian publisher’s FB page here, here, and here. (Thank you, Lorant in the comments! And thanks to Ad Astra, my publisher in Hungary.)


I like Deryn’s and Alek’s many leather accessories. Great boots, too.

They did this shoot in a cool old steampunk-ish warehouse, which you can see some of here:


I don’t know if there’s something going on in Russia, but around the same time, I also got some Russian Midnighters cosplay. Here’s Melissa:


And Dess:


And all three of the girls:


And a different Jessica (from a different group? This all came in on the same day. What’s going on in Russia? Some sort of Westerfeldian cosplay convention?):


Anyway, I love all these character interpretations. Well done, Ruskies. [And HUngarians!]

More photos soon. (See, Scott? That wasn’t so hard. You can DO this.)

Midnighters TV Show

A TV show based on my Midnighters trilogy might be an actual thing.

Here’s the scoop from Deadline:

A year after Chuck ended its run, the cult dramedy’s creators Chris Fedak and Josh Schwartz have reunited for Midnighters, a drama based on the Alloy sci-fi/fantasy book trilogy by Scott Westerfeld. This time, Fedak is the sole writer on the project, which is being produced by Schwartz and Stephanie Savage’s Fake Empire, Alloy Entertainment and Warner Bros. Television. Midnighters, which has received a script commitment, is a drama centered on a small group of people all born at the stroke of midnight who have access to the 25th hour of the day. Fedak, Schwartz and Savage executive produce with Fake Empire’s Len Goldstein and Alloy’s Leslie Morgenstein and Gina Girolamo. The Midnighters book series includes The Secret Hour (2004), Touching Darkness (2005) and Blue Noon (2006).

Of course, a “script commitment” means exactly that: a commitment that a script will get written. If this script isn’t good, that will be that. But if it’s good, then you’d get a pilot commitment, and if that’s good, some episodes . . . and thus you’d have a TV SHOW!

But when?

Well, TV moves faster than publishing. So if things work out, we could be seeing an actual Midnighters show a year from now, along with the other new shows of 2013.

Do I have any involvement with this? No one’s asked me to help. (I have less control over Midnighters than my other “properties,” for reasons too boring to go into here.) But I will be snarking from the sidelines, at least.

Some of you may remember that the Midnighters TV show was a thing back in 2007. They wanted to age the characters up to their “mid- to late-twenties,” which I thought was a silly idea, and wrote this blog post about it.

But that version didn’t happen, like most things don’t happen. (Look out your window, As you can see, no plane crash just happened. Proof that MOST THINGS DON’T HAPPEN.*) And hopefully, there will be no aging up of Dess, Rex, Jonathan, Melissa, and Jessica in this version either.

Because 25-year-olds sneaking out at midnight—not magical.

Luckily, I’ve heard that Chuck was a cool show. I’ll be taking a look at it, and will report back.

Watch this space for details about Mid-TV and all of my other “properties.” (Seriously, that’s what they call them in Hollywood. It’s like they’re playing Monopoly.)

In the meantime, let’s look at some lovely Midnighters fan art of yesteryear.

*If a plane crash did just happen out your window, that was spooky, and kind of tasteless of me. Sorry.

By Shira-chan!

By scotty9539! (no relation)

Fan Art Friday (At Last!)

It’s still Friday on the west coast of the US, so I give you Fan Art Friday, the technically not-late edition.

First, here’s a great video from Christina and Douglas, visualizing the Faceplay software from “Facing the Future” (Also known as Chapter 4 of Uglies).

Ugly to Pretty – WIP from Christina Hall on Vimeo.

Pretty cool, huh? I’ve always thought this would be a cool scene in the movie.

If my embed isn’t working for you, click here to check it out on Vimeo (and slightly bigger!).

And next, a very amusing cartoon from Soraia, riffing on the Perils of Pauline chapter in Goliath:

That whole chapter came about because I was researching William Randolph Hearst, and found out that he was behind the Perils of Pauline series of films, which began in 1914. So I decided to watch them, and discovered that in the very first one, the eponymous heroine gets blown away in a hydrogen balloon, not unlike a certain Scottish cross-dresser! So I just HAD to show Alek seeing the movie as part of his education that girls could do cool stuff.

Though I’d like to claim that I planned this symmetry between books 1 and 3 from the beginning, it’s merely a coincidence. But it proves that if you do your research, you will be rewarded. And coincidence or not, I’m super glad to see it pop up here in fan art form.

The dialog in this comic is quite funny, so click here to see it bigger and zoomable.

Here from Carly is some rare Midnighters fan art, showing Jessica at a certain climactic moment in Blue Noon.

That’s a scene that I had planned from back in book 1, as you will see if you look at chapter 4 of The Secret Hour. Sometimes I am good at first-shoeing things.

And here from MoonieBalloonie, a pensive-looking Lilit:

I always love how distinctive Lilit is, thanks to her cool Armenian attire.

And finally, from Victoria, some Dalek!

Okay, I’m headed to America soon, so I must go pack or whatever. (My only public appearance will be at Comic Con.)

Hope you all have a good weekend.

FAF (Mostly Monochromatic Edition)

Here’s a round up of fan art from the last two weeks, mostly in a black and white mode, with some BONUS NEWS at the end.

Let’s start with the art that was handed to me at my Free Comic Book Day event at Kinokuniya in Sydney. Thanks again to everyone who came and said nice things to me on my birthday, and especially to those who handed me art and cake.

First there was some Midnighters art from (appropriately) Melissa:

Yes, that’s Rex looking pretty cool, and I like how Melissa seems a bit annoyed at having to pose for the drawing.

And from Christina, a triptych of Tallys:

The hot air balloons are a cool touch, as are the necklace, interface cuff, and knife for each Tallyversion.

And finally, from Meshell, I got Alek and Deryn as lovebirds:

It’s cool that I got fan art from every trilogy at that event. You’re all doing a good job of coordinating! Plus: OBLIGATORY LORIS WITH MUSTACHE.

And now return to the regular mode of art delivery, these were all sent to me via the internets.

Here from Laura is a bit of Darwinist fashion design!

One of the coolest thing about Keith’s art is how it hints that there would be a whole different Darwinist culture out there, with clothes, furniture, and whatnot all influenced by the Victorian biotechnology at the base of Darwinist society. This hat is a great example of what all that might look like, complete with bee and nautilus-shell motifs.

And here’s a very a spunky-looking Deryn from Lilly.

I like her haircut, and the way she’s leaning forward, ready to go.

And briefly leaving the monochrome, here’s some Deryn cosplay from Alexa, showing before and after:

Pretty amazing difference. According to Alexa, this transformation required “two rolls of athletic tape, half a can of hairspray, and many uncountable bobby pins.” Just remember that the next time you’re cross-dressing: Never say die!

And finally, here’s a lovely still life in the stack-of-books mode, which for some reason I have lost all attribution to except the letter “g”:

Please identify yourself, G!

And now for the NEWS . . .

Given that the Manual of Aeronautics, the all-color large-format guide to the world of Leviathan, will be appearing on August 21, it’s almost time to start THE OBLIGATORY ART REVEALS. I’ve decided to do one twice a month, on the 1st and 15th. (I hope that’s not too much for you guys.)

May 15 will be the first of these, or maybe that’s when we’ll do some voting for the first reveal. BUT SOON.

And finally, Sydneysiders can see me tonight at:

The Aurealis Awards
Saturday, May 12
7:30 for an 8PM start
Independent Theatre
269 Miller Street
North Sydney NSW 2060

The Aurealis Awards celebrate the achievements of Australian science fiction, fantasy and horror writers every year. Kate Forsyth with be mistress of ceremonies, and I’ll be presenting the award for Best Illustrated Book or Graphic Novel.

You can get tickets here.

Fan Art Friday (at last)


I sort of didn’t do FAF last week, because I was all excited about the Uglies manga AKA Shay’s Story cover. (And lazy. Also because I was lazy.) But here is a FAF for you all! And because I’m in Australia, it’s a day early for you North and South Americans.

This post completes the job started back on October 29, which is showing you all the art I’ve received while on tour. Next Friday (promises, promises) I’ll get back to posting the art I’ve received since tour started.

So here we go, starting with something that’s not quite fan art, but is pretty cool to look at.

One of my favorite things on tour is when people give me books to signed that are obviously well read. Like, in-the-bathtub, on-the-bus, under-the-covers read. Sometimes readers apologize for their tattered copies, but I take it as a compliment. And especially excellent are the signs of notations and post-itting.

So check this out:

This was only DAYS after Goliath came out, and already the book was festooned with post-its and notes. NOW THAT’S WHAT I CALL READING.

And in case you think this is a unique event, I got a whole set of the trilogy receiving the same treatment at my Books of Wonder event:

So yeah. That’s cool.

Here’s a painting of the Leviathan in its friendly I’m-a-whale mode.

It’s interesting how for some readers the airbeast is a big, scary monster thing, but others see it more as a friendly animal. Clearly, for some people beasties are always a win.

Here’s a happy sketch of Tazza that makes the same point:

Another type of fan art that I only see while on tour is the GREAT BIG SIGN. As in this one:

Now, you can see why I might like this sign in particular. But all signs are cool.

Also popular with me? Cookies.

The Austin Teen Book Festival folks did these cover cookies for all us authors, but I’m still counting it as fan art. (And, reader, I ate it.)

Here’s a piece of Midnighters fan art! A flame-bringer symbol rendered in clay.

That’s it for the tour fan art. I guess there’s a bit of space left here, and you didn’t get any FAF last week, so let me round up with a cool bunch of images from Lego-master Tyler, who won a prize for this series of Leviathan-inspired works.

The Stormwalker!

The Ottoman Scorpion!

The German monoplane!

The Huxley!

And finally, the Tesla cannon.

Pretty nice work, huh?

Congrats to all you NaNoWriMoers who are more than halfway home. In case you missed them, here are a set of tips that Justine and I did two Novembers ago.

Good luck for the rest of the month, and see you all next week!

Fan Art Friday, Now Fortnightly

Yes, having missed fifty percent of the last few Fan Art Fridays, I hereby declare Fan Art Friday to be Fan Art Fortnightly. (It’s not easy being a lazy blogger, okay?)

This part 2 of the Non-Drawn Fan Art trilogy, guaranteed to have zero paintings or drawings, but with lashing of tattoos, cosplay, and photography. (Fan fic will be the concluding edition, in two weeks.)

First up we have tattoos, which are the most flattering/disturbing medium of fan art, because they’re, like, PERMANENT. This should go without saying, but I’ll say it: Do not get fan tattoos without serious consideration!

And yet, kind of awesome.

For all you Midnighters fans, here’s an awesome mindcaster tattoo on a fan I met in Florida. I have forgotten his name! (Sorry, dude. But I follow you on Twitter.)

And showing even more commitment, here’s an unknown rockstar in Russia who is obviously a huge fan of Keith’s!

Photo by Theodor Melmoth.

Note that this isn’t from Leviathan, and is Westerfeldian in no way. But as you all love Keith as much as I do, I thought you’d want to see it.

Finally, here are a couple of non-real facial tattoos. (Non-real being the way to go with facial tattoos, I’d say.) The first is from Rachel, and is a mix of Special Tally and the cover of my (very) adult book, Evolution’s Darling:

And here’s another (fake) Special tattoo, spotted on the Behemoth tour last October:

By the way, if you want to read an academic paper on tattoos and body modification in the Uglies series, click here.

And now for some cosplay! Here’s Saiyuki-15, playing multiple roles:

Yes, that’s some awesome costuming AND jewelry making.

Here’s an intense Dr. Barlow, from FlyingBicycle at Deviant Art.

And now some photography from Zvaella, featuring a page of Leviathan:

Our last piece of FAF is photography plus Photoshoppery, from Ponylov. It’s one of my creations that amuses me the most, Shay’s eye-clock from Pretties:

It appears to be showing five four o’clock, given the angel of the eye and the fact that Shay’s clock runs backwards.

So here’s a mind-bending question for you: Why does Shay’s eye-clock run backward? Yes, it’s partly because pretty fashion is always silly, but there’s also a perfectly reasonable answer. Bubble-headed Tally and Shay never figure out in the books, but I bet you guys can. First correct commenter gets a virtual fist-bump from me.

(UPDATE: Solved in comment 2. But many other good theories have been proposed.)

Okay, that’s it for today. Come back in a fortnight for the all fan-fic Fan Art Fortnightly! Sorry to take so long, but there’s a lot to organize.

In the meantime, those of you in the New York City area should remember that my Book Expo America events are coming up next week! Hope to see some of you there.

Fan Art Friday (mit Musik!)

Hey, all. It’s time for Fan Art Friday (mit musik!). In this edition, we have representative art from the Leviathan, Midnighters, and Uglies series. So all of you must be happy!

First up is Max, who did a school poster project for Leviathan. What kicks that over to awesome is doing it while WEARING A BOWLER:


For Uglies fans, here’s a post-voyage-to-the-Smoke Tally by DolceCircee of Deviant art.


And here’s a Dr. Cable in pencils, by Fanna:


And finally, as a reminder that not all art is visual, let’s have a little music! For all you Midnighters fans, here’s “Wasted Time” by Mel, aka @mindcaster . . .

Okay, my embedding has gone awry, so just go over to YouTube and watch it, okay?

That is all. Please enjoy your weekend festivities.

Fan Art Friday (Updated)

Because of all the requests for fan art, I shall endeavor not to miss any Fan Art Fridays until I go on the Behemoth tour in October. So here are three examples of bootiful art, one being fan, one pro, and the other non-fan, BUT COOL. (Update: Another piece of genuine fan art has been added!)

First we have Bled of Deviant Art with a mangalicious Dess of Midnighters fame. Love the math wallpaper and the all-important safety goggles. (Be safe when you’re weaponizing, kidz!)

Image by Bled.

Next is my birthday greeting from Keith (illustrator of Leviathan, duh), sent to me back in May and not posted here do due to the laziness. I blame the heat.

Image by Keith Thompson.

And finally, a non-fan piece of art that I just happen to find while engaging in some extremely important research. Behold the Clanker-esque kitteh-walker!

Image ganked unattributed . . . from the internets!

If you have fan art, send it!

See you guys later.

And here’s one more piece of fan art from Katie at sophistikatied, celebrating the imminent release of Zombies Vs. Unicorns, the anthology edited by my wife Justine and Holly Black! I have a story in it, and it comes out September 21, 2010.