Passing through your solar system this March.

Once again I’ve teamed up with the creative and crazy people from The Bolthole on the creation of a new anthology. FAR WORLDS is their third publication, featuring speculative fiction stories spanning the spectrum from hard science fiction to epic fantasy to post-apocalyptic horror.

I feel this is the more challenging piece of artwork I have created for the Bolthole so far. This is the premise for this anthology as conceived by Andrew Aston, one of the editors:

Out in the universe, there is predicted to be millions of planets harbouring sentient life, thousands of civilisations of sapient races, going about their lives; struggling, fighting, maybe loving, having adventures, maybe suffering under dystopian tyrants, or in societies of harmony and peace and complacency. These worlds, due to the nature of the speed of light and relativity, will never meet each other in person across the vast stretches of space, and any messages or signals sent between them wouldn’t reach their destinations for millions of years, long after both civilisations are gone.

The premise of our anthology is themed very specifically towards being an anthology which collects stories from these diverse worlds and settings. Each short story would be a snapshot of that location and time. The only motif linking the stories will be the mysterious Drift Engine; an outwardly-featureless cylinder exactly one kilometre long, and one hundred metres in diameter; a strange wandering machine from some forgotten corner of the universe, travelling the universe, searching out and documenting these settings.

I was asked to include the Drift Engine on the cover, and I personally didn’t want to include anything that would make you think of a specific setting, race or culture. I wanted to transmit something, vast and alien…

The book cover is more or less finished, I just have some things I want to polish and I also have to add a back cover and spine for the print edition – it is all already planned in my head! The final product will keep in line with the previous anthologies I created:

The Black Wind's Whispers

Marching Time

But there is more, Far Worlds will have an illustration per story. We are keeping the style very, very simple, trying to portray a feel for the story on a single image. The illustrations are black and white, solid. I’ll give you a sneak peak of a couple of them:



The Publication date is on March 25, 2014.

A. R. Aston
James Fadeley
J. L. Gribble

“Rainer” by Heidi Ruby Miller
“Anomaly” by Jonathan Ward
“Alone” by Alex Helm
“Shard of Heaven” by Damir Salkovic
“Endaris” by Michael J. Hollows
“The Lost and Found” by Kerri Fitzgerald
“Helzenthrax” by A. R. Aston
“Bequeathal” by K. Ceres Wright
“City Blue” by Edward Smith
“The War Room” by Michael Seese
“A Pelnodan Bounty” by James Fadeley
“Golden Planet” by Evan Purcell
“Salvation Comes” by Simon Farrow

You can find more about the FAR WORLDS anthology on their Facebook page.

P.S. Don’t forget we’re now on Facebook!


Manuel Mesones is a Peruvian graphic designer and illustrator. Running away from the sun, he moved to Yorkshire, England, over a decade ago. His weapon of choice is a ballpoint pen but he is also very keen on digital illustration.


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