“Covers? Plural?” you ask.
“Yes!” we reply, archly. But then, before you stomp off in high dudgeon*, we explain…
SmartYellow™ has a strikingly plain, almost stark, front cover as you can see below. Author J.A. Christy wanted a reader to see the book and imagine it to be coated in yellow powder, with the fingerprint suggesting that they might themselves become contaminated with the SmartYellow™ if they pick it up.
Perhaps that’s a sales pitch not best designed to encourage a hesitant reader to look at the book! But it’s very appropriate for the world of SmartYellow™, as a reader would soon discover. But beyond that, we wanted to give any brave would-be reader a reward for actually picking up the book and turning it over… so, perhaps a bit radically, we asked artist Leosaysays to produce some relevant artwork for the back cover. He did us proud with a fantastic rendition of the Hill Farm estate where most of the action takes place.
As it says on the back, SmartYellow™ offers a worryingly plausible and chilling glimpse into an alternate Britain. For the sake of order and for the benefit of more fortunate members of society, those seen as socially undesirable are marked with SmartYellow™, making it easier for them to be controlled and maintained in a state of fruitless inactivity. Writer, J.A. Christy, turns an understanding and honest eye not only onto the weak, who have failed to cope with life, but also onto those who ruthlessly exploit them for their own ends. At times tense and threatening, at times tender and insightful, SmartYellow™ is a rewarding and thought-provoking read.
Exploring themes of social inequity and scientific responsibility, J.A. Christy’s first speculative fiction novel leads her heroine Katrina to understand how probability, hope and empathy play a huge part in the flow of life and are absent in the stagnation of mere survival. As readers we also start to question how we would know if the power of the State to support and care for the weak had become corrupted into the oppression of all those who do not fit society’s norms.
SmartYellow™ will be available in digital formats in August and in print in November.
* I’ve often wondered why dudgeon is always high… and conversely therefore, what would low dudgeon be like?