His Lyrics Are Bottomless...

Jeremy Levett, a good friend of the WOME (that's 'World of Mortal Engines' acronym fans) and my occasional advisor on things that go BANG, has recently turned his hand to Rap. What follows is his take on Fever Crumb, based on the theme-music for The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, (which I'm afraid rather passed under my radar). If you haven't yet read Fever Crumb I should say that it includes spoilers.

Take it away, Jeremy...

Now this is a story all about how
My London started rolling round and round
And I'd like to take a moment, just sit right there
I'll tell you how I got tangled in this Web of Air

Down west of the Barbican, raised and bred
In mad old Godshawk's giant metal head
Chillin', Scriven fearin', engineerin' all cool
And all makin' some paper boys for the council's rule
When an army of nomads, they were up to no good
Started try'na mobilise my neighbourhood
Dr Crumb saw the Skinner mobs and he got scared
He said "you're ridin' in this heat-balloon, up in the air!"

I crashed down by a mono, and when it came near
The armour plate said "Movement" and had Stalkers in the rear
Took me up before Quercus, and I was almost scared
But then he sent me to my mum and she freaked at my hair.

Quirke cruised right into London, left Ted flat as a plate
Cracked a vault full of engines, said he'd make the town great
But when they got London rollin' I wasn't there
Ran off down south to Mayda, now I'm Fever in the air.

Maybe I'll record it one day and pop it up on YouTube. But perhaps not while I still have anything resembling a career. The nice picture of Airhaven is by an illustrator called Kirsty Mordaunt who has done a whole series of pictures based on cities of the WOME. You can see the rest at www.kirstymordaunt.co.uk

Bu the way, if you've been Following this blog, thank you! I've never had followers before, but now I can see how Garibaldi and those fellows got started; it's always very cheering to see a new square pop up in the side bar. More soon, but now I must go and sign and doodle in a big stack of Web of Airs for Anderida Books, who sell collector's first editions.

A Web of Air - The Trailer

A Web of Air should soon be in the shops, and above, as you've probably noticed, is a brand new video trailer which I've had made to mark its arrival. I'd like to claim that it's the first movie I've directed since my old no-budget movie-making days, but I didn't really have that much to do with it; I just handed a bunch of likely looking images to Ian Forster, who designs this blog, and said, "I kind of want this sorta thing..." And here it is, looking much better than anything I could have come up with.

You can see more of Ian's work, and get him to design blogs, websites and trailers for you, by clicking on the link to Graphic Alchemy on the side of this page. The photos in the trailer were mostly taken by Sarah, and there's a brief glimpse of a scary-looking biomechanical tentacle thingy designed by Justin Hill, and another of some cogs and gears drawn by Sam Weber. 'Fever' is being portrayed by Sophia Oppel, a friend of the WOME and daughter of Kenneth Oppel, author of top-notch airship adventures for the discerning reader as well as many other things. If you haven't yet read his book Airborn and its sequels then you probably should; he spins a good tale, and he knows and cares how airships work, unlike certain authors we could mention, hem hem. I should point out that Sophia doesn't really have different colour eyes; Ian did that. (By magic, as far as I can understand.) The trailer should be available on YouTube shortly, so please feel free to pass it on, share it and generally get it noticed by as many people as possible.

To Eastbourne yesterday, and a very enjoyable Book Talk morning organised by Michele and her team at the East Sussex School Library and Museum Service. Pupils from half a dozen schools in the Eastbourne and Lewes area listened to me go burbling on and on about Mortal Engines, A Web of Air and writing in general, and then asked some very good questions, my favourite of which was, "On a scale of one to ten, how ugly is Hester?"

I said that I thought she'd be probably be a seven or eight.

Now That's What I Call a Cover!

Leighton Johns, a digital illustrator based in London, has produced this retro Mortal Engines cover for his portfolio. Like much of his work it's strongly influenced by classic pulp covers and movie posters from the '30s, '40s and '50s. I think it captures the book's tatty sci-fi spirit rather well. If only book jackets still looked like this...