Massive shout to Darby for allowing FFA the opportunity to help reveal the cover for his upcoming novel, Black Market Heart (Eververse #4).
\If you are unfamiliar with the series, I have provided the series blurb and link (click on the covers below) for your perusal.
“Harn’s entertaining debut uses super powers as a metaphor to delve into class politics in an alternate America.” – Publisher’s Weekly
Fifty years ago, an alien ship crashed in Break Pointe. Cosmic radiation gave some superhuman powers. A fearful world bound their abilities in the law. Now, a hero comes with a price.
Not everyone can afford them.
Kit Baldwin only wants to make ends meet. When she finds the alien’s long-lost power source, she fuses with it, becoming The Ever. She uses her power to stand her city up, even as others try to tear it down.
Beginning with the Self-Published Science Fiction Contest Quarterfinalist Ever The Hero, this acclaimed series explores the hard choices and bitter truths inherent in the fight over what is owed and to whom.
A Note from the Author
Black Market Heart is the most complicated book in the Eververse so far, and the cover features arguably the most complicated figure in the series. The Interdictor appears in the first book, Ever The Hero, as the apparent villain. He allows an airplane, Flight 347, to crash because the city it took off from hadn’t paid its dues to the company he works for. Great Power sells superhuman services for a fee, but if you can’t pay, you get nothing.
But it’s not that simple, and neither is he.
The defining visual aspect of The Interdictor’s costume is his chains. Unlike other traditional superheroes who might wear a cape or a cowl, he wears thick, heavy chains that symbolize his protest for something called the Empowered Registration Act. This law regulates superhuman activity so that these fantastic powers can only be used for contracted means.
Ostensibly, this is to prevent the Empowered from simply running amok. But the law has the net effect of creating a class system in which only those of means can afford these modern-day gods. It also creates a class in the Empowered themselves, making them in some way subservient to the law, and to people who have no superhuman abilities of their own.
The Interdictor’s chains are a key element on the cover, wild and almost tangled like the mysterious vine in the background. This symbolizes for me his conflicted nature. Though he’s the strongest man alive, invulnerable in many respects, he cannot act. Many see him as a villain for allowing the plane to crash, but just as many hold him as a hero for reinforcing the law. What he really thought he was doing lies at the heart of the book. The cover I think reflects his tangled, twisted nature, as well as his strength and commitment to freeing himself.
This further complicates because The Interdictor is seeking magic to replace his missing (literal and maybe figurative) heart in the book. If people look closely at the cover, the green magical energy emanating from his hand also forms a kind of chain. The more he tries to embody the agency he espouses, the more entangled he becomes in forces beyond his control. I enjoy what the cover reflects, and I hope that readers find it intriguing.
The Kickstarter pre-launch page is live! Interested readers can click on the Notify Me button to follow the campaign. All support is greatly appreciated! Here is the campaign page:
Black Market Heart is exclusive to the campaign until the retail release in late 2024, so if you want to get the deluxe hardcover, as well as the paperback and eBook versions early, this is your ticket. You can also get the entire Eververse series – all four books to date – in hardcover *ONLY* in the campaign.
The Interdictor searches for his heart. It may cost him his soul.
Nathan Regan thought himself a god, but a battle with a powerful sorceress left him a heartless zombie. When his father draws him into his growing ambitions in the criminal underworld, The Interdictor discovers a possible escape from his cold hell: sling magic. The Interdictor seeks sling magic’s source, leading him to encounters with undead gangs and strange dimensions. He discovers Conundra, a powerful street witch, and a shocking truth. The free use of sling magic erodes the tenuous barrier between the practical and the magical, threatening to destroy both worlds. With existence in the balance, The Interdictor can prove himself the hero he imagines, or the villain others perceive.
“You’d be mistaken thinking this is merely a supervillain story. It’s science fiction full of heart – even when The Interdictor has lost his.” – Al Hess, author of World Running Down
About the Author
Darby Harn is the author of Stargun Messenger, an SPSFC Quarterfinalist, and Ever The Hero, which Publisher’s Weekly called ‘an entertaining debut uses super powers as a metaphor to delve into class politics in an alternate America.’ His fiction appears in Strange Horizons, Interzone, and elsewhere.