For various reasons Mortal Engines and its three sequels (orThe Predator Cities Quartet, as they are now collectively called) have been unavailable for the past couple of years in the U.S.A. During that time I’ve had lots of e-mails and facebook queries from American readers wondering how they can get their hands on them.
Now, at long last, I can give them an answer which doesn’t involve second hand copies or expensive imports, because in June 2012 Scholastic will be releasing these snazzily-jacketed new paperbacks:
There’s an interesting disjuncture between the first two and the last two covers (though maybe that’s a reflection of the books themselves). The first two echo the heavily decorative, steampunk-y covers of the US editions of Fever Crumb and A Web of Air, which is fine (the U.S Fever Crumb (right) is one of my favourite covers ever) but I think Infernal Devices and A Darkling Plain are a great new approach, full of atmosphere and detail, and hinting at the landscapes and action within. And I love the way that the symbols which David Wyatt designed for the Lost Boys and the Green Storm have found their way onto the Limpet’s nose and the controls of that flying machine…
I guess that, as books which are nearly ten years old, the Predator Cities Quartet may not be piled high on booksellers’ front tables, or widely advertised, but they should be available from bookstores and all the usual online sellers as of next week. Please spread the word!
NOTE: This post dates from June 2015, and is just here for historical interest – assuming anyone is interested in the history of the Mortal Engines series. The Era of the Crap UK Covers is over now, and the original cover illustrations by David Frankland have been restored. However, this was how I tried to make the best of a bad situation back in 2015…
There are some changes coming to the world of Mortal Engines. As of next month the original quartet will be re-launched in the UK with new covers, and a new series title: PREDATOR CITIES. Here are what the new versions will look like:
The covers are certainly an improvement on the previous ones, which had no illustrations at all. Personally I far prefer the original covers or the David Wyatt ones, but I’m heaven knows how old and I guess these are aimed at, y’know, the kids… The Bookzone For Boys blog has a very generous assessment of them, and some interesting responses from young readers, here.
The Predator Cities series title is a good move, I think, and this is a good time to make the change as the series will be re-published in the USA next month, too (with yet more new covers, which I’ll post here shortly). If I’d set out to write more than one book when I started Mortal Engines I expect I would have come up with a series title back then, and perhaps it has been a handicap to the books that they didn’t have one. Also, it was always my intention that theFever Crumb books would be a separate series with a slightly different feel, so it makes sense to split them off from Predator Cities. Perhaps the Fever books will end up with a series title of their own one day.
(Of course, the chances of me actually remembering to call them Predator Cities after thinking of them as The Mortal Engines Quartet for ten years, are minimal.)