Lethal Seasons, by Alice Sabo

Lethal Seasons by Alice Sabo, cover art by Alex Storer

Final cover artwork.

An early draft of the cover.

Lethal Seasons is author Alice Sabo's first venture into science fiction, having previously published mystery novels. Lethal Seasons is the first book in Sabo's Changed World series, and tells the story of survival in a world ravaged by a deadly virus which returns stronger every year. Read more on Alice Sabo's blog.

Being Alice’s first SF novel, part of the task was to present a cover which clearly represents the genre. In addition to the right visual elements, the cover painting also needed a particular atmosphere. Luckily, I got a lot of inspiration out of just the title itself – Lethal Seasons – it has a certain edge to it, and an underlying sense of menace. With this, I knew straight away the sort of lighting and textures I wanted in the painting.

What was essentially a landscape scene ravaged by climate change, needed that extra science fiction slant, somehow integrating or representing the killer virus that lies at the core of the story. We discussed various ideas of how to integrate a DNA helix into the tornado and other means of including viral elements – which is where the idea of framing the image with cells and particles eventually came from. This went through several revisions, before settling on a subtle blend of virus cells and molecules combined with spatters of blood, for a subtle suggestion of the underlying horror of Lethal Seasons.

The right visual approach with this combination – but I also wanted to extend this into the typography, so the title wasn’t merely text sitting over my painting, but an integrated continuation of the design with the broken molecule lattice and other viral elements contaminating the text.

I also took the visual elements of the cover and created a trailer for the book along with some original music, which can be viewed here.

Lethal Seasons is available now in print and ebook formats from all popular retailers, just about everywhere. Here is the UK Amazon listing.