The first ‘Diamond Roads’ novel is a story of two sisters: Charity (the blonde on the left) and Ursula (on the right). They are sisters, although Charity is adopted and does not know who she is; instead, she lives her life vicariously via the outrageous ‘People’s Princess’ Ursula, who is the celebrity face of the most powerful company in the world.
I love how the sisterly aspect is suggested by the similarity of the face shapes, even though their colouring and facial structures are very different. Charity sees Ursula as perfection, reflected in Ursula’s mathematically precise hairstyle, and the embodiment of desirability, hinted by the fact that Ursula doesn’t appear to be wearing anything, while Charity’s outfit runs all the way up her neck. Charity’s hair is messy and she has an inexplicable but wholly natural tan, which is unusual for blondes. All people are contradictory, but Charity more than most, implied by these unusual contrasts.
The background is great as well. It could be data or it could be buildings. ‘Diamond Roads’ is set in Diamond City, a vast underground construction housing what could be the last of humanity, although we don’t find out what happened to cause this state of affairs. Diamond City’s technology is so advanced you can grow whatever you want out of the floor, and the pattern has a hint of nanotechnology as it stretches up towards what could be the moon, but is really the corporate logo (the same one in Ursula’s eye in the book cover).
The font up the left is an old favourite; there’s a 1970s feel about it that’s wholly apt; science fiction in the 70s was fabulously weird, from obviously far-out stuff like ‘Solaris’ and ‘Soylent Green’ to the Tattooine sequences in ‘Star Wars’, inspired by the ever-otherworldly ‘Dune’. All of those influences were channelled into ‘Diamond Roads’.
Check out the artwork for ‘The Outer Spheres’ by the same artist here
Buy ‘Sons of the Crystal Mind’ here