‘Herald’ Blog Tour: The Cover Art in Herald
The Cover Art in Herald
The cover art for Herald beautifully depicts a battle in a medieval warehouse. This art was created by Jeff Brown in consultation with author Lee Hunt and publicist Lyda Mclallen. Their goal was to showcase some of the numerous symbols and ideas related to the story. I thought it would be fun to see how many of the symbols and images we could identify and point out their significance to the story.
- Dice, used in teaching heraldry and probability dynamics. The probabilities of most outcomes in the real world are exceedingly difficult to determine. Dynamicists start their training with these simple tools, whose probabilities can be objectively quantified. The dice get used in an unexpected way late in the book.
- Thermometer. Dynamicists use thermometers, not wands. The body temperature of each dynamicist is carefully monitored. A stick is of little physical significance, except in children’s stories, but a thermometer might save your life.
- Ice hook, as used by the Vercors Ice Company. Is there a connection between the numerous ice trucks and dynamics?
- The book, The Lonely Wizard. This story within the story may or may not refer to real events. The Lonely Wizard is a knight and dynamicist of incredible power, but he is emotionally closed and may also be a doomed character. The Lonely Wizard’s mother is sick, and he journeys to see her. Robert, who is an orphan, also has mommy issues. This and other clues indicate that buoyant and optimistic Robert may be on a collision course with the Lonely Wizard.
- A spear with an “e” as its tip. The “e” depicts Euler’s number or the exponential constant, a transcendental number of great mathematical importance. Nimrheal, the god or demon that formerly killed inventors is described as an unkillable transcendental creature, who carried a black spear.
- The delta or change symbol. Also, the symbol for the Laplacian, a differential operator, the sum of the second partial derivatives of a function with respect to x, y, and z in cartesian coordinates. This symbol is used for Eloise’s shield in the cover of all three books in the series.
- Integral symbol, denotes integrals or antiderivatives, done up in the shape of a wizard’s staff. This symbol is in Koria’s hands on all three book covers.
- The words, “Lessingham Transform”, cut off to instead spell “Less Transform” or less change. The theme of change is central to the Dynamicist Trilogy. Also note the chalkboard. Some of Herald takes place in the classroom where mathematics and physics are discussed.
- The Fourier Transform where a series in time or space is transformed into amplitudes of sinusoids and their phase. Certain behaviors related to this transform play out in dynamics.
- Bayes’ Theorem of conditional probability. This theory states that the probability of an outcome should consider not just the degree of belief of a particular observation or experiment but must also account for related evidence.
- Sir Eloise Kyre, an important character in the trilogy, often seen cooperating with Koria. She typically takes on a physical role—she is nearly six and a half feet tall—but is highly intelligent and practical.
- Lady Koria Valcourt, a careful dynamicist with her own secrets. She appears to be the only surviving student from the previous dynamics class. Like Robert, she suffers from heraldic dreams of the future. Unlike him, she tends to act with discretion.
- The Cloaked Man, who may represent Nimrheal or another historical figure. He is the murderous antagonist of Robert’s heraldic dreams and appears to be a powerful dynamicist.
- An aqueduct. The city of Vercors has an extensive system of slow sand filters and aqueducts. Robert’s father may have invented a pump still in use in the aqueduct system of Vercors.
- Stuffed figures, used by the probability dynamicists and later Robert, as he attempts to figure out how to use dynamics for combat. The figures are stuffed with dirt and with the New School’s special breed of grain.
- A Forge. Robert uses a forge in Herald to create entropic weapons that are far superior to normal arms in his world. The technique for this is congruent with the thermodynamic properties of Herald’s magic system and real metallurgic theory.
Lee Hunt has a new fantasy audiobook out in his Dynamicist Trilogy: Herald. And there’s a Giveaway!
Robert thought becoming a dynamicist would enable him to change the world, starting with saving all his friends from being slaughtered. He was wrong.
Acts of genuine creativity used to bring mortal punishment. But now, wizardry is dead and Robert, Koria and Eloise live in a world where change and invention is possible.
Robert hopes that mathematically-framed dynamics will enable him to change the new world. But he keeps having prophetic dreams where his friends are all murdered by a mysterious cloaked man, and the grain protestors are more menacing than ever. They declare dynamics is dangerous and that the changes must stop. They are right about one thing: dynamics is dangerous, especially for someone so hopeful, angry and impetuous as Robert.
Soon Robert’s horrific nightmares come true and a cloaked man appears on campus, stalking and murdering students –his friends are next.
Desperate to change the future, Robert recklessly pushes the bounds of both dynamics and reason. Every crushing failure dampens Robert’s hope for the future and pushes him a step closer to the powerful, nihilistic, and merciless Lonely Wizard.
Would it kill you to create something genuinely new? In Robert’s world, it used to. Supernatural vengeance for invention is now a thing of the past.
Young, optimistic, quick of mind and quick to act, Robert thinks being invited to the New School is an invitation to change the world. But change is difficult when there is no history of innovation.
He is initially successful in his studies, but nothing is as simple as he naively imagines. His classmates confuse and frustrate him. One is a drunk, while another two constantly stalk him. Is it for love or something more sinister?
Robert’s optimism is further tested by protestors who circle the campus, decrying the newly invented breed of grain. They claim it is poison and that the New School should be punished by Nimrheal, the god who formerly murdered inventors. Robert suspects foreign business influences are behind the protests, but he quickly finds that investigating their cause is dangerous.
Robert’s most difficult challenges are his unresolved childhood issues. His mother died while he was a child. Robert’s formative helplessness and inability to remember her face projects into a powerful and blinding protectiveness towards all women. When a campus assault pushes Robert over the edge, his hopes of even staying at the New School are jeopardized. He cannot aspire to change the world if he does not even know himself.
At the same time as Robert struggles on campus, a powerful, ruthless and emotionally closed man known only as the Lonely Wizard journeys across an empty wilderness to return home. As Robert and the Lonely Wizard move closer together, Robert finds that instead of entering a golden era of invention, he may instead be on the brink of a cold war and an endless, unchanging dark age.
Dynamicist (Book 1)
Herald (Book 2)
Knight in Retrograde (Book 3)
Lee is giving away a gift card with this tour:
Davyn’s whistle tore the air again, but someone lunged at him and the big man stumbled and swallowed the thing. He staggered back, choking.
“He is liar!” roared one of the bald, stocky men in his thick accent, pointing at Endicott. “We’ll beat the truth out of him!” He stepped forward and began drawing his sword.
Cyara rallied from her shock. “No one beats anyone here!”
His bald, stocky companion pushed Cyara roughly, and she stumbled backwards into the crowd. This was too much for Endicott. His heart leapt, and without thinking, he grabbed the heavy iron bacon pan and swung it, bacon-outwards, at the thug who had struck Cyara.
Bacon, grease, and pan connected ferociously, and as a unit, with the man’s rotund head, knocking him heels over cartwheeling head to the ground. His sword clattered to the floor. The other bald man came on, lunging with his sword. Endicott turned the blade aside with the pan and tried to step back, but he stumbled over Purple Hat, who was arguing with someone else behind him. The swordsman saw his opportunity and rushed forward, sword raised for an overhead strike, but stopped short with a puzzled look on his fat face. Something had caught hold of his foot. It was Cyara. She had him by the ankle in a surprisingly strong grip.
Endicott struck him in the face with the pan before the swordsman could kick Cyara loose. As his attacker fell back, Endicott looked for Cyara, but she was hidden by a shift in the crowd. Then he saw Davyn. His big friend was surrounded by a group of people who were trying to help him cough out the whistle. Endicott almost laughed and was about to return to the two bald protestors when he was savagely struck on the temple by a blow he did not see.
After having the Last Rights read to him at the age of twenty-five, Lee Hunt came to appreciate the power of catharsis. He was born on a farm with only one working lung but has gone on to become an Ironman triathlete, sport rock climber, professional geophysicist, and writer.
As a scientist, Lee has published close to fifty papers, articles, or expanded abstracts, has been awarded numerous technical awards, and was even sent on a national speaking tour. He enjoys discussing the amorality of science and is useful at parties in explaining the physics of whether fracture stimulation might be a risk to the fuzzy, cuddly things of nature. After 28 years trying to understand the earth as a geophysicist, Lee turned to writing fiction. He now spends time hiking, cycling, floundering in a lake, clinging desperately to a wall, or at his desk trying to write an entertaining story.
Author Website: https://www.leehunt.org/
Author Facebook (Personal): https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100052376555360
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Author Liminal Fiction (LimFic.com): https://www.limfic.com/mbm-book-author/lee-hunt/
Author Amazon: https://www.amazon.ca/kindle-dbs/entity/author/B082YFTMCK
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