the Little Red Reviewer

Cover Reveal! The Gossamer Mage by Julie Czerneda

Posted on: November 20, 2018

Hello!  Have I got a treat for you today!  I have the honor of showing you the gorgeous cover art for Julie Czerneda’s forthcoming fantasy novel The Gossamer Mage!    (Oh, you’ve read her Esen books? And her Species Imperative trilogy? And the Clan Chronicles?  Best surprise ever:  She writes fantasy too!)

Today is a trifecta of awesome:  A guest post from Julie about The Gossamer Mage‘s  journey, and an excerpt from the novel, and of course, the cover reveal!  and seriously, this is some freakin’ gorgeous cover art!  (Click here for pre-order info)

about the book:

Only in Tananen do people worship a single deity: the Deathless Goddess. Only in this small, forbidden realm are there those haunted by words of no language known to woman or man. The words are Her Gift, and they summon magic.

Mage scribes learn to write Her words as intentions: spells to make beasts or plants, designed to any purpose. If an intention is flawed, what the mage creates is a gossamer: a magical creature as wild and free as it is costly for the mage.

For Her Gift comes at a steep price. Each successful intention ages a mage until they dare no more. But her magic demands to be used; the Deathless Goddess will take her fee, and mages will die.

To end this terrible toll, the greatest mage in Tananen vows to find and destroy Her. He has yet to learn She is all that protects Tananen from what waits outside. And all that keeps magic alive.


photo credit: Roger Czerneda Photography


About the author:

For over twenty years, Canadian author/ former biologist Julie E. Czerneda has shared her curiosity about living things through her science fiction, published by DAW Books, NY. Julie’s written fantasy too, the first installments of her Night’s Edge series (DAW) A Turn of Light and A Play of Shadow, winning consecutive Aurora Awards (Canada’s Hugo) for Best English Novel. Completing her Clan Chronicles series with To Guard Against the Dark, Julie’s latest SF novel is Search Image, Book #1 of The Web Shifter’s Library, featuring her beloved character Esen the Dear Little Blob. Julie’s edited/co-edited numerous anthologies, including SFWA’s 2017 Nebula Award Showcase, but nothing prepared her for the sheer joy of opening her Clan Chronicles to fans of the series to produce Tales from Plexis, out this December. In 2019, Julie will be GOH at ConStellation, Lincoln, Nebraska. Meanwhile, Julie is hard at work on fantasy standalone The Gossamer Mage, out August 2019. Visit for more.

Magic?  Forgotten languages?  The high cost for doing magic correctly, and the higher costs for doing it wrong? Shut up and take my money! Good thing I’ve got an excerpt to share with you! (excerpt is images, may take a moment to load)


Here’s what the author herself has to say about this book’s incredible journey:

The Gossamer Mage is a story I began in 2008. It came to life because Eric Flint invited me to write my first novella, only to stipulate it be fantasy.

Pardon? At that point, I’d only written a few short fantasy stories. A Turn of Light was a far off dream (out in 2013) and I was in the midst of writing science fiction (the Stratification trilogy).

I’d no fantasy concept and was about to decline. Ah, but I did have my Lee Valley Tools  catalogue. The descriptions of each item is lovingly written, often funny, and always informative. One item caught my fancy that winter. A pen set. A dip pen, no less. I gobbled up words: ferrule, shoulder, nib, tip, and more.

Then imagined writing magic.

Literally. A mage with a dip pen, who wrote words and poof! stuff appeared. Living stuff. Sometimes, willful magical stuff. At terrible cost…

To my chagrin, and Eric’s satisfaction, I’d a story for him after all. It was published in Baen’s Universe that year as “The Gossamer Mage: Intended Words” and received an Honourable Mention in the Year’s Best from the late, great Gardner Dozois–who told me later it would have been among his best, had it not ended like the start of a novel.

Well, yes. That’d be my fault. I was half done with the novella when I realized the depth of my love for this story and characters. How important it felt. How much more I wanted to do with it. I put on the brakes, told Eric sorry, and showed what I had to Sheila Gilbert of DAW Books. She bought The Gossamer Mage, assuring me there was no reason I couldn’t go ahead and finish my promised novella. I did, happily knowing there’d be more.

The other thing I knew was that Mage would be a test of skills I didn’t have ten years ago. How to write a novel-length fantasy would be the big one. Granted, a smidge excessive to practice by writing a big one, A Turn Of Light  topping 275K words, but hey, you learn by doing. At last I felt ready.

Be warned. The Gossamer Mage isn’t A Turn of Light. There’s no pie or noble toads. Mage is dark, dangerous, and unsettling.

The Gossamer Mage strikes at the heart of what magic is, why we crave it –

And if we dare write it at all.


And now, it is my pleasure to reveal the gorgeous cover art for Julie Czerneda’s The Gossamer Mage, available August 2019.


This beautiful cover art was designed by  Katie Anderson.



Don’t you just love it!?






16 Responses to "Cover Reveal! The Gossamer Mage by Julie Czerneda"

It’s gorgeous! Thanks for hosting the reveal. Julie, I can’t wait!


This sounds amazing! And a simply gorgeous cover, thanks for sharing, Andrea😊


Totally different style cover art for you! Nicely done, Katie Anderson. I am intrigued, after seeing how you got dark (imo) with Trade Pact, how you do dark to fantasy.


Are you now….muhahhahhaaa
Thanks! It’s a great look and definitely accurate to the story.


Intriguing! I look forward to the read. Love the cover.


Ooooh. That is very nice! Looking forward to reading it.


I hope you’ll enjoy!
(Maybe even become a favourite.)


Yes, I DO love it; the cover and the concept. I didn’t see that novella, all the better for me to submerge myself in this book – just preordered – when it is available. Sounds like another good one, Julie. Thank you!


::beams:: Delighted you’re looking forward to it, Richard. The responses here have been most inspiring!


Ooh, this sounds like just my cup of tea.


Oh, what a beautiful cover! And what an awesome premise! I can’t wait to read this!! 😀


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some of the books reviewed here were free ARCs supplied by publishers/authors/other groups. Some of the books here I got from the library. the rest I *gasp!* actually paid for. I'll do my best to let you know what's what.
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