GIGANTIC by Ashley Stokes (COVER REVEAL)
We’re delighted to be back at Fantasy Hive to reveal the fantastic cover for our upcoming novel Gigantic, by Ashley Stokes.
“I wasn’t sure you would get this far, so thanks a million already. You opened the mystery bag… Inside the bag, along with this letter, is a dossier that describes the whole story.”
Kevin Stubbs is a Knower. He knows life hasn’t always treated him fairly. He knows he wants to be allowed access to his son again. But most of all, he knows that the London Borough of Sutton is being stalked by a nine-foot-tall, red-eyed, hairy relict hominid – the North Surrey Gigantopithecus.
Armed with a thermal imaging camera (aka the Heat Ray), a Trifeld 100XE electromagnetic field reader (aka the Tractor Beam), and his trusty comrades in the GIT (aka the Gigantopithecus Intelligence Team), Kevin sets out to prove that the Gartree-Hogg footage from Sutton Cock is real, and that a British Bigfoot is living in suburban London: FACT.
But what he discovers undermines everything he believes in – and forces Kevin to face up to his own failures, and the very real, very scary prospect that he might have got it all terribly wrong.
“A very funny account of cryptozoological shenanigans. It’s not often these days that I laugh out loud when reading a book, but this one is rich with brilliant comic moments. Loved it.” – Gareth E. Rees, author of Unofficial Britain.
Here’s what Ashley had to say:
“I am absolutely thrilled that Gigantic now has such a super-massive-falling-star of a cover courtesy of Nicolas Ruston and Vince Haig. Gigantic – with its story of obsessive bigfoot hunters in suburban Surrey – is a pretty unusual novel. I was keen for it to have a jacket that reflected the way it straddles the line between horror and comedy, and for it to avoid obvious images like a gurning apeman or the outline of a massive footprint. Here, I love the way the figure at the top left looks vulnerable and tentative, rather than brash or sinister. The way Nicolas has him cast tree trucks as shadows reminds me of classic 70s horror film posters, like The Omen, where Damian’s shadow is the shape of a dog. The tomato-red colour scheme also grabs something of Kevin, the narrator’s desperate insistence and clamouring drive. Vince has also arranged these parts expertly in slants and alignments to present what I hope suggests a journey into a hidden world with secret histories and the promise of revelation.”
Nicolas Ruston, cover artist:
“I created the original cover art for Ashley Stokes brilliant new novel Gigantic as a large scratch-painting, using a technique I’d developed where thin layers of gloss are applied followed by globs of masonry paint. Then the image is scratched out using knives and surgical instruments, in this case, for added intensity, I also over-painted much of the surface with generous amounts of oil paint.
The sloped shouldered silhouette is Kevin, the anti-hero of this tragic tale. I wanted to capture Kevin’s grandiose sense of the thing he seeks, a yeti that possibly only exists because of Kevin’s obsession.
His sprawling shadow incorporates the forests of Surrey, where a Yeti sighting triggered the final days of Kevin’s long quest. I set out to blend the stuff of folklore with a tongue-in-cheek satire on the sensationalism of sci-fi b-movie posters, to capture and fuse something dramatic with something pathetic.”
Gigantic will be published by Unsung Stories on 30th August 2021. Available to pre-order from:
Ashley Stokes is a writer based in the East of England. He is the author of The Syllabus of Errors (Unthank Books, 2013) and Voice (TLC Press, 2019), and edited the Unthology series and The End: Fifteen Endings to Fifteen Paintings (Unthank Books, 2016). His recent short fiction includes ‘Subtemple’ in Black Static; ‘Hardrada’ in The Shadow Booth: Vol. 4; ‘Evergreen’ in BFS Horizons 11; ‘Yellow Haze’ in Strands Literary Hub; ‘Two Drifters’ in Unsung Stories; and ‘Black Lab’ in Storgy. His stories have also appeared in Bare Fiction, The Lonely Crowd, the Warwick Review and more.