It’s So You Created a Wormhole‘s United Kingdom release day. We’re very excited, primarily because we have a UK representative on the Wormhole team — Aled Lewis, the book’s illustrator. Working with Aled was kind of spectacular; he’s a phenomenal artist, and what’s more, he knew exactly what weirdness we were talking about, every single time we gave started talking weirdness at him.
The search for an illustrator was one of the early components of the book after we got our contract, but it still took a while to find the right person for the job. In the meantime, co-writer best friend Nick and I had been envisioning an illustrated guidebook akin to The Boy Scout Handbook since the original conception of the book. A lot of stuff in time travel needs illustration, and easily some of the funniest stuff in the book is in the graphics, not the prose.
Still, we had no idea what any of these illustrations would actually look like in practice as we were working on the first draft of the manuscript. Occasionally we’d hit on a funny idea or run into a concept we figured needed illustration as we were working, and so we’d leave ourselves a note. Something like, “[Fig 3.1 — Spaghettification]” or “[Fig 6.1 — McFly stiff-arming his mom]”.
When we finally linked up with Aled through our friends at iam8bit, who had worked with him before, we’d already seen a lot of his work. He was obviously on the same frequency as we were in terms of pop culture and sci-fi tropes. So we started feeding him our illustration notes, which were generally haphazard and weird. I remember trying to explain one illustration from the space-faring future section of the survival guide. It was meant to be a guide to aliens, with a number of different species appearing at a bar. My explanation was feeble — “throw some aliens around a bar, like Mos Eisley — here’s a list” was basically the way we explained it.
Here’s the result:
Spot-freaking-on. It’s ridiculous, really, how often Aled hit exactly the mark we were looking for and surpassed our original ideas with his execution. The illustrations in Wormhole are awesome, and it’s all thanks to him.
So if you haven’t checked out Aled’s work, whether in Wormhole or elsewhere, you really should. His website, aledlewis.com, has a ton of great work on it — some of it pop-culture inspired, some of it inspired by video games, all of it awesome. He also had a ton of work available as clothing from Threadless. It’s awesome.
If you’re in the UK, then Wormhole should be available wherever you might go to buy books where you live.