Tag Archives: sci-fi

Cover Reveal! — Glitch: Whispers in the Code

Guess what!

Today is the reveal for the cover of Glitch: Whispers in the Code!


There’s several things that coincide with its release (new newsletter specifically for the Distant Horizon universe, updating the cover for Distant Horizon, and the new website for the Distant Horizon universe), so I’m trying to get everything organized. We’ve finished the read-aloud for Whispers in the Code, so all that’s left is formatting. Yay!

In the meantime, I’m proud to present the cover for the first book of the Glitch saga.

SBibb - Rising Sun Cog Divider

Upper YA/NA Sci-Fi with Horror Elements

SBibb - Glitch: Whispers in the Code Book Cover

SBibb - Rising Sun Cog Divider


A haunted airship made from living people…


Nineteen-year-old hacker Tim Zaytsev is a traitor, but he never expected his betrayal would earn him the highest honor among the international community—a place among the Camaraderie’s elite council.


Ushered into a glamorous lifestyle of fancy airships and a chance to use his programming skills to better the world, Tim is assigned the task of finishing their secret Legion Spore project—a living airship made from shapeshifters.


Inside the Legion Spore, dozens of humans have been forcibly hooked to the vessel’s computer, but fragments of their memories reside in the airship’s internal code as glitches. Their faces appear in the walls, and their whispers invade the code of the Camaraderie’s base. Tim’s ability to telepathically connect with computers means that he’s the only one who can make the ship fully functional.


But programming a computer is one thing. Dealing with a haunted, living airship will not only test Tim’s wit, but his sanity. If he can’t learn to trust himself and his abilities, his mind will be trapped in the Legion Spore as just another whisper in the code.

I don’t have store links yet, but in the meantime you can add it to your Goodreads shelf. 🙂

Add Glitch: Whispers in the Code to Goodreads

SBibb - Rising Sun Cog Divider

I hope you enjoyed this post! Stay tuned for updates about the release date and upcoming newsletter. 😀



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Distant Horizon – When Photomanipulation meets Sketchwork

SBibb - Distant Horizon - Bad Memories

Another Distant Horizon based picture. It’s been a while since I’ve done any sort of coloring of sketched art. So, to explain this, I started out by sketching the image with a pencil, then went and did a basic lining of that with a pen. Afterwards, I did some shading work with the pen, then erased the extraneous pencil marks. Once that was done, I photographed the image flat with a flash on my camera and pulled it into photoshop. Did the threshold adjustment to convert it to black and white.

Then I started layering and using clipping modes combined with blending modes and masking to apply textures and coloration. The textures were mostly pulled from pictures I took on a walk downtown earlier in the day. Once that was complete, added the sections around the tank, and blurred the edge a little to give it that dreamlike quality.

Overall I’m pretty happy with this. Granted, it’s not the best, by any means, but since I was experimenting with the technique, I’m not going to complain. And I’m thrilled with how the hand came out. I think it actually looks semi-realistic and pressed to the glass. Yay!

So… now that you know how it’s made, a quick explanation of the picture itself. It’s a scene… rather a couple scenes, in which the main character of my novel I’m working on is caught in a telepathic attack. And she’s imagining she’s in a beastie tank… which turns people into monsters. Long story short. But that memory attack plays back into the story more than once, so I wanted to have a shot at creating an image of the tank.

Anyways, that’s all for now. Done on my laptop with Photoshop CS4 and bridge. And a mouse.

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1000 Words: The Socks Project Continued

Good news! I’ve finally started editing the prequel to “Socks,” one of the short stories from my 1000 Words project. I’m happy to announce that the title will be “Ashes.” I’m currently in the process of planning the cover, which shall be done in similar fashion to Socks, as a way to show they’re related. The difference is that “Ashes” is not restricted to a one thousand words word-length, and is currently closer to 7000 words. I’m planning on self-publishing it and selling it for $0.99 on both Smashwords and Kindle.

So, for a little more information about “Ashes,” it takes place in the time before “Socks,” so you’ll get to see a little more about the bunkers and the world she lives in. It’s also young adult, sci-fi romance. I hesitate to call it dystopian, since it’s not technically a dystopia, but it runs along similar worlds to popular dystopian YA right now (Pandemonium is the one that comes to mind, though I wrote this before reading that book). It is a complete story, however, if people like it, there is room to continue it before the actual “Socks” story begins. As well as room for right afterwards. Granted, it’ll be competing for time with Distant Horizon, the novel my husband and I are working on, but we’ll see how well it’s recieved. 🙂

In the meantime, go check out “Socks” if you haven’t already. It’s available on Smashwords, and best of all, it’s free. 🙂


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Soda Pop Shop/Sci-Fi Photoshoot – Katherine

The moment has arrived! I have new photographic illustrations to show off. This was done with Katherine modeling, and she did a great job doing and portraying what I asked. And the dress fit, two. Definitly helpful (especially when I find the dress I want to use, then find the model, afterward). The theme of this one started out with the idea of doing a Soda Pop Shop or sock hop look. Or really, it came from looking at old Coca Cola Ads and wanting to try to emulate those ads.

So I tried that on a couple of pictures. First one… well… it needed work. So I tried it again using a different pose, and I’m hoping that one captured more of the look and feel of the old ads. Also, thanks to my husband’s grandfather to letting us borrow a time period coke bottle to use. And thanks to McDonalds for having those cool Coca Cola glasses. And funny thing is, I’m not even that big of a soda fan. So there’s my note on the usefulness of finding props that aid in the appearance of time. So yeah, there was my fun experiment with commercial advertising.

Meanwhile, I also did a few images meant more in my usual style of sci-fi, dystopia, and fantasy. And reminder to self… don’t watch MirrorMask right before starting on a manip project. Great movie, awesome effects, but totally messes up how I usually do digital manipulations.

If you’re curious to see the images I’ve just mentioned, take a look at the Flickr Slideshow: http://www.flickr.com/photos/sbibb/sets/72157630562937410/show/

Otherwise, enjoy a few samples here. 🙂

SBibb - Soda Pop Shop

SBibb - Hope In Dystopia

SBibb - Across A Thousand Stars

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“1000 Words” Anthology Available on Kindle and Developing a Novella

I’m almost done with the “1000 Words” posts, really.  🙂  But I thought it’d be worth mentioning that the anthology is now available on Kindle : http://www.amazon.com/1000-Words-Collection-Stories-ebook/dp/B007WMXV6O/ref=sr_1_24?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1335312063&sr=1-24

The paperback version will be available starting this Friday the 27th, assuming that all goes well. It should be available on Amazon and Createspace. At this point in time I’m not doing expanded distribution, since I don’t think it will have the drive needed to pay itself off. The book will be under $10.00, and will include all ten short stories, have special print formatting, and be in full color (hence the price) that includes each of the ten book covers. 🙂

On a side note, I’ve found that I enjoyed putting all this together. So while short stories themselves may not be my thing (I can now focus on my YA novel, yay!), I’m considering writing a collection of short stories that develop into a novella. Reason being, a few reviews I’ve gotten on Smashwords suggested interest in seeing The Hunter or Socks developed into a longer story. While I don’t see The Hunt becoming much longer (unless I get a few short story ideas I decide to develop), I am considering writing Socks into a two or three part novella. That is– write three sections that are approximately 10,000 words (but not strictly linked to that– I learned from this project that’d be a bad idea). Each one would be a complete story, but the whole project would be linked. Each of the three parts would probably cost a dollar or so.

For a quick reminder, Socks is the YA sci-fi romance short story I wrote for “1000 Words.” It has hints of dystopia, and can be found free on Smashwords if you’re curious to see which one I’m talking about: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/154150

So if you guys are interested in seeingSocksdeveloped into a novella, please bring up your thoughts and comment. That way I know if it’s worth dividing my time between it and the YA novel I’m working on. 🙂

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Self-Publishing “1000 Words” – Socks

The last “1000 Words” short story, Socks, is now available on Smashwords. It’s young adult themed, mostly sci-fi romance with a hint of a dystopian background. I say a hint because they’re never actually in a dystopian society, but it was in the back of my mind when I wrote it. Needless to say, I had an interesting time working on the cover. It didn’t like me.

First of all, I wanted a pair of socks on the cover, one of the elements in the story. So I decided to make it plain and simple, aiming for something like the cover of Matched. Only, if you think about it, that cover isn’t really simple. Clean, yes. Not simple. (Awesome book, by the way, if you like dystopias and romance).

So I did up a pair of socks to look like the ones in the story, threw it on a white background, used a grungy text in watermelon pink to match the coloring. Too plain (as you can see below).

 SBibb - Socks Cover In-Progress

So then I decide to do a soft background, one with an industrial or city look and a grungy texture over it. Ah-ha! Awesome! I showed it to a few people… who pointed out that socks would do nothing to sell the story, especially considering that it was pink… and looked nothing like a dystopia. (Nevermind that at this point I realized the story isn’t dystopia. It’s sci-fi, maybe post-apocalyptic, but not dystopia). I was disappointed, since I thought the cover was well done… until someone else pointed out that it looked like a children’s book.

Well… rats.

As you can see below… it doesn’t fit the market.

 SBibb - Socks Cover In-Progress

So I tried again. Borrowed from the background, grabbed a couple pictures of people, did some more tweaking… and hated the cover. Didn’t look right, wasn’t going well at all, and I needed to be formatting the print version of “1000 Words,” not fiddling with covers.

 SBibb - Socks Cover In-Progress

Finally, I tried again. I borrowed the original background and softened it. Found a picture of a girl in my stock, tried to give it that sci-fi dystopia look. Made it kind of ambiguous. Image was kind of soft, so I played with that more in my favor. Added text… no socks this time, and didn’t make it pink. Played on the gray, grungy look. Liked the title being center, and added a bar running behind it.

 SBibb - Socks Cover

I actually like this cover. Now the only problem is that it looks military sci-fi/dystopian… when the story is sci-fi romance (in a post-apocalyptic world). *Sigh.* Well, it works for the point of showing cover art, but if I had more time, I’d try again. Maybe a couple teens laying back on a grassy hill, overlooking the destruction of the city. A nice, opening scene. And in the gray sky, “Socks” would be written in the clouds.

Why didn’t I think of this three days ago? Now I know I need to get more couple stock photos.

So there you have it. The process behind the cover art for Socks. What did I learn? You can make a cover you like, but if it doesn’t look the genre, you’re still going to have problems.

Read Sockfor free on Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/154150

Up next: I’m working on revamping sbibbphoto.com, where I’ll split it into two sections. One will be for “real world” photography, while the other will be for book covers and illustrations. Also, I’ll soon be announcing the release date for the print version of “1000 Words,” and I’m currently in the process of formatting it for an eBook.

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Self-publishing “1000 Words” – Aenima

When I went to create the book cover for Aenima, one of my “1000 Words” short stories, I had a sketch in mind. I wanted the upper half of a winged lady, with a pair of wings framing her and shaped with cogs.

That didn’t exactly happen.

I did manage to get a picture of cogs that I needed, thanks to my fiance for finding the cog while out on his dad’s farm, and I had the pictures I wanted for the lady. But I ran into issues of developing it into the actual cover. Finally I compromised. The wings are present (though looking like butterfly wings), and I managed to incorporate cogs into the picture without actually having them on the wings. Of course, right after I published the short story on Smashwords and starting writing this post, it hit me that the wings in the story are neither bird nor butterfly wings, but dragonfly wings. *Sigh.* Amazing, how I didn’t catch that, even as both the author and the illustrator.

Of course, once I tried putting the text on the image, I realized that spacing did not want to work well for text placement. And I had a horrible time with the font itself. Thankfully, I was directed to look at dafont.com for potential fonts, and found the lovely “Steamwreck” was commercially usable, and free. Yay! (Since then, I have been directed to a font site that allows people to download 10,000 fonts for $20.00. And they’re commercially usable. Not all are suitable for book cover designing, but still… it’s been helpful.) So I finally took the main image and made it smaller, then reused the background, changed the border color, and added little cogs around the text itself.

Overall, I’m pleased with it. I like the book cover image than the “Lady In Cogs” image by itself.

Aenima on Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/152094

SBibb - Aenima Book Cover

So now, for a quick update:

Since uploading The Dreamkeeper yesterday, it’s had 42 downloads. The other stories still have a few downloads trickling in, though I’m not sure if that’s due to uploading more stories, or to people finding them on thier own. The Carrier has done the best job so far of still being downloaded. Shafted Dreams is having the least success. I will be interested in seeing if they continue to be downloaded once the project is complete, or if downloads will slow down. Since everything’s free, price is not a factor.

I’m considering uploading a couple other short stories I wrote (longer ones) once I complete this project, and actually pricing them to see if it makes a difference, and if those are actually purchased. Plus I’ll have the anthology version, which will cost money, however, all the “1000 Words” short stories will remain free, at least for the time being. That way, if anyone wants to support me, they can, but no one has to.

I’ve just completed another cover for one of the stories I need to write, and I’ve written a sci-fi romance story to add to the project. This means that I have two stories to edit, two stories to write, and four covers to design.

You can find my latest short story, Aenima, at Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/152094


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