Ghost Talkers is a new novel from fantasy author Mary Robinette Kowal featuring the mysterious spirit corps and their heroic work in World War I. We are delighted to be hosting the reveal of the exquisite book trailer, made with paper cut animation by Rebecca Celsi along with super cool notes from the artist and the author on its creation.
Ginger Stuyvesant, an American heiress living in London during World War I, is engaged to Captain Benjamin Hartshorne, an intelligence officer. Ginger is a medium for the Spirit Corps, a special Spiritualist force.
Each soldier heading for the front is conditioned to report to the mediums of the Spirit Corps when they die so the Corps can pass instant information about troop movements to military intelligence.
Ginger and her fellow mediums contribute a great deal to the war efforts, so long as they pass the information through appropriate channels. While Ben is away at the front, Ginger discovers the presence of a traitor. Without the presence of her fiancé to validate her findings, the top brass thinks she’s just imagining things. Even worse, it is clear that the Spirit Corps is now being directly targeted by the German war effort. Left to her own devices, Ginger has to find out how the Germans are targeting the Spirit Corps and stop them. This is a difficult and dangerous task for a woman of that era, but this time both the spirit and the flesh are willing….
On Sale August 16, 2016 / Published by Tor Books
The Art – by Rebecca Celsi
This project was fascinating to work on for me, since it was my first historical themed animation and required me to work with a lot of themes and materials I hadn’t worked with before. I loved working with the period characters, costumes, and textured backgrounds, as well as the unique supernatural elements. The handcrafted style of animation fits perfectly in with the story of personal triumphs and journeys. Above all, I loved working with characters that I knew had full stories of their own, besides what I showed on screen.
Rebecca Celsi is a sixteen-year-old artist, animator, and designer. She creates freelance animations, several of which have been featured in film festivals across the country, as well as commissions. She attends Grant High School in Portland, Oregon where she is an avid music, science, and design student.
From Mary Robinette Kowal:
Last summer when I was thinking about a book trailer for GHOST TALKERS, I wanted something that reflected the ephemeral nature of Spiritualism and also felt older in style. Fortunately, I had a friend who did cut paper animation, so last summer I asked Rebecca Celsi if she would animate it.
She was fifteen years old.
I’ve known Rebecca Celsi since she was born, and as a side benefit from that, have gotten to see her growth as an artist. She’s not just a good animator, she understands narrative structure, and honestly—one of the most professional artists I’ve ever worked with.
The most difficult thing about this process has been sitting on the images she’s sent me from her work in progress. Just her storyboards and thoughts made me squee with delight.
As a result, my input was able to be really, really minimal, which is exactly what you want when you’re hiring someone. I sent her the voice over to cut the film to, and then when she sent me the finished trailer, I handed it to my audio engineer, Andrew Twiss, who put music to it and did the final balance.
Other than those two bits of adult interaction, everything you’re seeing was designed, animated, and edited by the incredibly talented Rebecca Celsi. Make sure you also check out her website. http://www.studioatticproductions.com/
MARY ROBINETTE KOWAL is the author of The Glamourist Histories series of fantasy novels. She has received the Campbell Award for Best New Writer, three Hugo awards, and the RT Reviews award for Best Fantasy Novel. Her work has been nominated for the Hugo, Nebula and Locus awards. Her stories appear in Asimov’s, Clarkesworld, and several Year’s Best anthologies. Mary, a professional puppeteer, also performs as a voice actor, recording fiction for authors such as Seanan McGuire, Cory Doctorow and John Scalzi. She lives in Chicago with her husband Rob and over a dozen manual typewriters. Visit maryrobinettekowal.com
Courtesy of the publisher, we have one hardcopy of Ghost Talkers to giveaway. Use the form below to enter and good luck!