Illustration for ‘Little Lost Soul’

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‘The Forgotten and the Fantastical 2’ stories – ‘Little Lost Soul’. Marija Smits’ tale follows Dr. Yelena Belova, a psychologist and Direktor at the Chernobyl Robotics Facility, as she helps a young woman being physically abused in the facility. What starts as a story of compassion soon becomes a tale of suspicion and doubt that forces the reader to question what it actually means to be human.

Read more from Marija Smits at her online blog. ‘Little Lost Soul’ sits alongside 16 other short stories in ‘The Forgotten and the Fantastical 2’, published by Mother’s Milk Books. Copies are available on their website.

Mr. Shrike Character Design

Mr. Shrike

A piece of character design of one of my favourite literary characters, Mr. Shrike from Philip Reeve’s ‘Mortal Engines’ series. Mortal Engines is set in a future that sees massive cities rolling round on wheels or caterpillar tracks, devouring each other and salvaging metal and other materials in order to survive. It’s a cruel world and the books have possibly the most death I have ever read in a series for children/young adults but they are absolutely brilliant and would recommend them to anyone.

Mr.Shrike is a Stalker, a human resurrected as a robot with no memory of his previous life. Stalkers are programmed to kill specific targets (similar to Terminators I suppose) and really are horrifying creations. Shrike himself wears his preserved original human face as a mask, with his huge luminous green eyes protruding from the eye sockets. In truth he was absolutely fantastic to draw! See some other drawings of him here.