Model of the 'Shield Wall' of Batmunkh Gompa

Tuesday, July 31, 2018
There's some real talent in NZ, and Graceybones proves it with her vision of the Shield Wall which protects Batmunkh Gompa!

shield wall model mortal engines

Graceybones had this to say on her project:

"Here is one of my finished projects from polytechnic last semester, it's a concept model I designed of the shield wall from the book Mortal engines. Built using laser cutting, 3D printing and kit bashing. Had a blast making it! The book is being made into a movie which is coming out in December, can't wait to see what their wall turns out looking 🤓 I love this stuff! Can you tell?"

We sure can!

shield wall model for Mortal Engines

Ian McQue's draft version of the Mortal Engines cover is AMAZEBALLS

Thursday, July 26, 2018
Draft Mortal Engines book cover by Ian McQue

This is a DRAFT version of the new Mortal Engines book cover by Ian McQue. It is simply superb.

Ronan Rafferty chats about his role as Bevis in ME

Thursday, July 19, 2018
ronan raftery actor

Star on the rise Ronan Raferty has done an interview with MajorSpoilers as part of the promotional rounds for Mortal Engines.

Raferty plays Bevis Pod, a key supporting character that has a lot of heavy lifting to do with Katherine Valentine.

Here's a few quotes from the interview:

Can you talk a little bit about working with Christian Rivers, and what he, as a director, is like and how he’s helping you with your performance and how he’s shooting the movie?

RR: I love working with him. He’s very detailed, very well-prepared, but also quite flexible. He loves ideas in the moment from anybody. It doesn’t really matter. Wherever an idea comes from, if it works for what he’s trying to make it, then it goes in. If it doesn’t, then it doesn’t.

But yeah, obviously, he comes from a more technical background, but he’s incredibly intuitive with every character’s emotional journey and with how actors work and with how the technical side works and how those two aspects of filmmaking have to come together perfectly to make a good film. He’s, I think, a brilliant leader from that perspective.

How closely involved is Peter Jackson and how have you been working with him?
RR: Peter is mostly working on second unit with stunts. So, as I said, I haven’t really gotten to that stage in my film, so I haven’t even been on set with him yet. Yeah, but we talk and he’s obviously one of the writers, so we talk about things like that. And he’s around. On main unit, he’s more of an offset presence on that. His influence is there, of course, but Christian is very much our director and everybody’s loving that.

But it’s great to have someone like Peter as a producer and as a writer, and on second unit, where all of the fun, big stuff that he has kind of made his name with. It’s great to have him on that side of things. I can’t wait. My first day with that is tomorrow, so I’m really looking forward to it.

Leila George mentioned that between Katherine and Bevis there’s kind of a realization about the class structure and how Bevis comes into it with a little more of a chip on his shoulder. How do they kind of learn from each other and cooperate despite that?

RR: Yeah. We do, at it from totally different perspectives, but she’s less aware, I think, at the start of the divisions between the class, and he’s hyperaware. So I mean the influences are there very quickly. Once they both realize that they’re both good people from two different worlds, those barriers, as in the real world, those barriers really do start to fall away.

It’s the only way to get through, to overcome any kind of prejudice is through communication. Absolutely. Yeah. I can’t talk about it because it’s so intuitive to us on set, but I think it’s their bond that allows them to see through each other’s past and the fact that they do become close quite quickly, which makes it not a big leap for us as actors to forget about a lot of that stuff and just begin to focus on the present.

Follow Ronan on Twitter

leila george
Leila George plays Katherine Valentine

Ian McQue's full cover of Night Flights

Tuesday, July 17, 2018
If you've been living under a disused traction wheel, you may gave missed that legendary concept designer and artist Ian McQue has recently drawn new covers for the first four Mortal Engines novels and the new shorty story collection about Anna Fang, Night Flights.

He has now released the full cover art in all its majesty!

night flights cover by Ian McQue

If you've seen the recent Han Solo movie or played Grand Theft Auto, you've probably seen some of Ian's work!

Philip Reeve explains the stories of Anna Fang in Night Flights

Thursday, July 5, 2018
anna fang drawn by ian mcque

Here's author Philip Reeve giving us the inside scoop on how the new short story collection Night Flights came to be - serving as a promotional tie-in for the forthcoming Mortal Engines movie, the novel gives the coolest character in the series a very strong back story.

Over to Philip:

The original idea was just to re-publish an existing story, Traction City, with a lot of new illustrations. But while I was in New Zealand last year I talked to Jihae, who plays Anna in the Mortal Engines movie, and it made me realise we need More Anna Fang. So I thought a group of stories about her, at different points in her life, might be a more interesting idea. It would have been nice to do five or ten, but I was busy writing Station Zero at the time, so I settled on three. 

Here’s a brief description of each. I’ve included some of Ian’s pictures, but only as thumbnails – you really need to see the book to appreciate them in their full glory.


The first of the triptych is the story of how Anna Fang escaped from the slave-holds of Arkangel by building her own airship. It’s a tale which was referenced several times in the Mortal Engines quartet: Anna mentions it to Tom in the first book, and we hear it from Stilton Kael’s point of view in Predator’s Gold. 

But both of them are unreliable narrators who have twisted the facts to reflect better on themselves (or maybe in Anna’s case just to cut a long story short). Now, for the first time, the truth can be told… I’d written and cut various versions of this from various books in the quartet, so it’s nice to find a home for it at last.


An earlier version of this story was published as Traction City, a World Book Day book in the UK back in 2011.  It’s been fairly heavily rewritten to place Anna at the centre of events. 

It’s set about twenty years before Mortal Engines, after Anna’s escape from Arkangel but before she joins up with the Anti-Traction League, and most of the action takes place aboard London, which is dragging itself over what’s left of the Alps in search of fresh prey on the plains of Italy. 

Little do most Londoners realise that they have picked up a very sinister stowaway…


In Mortal Engines, Anna mentions in passing one of her previous missions, to the island of Palau Penang. 

Palau Penang anna fangCombined with an idea that came up while Jeremy Levett and I were brainstorming predator towns for The Illustrated World of Mortal Engines, it sparked off this, the only completely new Mortal Engines story I’ve written since Scrivener’s Moon. Anna is older in this one, much closer to the Anna in Mortal Engines and an intelligence agent for the Anti-Traction League.

One of the problems of working up a throwaway remark into a full-length story is that it shows up the paucity of my original research. Is ‘Palau Penang’ meant to be modern-day Penang? I dunno – it was just the first name that sprang to mind when I was setting up a cheap’n’cheerful raisin/sultana joke, it never occurred to me that I’d be actually setting a story there twenty years later. 

After much fussing over atlases, I decided that it MIGHT be some much-altered future version of Penang and, equally, it MIGHT NOT. (Palau Penang means ‘the island of the areca nut palms’ I think, so it could well have been applied to another island by the time of Mortal Engines.) 

Wherever it is, Anna’s mission there leads her into dangerous waters and an unexpected alliance. Perhaps Anna Needed a reverse osmosis water purifier to make the water safe to swim in?


All these stories are – hopefully – linked seamlessly together by the conceit that they are incidents Anna remembers while stopping at Airhaven on her way west to investigate London’s mysterious movements on the night she first meets Tom and Hester. 

When I was writing Mortal Engines she seemed like an enormously important character, but once I’d trimmed the manuscript down into its final, published form she had surprisingly little page-time. I hope these stories will work on their own for people who may not know Mortal Engines, or know it only from the movie. 

But I also like to think of them as a sort of expansion pack, restoring some of the lost AF backstory which I lopped out twenty years ago. If you’re re-reading Mortal Engines you could try stopping when she first appears, reading Night Flights, and then carrying on, with a bit more of Anna’s background coloured in.

Order Night Flights from Amazon. It's out in the UK now, and North America in September.

Shrike quotes from Mortal Engines

Sunday, July 1, 2018
shrike monster from mortal engines

Quotes by Shrike from Mortal Engines film

Shrike is the man turned into a machine, a killer for hire with more attitude than the Terminator.

The last of the Lazarus Brigade.

With a tragic backstory, Shrike is the ultimate bad guy you can have a wee bit of sympathy for.

Until he impales you with his scissor-like hands of course... but beware, this is no Edward Scissor hands!


Valentine says to an imprisoned Shrike: What happens when you find Hester Shaw? Shrike gravely replies "I will kill her!"

"I release you from your promise"

"You are crying"

"You love him?"

"Hester Shaw! Hester Shaw! Hester Shaw!"

"Shrike: I can remake you, just as I was remade.
Hester Shaw: You're going to kill me?
Shrike: For a little while."
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