BE ORIGINAL and BE AWESOME
Respect other designers' art and creative concepts, including the pictures linked on Pinterest.
Copycat designs of artwork that we have rated highly will not be considered. Be awesome instead.
WHY TITLED "YELLOW TAG"?
Re the book cover, the image of an actual tag is NOT important (and possibly confusing). Pretend the title is "Defective" rather than "Yellow Tag" when considering artwork.
Defective items in the ship are "tagged" with a yellow, orange or red tag to alert the user they aren't operating properly. See attached excerpts for more info.
A yellow tag means "restricted use" - ie the item is only safe for some uses or in some circumstances. The space suit Conroy wears while outside the ship's hull is yellow-tagged, so he calls it Mr Yellow Tag. Due to constant malfunctions of ship systems, he says towards the end "the whole ship needs to be yellow-tagged".
Conroy is physically injured, and his mental state is dysfunctional at times, so you could say he needs to be yellow-tagged too.
Most of the action occurs on the outside of the hull of a spaceship. It is a survey ship, sent a very long way into space to conduct mineral surveys for future mining. The ship is closely orbiting a very hot and dangerous star that has large and frequent solar flares with high radiation levels. The ship is constantly rolling (like a log in the water) so that one side doesn't heat up too much by facing the star for too long.
The main character, Conroy, exits the ship to urgently repair part of the hull. He uses a defective (yellow-tagged) space suit which forces him to stay on the shaded side of the ship, out of the star's light/heat/radiation. As the ship is rolling, this means he must constantly keep moving to stay shaded.
Conroy is injured (lower left leg is crushed) while outside. After his injury, he can't move fast enough to stay in the shade. He has to endure his injury, the pain, and the blinding light and heat of the star to try and get back inside the ship. From his location on the hull, it appears as if the star rises and sets over the hull every few minutes (in reality the ship is rolling and the star is still).
Due to airlock door malfunctions, he has great difficulty getting back inside the ship, and when he does, finds that he is not safe inside either.
Doors feature strongly throughout the book (especially exterior airlock doors which Conroy unsuccessfully tries to enter). Doors prevent him from getting back inside the ship (for mysterious reasons), and once inside, become a threat to him.
We've pasted some small sections of the book into a PDF, attached further below. 6 pages total. The text in the PDF is near-final and provides actual content re the "tags", the ship's description, the star and its effect on Conroy.
We've attached a Wordle word cloud of the 100 most common words in the book. The larger the word in the cloud pic, the more common it is in the book.
THEMES IN THE BOOK
Pain - emotional & physical
Family - father & son (in Conroy's memories, his son is 5 years old)
Regret - past vs present
Inner demon - Conroy battles depression and his dark powerful inner demon, often using his longing for his son as an anchor or a goal to live for. In this way, Conroy is his own worst enemy.
Loneliness - space is empty and Conroy is alone for most of the story
CONROY (the main character)
The main character regrets some things in his past, especially re his son who he left behind. He struggles internally with his own demons and suffers from strong fits of depression. Despite this, he is strong-willed and persistent.
He is NOT physically described in the book.
He is of Celtic background with intense grey-blue piercing eyes.
We prefer his face NOT be shown, but his eyes could be.
His lower left leg gets crushed early in the story, so if showing his legs on the cover, it should look "not right".
THE SHIP & HULL
The ship is functional, not beautiful. The outside is not smooth, as it wasn't designed to travel through air. It is long and blocky, with protruding bits and modules added randomly in the past when needed. It is over 100 years old and run-down.
The ship has many aerials and antennae as it needs to communicate over long distances.
When the ship overheats, "heat dump" panels extend out of the hull to radiate excess heat into space. In the book, these extend when on the shaded side of the ship, and retract back into the hull when facing the hot star. At one point, an extended heat dump blocks Conroy's path around the hull - which partly causes events leading to his injured leg.
The rear half of the ship contains the main engines and huge hangar bay. The hangar opens via two large clam-shell doors on the bottom of the ship, and contains survey drones, smaller spacecraft, and other equipment. In the book, the hangar never opens, and no other people, machines, or objects appear near the ship - there is only Conroy, his journey on the hull, and the star.
The ship's engines are never on (they are dark and not thrusting).
The ship has navigation lights, much like current planes.
There are no windows.
THE SPACE SUIT
While on the hull, Conroy wears a space suit. The suit is similar to current NASA tech, but far less bulky - much slimmer and flexible but fitting loosely. Helmet and life support systems are much smaller than current tech. The look is probably closer to motorcycle racing gear, but the helmet has a much larger visor for excellent vision. The visor automatically goes dark when in the star's strong light to protect Conroy's eyes. The soles of his boots stick to the hull. Later in the book, he scrambles across the hull on two hands and his one good leg (with his injured left leg held up off the hull).