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Mary Robinette Kowal’s GHOST TALKERS: Video, Art and Giveaway

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.

Ghost Talkers

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 Trailer

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.

Ginger Walking

Ginger Walking

Circle of Mediums

Circle of Mediums

Mrs Richardson

Mrs Richardson

Ginger Soldier

Ginger Soldier

Lucid Dream

Lucid Dream

Listening Trench

Listening Trench

Patel Truck

Patel Truck

Ben Ginger Hug

Ben Ginger Hug

Fabric Test 1

Fabric Test 1

Fabric Test 2

Fabric Test 2

Workspace Before

Workspace Before

Set Before

Set Before

Workspace After

Workspace After

Set After

Set After

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.

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

The Giveaway:

Courtesy of the publisher, we have one hardcopy of Ghost Talkers to giveaway. Use the form below to enter and good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  • Mary A
    August 11, 2016 at 11:51 am

    I just finished up the Glamourist History series MRK and am ready for more.

  • Maliha
    August 11, 2016 at 12:02 pm

    The trailer is wonderful! Great premise for the novel. I adore historical fiction and this seems a perfect read.

  • Gerd Duerner
    August 11, 2016 at 12:03 pm

    With that title, I naturally expect a John Woo like action spectacle with lots of gun play from the book. 🙂

  • Karen
    August 11, 2016 at 12:24 pm

    Looking forward to reading what looks like a great book (from what I know is a wonderful author!)

  • Cassie Johnson
    August 11, 2016 at 12:43 pm

    I’m so excited for this book! I’ve read the Glamourist Series and was so excited to hear about this one! XD

  • Mike
    August 11, 2016 at 12:47 pm

    Love the trailer

  • tee+d
    August 11, 2016 at 1:16 pm

    WOW, that book trailer! I’ve read a sample chapter of this book (WHYYYY do I do that to myself?) and am dying for it to come out!

  • Lisa
    August 11, 2016 at 1:58 pm

    Listening to the trailer, I really want to read this now!

  • Lobo
    August 11, 2016 at 5:05 pm

    Great trailer and the book sounds amazing.

  • A.J. Bobo
    August 11, 2016 at 5:37 pm

    Very cool trailer. And this book sounds great. I’ve been looking forward to it for a while.

  • Anonymous
    August 11, 2016 at 5:57 pm

    Very fascinating concept and beautiful trailer. Everyone involved is impressive.

  • Lexi
    August 11, 2016 at 5:58 pm

    My bad on above. That is me.

  • Agnes
    August 11, 2016 at 6:59 pm

    I cannot wait to read this new book by Mary Robinette!

  • Sally
    August 11, 2016 at 7:29 pm


    I have the ebook on preorder but would love a hard copy.

  • Ramona
    August 11, 2016 at 9:03 pm

    Beautiful trailer! Looking forward to the book

  • JenM
    August 11, 2016 at 9:32 pm

    The premise for this book sounds fascinating. I always love books featuring ghosts, maybe because I can actually believe that they really do exist.

  • erinf1
    August 11, 2016 at 10:19 pm

    this looks and sounds very intriguing 🙂 thanks for sharing!

  • Julie
    August 12, 2016 at 3:52 am

    Thanks for the chance to win!

  • Mary Preston
    August 12, 2016 at 4:39 am

    An amazing post thank you.

  • Tiffany
    August 13, 2016 at 3:11 am

    What a great trailer! I’m super excited for this book-it sounds really interesting.

  • Jessica Martin
    August 13, 2016 at 8:28 am

    I received this book through NetGalley. It will be released on August 16th, 2016. Thank you for sharing.

  • Wil Hallstrom
    August 13, 2016 at 8:55 am

    I just finished this book as an E-ARC for Tor; and absolutely adored it all! I will be rereading it when I get my hardcover copy!

    My description of it: ” It reads like silk, and has captivated me for hours on end.”

  • Barbara Elness
    August 14, 2016 at 2:03 pm

    I thought the book trailer was fantastic, looking forward to reading this. 😀

  • Hebe
    August 14, 2016 at 3:11 pm

    Can’t believe the animator is sixteen years old – what wonderful work.

  • MN
    August 14, 2016 at 4:46 pm

    This is really lovely. Great work on the trailer, and I look forward to the book!

  • Andrea H.
    August 14, 2016 at 5:38 pm

    Awesome trailer! I’ve been looking forward to this one.

  • JazzFeathers
    August 15, 2016 at 4:41 am

    I first spied this book in a fellow blogger’s most anticipated books of 2016 list at the end of last year and though the cover was awesome. Then I read the plot… and I was hooked 🙂

  • Sabrina Joy
    August 16, 2016 at 7:01 pm

    The art and the animation are simply amazing! I absolutely would love to dive into this book.

  • DressShopIreland
    March 6, 2021 at 3:24 pm

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