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TOWER LORD by Anthony Ryan

TOWER LORD Anthony Ryan

Following on from 2013′s bestselling epic fantasy debut is the second novel in the Raven’s Shadow series – a powerful epic fantasy from an exciting new British talent.
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VALORJohn Gwynne

War has erupted in the Banished Lands as the race for power intensifies. Sides are chosen and oaths will be fulfilled or broken in a land where hell has broken loose.
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SFX Weekender 2012

The stormtroopers wasted no time in commandeering the decks . . .

After last year’s shenanigans at the SFX Weekender, we couldn’t wait to do it all over again. Excitement levels were therefore approaching unstable levels last Friday, as the Orbit UK team – along with THE FALLEN BLADE author Jon Courtenay Grimwood and FATED author Benedict Jacka – caught a train to Prestatyn, to attend the third SFX Weekender. The convention – run by top British science fiction magazine SFX – has quickly become one of the most anticipated events in British SFF, and this year was again well-attended by authors, editors, scriptwriters and journalists, as well as TV stars of shows such as Red Dwarf, Torchwood and Doctor Who – not to mention hundreds of happy fans and cosplayers!

Orbit's Anne Clarke on the publishing panel

After settling into our chalets (an upgrade on last year, as they had double-glazing!) we watched our very own Anne Clarke on the How To Get Published panel and enjoyed the Kitschies Awards presented by Pornokitsch’s Anne Perry and Jared Shurin. Later, we met up with INTRUSION author Ken MacLeod and SEEDS OF EARTH author Michael Cobley, and headed to a party thrown by our friends at Tor UK.

On the Saturday, once we’d recovered from our cake and alcohol intake from the previous night, we really got stuck in to the panels and signings. Mike, Ken and Benedict all signed books for fans at the Forbidden Planet booth, and took part in some pretty packed panel discussions! Benedict debated genre definitions with other urban fantasy authors on the What is Urban Fantasy? panel, Mike asked whether literature is the only place still flying the flag for space opera, and Ken MacLeod discussed apocalyptic fiction on the We’re All Doomed! panel, making interesting points about the class aspects of survivalist fiction and the ‘cosy catastrophe’.

Later on, we teamed up with our esteemed colleagues at Gollancz to throw a party (probably setting a world record for ‘number of people crammed into a Pontins chalet’ in the process), before heading to the main stage and throwing some very dubious moves to the legendary Craig Charles’s DJ set. The dancefloor was a surreal mix of fans, authors, and a diverse assortment of aliens, robots and superheroes.

We all had a terrific time, and here are some photos to prove it!

Mike Cobley signs books for fans (including Death apparently) at the Forbidden Planet stand

Benedict Jacka (far left) during his panel on urban fantasy

Benedict Jacka (far left) during his panel on urban fantasy

Ken MacLeod (second right) chats with a fan

Ken MacLeod (second right) chats with a fan

James Long and Anna Gregson

James Long and Anna Gregson took time to hang out with some famous faces . . .

The Orbit/Gollancz party proved so popular that the crowd spilled out onto the balcony!

The Orbit/Gollancz party proved so popular that the crowd spilled out onto the balcony!

Somewhere in this press of partygoers, the Orbit UK team are shaming themselves on the dancefloor. We like to think what we lacked in style, we made up for in enthusiasm . . .

Somewhere in this press of partygoers, the Orbit UK team are shaming themselves on the dancefloor. We like to think what we lacked in style, we made up for in enthusiasm . . .

It's funny how quickly it becomes normal to find yourself rubbing shoulders with huge, scary robots

It's funny how quickly it becomes normal to find yourself rubbing shoulders with huge, scary robots

Orbit's Jenni Hill with one of Dr Who's uber-scary Weeping Angels. Fortunately, this one didn't come to life after the photo was taken!

Orbit's Jenni Hill with one of Dr Who's uber-scary Weeping Angels. Fortunately, this one didn't come to life after the photo was taken!

All of us at Orbit UK extend our thanks to everyone at SFX magazine for organising such a fabulous weekend! Roll on SFX Weekender 4 . . .

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  1. Martha

    February 7, 2012
    at 8:45 am

    Reply

    I’m happy you had such a good time, but, doesn’t Orbit have any women authors that they were willing to promote at the SFX weekend?

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