Category: All posts
- - July 31st, 2015
This week we’ve launched the first Orbit Fantasy Writing Workshop, led by the bestselling author Karen Miller. We really hope you’ve been enjoying taking part.
As the week draws to a close, today we’re posting a final piece of advice from Karen on Making a Good First Impression with your Fantasy Novel. We hope this helps when you’re adding the final touches to your writing piece.
For the chance to get personal feedback from an Orbit editor and bestselling author Karen Miller, submit your writing sample (up to 2,000 words max) below, along with a brief author biography (up to 150 words). All submissions should be in .doc, .docx or PDF format, and should include your name and the title of your submission on every page. Submissions must adhere to the writing challenge set by Karen Miller to be considered.
Submissions will be open until the end of 3rd of August. Don’t forget to read the terms and conditions before entering, and happy writing!
- - July 30th, 2015
Terry Brooks reflected on the Shannara series as The Sword of Shannara wraps filming, and later, the studio debuted a trailer at San Diego Comic-Con.
Speaking of Comic-Con, there were a lot of Expanse related happenings, which you should absolutely get caught up on.
She Who Brings Gifts, the film adaptation of M. R. Carey’s THE GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS (UK | US | ANZ), has also wrapped.
In more SF TV- and movie-related news, Terminator: Genisys is out and Jamie Sawyer has the low down on what to expect from Arnie’s latest, plus here’s a pretty great list by a pretty great guy of some space-based TV shows you should definitely be watching right now.
Are you a tetrachromat? Maybe the next Prism even? Chances are…likely not and here’s why.
There were a whole host of AMA’s on Reddit this month. Read through the archives below:
Several SF authors will be featured in this year’s Dispatches From The Future presented by Popular Science including our very own Kim Stanley Robinson, Ann Leckie, Will McIntosh, N. K. Jemisin, Seanan McGuire (aka Mira Grant) and James S. A. Corey. Check it out online or in their August issue.
Markus Heitz’s THE DWARVES (US | UK | ANZ) has inspired a video game! Check out the teaser trailer for this upcoming tactical rpg.
NASA’s Kepler spacecraft may have just discovered Earth 2.0, but Kim Stanley Robinson says that interstellar colonization may not be the solution to all our problems. Check out the discussion on Science Friday.
Julius Thomas, Tight End for the Jacksonville Jaguars, has a list of recommended reads up at the Player’s Tribune including the Night Angel Trilogy and Lightbringer series by Brent Weeks.
- - July 30th, 2015
Felicia Sevigny knows your future. The problem is, she can’t make sense of her own.
As a famed tarot card reader, all is well in luck and love for Felicia, until Russian crime leader Alexei Petriv walks into her shop and demands a reading. Neither the infamous Petriv nor the future shown in his cards is what she expects.
The same could be said for this wonderful new novel we’ve acquired for our sister imprint Redhook, THE RULE OF LUCK. A whirlwind thriller romance in a futuristic setting, THE RULE OF LUCK goes above and beyond being a science fiction novel or a romance read – it perfectly melds the two, tugging at your heartstrings while sending you cross planet on high-speed chases alongside a genetically-enhanced (and incredibly handsome…) criminal mastermind.
THE RULE OF LUCK is brought to you by talented debut author, Catherine Cerveny, an avid fan of science fiction and romance who wishes the two genres would cross paths more often.
If you’re a fan of great books that get your heart-rate dialed way up, this non-stop thrill-ride is for you. You can grab an e-copy of THE RULE OF LUCK and its sequel next year, but until then, please join us in welcoming Catherine to the Redhook list. You can find her on Twitter as @catcerveny.
- - July 29th, 2015
We’re delighted to launch the cover for Miles Cameron’s THE DREAD WYRM, the much-anticipated new installment in the Traitor Son Cycle that began with THE RED KNIGHT and THE FELL SWORD, coming out in October this year.
Some are born to power. Some seize it. And some have the wisdom never to wield it.
The Red Knight has stood against soldiers, armies and the might of an empire without flinching. He’s fought on real and magical battlefields alike, and now he’s facing one of the greatest challenges yet. A tournament.
A joyous spring event, the flower of the nobility will ride against each other for royal favor and acclaim. It’s a political contest — one which the Red Knight has the skill to win. But the stakes may be higher than he thinks. The court of Alba has been infiltrated by a dangerous faction of warlike knights, led by the greatest knight in the world: Jean de Vrailly — and the prize he’s fighting for isn’t royal favor, but the throne of Alba itself…
Not caught up? There’s still time to check out the first two books.
Praise for the Traitor Son Cycle:
“I cannot recommend the Traitor Son Cycle enough…amazing.” — SF Signal
“Literate, intelligent and well-thought-out…George R. R. Martin comparisons will no doubt be in abundance.” — SFF World
“Medieval fantasy at its finest.”— Fantasy Faction
“The series promises to be a standout epic fantasy for the ages.” — SF Signal Fantasy Book Critic
- - July 29th, 2015
The Orbit Fantasy Writing Workshop continues this week and runs until 3rd August. It’s led by Karen Miller, the bestselling author of THE FALCON THRONE (US | UK | AUS). We’re very happy to see so many people taking part. To find out how you can get involved, see details here.
In order to provide some helpful advice along the way, Karen posted this piece on Writing Your First Fantasy Novel on Monday.
And since the challenge she has set involves writing a character who is morally conflicted, today she gives some great pointers on Writing the Villain: or learning to love your inner Darth Vader. It should really get you thinking about what brings characters to life.
And in addition to this, Karen is also participating in a Reddit Ask Me Anything (AMA) today, so do feel free to put any questions you have about writing to her.
Please keep letting us know how things are going by leaving comments on this site, or posting on Twitter with the hashtag #OrbitFantasyWorkshop. Best of luck with the writing!
- - July 28th, 2015
If you’re looking forward to October’s release of WELCOME TO NIGHT VALE: A NOVEL as much as we are, you can listen to an audio excerpt from the book in the latest episode of this international no. 1 hit podcast! Listen at Youtube, iTunes, Soundcloud or Podbay.
We can confirm that the audiobook will be read by Welcome to Night Vale star Cecil Baldwin, with guest stars from the podcast including Retta and Dylan Marron, the voices of ‘Old Woman Josie’ and ‘Carlos’.
Remember you can preorder the audiobook as well as the hardback and ebook right now. What are you waiting for? As Cecil might say, the stars are aligned and now is your moment. Tomorrow may be too late…
In this latest episode the authors also announced our Waterstones Exclusive Edition, which contains exclusive bonus material and the chance to win a limited edition Night Vale print on preorder!
- - July 27th, 2015
Have you always wanted to write your own fantasy novel? Have you got some great characters and plot lines bouncing around in your head that won’t leave you alone? Have you written a few stories but finally want to get going on your first real masterpiece? This is your chance . . .
I’m delighted to say that today we’re kicking off the Orbit Fantasy Writing Workshop.
This is a communal online write-along event, designed to get the creative juices flowing for aspiring fantasy authors worldwide.
It’s a great opportunity to finally put pen to paper, and get some advice on what makes a great story. Sitting down and writing can be tough, but it’s easier when you know there are many other people like you going through the same thing at the same time. So get involved and get writing today!
I’m setting you a specific challenge – to write 2,000 words of your very own fantasy novel by the end of next Monday, 3rd August. But I have some guidelines:
Since one of the most vital things about what makes a novel tick is the characters, I’d like you to write a scene which shows how one of your characters is morally conflicted i.e. a scene in which they’re torn between doing the right thing for the wrong reasons, or the wrong thing for the right reasons.
This could be a scene merely made up of a conversation between one or more other characters. It could show a character’s actions on a battlefield. It could be a tale of an assassin who shows mercy, or an honourable champion doing something terrible. It could have an epic fantasy feel, a coming-of-age feel or an urban fantasy feel. So long as it’s a fantasy scene which shows characters that are neither obviously good nor bad, it will fit the bill.
We hope this workshop inspires you to get writing – because that should be a highly rewarding experience in itself. But there is a competition element to this too.
Once you’ve written your 2,000 word sample as per the above challenge, you can either just sit back and admire your work – or you can submit it into our competition. The Orbit team will read every submission that is entered (submissions must be a maximum of 2000 words). And along with the Orbit folk, I will be picking one entry to win a series of in-depth editorial sessions about their writing with myself and an Orbit editor.
This is your chance to have your writing read by industry experts and receive feedback that could set you on the path to writing your own bestselling fantasy novel. An entry form will be posted on this site on Friday 31st July, and entries can be submitted until the end of 3rd August.
Advice Along The Way
I hope to be able to offer some helpful guidance over the coming week for any budding authors who get involved. My own writing career so far, from writing my debut THE INNOCENT MAGE (US | UK ) to my latest novel THE FALCON THRONE (US | UK | AUS), has been a wild ride. And if a new writer can be helped by something I’ve said, it will make all the hard work worthwhile.
Throughout this week I will be providing words of advice and encouragement on the Orbit site and on the Orbit Twitter feed (though there’s no requirement to be on Twitter to take part). Feel free to leave any questions or comments below, or use the hashtag #OrbitFantasyWorkshop to let us know how your writing is coming along. And if you’d like to ask any specific questions about writing during the week, you can ask me them directly in the Reddit Ask Me Anything (AMA) session I’m doing this Wednesday. I’m here to help, so fire away!
Let’s get going!
So where to begin? The answer is to pick up your pen and start writing. And in order get your ideas in line, see my first piece of advice here on Writing Your First Fantasy Novel.
See details of the next stage here.
*Update* Submissions are now open here.
- - July 24th, 2015
From the creators of the wildly popular WELCOME TO NIGHT VALE podcast comes an imaginative mystery of appearances and disappearances that is a poignant look at the ways in which we all struggle to find ourselves – no matter where we live. WELCOME TO NIGHT VALE: A NOVEL will be released on 20th October in hardback, audio and ebook, but you can preorder your copy now.
We’re delighted to launch the UK and Australian cover today, wonderfully illustrated by Rob Wilson, designer of the original Night Vale logo. We asked Rob to tell us a little about the project:
“I’ve been involved with WELCOME TO NIGHT VALE since its inception, when Jeffrey Cranor asked me to design the original icon for the podcast. The writers and I worked together to create a simple, mysterious image that would convey the atmosphere of the show, without giving away any of its secrets. Years later, I’m amazed how the graphic has taken on a life of its own, with the hundreds—if not thousands—of creative interpretations of fan art it inspired. And now I’m thrilled to have been asked to design the cover of the new WELCOME TO NIGHT VALE novel and expand upon the art of the original graphic—just as the book broadens the world of the podcast. Like the original icon, the new book cover has secrets of its own.”
Find out more about Rob Wilson and his designs at RobWilsonWork.com.
Find out more about the novel and preorder today: commonplacebooks.com/novel.
- - July 23rd, 2015
Last month we introduced you to HOPE & RED—an upcoming adventure fantasy series we’re incredibly excited about! We’d like you to meet the author, Jon Skovron, and hear a little more about the novel.
Tell us a little about yourself.
I’m originally from Ohio, although I’ve since lived in Brooklyn, Seattle, and Pittsburgh. Now I live just outside DC, with my two sons and two cats. Rather than going to a regular college, I studied in the theater conservatory at Carnegie Mellon. But after a brief stint as a professional actor, I decided on the much more practical career of author. I started writing short SF&F stories in 2000, several of which were published in now defunct zines and online venues such as Baen’s Universe, where I had the honor of appearing in the same issue as Gene Wolfe. In 2006, my agent suggested I try my hand at this new craze called Young Adult, and my first YA novel was published in 2009. I’ve had two more YA novels published since, and my fourth comes out this August. HOPE & RED will be my first novel for grown-ups.
What is HOPE & RED about?
HOPE & RED takes place in an archipelago of islands called The Empire of Storms, with warrior monks, pirates, gang lords, science mages called biomancers, and a fair amount of monsters, violence, and mayhem. But as the title implies, this is ultimately a story about Hope and Red. They both lose their parents at a young age. Both are taken in by unconventional mentors who encourage them to transgress society, but in very different ways. Red is taught to become a thief and con artist in the urban slums, where he is fiercely loyal to his adopted neighborhood of Paradise Circle. Hope is secretly trained on a remote island as a warrior in an elite order that has specifically banned women. She seeks vengeance against the biomancer who murdered not only her parents, but her entire village.
When the biomancers team up with the gang lord of Paradise Circle to consolidate power, Hope and Red’s worlds come crashing together, resulting in a quest for justice that leads them all the way to the imperial palace.
Why did you decided to write HOPE & RED as an adult novel, rather than YA?
Don’t get me wrong. I adore writing YA, and will continue to do so. YA and adult Fantasy have a lot of similarities. But they also have some key differences. By nature, YA is all about teens. I wanted to write story that took these two characters from age eight all the way into adulthood. Also, YA is intensely story-focused. I love the lean efficiency of it. But this time I wanted to write a book where the world was rich and immersive, with a long, compelling history. Something you couldn’t see the edges of. I wanted characters that were complex and nuanced and broken. And frankly, I just wanted to write something R Rated, and not have to worry about gatekeepers.
There’s an lot of swashbuckling, sea-faring adventure in this book. Do you have any personal experience with sailing?
Quite a lot, actually. My grandfather was passionate about ships and sailing. When I was a boy, he often took me sailing for days on end. He taught me how to sail, of course, as well as all the parts of the ship, and odd little sailor adages that linger in my mind to this day. He was also a musician, so he’d often bring along his accordion, and we’d sing sea chanties once the sun went down.
HOPE & RED will be published next summer. For more news and updates, follow the author on Twitter.
- - July 22nd, 2015
Drum roll please! We’re delighted to announce the acquisition of a spectacular new series from Anthony Ryan, New York Times bestselling author of the Raven’s Shadow trilogy.
What do you do when you’ve written three of the most popular epic fantasy novels in recent years? Well, if you’re Anthony Ryan, you write something even more epic – and throw lots of dragons in for good measure. Not to mention an extremely liberal dose of exploration and adventure, agents and espionage, ingenious weapons and explosive magic…and an ancient myth that might prove decisive in the furious battle for empire. Sounds good, right?
THE WAKING FIRE, the first book in the Draconis Memoria series, has all of this and much, much more.
Anthony has always created memorable characters, and the protagonists of his latest tale are his finest creations yet. Clayton Torcreek is a straight-talking small-time criminal, while Lizanne Lethridge is a formidable spy and assassin. Both of them are ‘Blood-blessed’ – able to consume the blood of wild drakes, which grants them spectacular abilities.
As the Ironship Protectorate and the Corvantine Empire prepare for war, these two individuals will both find themselves embroiled in the ongoing hostilities. Clay must venture into the uncharted wilds in search of an expedition that disappeared under mysterious circumstances, while Lizanne must go undercover in enemy territory in order to locate an ancient artefact that may just swing the balance of the war – but only if she can reach it first.
THE WAKING FIRE is, quite simply, an absolute blast. Existing fans and new readers alike will find a huge amount to love about this fantastic new series.
Orbit acquired UK & Commonwealth rights to the Draconis Memoria series from Paul Lucas at Janklow & Nesbit, in a three-book deal. THE WAKING FIRE will be published in July 2016, in hardback, trade format, ebook and audio editions.
Anthony Ryan is the New York Times bestselling author of BLOOD SONG [UK/ANZ], TOWER LORD [UK/ANZ] and QUEEN OF FIRE [UK/ANZ]. He lives in London and is a full time writer. He can be found on Twitter as @writer_anthony