Category: Orbit Australia
- - January 30th, 2015
Angus Watson’s Iron Age trilogy burst onto the epic fantasy scene last September with AGE OF IRON, an action-packed adventure in which battle-hardened warriors take on a ruthless warlord and his sadistic druids. Today we’re proud to launch the next two covers in the series! CLASH OF IRON continues the story in April this year, and the epic finale REIGN OF IRON will end the series in September.
Read AGE OF IRON today, or see what people are saying…
‘Unflinchingly bloodthirsty and outrageously entertaining’ Christopher Brookmyre
‘It simply grabbed me by the throat and wouldn’t let go’ Bibliosanctum (five stars)
‘Watson’s tale is gore soaked and profanity laden – full of visceral combat and earthy humor, and laced with subtle magic’ Publishers Weekly
‘Would I read the next one? Yes, absolutely. Bring me my hammer, bring my beer, bring it on!’ SF Crowsnest
‘A fun and addictive read’ Fantasy Faction
Covers by Larry Rostant, designed by Ceara Eliot.
- - January 29th, 2015
Orbit is incredibly proud to announce that M. R. Carey’s THE GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS has been shortlisted for the James Herbert Award for Horror Writing.
Published globally last year, THE GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS went on to become a paperback bestseller in the UK and was selected for the Waterstones Summer Book Club. It has gained high profile fans across the world, from screenwriter Joss Whedon to bestselling crime author Martina Cole, and has sold over 200,000 copies across editions to date. The US paperback edition will be published in April 2015.
The prize, which is awarded annually, aims to discover and publicise a new generation of horror authors and celebrate the boldest and most exciting talent in the genre. The winner of the 2014 prize will be announced at a ceremony in central London in March 2015.
Congratulations to M. R. Carey, and to all the shortlisted authors!
The full shortlist:
THE GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS – M. R. Carey
THE TROOP – Nick Cutter
CUCKOO’S SONG – Frances Hardinge
THE LONEY – Andrew Michael Hurley
BIRD BOX – Josh Malerman
AN ENGLISH GHOST STORY – Kim Newman
- - January 28th, 2015
We’re delighted to launch the cover for the sixth novel in the Alex Verus series by Benedict Jacka. VEILED will be released in August this year.
In VEILED, probability mage Alex Verus has agreed to join the Keepers, the magical police force who can protect him and his friends from his old master, Richard Drakh. Going legit was always going to be difficult for an outcast like Alex, and there are some in the Keepers who aren’t keen to see an ex-Dark mage succeed, especially when the Dark is making a play for a seat on the mages’ council, for the first time in history.
Alex finally has the law on his side – but trapped between Light and Dark politics, investigating a seedy underworld with ties to the highest of powers, will a badge be enough to save him?
Cover designed by Ceara Elliot.
- - January 16th, 2015
For all you urban fantasy and Kristen Painter fans out there, the wait is finally over! We are delighted to share the cover by Mélanie Delon for GARDEN OF DREAMS AND DESIRES — the spectacular conclusion to the Crescent City series.
Magic is twisted and chaos reigns in this climactic final novel in the Crescent City trilogy by award-winning author Kristen Painter.
New Orleans is on the brink of war.
Harlow is a ghost in her own body. She has no control, no power — all she can do is watch as her twin sister Ava Mae lives recklessly and foolishly, slowly destroying everything Harlow has worked so hard for.
Augustine needs to focus on his new role as Guardian of New Orleans, as tourists mysteriously disappear off the streets, but all he can think of is rescuing Harlow — Keeping his family safe.
As the Coven grows more powerful, control of the city hangs in the balance and if the witches prevail, no fae will survive.
GARDEN OF DREAMS AND DESIRES will publish April 7, 2015. New to this fabulous series? Check out the first two (House of the Rising Sun and City of Eternal Night) — out now!
- - January 13th, 2015
It’s hard to believe its been two years already since Field Marshal Tamas overthrew the corrupt monarchy of Adopest in Brian McClellan’s debut, PROMISE OF BLOOD (US | UK | AUS). Lives were lost, terrible powers were awoken, and kingdoms were laid to ruin. Now this exciting epic fantasy trilogy concludes with the release of THE AUTUMN REPUBLIC (US | UK | AUS)! Look for it online and in stores next month!
If you pre-order the book now, you could be eligible to receive a free signed bookplate while supplies last! Fill out this form to enter. Afterwards, check out the first chapter of The Autumn Republic.
If you’ve haven’t started reading this explosive trilogy yet, now is the time to catch up. Read an excerpt here from the first novel.
- - January 8th, 2015
We’re delighted to reveal the cover for QUEEN OF FIRE – the spectacular conclusion to Anthony Ryan’s New York Times bestselling Raven’s Shadow series, which began with BLOOD SONG. This striking cover was created by freelance designer Nick Castle and our very own Nico Taylor.
QUEEN OF FIRE publishes on 2 July 2015, in hardback, C format, ebook and audio.
- - December 2nd, 2014
Mardi Gras — a time of fun, frivolity, and anonymity. It is an event that draws people from around the world, and serves as the very colorful – and very deadly- backdrop for Kristen Painter’s new book in the Crescent City series!
Mardi Gras approaches, bringing with it hordes of tourists eager to see the real-life Faery Queen holding court atop her festival float. When the Queen is kidnapped, it’s up to Augustine, the fae-blooded Guardian of the city, to rescue her before time runs out.
But Augustine’s mystifying protégée, Harlow, complicates the task by unintentionally aiding the forces of evil, drawing danger closer with each step. The Queen might not be the first to die…
Check out an excerpt here.
City of Eternal Night is the second installment in the Crescent City series — an adventure you’re not going to want to miss! Check out what reviewers and fans are saying:
“Painter creates an intricate, well-crafted plot, along with compelling, distinctive characters and an enthralling twist… this story will definitely have readers turning pages all night!” — RT Book Reviews on City of Eternal Night (Top Pick!)
“Painter delivers on her promise of excitement and romance in the second installment of the Crescent city Series.” — Publishers Weekly on City of Eternal Night
“…by the end of the book I was awed because the path I thought this book would take, was nothing like how it turned out, and I LOVE when an author can surprise me…. City of Eternal Night was an excellent follow-up to my favorite book of the summer, continuing the story beautifully and keeping us on our toes.” – The Saucy Wenches Book Club
“Between the Fae and the witches, City of Eternal Night features some really fantastic magic…. I can’t wait to see what happens in the next one.” – Vampire Book Club
- - December 1st, 2014
What’s your dearest wish? In celebration of the recent e-book release of JINN AND JUICE (US | UK | AUS) , we’re granting wishes! Step right up and rub the magic lamp, but be careful what you wish for….
Jinn and Juice is a brand new urban fantasy novel by Nicole Peeler, author of the wickedly awesome Jane True series. For a limited time, you can pick up the e-book for only $2.99 in the US and £1.99 in the UK
Here’s a bit more about the story:
Cursed to be a jinni for a thousand years, Lyla nears the end of her servitude — only to be bound once again against her will. Will she risk all to be human?
Born in ancient Persia, Lyla turned to her house Jinni, Kouros, for help escaping an arranged marriage. Kouros did make it impossible for her to marry — by cursing Lyla to live a thousand years as a Jinni herself.
If she can remain unBound, Lyla’s curse will soon be over.
Unfortunately, becoming Bound may risk more than just her chance to be human once more — it could risk her very soul…
Praise for Jinn & Juice:
“Peeler is perfect. Jinn and Juice is her best urban fantasy yet with vibrant characters that leap off the page fully formed from the first line. Fast-paced, rowdy, smart, irresistible, and tender, there’s just no one who hits the urban fantasy marks as well as Peeler. Buy this book! Read it! Love it!”—Kat Richardson
“Peeler has done it again! Jinn and Juice is a delightful read filled with action, humor, heart, and a heroine to cheer for. And it doesn’t hurt that there are also sirens, trolls, bugbears, and plenty of Pittsburgh steel.”—Kevin Hearne
“Jinn and Juice is a raucous, raunchy tale well told. One thing’s certain: you’ll never look at Pittsburgh the same way after you’ve taken Nicole Peeler’s mythic joyride up, down, and sideways in pursuit of an abducted teenage girl and freedom from a thousand-year curse. Legend and history, betrayal and love intertwine as the story moves from lascivious sex clubs to the unraveling of a mystery to a magical jinni throw-down which will leave you panting for more. Jinn and Juice is Urban Fantasy at its smartest, naughtiest, funniest best.”—Juliet Blackwell
“Snarky, sexy! Beautifully descriptive and painstakingly plotted. Lyla is a smart, sly and just this side of scary. Peeler’s world-building is clever and complete with every possible fairy folk character! The other-worldly seems familiar and glamorous all at the same time. And I learned how to curse in a few new languages, so it was educational!”—Molly Harper on Jinn and Juice
*The print edition of Jinn and Juice will be available for purchase in April 2015.
- - November 25th, 2014
Today is the publication day of SYMBIONT (US | UK | AUS), the second book in Mira Grant’s wonderfully frightening Parasitology trilogy, which takes us inside a world where a powerful drug company has unleashed a medical nightmare in the name of progress and profit:
The SymboGen designed tapeworms were created to relieve humanity of disease and sickness. But the implants in the majority of the world’s population began attacking their hosts turning them into a ravenous horde.
Now those who do not appear to be afflicted are being gathered for quarantine as panic spreads, but Sal and her companions must discover how the tapeworms are taking over their hosts, what their eventual goal is, and how they can be stopped.
This is a series that will haunt and thrill you in equal measure and, ahem, worm its way into your brain (sorry, I couldn’t resist).
More praise for Mira Grant’s Parasitology trilogy:
“Grant extends the zombie theme of her Newsflesh trilogy to incorporate thoughtful reflections on biomedical issues that are both ominously challenging and eerily plausible. Sally is a complex, compassionate character, well suited to this exploration of trust, uncertainty, and the price of progress.” — Publishers Weekly on Parasite
“Fans of [the Newsflesh] series will definitely want to check this new book out. But fans of Michael Crichton-style techno thrillers will be equally enthralled: as wild as Grant’s premise is, the novel is firmly anchored in real-world science and technology.” — Booklist
“Readers with strong stomachs will welcome this unusual take on the future.” — Kirkus Reviews
“A riveting near-future medical thriller that reads like the genetically-engineered love child of Robin Cook and Michael Crichton.” — John Joseph Adam
Ken MacLeod’s DESCENT is an alien abduction story for the twenty-first century set in Scotland’s near-future, a novel about what happens when conspiracy theorists take on Big Brother. It comes out in paperback this week, and we asked Ken what is is about Scotland that brings him, and other writers, back to it as a science fiction setting again and again.
Two months ago, Scotland was in what Charles Stross called ‘The Scottish Political Singularity’. The referendum made the entire political future so uncertain that even planning a near-future novel set in the UK had become impossible – not least because you couldn’t be sure there would still be a UK to set it in.
My novel Descent, just out in paperback, was written before the result looked close, but I was careful to leave the outcome of the then future referendum open to interpretation. In earlier novels such as The Night Sessions and Intrusion, I’ve also left it up to the reader to decide if the future Scotlands described are independent or not.
Preparing for a recent discussion on ‘Imagining Future Scotlands’ I realised that the majority of my novels are at least partly set in Scotland, or have protagonists whose sometimes far-flung adventures begin in Scotland. And it made me wonder why there haven’t been more. With its sharply varied landscape, turbulent history, and the complex, cross-cutting divisions of national and personal character which Scottish literature has so often explored, Scotland may inspire writers of SF, but as a location it features more often in fantasy.
The result is that there have been many Scottish writers of SF – including Orbit’s very own Michael Cobley, Charles Stross, and the late and much missed Iain M. Banks – but not many SF novels have been set in Scotland. Of those that are, quite a few are written from outside the genre, such as Michel Faber’s Under the Skin. Flying even more cleverly under the genre radar, Christopher Brookmyre has been writing what amounts to an alternate or secret history of contemporary Scotland – some of them, such as Pandaemonium, with SF or fantasy elements – for two decades. And within the genre, there are some well-regarded novels I haven’t read, notably Chris Boyce’s Brainfix. I can’t help feeling I’ve missed stacks of obvious books. If so, I look forward to being corrected in the comments.
Let’s start with straight, unarguable genre SF.
Halting State by Charles Stross is a police procedural set in a near-future independent Scottish republic. Unlike many fictional detectives, the heroine is married, and her wife understands her. The multi-viewpoint second-person narration, though disorienting at first, soon becomes transparent – you could say you get used to it – and apt for a novel set partly in a Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game. From the opening shots of a bank robbery in virtual reality, the story has you under arrest and briskly frogmarched along.
Time-Slip by Graham Dunstan Martin is a much grimmer vision of a future Scotland. Decades after a nuclear war, the Scottish Kirk has resumed its dour dominance of society. Our sympathy for the hero, a young heretic who founds a new religious movement on his rediscovery of the Many Worlds Interpretation of quantum mechanics, fades as the implications sink in. It’s a thought-through and engaging novel, sadly out of print, but easily available secondhand.
Not quite SF, but set in a (then) future with a deft touch or two of technological extrapolation, the political thriller Scotch on the Rocks is an old-school Tory take on an armed insurrection for Scottish independence. Sex and violence are never far away. Glasgow gangs and Moscow gold play a bit part behind the scenes. Given that it was written by Douglas Hurd and Andrew Osmond, this isn’t surprising. What is surprising is the sharpness of its insight into the issues that drive the independence movement, from cultural alienation through economic decline to nukes on the Clyde. The speeches, give or take the odd detail, could have been delivered this September.
Moving to fantasy, Alasdair Gray’s Lanark is often rightly cited as a landmark in Scottish literature. It was an avowed influence on Iain Banks’s The Bridge, the closest Iain ever came to writing SF set in Scotland. But my own favourite of Gray’s novels is Poor Things, a Scottish revisioning of Frankenstein that confronts the poor creature with the harsh self-confidence of the Victorian age and that age with her outraged innocence.
Michael Scott Rohan’s science-fantasy novel Chase the Morning starts in Scotland – or at least in a port very like Leith – and casts off for worlds unknown on an endless ocean, full of adventure and romance. Its striking image of the Spiral, in which ships magically sail upward beyond the horizon to farther seas in the sky, was inspired by the vista down the Firth of Forth. On some evenings looking down the Firth you can’t tell where the sea ends and the sky begins, or what’s a cloud and what’s an island. Like all good science fiction and fantasy, this novel and its sequels make us see the real world in a different light.
Finally, we shouldn’t forget Scotland’s abiding presence in the wider field: Victor Frankenstein built the mate for his creature on a remote Orkney island; the Mars mission that opens Heinlein’s Stranger in a Strange Land had as its prime contractor the University of Edinburgh; and Star Trek‘s engineer Scotty was born in Linlithgow . . . a few miles from Scotland’s notorious UFO hotspot, Bonnybridge.