Turning German ‘Zwerge’ into English-speaking dwarves isn’t as straightforward as it might seem. For one thing, the English word ‘dwarf’ has two possible plurals: ‘dwarfs’ and ‘dwarves’. Which should be used for the translation? The dwarves of Girdlegard bear a certain resemblance to their counterparts in Middle Earth, so I went with the version popularized by Tolkien. But hang on a minute, Read the rest of this entry »
Category: Orbit UK
For our Orbit UK fans, we have a fresh new wallpaper taken from the cover of The Orphaned Worlds by Michael Cobley, the sequel to Seeds of Earth. (You can read more about the book and Michael Cobley here.) I am loving the series illustrations being done by an Orbit favorite Steve Stone and I can’t wait to see the art plastered on all your assorted screens and digital devices. I’ve tried to cover all the standard display aspect ratios and devices (and yes, even the new iPad), but let me know if I’ve missed any important ones.
Enjoy the wallpapers, and don’t forget to pick up The Seeds of Earth and The Orphaned Worlds, both available now!
We’re thrilled to see a number of our authors on award ballots and shortlists this year. We’ve done a brief round-up of our authors who are up for awards and Charlie Stross has been nominated twice! Could this be the year we finally HUGO STROSS? Here’s hoping!
A hearty congratulations to all of our authors who are up for these awards!
- Charlie Stross for “Palimpsest” [UK]
- Charlie Stross again for “Overtime” [UK]
Best Short Story
- N.K. Jemisin for “Non-zero Probabilities” [US/UK]
John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer
- Gail Carriger [US/UK]
- Seanan McGuire (aka Mira Grant) [US/UK]
David Gemmell Legend Award
- Joe Abercrombie for Best Served Cold [US]
- Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson for The Gathering Storm [UK]
The Morningstar Award for Best Newcomer
- Jesse Bullington for The Sad Tale of the Brothers Grossbart [US/UK]
- Amanda Downum for The Drowning City [US/UK]
Sabina Kane is back in this kick-ass follow up to Red-Headed Stepchild!
Half-vampire and half-mage, Sabina Kane has never quite fit in. Now on the run from the vampire side of the family, she’s finally going to meet her twin sister she never knew about — and a family that might not have her best interests at heart.
From Kat Richardson who called the first novel, “Brassy, sassy, and hip!” to Charlaine Harris who called it “Fast-paced and fun,” Jaye Wells is one of the hottest urban fantasy writers out there today! Despite the lack of red hair — Angelina Jolie in the upcoming movie, Salt, reminds me of Sabina Kane.
You can find chapter one right here.
Check her out in bookstores everywhere!
Orbit is delighted, excited and not a little proud to announce the development of the world’s first 100% biodegradable ebook. As you all know (Bob), the problem with the current crop of ebooks is that the electrons that make up the work have a carbon cost. Certainly, the environmental impact of ebooks is much lower than for traditional publishing, but it is a finite and measurable amount.
Not anymore! Orbit’s proprietary new ‘Brigadoon’ e-formatting allows for a 100% carbon-free reading experience. By exposing the ebook file to a short burst of Cherenkov Radiation upon delivery, the electrons composing the file actually decay into lower-energy electrons and tachyons after the first reading. The new, low-powered electrons return to the environment at a net carbon cost of practically zero, while the tachyons, as is their nature, travel backwards in time to replace the ebook file that has just disappeared during the decay of the electrons that formed it.
To explain in layman’s terms: the electrons return to the environment and the ebook effectively travels backwards in time, reinventing itself before each reading causes it to cease to exist. With reference to Clarke’s Third Law, we hope you’ll forgive us a triumphant ‘Hey, presto!’
All of Orbit’s April titles will be available in Brigadoon as well as epub format from all good replicators.
Last weekend I attended the fabulous World Horror Convention in Brighton, a celebration of horror fiction from the Victorian age to the present, and the first time this event has been held outside North America.
Horror is a fascinating area and, as with SF and fantasy fiction, the definition seems interestingly fluid and has the capacity to evolve in new and exciting ways with each new generation of writers. We have the legacy of 19th century gothic horror (Mary Shelley, Edgar Allen Poe and Bram Stoker). This was followed by Lovecraftian horror, and more recently we have seen contemporary horror wordsmiths such as Stephen King, James Herbert and Ramsey Campbell.
One of the highlights of the convention was watching Neil Gaiman interview grand master of modern horror James Herbert (while I sat next to the agent who discovered him). Neil Gaiman appeared unannounced as a surprise guest interviewer, and it was as if Elvis had entered the building as news of his arrival rippled tantalisingly through the convention … James Herbert focused on his epic career and on his underprivileged East End origins which inspired him to write. It’s interesting to think how the supernatural thriller/disaster fiction of the 1970s and 80s, turbulent decades of wealth and deprivation lived under the shadow of the bomb, might differ to what is being produced today.
There seems to be plenty of award talk going around at the moment, with the Clarke Award lists of nominees out, British Fantasy Society Awards longlists released and the BSFA only a few weeks away from its own Awards announcements. Perhaps these represent the first signs of Spring for the genre community…
But currently more pressing than all of the above are the imminent voting deadlines for the David Gemmell Awards (a few days away, with voting closing at the end of March) and the annual Locus Awards ballot (closing 1st April). The David Gemmell Awards are designed to honour the memory of David Gemmell and also to raise the profile of fantasy fiction in the UK, and this will be their second year. The whole team is crossing fingers for all our authors on the Gemmell longlists, including those down for the Legend Award for best fantasy novel here. You can also vote by following that link – and see above for the cute mini-Snaga that Brent Weeks was awarded last year for his shortlisted The Way of Shadows (UK I US). Also included within ‘the Gemmells’ are the Morningstar Award for best fantasy debut and the Ravenheart Award for best fantasy cover art.
The Locus Awards are in their 40th year and their longlist is the prestigious Locus Recommended Reading List of works published in 2009. So as well as crossing fingers for the Gemmells, we are also holding our collective breaths for Orbit authors in various Locus categories (this could get complicated!). Orbit nominees are Iain M. Banks, Walter Jon Williams, Daniel Abraham, Gail Carriger and Charles Stross. You can vote for the Locus Awards here.
Mr. Shivers, the debut novel by Robert Jackson Bennett, has been getting some fantastic praise around the review circuit, with a lot of comparisons to Stephen King + John Steinbeck, which is pretty awesome in my book. The Company Man is not a sequel, but if you liked Mr. Shivers, you will definitely like this one. It also takes place in an alternate history of America, and I would say this one, to me, feels like H.P. Lovecraft + Chinatown (the movie) happening in Fritz Lang’s Metropolis. If that doesn’t sound cool to you, well, then, I don’t know what else to say. Haha.
I know you guys are big fans of hearing about covers and design from the artists/publishers side, so I thought I’d send you guys over to SciFi Signal, where they just posted a “Mind Meld” (dorks) on recent scifi/fantasy bookcovers. I was asked to post, and in fairness I excluded all our books, but it was great to see so many Orbit books getting a mention! Here was the question:
Q: It’s generally well accepted that a book cover’s primary responsibility is to sell the book. But artistically speaking, what makes a successful sf/f/h book cover? Which recent sf/f/h books had a cover that blew you away?
Which makes me ask you guys….what’s your favorite ORBIT cover? Let me know in the comments, I’m curious.