With just 2 days to go until the official release date of Shadowheart (UK / ANZ), the final book in Tad Williams’ captivating Shadowmarch series, we thought we’d give you a little preview to whet your tastebuds. Read the prologue here!
Barrick Eddon, prince of Southmarch, is no longer entirely human. He has vowed to safeguard the legacy of the dark Qar race, and must now decide where his loyalties lie.
His twin sister Briony has a difficult choice of her own. Her father, King Olin, is held captive by the Autarch, a mad god-king who plans to use Olin’s blood to gain unlimited power. And the castle of Southmarch still remains in the possession of Hendon Tolly, Briony’s murderous relative. As time runs out, will Briony decide to save her father’s kingdom . . . or her father?
As the foretold Great Defeat draws near, history is stripped of its costume of lies. Poets and players, mortals and fairies, warriors and gods, all will have their roles to play as the fate of the known world hangs in the balance.
And don’t forget that Shadowrise(UK / ANZ) is also out now in paperback . . .
Well, as you can tell from the infrequency of the postings from the Art Dept since the holidays, it’s been craaaaaazy busy here. Our Fall/Winter 2012 covers are due in 3 weeks, and we’re killing ourselves bringing you the coolest artists and designs we can. We also have a couple new features in the pipeline which we’ll be talking more about after the evil 2/18 deadline, so hang with us. Meanwhile, we are going to finish posting the rest of the Spring/Summer 2011 Covers for your viewing pleasure, starting with one of my fave series…
Here you go folks, Heartless, the fourth Alexia Tarabotti/Soulless book by Gair Carriger. I love this series, and I am really digging the covers too – who wouldn’t, when I get to work with such fun material as the photos Steampunk icon Donna Ricci keeps sending me? The photographer this round was Pixie Vision Productions.
I tried to find a good British castle as a stand-in for the pack headquarters, and I think the cool heavy stonework here does the job – I can totally picture Alexia going up and down those steps to visit with the werewolves camped out on the back lawn…and whipping some military discipline into them!
Now up at A Dribble of Ink — the prologue from what we are sure will be one of the major fantasy titles of the year, Daniel Abraham’sTHE DRAGON’S PATH. The book itself will be on-sale April 7 but in the meantime, whet your appetite for the rest of this epic, unforgettable narrative. And don’t just take our word for it:
“Daniel Abraham gets better with every book” — George R.R.Martin
“Intricate, elegant, and almost hypnotically told — to call Daniel Abraham an exciting new author is to wildly understate the case” — Connie Willis
“Welcome to Daniel Abraham. If you are meeting him for the first time, I envy you: you are in for a remarkable journey” — Junot Diaz
We’ve now received the shiny new cover flat for Tim Lebbon’sEcho City from our production department, so there was much excitement on the Orbit bench. It’s always seems so much more real and nearly-there than when you just print it on regular paper, but here’s the next best thing here on the interweb …
I think Lee Gibbon’s illustration is terrifically atmospheric and designer Peter Cotton has done a great job putting this together for us. It really portrays the desolate feel of a city stranded in a hosile desert, its dwellers believing there is no other life in their world – until a stranger arrives from across the toxic wastes …
Steven Erikson had this to say about this darkly fantastical novel — so look out for it in July if you’re after something to read on the beach. Or maybe not the beach, if you’ve a particularly vivid imagination:
Brilliantly conceived and exquisitely well written by one of the genre’s most original and inventive writers. Tim Lebbon is one of the few fantasy authors whose new works I eagerly antcipate’ Steven Erikson
Jon Courtenay Grimwoodwas recently described in the Guardian as making ‘the fusion of genre energy and literary depth his calling card,’ and his latest book certainly fits such a description. If you’ve read his posts this week, you may already suspect this truth: The Fallen Blade is probably unlike anything you would have read before. This is a novel that simultaneously reclaims the vampire myth, crafts a thrilling political landscape, fits in both romance and brutal violence and portrays a fifteenth century Venice so vividly that you’ll swear you’ve been there (and then!).
So in this trailer for The Fallen Blade, we’re taking you there…
“One of the strengths of The Windup Girl, other than its intriguing characters, is Bacigalupi’s world building. You can practically taste this future Thailand he’s built…It’s rare to find a writer who can create such well-shaded characters while also building a weird new future world.”
SURFACE DETAIL by Iain M. Banks
“This triumphant return to Banks’ beloved Culture series wasn’t just one of the best books we read this year – it’s also one of the best books in a series full of outstanding tales of far-future astropolitics. A character study and a tale of revolutionary change that shakes multiple civilizations, Surface Detail is a smart, satiric look at what happens to the concept of Hell in a posthuman galaxy.”
FEED by Mira Grant
“The action scenes (crossbows!) and setting were what kept me going all the way to its very emotional end, which I think is a testament to how well-written the characters and setting are…The first in the proposed Newsflesh trilogy, Feed is a thought-provoking and entertaining read that makes me eager to see what Grant will serve in her next novel, BLACKOUT.”
THE BROKEN KINGDOMS by N. K. Jemisin
“Someone has found a way to kill gods, and unless Oree discovers the truth, the gods and this new god-slaying serial killer will tear the city apart between them. It’s the set up for a really great mystery, but Jemisin manages to turn it into a thought-provoking, haunting story…that keeps you turning pages long past your bedtime.”
Plenty of other Orbit books made various ‘best of 2010’ lists – see our earlier post for the full details!
Looking at Orbit’s 2010 titles, you’re struck by their range, from hard science fiction icon Greg Bear to space opera master Iain M. Banks, and from postmodern epic fantasy author N.K. Jemisin to steampunk innovator Gail Carriger. Not to mention a lot of weird zombie books, from Mira Grant’s Feed to Jesse Petersen’s Flip This Zombie. Holman has been instrumental in making Orbit a force to be reckoned with in the United States.
Thanks I09! Tim promises to only use his power for good. With his jetpack, however, he makes no guarantees.
I read Patton Oswalt’s dissection of geek culture the other day, and I’ve had some mixed feelings about it. He’s going to catch a lot of hell of it, that I can tell, but really, I think he’s not wrong. He’s mostly right, in fact. I just think that he doesn’t assess the real danger of geek culture, nor does he prescribe an appropriate response.
Personally, I’ve always had a touch-and-go relationship with geek culture, if you can believe it. In my family, I’m definitely the geekiest, I’d say. I’m the guy who’s On The Internet All The Time, dredging up obscure memes and silly trends and finding the most bizarre articles to send to people during slow work hours. I’m also the guy who is sometimes unapologetically geeky in my tastes. Yes, I had Hellboy comics on my Christmas list. I also had Avatar: the Last Airbender DVDs, and I asked for Windows 7 so that maybe I can fix my laptop up to play Portal 2. (A pipe dream if ever there was one.)
These tastes are geeky. But if you asked me if I was a geek, I’m not sure I’d say I am.