- - June 29th, 2010
Gail Carriger has a delightful little quiz up to help you figure out where you would fit in the world the Parasol Protectorate.
Here at Orbit NY we seem to have a preponderance of Vampires and Ghosts — seems about right.
Link: Vampire, Werewolf, Ghost, or Soulless?
Also related: if you use Getglue, you can unlock a sticker for the Parasol Protectorate (Hint: tell the app when you’re reading Changeless…)
I’ve always been interested in acting, and theatre, and film and tv. Basically in entertaining. I remember putting on puppet shows in my neighbourhood as a kid, and making puppets and stuff like that when I was a tiddler at Lindfield Demonstration School. I was in every primary and high school play I could manage and in 4th class primary school I wrote and directed a play about medieval monks. At one point I was seriously considering auditioning for acting school, but realised just in time that on the whole I wasn’t entirely comfortable being the stark focus of attention on stage. Mind you, that didn’t stop me doing some more acting in local Sydney theatre – Harvey and Charlie’s Aunt at the Pymble Players, a David Williamson play and Bazaar and Rummage at the Pavilion, then after a long break The Odd Couple there as well. A murder mystery at Dural, and one of the main nuns in Nunsense there as well — which is where I learned that as much as I love singing, I really wasn’t comfortable having an entire showstopping number resting on my shoulders! So from there I moved into directing, and have now directed 4 major productions as well as a one-act play of my own.
And now, ahead of tackling the biggest directing challenge of my life so far (more on that when I can say) I’ll be back on stage again later this year at the Pavilion as Mrs Rogers in Agatha Christie’s classic And Then There Were None. Read the rest of this entry »
No discussion of great post-apocalyptic books would be complete without mention of George R. Stewart’s 1949 classic, EARTH ABIDES. It’s been reported that it was Stephen King’s inspiration for THE STAND, and worthy inspiration it is. This book is part Robinson Crusoe, part brilliant speculative anthropology, and part Moby Dick, all laid out in scenes of decay like the ones depicted in The History Channel’s LIFE AFTER PEOPLE. This book portrays what it would be like to lose our technology, nearly everything from the bow and arrow onward, and start anew in our tribes.
But EARTH ABIDES doesn’t begin with loincloths and venison roasting on the spit. It begins with young Isherwood Williams alone in the Northern California wilderness, performing research for his graduate thesis. The tension begins immediately. He’s bitten by a snake and then he contracts a nasty virus, but he recovers from both. He then tries to end his lonely and quite nearly life-ending sojourn by driving into the nearest town—only to discover that the people are gone. He drives further into the town, blaring his car horn, but there’s no response. He gets out. Finally he reads the last edition of The San Francisco Chronicle, a single folded sheet carrying the headline: CRISIS ACUTE. Read the rest of this entry »
- - June 23rd, 2010
Tweet it from the rooftops, a new Culture novel by Iain M. Banks will be released in October.
The title is SURFACE DETAIL, which refers to a number of things, not least one of the principal characters, who is covered, externally and internally, with congenitally administered tattoos.
Here’s the cover:
Here’s the blurb:
It begins in the realm of the Real, where matter still matters.
It begins with a murder.
And it will not end until the Culture has gone to war with death itself.
Lededje Y’breq is one of the Intagliated, her marked body bearing witness to a family shame, her life belonging to a man whose lust for power is without limit. Prepared to
risk everything for her freedom, her release, when it comes, is at a price, and to put things right she will need the help of the Culture.
Benevolent, enlightened and almost infinitely resourceful though it may be, the Culture can only do so much for any individual. With the assistance of one of its most powerful – and arguably deranged – warships, Lededje finds herself heading into a combat zone not even sure which side the Culture is really on. A war – brutal, far-reaching – is already raging within the digital realms that store the souls of the dead, and it’s about
to erupt into reality.
It started in the realm of the Real and that is where it will end. It will touch countless lives and affect entire civilizations, but at the centre of it all is a young woman whose need for revenge masks another motive altogether.
Orbit will be publishing SURFACE DETAIL worldwide in print and e-book editions this October.
Some may prefer to think of an M-16-packing Will Smith as the protagonist of Richard Matheson’s I AM LEGEND. Some may picture OMEGA MAN’s Charleton Heston driving a convertible Mustang through darkening streets, his submachine gun slung on the seat beside him. But when others read LEGEND, they see a dusty man in baggy clothes. There’s nothing glamorous about him, not a hint of the jaw-clenching confidence of a Hollywood star. He’s thin. His eyes are red-rimmed and he appears to be as mad as Don Quixote alone a hundred years into purgatory, tilting at corpses.
What is it about early postwar sci-fi that makes its worlds seem so dark and realistically shabby? Proximity to nuclear annihilation? The poorly forgotten horrors of World War Two? The rote mediocrity of peace after the time of global death and flame ended, the famished beginning of the age of mass consumption? Or is it only that we’ve been conditioned by the black-and-white movies of that time? Read the rest of this entry »
- - June 21st, 2010
I’m delighted to announce, after much careful tweaking, amending and perfecting, that we now have artwork for Gail Z. Martin’s The Sworn, book 1 in the Fallen Kings cycle (US I UK I ANZ). This is a new series but has many familiar faces from Gail’s Necromancer series, so will be great for new readers and Gail Martin fans.
We wanted something that would draw you into Gail’s world, that would hint at the action and pure thrill of her writing and I think Steve Stone has delivered something wonderfully atmospheric with this visual. Here be swords, brigands, dark magics and other forms of mayhem aplenty, so those seeking adventure between the pages need look no further.
In addition to saying something about this new book, we were also keen to produce something that would be in sympathy with the cover style of the Necromancer Chronicles, as this book is set in the same world as that series. But at the same time, we had to balance this against not wanting to reproduce the previous style exactly as this book is of course the start of something new. And to find out for yourself just how much excitement is in store, have a look at our first sneak preview of The Sworn with this early extract here.
You can also expect more from Gail Z. Martin all this week, as she will be talking about this new book as part of her Hawthorn Moon online book event. This has been a great success for several years now, so look out for interviews, giveaways, twitter-only extras, podcasts and much else!
- - June 18th, 2010
This extraordinary book was released in the UK this month, and is a powerful tale of politics and war …
“Basso the Magnificent. Basso the Great. Basso the Wise. The First Citizen of the Vesani Republic is an extraordinary man. He is ruthless, cunning and, above all, lucky. He brings wealth, power and prestige to his people. But with power comes unwanted attention, and Basso must defend his nation and himself from threats foreign and domestic. In a lifetime of crucial decisions, he’s only ever made one mistake. One mistake, though, can be enough.”
You can read a free extract of it here and it’s also available in the States and will be out soon in Australia.
K. J. Parker has attracted huge amounts of critical praise throughout a long career (UK I US), and here’s just a selection of it, below:
- ‘I have reviewed books before that I thought might someday be found to have achieved greatness . . . K.J. Parker is writing work after work that demands to be placed in this category’ Orson Scott Card
- ‘Impressive . . . there’s a mordant wit to the workings of Parker’s mind’ TIME OUT
- ‘I was hooked from the very first scene’ LOCUS
- ‘Parker raises the bar for realistic fantasy war craft’ PUBLISHERS WEEKLY
- ‘Has a complexity and ambiguity that’s lacking in much fantasy fiction’ DEATHRAY
- ‘One of fantasy’s premier voices’ SFX
- ‘Stunning’ BOOKBAG.CO.UK
Summer is a great time for science fiction fans to indulge their inner Eeyores. After reading Mira Grant’s latest, what could be better than stretching out under all that depressing sunshine with a classic book of the post-apocalyptic genre?
A CANTICLE FOR LEIBOWITZ covers a large swath of time as the human race attempts to put itself back together after a no-hold-barred nuclear war. It begins many hundreds of years after the game of fun with fusion was played, but the setting is still deliciously scorched and barren and humankind is poor and superstitious and still a wee bit mistrustful of science. There are ruins. There are atomic mutants hiding in desolate places. There are autocrats and barbarians. There’s a hermit cursed to live the centuries from one nuke war until what seems to be the beginning of the next. It’s what people in the film industry would call “high concept,” right? But this book is also admirable for its fine storytelling. The characters are as human as any you’re likely to meet, and easy to befriend. Read the rest of this entry »
- - June 8th, 2010
The year is 2014. A virus has been released that is turning the majority of the population into rabid, flesh-eating monsters. NOT COOL. You’re being forced to flee your home and can only take three things with you . . . tough call, but what would you pack?
To celebrate the fact that Feed (UK/US/AUS) is now out in the UK, we asked the author Mira Grant for her top three zombie-apocalpyse essentials. Every gal’s gotta have ‘em! They are the following:
1) My house earthquake kit. Yes, it’s cheating a little, but if I have an apocalypse, I’m going to grab my pre-packed backpack full of water purification tablets, protein bars, multi-vitamins, first aid supplies, and knives. That’s what an earthquake kit is for.
2) A folding stock pump shotgun. Simple, effective, commonly used by law enforcement agencies, which will make ammunition easy to find once the initial looting of the Wal-Marts and gun shops has otherwise exhausted the supply.
3) My easily irritated, extremely clingy Siamese cat. Not even a zombie is going to function very well when hit with a face full of pissed-off clawing white thing with a score to settle. And trust me, you make her go outside, she’s got a score to settle with you.
Read the rest of this entry »
- - June 3rd, 2010
The griffins have landed in the UK! Here’s one of the majestic beasts caught on camera causing havoc in London just today. With the arrival of these ferocious creatures of fire, it may be that half of the city will turn to desert by this evening . . .
We’re wondering if you’ve spotted any griffins in your local vicinity? Send your reports and photos to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll reward the five most vigilant (and creative) people with copies of the first two books in the Griffin Mage series: Lord of the Changing Winds (UK/US/AUS) and Land of Burning Sands (UK/ US/ AUS). They’re released this month and next month in the UK, and are already available in the US.
The author, Rachel Neumeier – a long-term griffin observer and specialist – may be able to offer some helpful advice for dealing with any griffin nuisances in your local area. You can read Rachel’s account of what happens when griffins and humans clash on the SFX website. And for further information on the author, see her brand new website, launched just last week: www.rachelneumeier.com