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Category: Orbit UK

Cover launch: UK look for Jane True series by Nicole Peeler

Here in the UK, Nicole Peeler’s Jane True series has got a brand new look – and I’m very excited to now be able to unveil it.

Presenting the first 4 covers for the series, designed by the talented illustrator Mark Swan:


Tempest Rising and Tracking the Tempest will be re-released in this brand new style this coming August. Then hot on their heels, Tempest’s Legacy will be released in September, followed by Eye of the Tempest in October. So Nicole Peeler will truly be making a splash in the UK this summer!

And if you haven’t discovered The Jane True series yet, here’s what people have been saying about it:

‘Peeler packs a hell of a punch with writing that is bold, bawdy, and bright, and breaks the usual paranormal boundaries with sensitivity and style to burn. I can’t wait for the next one!’ Kat Richardson

‘A new star is rising in the urban fantasy world. With her Jane True character, Peeler launches a first-person series that’s an exciting journey of self-discovery and murder mystery . . . A notable debut’ Romantic Times

‘A fascinating, fast-paced sexy storm of a book’ Rachel Caine

 ‘Peeler’s Jane True series is one that readers will want to see through to the end’ Impact

Look below for the covers in their full glory:

Read the rest of this entry »

Echo City awaits . . .

This week sees the release of ECHO CITY, an atmospheric dark fantasy from New York Times bestselling author Tim Lebbon. Described by Steven Erikson as “brilliantly conceived and exquisitely well written” ECHO CITY explores the consequences of a stranger’s arrival in a society where the outside world is no more than a myth.

Echo City lies at the heart of a poisonous desert. It is a place ruled by tradition, where history has been forgotten and the secrets of the past are little more than echoes beneath the dusty streets. The inhabitants of this labyrinthine metropolis know but one truth: they are alone in the world. No life exists beyond their walls.

So when a stranger from beyond the desert arrives, everything they’ve believed in is suddenly proven false. As centuries of tradition and stasis come to an end, different political groups prepare to fight a war for the future of their city.

Yet soon they will face a far greater threat. For unknown to them, an ancient force is awakening in the darkness below Echo City . . . and soon it will reach the surface.

ECHO CITY has already received considerable praise from both print and online media.

“Lebbon fuses high fantasy with his trademark gut-churning horror to produce a fascinating examination of calamitous change after a period of stasis” – GUARDIAN

“Lebbon’s prose is a pleasure, and so too his seamless hybridisation of horror and dark fantasy – were there to be another novel set in the same world, I’d gladly go back for a second helping” – SPECULATIVE SCOTSMAN

“Echo City  is a gloriously atmospheric piece that pulls you right into the various Cantons and leaves you on the wall of the city, staring out across the desert and wondering what lies beyond the horizon . . . An engrossing story” – GRAEME’S FANTASY BOOK REVIEW

For a taster of what is one of the fantasy releases of 2011, check out this exclusive extract.

author post

Bearers of the Black Staff begins a new chapter in the pre-history of the Shannara world – now revealed to be our own at a time in the distant future. I got started on this with the Genesis of Shannara trilogy which chronicled the destruction of civilization in the Old World and the efforts of a handful of survivors to escape what would prove to be an even greater cataclysm. Having gotten past that, we now pick up on their descendants some five hundred years later and find – I am sure, to no one’s great surprise – that things haven’t yet been resolved and that survival of those who remain is not yet assured.

What’s both interesting and difficult is that having written the Shannara books early on, I now have to find ways to make this current series dovetail into all the stories we already know while at the same time making everything seem new and interesting and revealing secrets that to this point I haven’t. For example, how did the various Races come to be? How did the magic evolve? We have Knights of the Word in the pre-history, so what happened to them? Did they end up becoming the Druids in the Shannara world of the future? Read the rest of this entry »

The Final Evolution – out now!

Out now worldwide is the explosive conclusion to the Avery Cates series, The Final Evolution (UK / US/ ANZ).

I just can’t express enough how much I’ve loved the post-apocalyptic, action-noir thrill ride that is the Avery Cates series. But I can try… 

*Ahem*. In alphabetical order:

It’s attitude-drenched, balls-to-the-wall, cybernetic, ducking-and-diving, electric-monk-thumping, filthy-mouthing, gung-ho, hell-bent, intelligent, jugular-grabbing, killakool, lily-liver-kicking , mind-blowinglyapocalypting, nasty-ass, octane-fast, punks-en-masse, quick-witted, right-fisted, slidin’-slammin’, twisting-turning, unrelentingly-unforgiving, voraciously-violent, world-class-wrecking-balling, YEAH!, zip-zoominglyzeighteisty.

Read the rest of this entry »

WHITE NIGHT by Jim Butcher: a Dresden Files reread

 Mark Yon has been a reviewer and web administrator at SFFWorld, one of the world’s biggest genre forum sites, for nearly ten years. He has also been on the David Gemmell Awards organisation committee for the last two years. In this series of rereads, Mark will guide us below through the whole of Jim Butcher’s fabulous Dresden Files series as we count down to the new hardback Ghost Story at the end of July.

White Night takes place fairly soon after the events of Proven Guilty. We find that Molly, Harry’s trainee from Proven Guilty, is developing really well. And Harry’s growing relationship with Molly has given him, though he might be shocked to realise it, a much more positive and enthusiastic response to life. Some (but not all!) of that weariness and cynicism he experienced in Dead Beat and Proven Guilty seems to have gone, and it’s clear that the apprenticeship, for all its difficulties, actually quite suits Harry.

Having said that, it’s clear that the dramatic events of this book are really cathartic experiences for Harry. White Night is about pain and facing up to your responsibilities, however awful they may be and whatever consequences may result. It is about death and regret, and how we resolve these issues.

Here we’re back to the good ol’ fast-paced murder-mystery tales of the earlier books. Harry is asked by Karrin Murphy (now demoted from Lieutenant to Sergeant) to have a look at a murder that may be more mysterious than it seems. It’s then discovered that a number of women have been killed around Chicago, with no apparent link or motive in common. However, Harry finds clues that can only be read by those with a background in magic – and it seems that someone is hunting down witches and then making sure Harry sees the grim results. Read the rest of this entry »

Heartless is out!

Alexia Tarabotti-Maccon is back in her newest adventure! And this time she’s on the warpath.  With an assassination attempt on the Queen, and dealing with a pregnancy, Alexia has more than enough to keep her occupied.

A bit more about Heartless:

Lady Alexia Maccon, soulless, is at it again, only this time the trouble is not her fault. When a mad ghost threatens the queen, Alexia is on the case, following a trail that leads her deep into her husband’s past. Top that off with a sister who has joined the suffragette movement (shocking!), Madame Lefoux’s latest mechanical invention, and a plague of zombie porcupines and Alexia barely has time to remember she happens to be eight months pregnant.

Will Alexia manage to determine who is trying to kill Queen Victoria before it is too late? Is it the vampires again or is there a traitor lurking about in wolf’s clothing? And what, exactly, has taken up residence in Lord Akeldama’s second best closet?

We’re releasing the first chapter of Heartless on Facebook and you can find Gail on twitter @gailcarriger.

And for those of you who have yet to read the first three– we’ll be doing an ebook bundle of the first three books at $9.99 in the US.  So that’s Soulless, Blameless and Changeless in one bundle starting July 5th!

Timeless is the final book in the Alexia Tarabotti-Maccon series and it will be published in March 2012. If you’d like a sneak peak at the cover of Timeless, find it here.

Robert Jackson Bennett on the Point(s) of Plot

Robert Jackson Bennett’s most recent novel, THE COMPANY MAN, published by Orbit in April, has been receiving rave reviews across the board:

“Bennett does the seemingly impossible here. He’s written an alternate-history novel that measures up in every respect to Philip K. Dick’s masterful The Man In the High Castle.” — Booklist

“The novel is a genuine original, something like an episode of ‘The X-Files’ written by Clifford Odets. Strongly recommended.” —Michael Berry, San Francisco Chronicle

“THE COMPANY MAN made me realize how far sci-fi has come in my lifetime.” —Tom Shippey, Wall Street Journal

Robert knows plenty about plot. On his blog he has just posted a piece in which he talks about the point of plot, expressing his forthright opinions on the academic’s view of plot as opposed to the reader’s; the different uses of plot, character, and voice; and how and for what reason spoilers can be advantageously ignored.

“The very best novels are a space in your head, a secret little corner only you know about, and you want to return to that place and spend a few hours enjoying yourself. What goes on in that place could matter less.”

Check out Robert’s thoughts at his blog; and if you haven’t yet read THE COMPANY MAN or his first novel, the critically acclaimed, multiple award-nominated MR. SHIVERS — do.

Cover Launch: THE BUSINESS OF DEATH by Trent Jamieson

People often ask me, how do I find artists for books. And there’s never one good answer…I try to stay on top of established scifi and fantasy artists through places like Spectrum and assorted illustration annuals. I also like to keep an eye on people working more in the fine-art and urban art realm thru mags like Juxtapoz and Hi Fructose. I have a long history in comics (yes I was a Comic Shop Girl) and I pull artists across the divide between comics and books. Agents send me updated work from artists constantly. And facebook, believe it or not, has been a great tool for me to find emerging artists.

The real problem isn’t finding good artists, it’s wishing I had enough good projects for all the fabulous artists I know of! And I love getting people who haven’t worked on a lot of book covers to work on a cover for me, I think it keeps the art really fresh. So I am always walking around with a “dream team” list in the back of my head. And David Seidman was on that list for a while…until I heard that we were going to do an omnibus edition of Trent Jamieson’s Deathworks Series, and I knew he would be perfect for it. I’m not sure where I first saw David’s work. It was either on facebook or it was his Coheed and Cambria picture disk. Either way I just had a gut feeling he would have a fabulous take on these books, which is kind of a little Constantine by way of The Office. Or Office Space, actually. We really wanted to capture the bored sick-of-this-damn-cubicle attitude, while showing a bit of the supernatural. If you want to get a good intro you can read the opener here.

As you’ve been reading over the last few cover posts, I love doing omnibus editions. I like them as a fan, there’s nothing better than getting a big honking bible-sized edition of a series, and as an art director, I love getting a chance to reinvent a character. This redesign started with shooting the right photo reference with Shirley Green. (Often an artist shoots his own reference photo, but the editors and I had such a strong sense of what we wanted that I art directed the shoot then sent the images we picked to David). We had a heck of a time finding the right model. We knew we wanted someone out of the vein of beefcake, someone cool, who could look so very fed up and a bit pissed. And look good in a suit, of course! But we settled on Jonathan Taylor and he was a great model, and totally a geek too, which makes it all so much more fun. Anyway then we picked poses we liked in-house, then sent the winner to David. He & I went back a bunch talking about tone and color, and he produced this fabulous illustration. So enjoy BIG after the jump, along with some shots of the various stages. And a teaser, of course…

Read the rest of this entry »

Locus Award Winner: The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms!

N.K. Jemisin’s debut novel THE HUNDRED THOUSAND KINGDOMS has won this year’s Locus award for Best First Novel! And congratulations are also in order for Paolo Bacigalupi who took Best YA Novel for SHIP BREAKER.

Cover Launch: THE LEGEND OF ELI MONPRESS by Rachel Aaron

One of the best parts of my job is getting to collaborate with fantastic artists on covers. And one of Orbit’s favorites is the stellar Sam Weber. When I heard we were going to collect the first three Spirit Thief books into an omnibus edition I knew I wanted to give Sam a crack at creating his version of the incorrigible rogue & sorcerer Eli Monpress. So here it is, The Legend of Eli Monpress by Rachel Aaron. It’s out in February in satisfying tome-size trade paperback. This edition collects The Spirit Thief, The Spirit Rebellion, and The Spirit Eater, and set’s the scene for the next story, The Spirit’s War, out in June 2012.

And speaking of The Spirit’s War, we know you guys are going to love this cover so much that we already have Sam working on the cover for the new book. And Art Director Kirk & I snuck out of the office for a few hours and went to visit Sam at his studio and see the cover-in-progress! We also took along our trusty cameraman Eric Westpheling to tape a studio tour and chat with Sam about his process. That video will debut with the cover launch of The Spirit’s War in a few months, but for now, here are some images of our visit and a SNEAK PEAK at the next cover!

I don’t remember the first time I saw Sam’s art but here at Orbit we love that he can capture such a strong feeling of fantasy and adventure, yet in a fresh way and in his unique style. Our first project together was The Gaslight Dogs, which was a stunning cover, but I have of course also been jealous of all the lovely work he’s been doing for other clients as well. Especially that drop-dead-gorgeous Ender’s Game ebook. And I have to say I was curious to see exactly what his process was…the transparency & textures he gets in his illustrations just blows my mind. I definitely learned a lot. I guess you’ll just have to wait for the cover launch of The Spirit’s War to hear him explain it himself…

Meanwhile, after the jump you can see a few more still shots of Sam in action, as well as this cover BIG, and a better shot of the art-in-progress…and if you haven’t had the chance to “meet” Eli Monpress yet, do yourself a favor and download the first two chapters as a free pdf here. I know I’m not supposed to have favorites and all, but this series is definitely on my list of manuscripts that I bug the editors about when I know it might be coming in…My early comparisons to The Princess Bride and Locke Lamora are completely on-target with everyone I’ve recommended this book to. Eli is a fantastic antihero, and, guy or girl, you can’t help fall in love with him a bit. Read the rest of this entry »

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