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Descent by Ken MacLeod


Author of 2013 Arthur C. Clarke Award-nominated Intrusion tells a science fiction story for the twenty-first century – what happens when conspiracy theorists meet Big Brother?
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The start of a brand new epic fantasy trilogy from the author of the Stormlord series – full of scheming, spying, action and adventure.
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Category: Orbit UK

Cover Launch: fabulous new visuals for Marjorie Liu’s urban fantasy

We’ve now had in the final finishing touches to some covers that have been lovingly tweaked and tended over the last few months, and here is the result:

Fabulous, I think you’ll find! And the Hunter Kiss series will be released rapidly over four months, starting with The Iron Hunt in May this year. So, here is a little something on that first book:

During the day, Maxine’s tattoos are her armour and she is invincible. At night they peel from her skin to take on forms of their own, leaving her human and vulnerable – and showing themselves as demons sleeping beneath her skin. But these demons are the best friends and bodyguards a woman could have. And Maxine needs bodyguards. She is the last in a line of woman with power in their blood, trained to keep the world safe from malignant beings who would do us harm.

But ten thousand years after its creation, the prison dimension that kept the worst of these from us is failing, and all the Wardens save Maxine are dead. She must bear the burden of her bloodline and join the last wild hunt against the enemy.

And here is some praise for Marjorie M. Liu and her Hunter Kiss sequence:

  • ‘Excellent … I look forward to reading the further adventures of Maxine Kiss’
  • ‘From the imagination of one of today’s most talented authors comes a mesmerizing, darkly disturbing world on the brink of apocalypse’
    Romantic Times
  • ‘A stunning new urban fantasy series from an author who never ceases to amaze’
  • ‘High-speed action … creative and well-written’
    Darque Reviews

Deals and Deliveries: New Philip Palmer acquisition

We are tremendously excited to have acquired world rights in two new books by the talented Philip Palmer for Orbit, to be published on both sides of the Atlantic by Orbit UK and Orbit US. The first book, Hell Ship, will be a dramatic tale of pirates in space and will feature exploring, discovering, scouting and also killing, looting, and annihilating. Hell Ship will be appearing in a book store near you in Spring 2011, with the next book scheduled for Autumn 2011.

However, you don’t have to wait that long to enjoy more of Palmer’s larger-than-life characters, dark humour and cleverly sinister plotting. Version 43 is already on our schedules for Autumn 2010 and is an explosive adventure of death and robots on a violent frontier world.

Or read Red Claw (UK I US), out now, which is ‘hard not to warm to’ and ‘full of ideas’ according to the latest issue of SciFiNow. And we’d certainly agree with SciFiNow that Red Claw ‘deserves the plaudits it has received’ as there have indeed been many most glorious reviews for this book.

Mr. Shivers is Coming, Get Out Quick!

Robert Jackson Bennett’s debut novel MR. SHIVERS is coming later this month (US | UK), but you can get an early look at the mythic and horrifying world of the novel at Get out quick!

Looking Forward to 2010

Now that the ties and novelty lamps are returned, the trees recycled into useful if less sparkly mulch, and holiday egg nog has been sworn off forever, yet again, we at Orbit want to let you know what we’ve got in store for you in the coming months — in particular, about two new writers about whom you have probably already heard much — and, will be hearing more.

Our January debut, Mr. Shivers (US/UK), by Robert Jackson Bennett, should be on its way to bookstores even as you read this. In a starred review, Publishers Weekly noted that it reads “like a collaboration between Stephen King and John Steinbeck” and that he makes “dark fantasy feel like gritty realism, achieving a rare laconic eloquence that will captivate horror readers hungry for new voices.” Visit, and re-visit some of Robert’s past entries on the Orbit blog, where he readily displays his talent for pulling the rug out from under the feet of daily existence.

Then we’ll be bringing you N.K. Jemisin’s first novel, The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms [US February/UK April]. Romantic Times, giving it four and a half stars, calls it “an astonishing debut novel”, Kirkus Reviews has judged it “offbeat and engaging”, and Publishers Weekly, in its starred review, “a complex, edge-of-your-seat story with plenty of funny, scary, and bittersweet twists.” Jemisin’s debut Orbit blog post“Power and Privilege in Fantasy” is also not to be missed — and that you can read, right now. (Seriously. Now.)

Beyond the Wall of Time

This month, Orbit is proud to release Beyond the Wall of Time (UK/US), the final instalment in Russell Kirkpatrick’s spectacular Broken Man trilogy. With Russell’s previous works earning comments such as ‘Not since Tolkien have I been so awed’ from the wonderful Trudi Canavan, perhaps it’s no surprise that his Across the Face of the World was the US’s bestselling debut fantasy novel of 2008.

Beyond the Wall of Time yet again showcases Russell’s talent for strikingly vivid description and truly epic plotting. Find it in all good bookstores now!

The wall of time has fallen, leaving the Gods free to indulge their hunger for violence. Few know of their escape into mortal lands – and these few struggle against the control of the malevolent mage Husk and with their own problems.

Queen Stella, still in hiding, must make a deal with the Undying Man. His word is suspect, but her options are limited. Fisherman Noetos seeks revenge for the deaths of his loved ones, not yet realising the enemy is closer than even he can imagine. And the unconventional cosmographer Lenares is the only one with the power to prevent the Gods destroying the world – if she can get someone to believe her. 

The queen, fisherman and cosmographer must travel to Andratan to confront Husk. But whether they can break free of his hold on them, and defeat the Gods, is another matter entirely.

author post

An Urban Fantasy Holiday

Oh, the holidays. It’s a special time of year when I really enjoy reflecting on all the ways I’ve tortured my characters. To celebrate this magical and highly cathartic ritual, I’ve composed what is sure to be an instant holiday classic. Feel free to sing along!

The Twelve Days of An Urban Fantasy Heroine

On the first day of my UF novel, my author gave to me a demon in my pantry.

On the second day of my UF novel, my author gave to me, two love interests–and a demon in my pantry.

On the third day of my UF novel, my author gave to me, three bullet wounds–two love interests and a demon in my pantry.

On the fourth day of my UF novel, my author gave to me four mauling hellhounds–three bullet wounds, two love interests, and a demon in my pantry. Read the rest of this entry »

Karen Miller’s Love Affair With Stories

In thinking about writing this guest post (thank you, John!) I tried to remember when I first fell in love with stories – and for the life of me, I can’t! I vividly remember my primary school librarian introducing me to the world of Narnia with The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, and I remember choosing for myself the first of the Enid Blyton Secret Seven books that I read, but I just can’t recall a time when I wasn’t madly, passionately, devotedly and hopelessly in love with stories.

Read the whole post here!

“Like a collaboration between Stephen King and John Steinbeck…”

Bennett_Mr. Shivers (HC)

Mr. Shivers got a terrific starred review in this week’s Publishers Weekly! We think they hit the nail on the head– Robert Jackson Bennett is clearly channeling the spirits of other writers. No, seriously, we’re worried he’s stealing their souls. Someone should look into this…

“Set during the Great Depression and reading like a collaboration between Stephen King and John Steinbeck, this remarkably assured first novel relates a good man’s desperate travels through the ruins of the American heartland on the trail of his child’s murderer. ” You can find the full review here (scroll down to the SF/Fantasy/Horror Section.)

The Week That Was, As It Was

While you’re making lists of all the marvelous Orbit books you can buy for your friends and family for Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or any other year’s end holiday of your choice (or any other time of the year, for that matter), let’s take a fast look back on what happened around these parts last week.

Our attention turned to the Southern Hemisphere last week as Marianne de Pierres reflected upon the good work done in the past year by our AUZ authors, and the nominees for the Aurealis Awards were announced.

Joe Abercrombie had a spirited interview at Patrick Rothfuss’s blog about fantasy, film editing, shameful self-promotion, Muppets, and the orbital seque sander he proposes as a useful tool for the writer’s kit.

Gail Carriger, in the persona of her character Alexia Tarabotti, presented tips for coping with the holidays Victorian-style (once the werewolf has the doily on his head, of course, all is lost).

And Orbit UK’s Rose Tremlett was pleased to report on the spectacular press in the UK that both Palmer’s Red Claw and Jesse Bullington’s The Sad Tale of the Brothers Grossbart have received.

A Sad Tale and not for the faint of heart!

The Sad Tale of the Brothers GrossbartFollowing some great recent coverage (including an interview in SFX and a piece on the cover design in Sci-Fi Now), I thought I’d share some of the excellent reviews Jesse Bullington has been getting in the UK for his debut novel The Sad Tale of the Brothers Grossbart.  I think the general consensus is: not for the faint of heart!

‘One glance at the minor artistic miracle that is the cover was all it took to convince me to escalate this one up the reading list – and I’m so glad I did … As debut novels go this is one of the best I’ve read… it is utterly absorbing and as fine a tale as you’ll read this year … absurd, bizarre, bawdy, laugh-out-loud funny in places and above all highly original … Jesse Bullington has a unique voice and a rare talent and his debut novel showcases both to terrific effect.’ – Sci-Fi-London, Robert Grant
Read the rest of this entry »

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