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Descent by Ken MacLeod

DESCENT 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 LASCAR’S DAGGERGlenda Larke

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: Art

First Look: Fall 2014 to Winter 2015 US Covers

Screen Shot 2014-02-27 at 5.09.41 PM

Are you sitting down? If not, then you should be because these covers are going to knock you off your feet. The Orbit Art Department has again delivered some positively breathtaking jackets. Enjoy this preview of our Fall and Winter line-up with more to follow over the next few months.

Click on the images below to see a larger version and appreciate each cover in its full glory.  Let us know which books are headed to your wish list!

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First Look: Autumn 2014 to Winter 2015 Orbit UK covers

AutumnCoversUK

Wishlists at the ready, it’s that time of year again! Orbit is incredibly proud to present a selection of covers from this autumn to winter in 2015. There is plenty more incredible cover art yet to be released, but for now enjoy this brilliant preview of what’s to come later this year and early next.

Which new books are on the top of your list?

Click on the covers below to see a larger version.

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Happy Holidays from Orbit: Cyborg Santa!

Happy Holidays from Orbit!

cyborgsanta2013webSee you in 2014!

Thanks to Gregory Titus for providing the 3rd annual SFF Santa for Orbit Books. Here’s Jetpack Santa and Epic Santa (with printable gift tags)!

 

THE HIGH DRUID’S BLADE by Terry Brooks

The High Druid's Blade, a brand new stand-alone novel from master fantasy writer Terry Brooks, the first Defenders of Shannara novelComing in March is something new and very exciting from one of the all-time greats of epic fantasy writing.

THE HIGH DRUID’S BLADE is a brand new title from Terry Brooks. It’s the first Defenders of Shannara novel – one of three new stand-alone novels set in his thrilling world of Shannara.

Here for the first time is our UK version of the cover in all its glory, using the stunning artwork from illustrator Bastien Lecouffe Deharme. We feel this new look is just right for Terry’s books – it’s fresh and dynamic and really reflects how Terry’s writing is as breath-taking as ever.

THE HIGH DRUID’S BLADE features a brand new hero Paxon Leah – a young man who believes himself to be ordinary, but fate will prove him to be very different indeed . . . It’s one of the most exciting fantasy stories I’ve read in a long time! Secrets are revealed, powers are unleashed, and you’ll see a whole new side to Shannara you never knew existed. Read on for the blurb:

Legend has it that Paxon Leah is descended from the royals and warriors who once waged war with magical weapons. But those heroes are long gone now, and there is nothing enchanted about the antique sword that hangs above Paxon’s fireplace. Paxon leads a quiet life – until extraordinary circumstances overturn his simple world . . . and rewrite his destiny.
 
When his sister is abducted by a mysterious stranger, Paxon races to her rescue with the only weapon he can find. He is stunned to discover powerful magic unleashed within him – and within his ancestors’ ancient blade.

But his formidable new ability is dangerous in untrained hands. Paxon must master it quickly, as his near-fatal clash with a dark sorcerer won’t be his last. Leaving behind home and hearth, he journeys to the keep of the Druid order to learn the secrets of magic and earn the right to become their sworn protector . . .

Witch Wraith, book 3 int he Dark Legacy of Shannara by Terry Brooks, which starts with Wards of Faerie and Bloodfire QuestAlso, don’t forget that the paperback edition of the last book in Terry’s Dark Legacy of Shannara series, WITCH WRAITH, is released on the last day of this year. It’s a perfect end to the series, and a great way to round off 2013!

Skin Game: Cover Announced!

Skin Game

We’re proud to release our cover for the fifteenth novel in the Dresden Files today, the much-anticipated SKIN GAME, by artist Chris McGrath. News of a release date to follow soon.

Harry Dresden, Chicago’s only professional wizard, is about to have a very bad day . . .

Because as Winter Knight to the Queen of Air and Darkness, Harry never knows what the scheming Mab might want him to do. Usually, it’s something awful.

He doesn’t know the half of it. Mab has just traded Harry’s skills to pay off one of her debts. And now he must help a group of supernatural villains – led by one of Harry’s most dreaded and despised enemies, Nicodemus Archleone – to break into the highest-security vault in town so that they can then access the highest-security vault in the Nevernever.

It’s a smash-and-grab job to recover the literal Holy Grail from the vaults of the greatest treasure horde in the supernatural world – which belongs to the one and only Hades, Lord of the Underworld. See the rest of the blurb, and Jim’s thoughts on the cover, at his website here.

The Dresden Files

HIDDEN: Benedict Jacka Cover Launch

The cover to Benedict Jacka's fifth Alex Verus novel, HIDDEN.

We’re proud to release the cover of the fifth Alex Verus novel by Benedict Jacka, designed by Ceara Elliot. HIDDEN will be released in September 2014, but until then you can catch up with probability mage Alex Verus in the first four novels, FATED (UK|ANZ), CURSED (UK|ANZ), TAKEN (UK|ANZ) and the recently released CHOSEN (UK|ANZ). 

 The Alex Verus series

TOWER LORD by Anthony Ryan – Cover Reveal

If you’re a fan of razor-sharp action, deadly intrigue and conflicted heroes – not to mention vivid, detailed worlds – then chances are you caught the huge buzz that surrounded the release of BLOOD SONG (UK | ANZ), last summer’s epic fantasy blockbuster.

The critical acclaim for Anthony Ryan’s debut was overwhelming, with even the mighty Buzzfeed chiming in to declare BLOOD SONG an ‘utterly engrossing high-fantasy epic from a major new talent.’ More recently, Amazon UK picked the book as their favourite SFF release of 2013.

The good news is that there’s more to come. A lot more. Next summer we publish Anthony’s incredible new novel TOWER LORD – and we can promise that if you thought BLOOD SONG was impressive, you’ve not seen anything yet.

Here’s the wonderful cover, courtesy of the combined talents of designers Nick Castle and Nik Keevil.

TOWER-LORD-ANTHONY-RYAN

And here’s a taste of what you can expect in TOWER LORD (contains spoilers for BLOOD  SONG!):

THE REALM BURNS.

Vaelin Al Sorna is tired of war. He’s fought countless battles in service to the Realm and Faith. His reward was the loss of his love, the death of his friends and a betrayal by his king. After five years in an Alpiran dungeon, he just wants to go home.

Reva intends to welcome Vaelin back with a knife between the ribs. He destroyed her family and ruined her life. Nothing will stop her from exacting bloody vengeance – not even the threat of invasion from the greatest enemy the Realm has ever faced.

Yet as the fires of war spread, foes become friends and truths turn to lies. To save the Realm, Reva must embrace a future she does not want – and Vaelin must revisit a past he’d rather leave buried.

TOWER LORD will be published on 3 July 2014 in hardback, trade format and ebook.

Anthony Ryan can be found online at his website and on Twitter.

Cover Reveal: THE REMAINING by D.J. Molles

We’re thrilled to share the stunning cover art for the first four books in D.J. Molles’ Remaining series, which follows Captain Lee Harden and a group of survivors as they fight to rebuild a devastated America. The eBooks of all four will be available from Orbit starting January 2014, with print additions coming out in successive months starting in May.

In the meantime here is a synopsis of the first book in the series, THE REMAINING….

In a steel-and-lead-encased bunker 20 feet below the basement level of his house, a Special Forces soldier waits for his final orders. On the surface, a plague ravages the planet, infecting over 90% of the populace.

The bacterium burrows through the brain, destroying all signs of humanity and leaving behind little more than base, prehistoric instincts. The infected turn into hyper-aggressive predators, with an insatiable desire to kill and feed.

Soon the soldier will have to open the hatch to his bunker, and step out into this new wasteland, to complete his duty: SURVIVE, RESCUE, REBUILD.

This gritty tale of survival and perseverance will enthrall fans of World War Z and The Walking Dead.

THE REMAINING (US | UK) – Paperback – May 2014, eBook January 2014
THE REMAINING: AFTERMATH  (US | UK) – Paperback – June 2014, eBook January 2014
THE REMAINING: REFUGEES (US | UK) – Paperback – July 2014, eBook January 2014
THE REMAINING: FRACTURED (US | UK)– Paperback – August 2014, eBook January 2014

Molles_TheRemaining-TP Molles_TheRemainingAftermath-TP.jpg

Molles_TheRemainingRefugees-TP.jpg Molles_TheRemainingFractured-TP.jpg

Cover design by Lauren Panepinto.

The Making of a Cover: Final Books (and video!)

Welcome to the most in-depth, behind-the-scenes, play-by-play account of how a cover is born, from the point of view of the Art Department. We’re charting the conception and birth of the Shadowdance series by David Dalglish.

So far we have talked about the first real step of a book, Acquisitionand then what goes into Cover Briefing. Then we let our minds wander and collect inspiration and form Directions for the cover. Then we agreed on a Photographer and Illustrator. We’ve even found our hero, the Cover Model. And we found a Trampoline for him to do stunt work on safely. We decked him out in book-specific Costume & Props. We spent all day at our Photo Shoot. We received the Rough Cuts, and while the illustrator was working, Kirk was developing the Design Roughs. Then we got the Final Retouched Illustrations in and got to the design on the Final Covers. And now, believe it or not, we’re at the end of our little cover art journey, and even though you’ve seen the final book designs in the last post, I give you a treat:

It’s been a pleasure taking you through the cover process for such a fun series. We really put a ton of work into all our covers here at Orbit, and I hope you’ve enjoyed peeking behind the curtain. I don’t think people realize quite how many moving parts, how many stages of work, and how many people make up the cover process. And remember, we’re doing a whole season’s worth of covers at once. Whew.

Thank you to amazing ninja Bryce Bermingham, Photographer Michael Frost and his team, Illustrator Gene Mollica, the team at Hollywood Stunts, our video guys Eric Westpheling and Louis Rebecchi, our prop makers and costume builders and everyone who had a hand in bringing these covers to life. Thanks also to Kirk Benshoff, my co-conspirator in Art Direction & Design. And of course, thanks to David Dalglish, who thought up such a cool concept for us to make a reality.

The Making of a Cover: Final Cover Designs

Welcome to the most in-depth, behind-the-scenes, play-by-play account of how a cover is born, from the point of view of the Art Department. We’re charting the conception and birth of the Shadowdance series by David Dalglish.

So far we have talked about the first real step of a book, Acquisitionand then what goes into Cover Briefing. Then we let our minds wander and collect inspiration and form Directions for the cover. Then we agreed on a Photographer and Illustrator. We’ve even found our hero, the Cover Model. And we found a Trampoline for him to do stunt work on safely. We decked him out in book-specific Costume & Props. We spent all day at our Photo Shoot. We received the Rough Cuts, and while the illustrator was working, Kirk was developing the Design Roughs. We even looked at the Mapmaking process. Once the illustrator was done, he sent over the Final Retouched Illustrations for Kirk to input into his designs, getting us to Final Cover Designs!

You’d think, after all the work on the design, and all the work on the images, that Kirk’s work would be over, but there is still the cover mechanical to send to the printer for the final printed books. Here’s Kirk Benshoff to go into more detail about that:

Up to this point all of the focus has been on the front cover, which is ultimately the main draw to get people to pick up the book, look at it, and ultimately buy it. But what happens if the book is not face out in a bookshelf? What do you want the rest of the experience to be once someone has the book in his or her hands? The book needs a strong shelf presence to stand out amongst a lot of other titles in a bookstore.

In all, the cover is broken out into three parts: the front cover, spine, and back cover. The spine needs to visually identify the book when it’s shelved in a bookcase. In the event that someone who is familiar with the book wants to find the next volume in the series, an identifiable spine design will make it easy for that person to find what they need. If we’re looking to court a new reader who is not familiar with the property, we want the spine to be as engaging as a tall and thin surface area can be so someone can get a taste of the cover, be compelled to take it out, and look at it.

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