- - July 13th, 2015
We are delighted to share our cover for DAUGHTER OF BLOOD, the third instalment in Helen Lowe’s David Gemmell Award-winning series, the Wall of Night.
This much-anticipated and thrilling epic fantasy will be released on 26th January 2016, but you can preorder it today!
A failing wall, a broken shield, and an enemy that will exploit every weakness . . .
Malian and Kalan have recovered two of the three legendary weapons of the Derai, but already it may be too late. The Wall of Night, fractured by centuries of blood feud and civil strife, is on the verge of falling.
Meanwhile, among Grayharbor backstreets, an orphan boy falls foul of dark forces. A daughter of the House of Blood must be married to the Earl of Night, a pawn in the web of her family’s ambition, and Kalan is caught in a political web he may not be able to escape.
While even as Malian dodges Darkswarm pursuers in her search for the Shield of Heaven, rumour whispers that it may be broken beyond repair – and she herself may be the blade the ancient enemy will drive into the heart of the Derai Alliance.
- - June 30th, 2015
THE FIRST LAW TRILOGY is being released this September from Orbit! This is the original grim dark trilogy that inspired a new generation of fantasy writers. We envy the readers who have yet to meet the infamous barbarian Logen Ninefingers, the dashing Captain Jezal dan Luthar, the wizard Bayaz and the sinister Inquisitor Glokta for the first time…
Murderous conspiracies rise to the surface, old scores are ready to be settled, and the line between hero and villain is sharp enough to draw blood.
Ancient secrets will be uncovered. Bloody battles will be won and lost. Bitter enemies will be forgiven — but not before they are hanged.
The king lies on his deathbed, the peasants revolt, and the nobles scramble to steal his crown. Only the First of the Magi can save the world, but there are risks. There is no risk more terrible, than to break the First Law…
“Bloody and relentless.” – George R. R. Martin
“Delightfully twisted and evil.” – The Guardian
“Heroic fantasy without conventional heroes…Full of cynicism and wit.” – RT Book Reviews
“Bold and authentically original.” – Jeff VanderMeer
“Compelling characters, a complex plot, and style to burn.” – Strange Horizons
“There is a gritty edge to his world and an awareness of the human cost of violence that is very contemporary.” – The Times
“Truly wonderful.” – Forbes
Cover design by Laura Brett
- - June 26th, 2015
Are you as excited about the launch of Jim Butcher’s new series as we are? THE AERONAUT’S WINDLASS (UK|ANZ) comes out 29th September, but you can preorder it today!
Filled with swashbuckling adventure, daring airship chases and thrilling swordfights, plus all the magic, wisecracking and dazzling heroics that make the Dresden Files so spectacular, this is not a series to miss. We’re very excited today to release our cover, by the fantastic Chris McGrath.
Jim Butcher, the no.1 Sunday Times and New York Times bestselling author of The Dresden Files and the Codex Alera novels, conjures up a new series set in a fantastic world of noble families, steam-powered technology, and magic-wielding warriors . . .
Since time immemorial, the Spires have sheltered humanity, towering for miles over the mist-shrouded surface of the world. Within their halls, aristocratic houses have ruled for generations, developing scientific marvels, fostering trade alliances, and building fleets of airships to keep the peace.
Captain Grimm commands the merchant ship, Predator. Fiercely loyal to Spire Albion, he has taken their side in the cold war with Spire Aurora, disrupting the enemy’s shipping lines by attacking their cargo vessels. But when the Predator is severely damaged in combat, leaving captain and crew grounded, Grimm is offered a proposition from the leaders of Albion – to join a team of agents on a vital mission in exchange for fully restoring Predator to its fighting glory.
And even as Grimm undertakes this dangerous task, he will learn that the conflict between the Spires is merely a premonition of things to come. Humanity’s ancient enemy, silent for more than ten thousand years, has begun to stir once more. And death will follow in its wake . . .
- - June 25th, 2015
Coming out next month from Orbit is SHADES IN SHADOW which will feature three short stories by Hugo, Nebula & World Fantasy Award nominated author N. K. Jemisin set in the Inheritance trilogy world. Salon.com says it all when they call N. K. Jemisin “one of the most celebrated new voices in epic fantasy.” And John Scalzi says: “One of the most accomplished and exciting fantasy writers to arrive in the last few years.”
From the shadows of the greater stories, away from the bright light of Sky and wending ’round the sagas of the Arameri, come three quieter tales. A newborn god with an old, old soul struggles to find a reason to live. A powerful demon searches for her father, and answers. And in a prequel to the Inheritance Trilogy, a newly-enslaved Nahadoth forges a dark alliance with a mortal, for survival… and revenge.
Return to the world of THE HUNDRED THOUSAND KINGDOMS (US | UK | AUS) in these three interconnected short tales.
- - June 23rd, 2015
I was fortunate enough to art direct David’s first series, the Shadowdance novels, so when I heard we were ready to work on his next series I was super excited. SKYBORN (US | UK | AUS) is about the Seraphim, an elite military force protecting a floating island of Weshern. The Seraphim guard the remnants of mankind, defying gravity using ancient wings and mastering powerful elements to wage war in the skies.
The new series has been a different design challenge from the Shadowdance books in that we wanted to convey a different feel for the cover art. In David’s first series, we wanted emphasis on the main character, a ninja-like assassin, and the books’ energetic action. In Skyborn, the characters are a bit more unique in that they have metal wings to fly, wield swords, and wear military uniforms. Ultimately, the new series needed to convey high adventure.
In what I would call serendipitous timing, the work of Tommy Arnold came across my desk as we were discussing the covers. His style just hit the nail on the head for this project. His ability to illustrate characters was spot on. He could also handle textures beautifully: fabrics, metals, flames, etc. And most importantly, his illustrations really pull the viewer in and engage you. It was a no brainer in reaching out to get Tommy on board.
So after settling on what we wanted for the covers, we got Tommy moving. I couldn’t have had more fun designing David’s super fun new series with such a talented artist!
I’m thrilled to present the cover to Skyborn by David Dalglish!
Skyborn, the first volume of a new series by David Dalglish, will be hitting shelves November 2015.
- - June 19th, 2015
Last month we released the paperback edition THIEF’S MAGIC, from the No. 1 Sunday Times bestselling author Trudi Canavan. It’s book one in a brand new fantasy series called Millennium’s Rule – and judging from the fantastic reader reviews, it’s going down very well indeed!
We can now unveil the cover for the second book in the Millennium’s Rule series – ANGEL OF STORMS – out this November. We think this is looking stunning – if we do say so ourselves! – and we feel it really captures the sense of adventure and mystery that makes this series so thrilling.
The illustration shows the character Rielle, who is going to be swept away on a breath-taking journey in this book – by the Angel of Storms himself. Meanwhile Tyen, who has become a teacher of mechanical magic, will learn that the formidable ruler of all worlds, long believed to be dead, is back and enforcing his old laws . . .
Whether you’re an existing fan of Trudi Canavan or just a fan of fantasy in general, this series needs to be moved to the top of your to be read pile ASAP! #justsayin
Now available for pre-order
- - June 11th, 2015
THE IMMORTALS by Jordanna Max Brodsky, the first volume of a new contemporary fantasy series, will be hitting shelves February 2016.
When I was first approached to work on this project, I was told there were three key ingredients I needed to keep in mind for this contemporary fantasy cover:
- History of New York to appeal to folks who love to find out about the city’s secret history
- Greek Gods to appeal to adults who read Greek mythology & legends growing up
- Bring New York and Greek Mythology together in a dark and eerie package
These kinds of projects are always a challenge because I need to convey specific information in a very specific way. In this case I need to show:
Greek Gods + New York City = Fantastical and Menacing
I didn’t want the cover to be campy and so the search began looking for the perfect image that would set the stage for the gods and the supernatural. I looked for a long time across a lot of stock sites and finally found the perfect image. The shot of Central Park and the graininess of the image perfectly set the tone.
With a little glowy magic here and a constellation there to introduce the Greek mythology, all the elements came together really nicely.
So with everything said and done, I am thrilled to present the cover to the The Immortals by Jordanna Max Brodsky.
- - May 15th, 2015
Arriving at Orbit this summer from Waterstones Book Club author Louisa Hall comes SPEAK, a novel which will make readers everywhere question what it really means to be human.
Emily St. John Mandel, Arthur C. Clarke winner and author of STATION ELEVEN, calls SPEAK the ‘rarest of finds’, and it is already one of Huffington Post‘s Brilliant Books You Won’t Want to Miss this Summer.
She cannot run. She cannot walk. She cannot even blink. As her batteries run down for the final time, all she can do is speak. Will you listen?
From Alan Turing’s conviction in the 1950s to a Silicon Valley Wunderkind imprisoned in 2040 for creating illegally lifelike dolls. From a pilgrim girl writing her diary to a traumatised young girl exchanging messages with a software program, all these lives have shaped and changed a single artificial intelligence – MARY3. In Speak, she tells you their story, and her own. It the last story she will ever tell, spoken both in celebration and in warning.
When machines learn to speak, who decides what it means to be human?
[Cover design by Jack Smyth from the Little, Brown Book Group Design team.]
- - April 28th, 2015
Welcome to a behind-the-scenes post on how maps get created in the Orbit universe. I thought A CROWN FOR COLD SILVER (US | UK |AUS) was the perfect opportunity to do a write-up on, because the map design even made it to the cover. I’ll be your narrator, and welcome Author Alex Marshall, and illustrator Tim Paul.
LP: People often ask how we decide which books are going to have maps, and most times it is author-driven. Some authors use mapmaking as part of their worldbuilding process, and some authors only have a more general idea of geography as they’re writing. If a map or diagram comes naturally out of a story, then I always like to create something to expand the reader’s experience of the book. And sometimes a “map” is not really a map – for example we’ll be doing a process post soon on BLACK WOLVES (US | UK | AUS) by Kate Elliott – that book has tattoo designs for each important clan in the book in lieu of a geographic map.
In the case of A Crown for Cold Silver, I knew the author had a very specific concept for the map, and when I want the author and map maker to work together directly, my go-to artist is Tim Paul. I’d actually known Tim for a few years for his more stylized illustrations. One day we were sitting at the Society of Illustrators in NYC, at some art event or another, and he was saying he was dragging out all his old Dungeon Master props and maps to start up a Dungeons & Dragons campaign. He was talking about how much he enjoyed geeking out on the mapmaking, and my head snapped over to him and I said, so….you like making maps huh? Have you ever illustrated one for a client? (See, networking is real!)
TP: Hurray for networking, and talking about yourself!
LP: Map illustrators are a special – and rare – breed. You have to really be into the process of drawing the map out of the author, and tolerate a lot of fine-tuning. If you aren’t really excited by that, then you burn out quite quickly on all the revisions. You have to love the collaboration process. Many illustrators feel map work isn’t as creative as other types of illustration, but good mapmakers know there’s a lot of room for artistic license.
TP: It’s true about being a rare breed. I’ve had lots of illustrators tell me they won’t touch maps, and those few that do try, end up deciding not to do them again. As one person described, it’s like doing 50 – 100 little illustrations that are always changing. I actually find drawing thousands of little trees and mountains relaxing, even as I strive to make each mountain unique.
I’ve played D&D since I was 14. The maps in the books and modules were one of my favorite aspects. As a kid, I always made my own maps and worlds. Surprisingly, it took a long time to put my love of making my own maps into another way to making a living with my art. Read the rest of this entry »
- - March 12th, 2015
Coming July 2015, THE ANNIHILATION SCORE is the latest science fiction thriller from Charles Stross, in a series where British spies take on the supernatural.
NOBODY DOES IT BETTER . . .
Dr Mo O’Brien is an intelligence agent at the top secret government agency known as ‘the Laundry’. When occult powers threaten the realm, they’ll be there to clean up the mess – and deal with the witnesses.
The Laundry is recovering from a devastating attack and when average citizens all over the country start to develop supernatural powers, the police are called in to help. Mo is appointed as official police liaison, but in between dealing with police bureaucracy, superpowered members of the public and disgruntled politicians, Mo discovers to her horror that she can no longer rely on her marriage, nor on the weapon that has been at her side for eight years of undercover work, the possessed violin known as ‘Lecter’.
If this wasn’t bad enough, a mysterious figure known as Dr Freudstein is committing heists and sending increasingly threatening messages to the police. Who is Freudstein and what is he planning?
Many thanks to crushed.co.uk and Sophie Burdess for their beautiful cover!