- - July 27th, 2015
Have you always wanted to write your own fantasy novel? Have you got some great characters and plot lines bouncing around in your head that won’t leave you alone? Have you written a few stories but finally want to get going on your first real masterpiece? This is your chance . . .
I’m delighted to say that today we’re kicking off the Orbit Fantasy Writing Workshop.
This is a communal online write-along event, designed to get the creative juices flowing for aspiring fantasy authors worldwide.
It’s a great opportunity to finally put pen to paper, and get some advice on what makes a great story. Sitting down and writing can be tough, but it’s easier when you know there are many other people like you going through the same thing at the same time. So get involved and get writing today!
I’m setting you a specific challenge – to write 2,000 words of your very own fantasy novel by the end of next Monday, 3rd August. But I have some guidelines:
Since one of the most vital things about what makes a novel tick is the characters, I’d like you to write a scene which shows how one of your characters is morally conflicted i.e. a scene in which they’re torn between doing the right thing for the wrong reasons, or the wrong thing for the right reasons.
This could be a scene merely made up of a conversation between one or more other characters. It could show a character’s actions on a battlefield. It could be a tale of an assassin who shows mercy, or an honourable champion doing something terrible. It could have an epic fantasy feel, a coming-of-age feel or an urban fantasy feel. So long as it’s a fantasy scene which shows characters that are neither obviously good nor bad, it will fit the bill.
We hope this workshop inspires you to get writing – because that should be a highly rewarding experience in itself. But there is a competition element to this too.
Once you’ve written your 2,000 word sample as per the above challenge, you can either just sit back and admire your work – or you can submit it into our competition. The Orbit team will read every submission that is entered (submissions must be a maximum of 2000 words). And along with the Orbit folk, I will be picking one entry to win a series of in-depth editorial sessions about their writing with myself and an Orbit editor.
This is your chance to have your writing read by industry experts and receive feedback that could set you on the path to writing your own bestselling fantasy novel. An entry form will be posted on this site on Friday 31st July, and entries can be submitted until the end of 3rd August.
Advice Along The Way
I hope to be able to offer some helpful guidance over the coming week for any budding authors who get involved. My own writing career so far, from writing my debut THE INNOCENT MAGE (US | UK ) to my latest novel THE FALCON THRONE (US | UK | AUS), has been a wild ride. And if a new writer can be helped by something I’ve said, it will make all the hard work worthwhile.
Throughout this week I will be providing words of advice and encouragement on the Orbit site and on the Orbit Twitter feed (though there’s no requirement to be on Twitter to take part). Feel free to leave any questions or comments below, or use the hashtag #OrbitFantasyWorkshop to let us know how your writing is coming along. And if you’d like to ask any specific questions about writing during the week, you can ask me them directly in the Reddit Ask Me Anything (AMA) session I’m doing this Wednesday. I’m here to help, so fire away!
Let’s get going!
So where to begin? The answer is to pick up your pen and start writing. And in order get your ideas in line, see my first piece of advice here on Writing Your First Fantasy Novel.
See details of the next stage here.
- - July 17th, 2015
En garde! We have something very exciting in store for fantasy fans this Autumn . . .
Announcing the Duellists trilogy – a brand new adventure fantasy series from the hugely talented British author Julia Knight.
This year we’ll be releasing not just one, but all three books in this fast and furious series – full of ruffians, scoundrels and rogues . . . and more action than you can shake a very pointy stick at!
The three books are as follows:
SWORDS AND SCOUNDRELS (UK | US | ANZ) – October 2015
LEGENDS AND LIARS (UK | US | ANZ) – November 2015
WARLORDS AND WASTRELS (UK | US | ANZ) – December 2015
So what’s the series about? Well, it follows two former champion duellists, a brother and sister named Kacha and Vocho. They’re down on their luck – and have been forced to become reluctant highwaymen. But when they pick the wrong carriage to rob, their simple plan to win back fame and notoriety go south fast . . . and they’ll find themselves mixed up in a plan to reclaim a stolen throne.
The world-building in this series really draws you in and the dynamic between the characters is superb – I can’t wait for you guys to meet Kacha and Vocho. If you’re into the likes of Douglas Hulick, Scott Lynch and Brandon Sanderson then this will be right up your street. And what’s great is, you’ll be able to get your hands on the whole series fast!
Look below for more details and to see the covers in full. You can follow Julia on Twitter as @Knight_Julia and her series is available for pre-order now . . .
Read the rest of this entry »
- - July 8th, 2015
This summer, Orbit is launching an online fantasy writing workshop, hosted on OrbitBooks.net. It will be led by Karen Miller – the million-copy bestselling author who rose to fame with her debut The Innocent Mage, and whose most recent release is the critically acclaimed epic fantasy The Falcon Throne (UK | US | ANZ).
The free week-long event, which starts on 27th July 2015, will invite aspiring authors to take part in a communal online “write-along” challenge, during which they will each be encouraged to pen their own sample of a new fantasy novel. They will also be invited to submit this sample into a competition at the end of the week.
Miller will be kicking off the writing workshop by setting a writing challenge for aspiring fantasy authors on 27th July, and will be providing advice and words of encouragement throughout the week. She will also taking part in a Reddit “Ask Me Anything” session on 29th July, during which time participants will be able to put their own questions on writing to her.
Miller said: “One of the hardest things about starting a writing career is the feeling that you’re alone, that nobody understands what you’re going through, and that it’s really hard to figure out how to do it right! That’s why I’m so excited to share a little of what I’ve learned since I wrote my first fantasy novel. It’s been a wild ride, these past few years, and if a new writer can be helped by something I’ve said, it will make all the hard work worthwhile.”
Any aspiring authors interested in taking part should follow @OrbitBooks on Twitter and look for the hashtag #OrbitFantasyWorkshop for updates, or sign up to the Orbit newsletter here.
For further information contact firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
- - June 11th, 2015
The first round of voting for the David Gemmell Awards for Fantasy is done and dusted. The Orbit team is delighted to announce that THE BROKEN EYE by Brent Weeks (UK | US | AUS) is on the short list for the Gemmell Legend Award for best novel and AGE OF IRON by Angus Watson (UK | US | AUS) is up for the Morningstar Award for Best Debut Novel.
Winners will be announced at the Nine Worlds Geekfest in August and you can cast your vote here until Friday 17th July. Congratulations and good luck to all the shortlistees!
- - April 8th, 2015
Following on from the successes of Glenda Larke and Trudi Canavan in two important Australian fantasy awards, we’ve also had fantastic news regarding two UK SF awards.
Today, the shortlist for this year’s Arthur C. Clarke awards has been announced. Both THE GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS (UK | US | ANZ) by M. R. Carey and THE FIRST FIFTEEN LIVES OF HARRY AUGUST (UK | US | ANZ) by Claire North are amongst the six titles nominated for this prestigious prize. The winner will be announced at the awards ceremony on 6th May 2015.
On the weekend, ANCILLARY SWORD (US | UK | ANZ) by Ann Leckie also won the BSFA award for Best Novel, voted on by members of the British Science Fiction Association and Eastercon. Ann Leckie’s first novel ANCILLARY JUSTICE (US | UK | AUS) also won this award last year, (along with every other major SF award in 2014!). Here are both of Ann’s raygun-tastic awards looking all nice and shiny together . . .
Congrats to Ann Leckie, Claire North, M. R. Carey and all the other shortlisted authors!
- - February 26th, 2015
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live someone else’s life?
TOUCH (UK|US|ANZ) by Claire North is out now. It’s a high-concept thriller about a being who can jump from body to body, just with a touch.
Claire North is the author of THE FIRST FIFTEEN LIVES OF HARRY AUGUST (UK | US | ANZ), one of the UK’s bestselling SFF novels of last year. And her new book TOUCH is wowing critics across the board:
‘I am left staggered into an awed slow-clap at everything North has accomplished here. Touch is touching, horrifying, magnificent; step into it, and it will step into you’ NPR
‘As intriguing and breathless as it is brilliantly original, constantly defying expectations and a step (or two) ahead of the reader . . . this one will keep you awake at night in the search for answers’ LOVE READING
‘A dark thriller that asks readers to imagine whom they would be if they could be anyone. . . The high stakes and breakneck pace of the plot will draw readers in, and the meditations on what it means to be human and to be loved will linger long after the last shot is fired’ KIRKUS
‘Bolstered by an impeccable sense of setting, a challenging central character and a sinister plot that doesn’t for a second stop, Touch is its own singular, spirited thing, as fascinating and affecting as its predecessor’ TOR.COM
‘The quality of the writing and the dazzlingly imaginative heart of this exciting book will seduce even scifi sceptics, and keep readers absolutely hooked to the dramatic conclusion’ SUNDAY MIRROR
‘Triumphant . . . This novel is utterly engaging, addictive, and thought-provoking . . . simply superb’ CIVILIAN READER
‘Seriously I cannot get over how amazingly good Claire North is. I could have read this book forever. The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August was so smart, Touch is beyond genius. This will be one of THE books of 2015. Mark my words’ BITE THE BOOK
‘Powerful, disquieting, and provocative’ PORNOKITSCH
‘The writing is stunning; the action . . . exhilarating; the depth and emotion – always – thought-provoking and touching’ THE LITERARY TREE
‘One of the cleverest, most compelling books I’ve read in a long time . . . Claire North is one hell of a writer’ C. L. Taylor, author of THE ACCIDENT
‘A work of sparkling originality that works both as mesmerising thriller and exploration of what it means, at the most profound level, to be human’ Alex Marwood, author of THE WICKED GIRLS
‘Touch is fast, smart, cinematic and with a cracking central idea. This is absolutely destined to be one of the biggest thrillers of 2015’ Rick O’Shea, radio presenter
‘I was totally and utterly gripped, it’s just extraordinary. Absolutely mesmerising’ Clare Mackintosh, author, feature writer and columnist
‘The writing is gorgeous. As I read, my fingers were itching to underline quotes on virtually every page. The characters are richly drawn and compelling. The plot is utterly riveting. The book is pretty much perfect, is what I’m saying’ BOOKTOPIA
‘Fast-paced, imaginative . . . There is plenty of conspiracy and intrigue in this deftly paced novel, but North also poses subtle questions about identity and love’ WASHINGTON POST
‘Absolutely phenomenal. It is an intricate, edge-of-your-seat book that is unforgettable. It is thought provoking in ways that I never really expected or anticipated, and toys with that moral grey area that I love so much . . . My final thoughts: Read this book. Read it now’ BOOKWORM BLUES
TOUCH is out now from Orbit in the UK and Redhook in the US.
Follow Claire North on Twitter as @ClaireNorth42
- - February 25th, 2015
From the Hugo Award-winning author Will McIntosh comes an enchanting new short story: CITY LIVING:
Enter a world of moving cities. The war is over and Hitler is dead, but rumors are flying that Chicago has just attacked Boston. That Moscow has crossed into the US and attacked Chicago. And New York is on the way to chase down the Windy City. Some cities are rumbling that they don’t feel like part of the USA anymore.
But what form of energy is giving them the power of locomotion?
City Living is available now in the US and UK. And don’t miss the author’s other work: Defenders (US | UK | AUS), Love Minus Eighty (US | UK | AUS), The Perimeter, and The Heist.
- - February 17th, 2015
Congratulations to two Orbit authors who have had their titles shortlisted for this year’s BSFA Awards!
Claire North’s THE FIRST FIFTEEN LIVES OF HARRY AUGUST (UK | US | ANZ) and Ann Leckie’s ANCILLARY SWORD (UK | US | ANZ) have both been nominated in the Best Novel category.
You can see the full list of nominees here.
Voting will now be opened to BSFA members and attending members of Eastercon. The winner will be announced at a ceremony at the 66th Eastercon, aka Dysprosium, taking place from 3-6 April 2015.
- - January 7th, 2015
Happy New Years everyone! We hope 2015 is already off to a smashing start for each and every one of you. To kick off another great year of publishing, let us tell you about two brand new novellas that are available now in the US and UK! If you made a resolution to read more this year, there is no time like the present to get started!
FIRE WATER by Jaye Wells
Rookie cop Kate Prospero only has one more training assignment to pass before she’s officially sworn in to Babylon Police Department. But the veteran cop in charge of the river patrol boat is a salty old guy isn’t happy about playing tour guide to a rookie and seems even less interested in real police work. But while on patrol, they stumble on to what appears to be a floating dirty magic lab. This highly combustible situation might finally be the key to these two unlikely partners finding common ground.
For more adventures of Kate Prospero, check out DIRTY MAGIC (US | UK | AUS).
RETURN TO HONOR by Brian McClellan
Captain Vlora is a powder mage in the Adran army. Once the favored, adopted daughter of the field marshal, she is now a pariah amongst those she called her family. Her superior officers would like nothing more than to send her to a far off posting and forget about her, but no one is exempt when there is a war – and powder mages are desperately needed.
When a traitorous guard captain goes on the run with information that could harm the war effort, Vlora is sent on his trail. She has three days to find him; she will have to make new friends and test the limits of her skills. Fail, and good soldiers will die. Succeed and maybe, just maybe, she can begin to work her way back into the field marshal’s good graces.
A new story set in the world of the Powder Mage trilogy, the most acclaimed and action-packed new epic fantasy series in recent years. RETURN TO HONOR takes place directly following the events of book one, PROMISE OF BLOOD (US | UK | AUS).
- - November 7th, 2014
We’re delighted to introduce Rob Boffard, author of the upcoming TRACER, a heart-stopping SF novel set in space which will be released next summer.
As a newbie to the Orbit list, we asked Rob a few questions about what we can expect from him in 2015 . . .
– Tell us a bit about yourself!
I come from Johannesburg, and can speak enough Zulu to prove it. I have glasses, terrible hair, and exceptionally long arms. I’m 29, obsessed with hip-hop, tattoos, plane tickets, snowboarding, and the Chicago Bulls. And good stories. Both telling them, and reading them.
For the majority of my adult life, I’ve worked as a journalist, being paid specifically to not make stuff up. The fact that I can now do the exact opposite at a place like Orbit is both weird and amazing.
– What can readers expect from your new book TRACER?
I wanted to make this the baddest, fastest, craziest, most intense scifi thriller you’re going to read next year, or any year after it. It’s set on a massive space station, Outer Earth, which holds the last humans in the universe. The station’s been there for a while – everything is broken, rusted, falling apart. Nothing works anymore. Read the rest of this entry »