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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: Fiction

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The extraordinary novel The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August (UK | US | ANZ) launches today, published by Orbit in the UK and Redhook in the US.

No matter what he does or the decisions he makes, when death comes, Harry always returns to where he began, a child with all the knowledge of a life he has already lived a dozen times before. Nothing ever changes . . . Until now.

Here the author Claire North tells us what advice she would give to her past self, in case she got the chance to live her life all over again . . .

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Your teachers and elders are not always right.  Age does not necessarily bring wisdom, and if you feel uncertain about yourself, someone else’s certainty does not make them right.  If anything, the more certain the other person is, the more you should question it. Have faith in your own mind, judgment and intelligence, and use it to question everything, even people who seem to be ‘above’ you in whatever place or time you happen to be in now.

Your friends are the best of you.  When you are down, remember that if a person can be judged by the company you keep, then you are frankly, amazing.  Because your friends are amazing and then some.  By which extension – when you meet them for the first time, trust the geeks.  They have found a thing they love and they have the guts to stand up for it, and through it, themselves.  When you’re trying to work out who you are, they can help.

Physicality is in your power.  The questions you ask about how you look, and more importantly how other people perceive your looks, is based on a false premise.  Charisma and confidence is a thing created in the mind, in how you see yourself and how you feel about yourself.  The rest is fluff.

Regret is not the same as wisdom.

When the monkey in the hoodie says ‘yes’ to ‘fixed’ and ‘off’ he is, in fact, wrong.

Concision is a rarer grace than wit.

Above all: do not be afraid.  Running away from something stupid or dangerous isn’t fear, it’s just good sense.  The rest however, the fear that will hold you back, is self-inflicted and can be beaten.  Do not be afraid.

Find a unique hand-written note in every HARRY AUGUST hardback

Recently we’ve been asking people the following question: If you could go back, with what you know now, and give your past self a message, what would it be?

It’s a question inspired by the ingenious novel The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August (UK | US | ANZ) by Claire North, and we’ve had an amazing response already.

So many people are engaging with this novel in wonderful different ways because it’s such a unique book. So unique, in fact, that here in the UK we wanted to make each and every hardback of the book different in some way to reflect this . . .

So if you pick up a UK hardback copy of Harry August from your local store or online retailer, look out for one of the hand-written postcards inside. Every single one is different! Written on these postcards are individual pieces of advice – messages left from lives lived before, such as:

“Be on alert for a message when the clock strikes midnight”

“Your destiny awaits you in the honeysuckle hedge in the garden”

and “Remember to trust your gut instinct”

But amongst all the hardbacks out there, there are fifteen messages which are particularly special. This is because they’re signed by Harry August himself. If you’re lucky enough to find one of these cards, you can email orbit@littlebrown.co.uk to claim a prize: a treasure from one of Harry’s fifteen lives. Look at Harry’s study below to see what you could win!

A picture of Harry August's stufy, and all the prizes within it you could win - a competition to celebrate the release of The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North

And don’t forget to read our full terms and conditions here.

The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August is out next Tuesday 8th April from Orbit in the UK and ANZ, and from Redhook in the US.

Become part of the story by leaving a message to your past self at www.harryaugust.net

THE REMAINING: TRUST is available now!

THE REMAINING: TRUST is the first in a series of novellas set in the world of D.J. Molles’s phenomenal Remaining saga.  It is a world ravaged by a virus that has turned 90% of the population into ravenous animals resulting in the complete collapse of society.

Following the initial outbreak and collapse of the social order, forty-eight “Coordinators”, specially trained soldiers of the U.S. Armed forces, are activated to locate survivors and restore order where they can. It’s a monumental order, and success seems all but impossible. The Remaining saga is the story of our darkest hours and those who were still willing to fight. Here’s a bit more about the novella:

“While Captain Lee Harden struggles to fulfill his part in Project Hometown his trusted friend and ally Major Abe Darabie works to hold up his end of the mission. But caught between his responsibility to the mission and the ambitions of a new president Abe must decide where his duty lies and whom he can trust in a country beset by the rabid infected, violent marauders, and fragile allegiances.”

Purchase THE REMAINING: TRUST by D.J. Molles, or check out The Remaining saga (available now in ebook, print editions coming Summer 2014).

Molles_TheRemaining-TP   Molles_TheRemainingAftermath-TP.jg   Molles_TheRemainingRefugees-TP.jpg   Molles_TheRemainingFractured-TP.jpg

UNFETTERED – featuring Robert Jordan, Brandon Sanderson, Patrick Rothfuss and many others

Today we digitally release UNFETTERED: TALES BY MASTERS OF FANTASY.

It’s a stunning and diverse collection of fantasy fiction from some of the biggest names in the fantasy genre – including Terry Brooks, Patrick Rothfuss, Peter V. Brett, Mark LawrenceNaomi Novik, Kevin Hearne, Michael J. Sullivan, R. A Salvatore, Tad Williams, Lev Grossman and many others.

It also includes deleted scenes from Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson’s A MEMORY OF LIGHT, the final Wheel of Time novel.

The collection was gathered by Shawn Speakman, author and web guru for Terry Brooks. When Shawn fell ill back in 2011 and  was unable to cover his medical bills, the fantasy community showed its exceptional generosity by stepping forward to help out. All of the authors involved were kind enough to donate their stories the collection to help him cover the costs – and what was produced is a truly wonderful anthology.

This is the first time UNFETTERED has been published in the UK, Australia and New Zealand, and our Orbit edition contains an extra bonus story from Shawn himself. Please see below for a list of all the stories included.

It’s available now at a special introductory price, and so it’s a great time to sample the fiction of some of the some of the best-selling and most critically acclaimed authors writing in fantasy today.

Read the rest of this entry »

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There’s a whole fantasy trope based around the protagonist of the story discovering that, after the initial skirmish with the forces of evil, he or she is the Chosen One, the one person who has all the skills – mental, physical and magical – to defeat the big bad and win the day.

And we love hearing about them because we can dream we are them. We’re no longer ordinary; quite the opposite. We become, for the length of the tale, extraordinary; possessing such skills, strength and stamina that no other mortal can command. The Chosen One is the archetypal super-hero story: think of Greek and Persian legends, and you’re halfway there already.

But when the story ends, the clouds come over, the sky darkens, and the world becomes colder, harsher and less caring. We’re not the Chosen One. We’re nothing unusual. Not only can we not take the battle to the forces of evil, we don’t even know where to start. We simply have to accept the way things are, with no hope of changing the slow grind of life.

But hang on. That’s not necessarily the case. We know through experience that we can claim small, if temporary, victories that bring life and light to us and ours. And we know that being inspired by our fictional heroes and heroines can make us better people – G. K. Chesterton spoke the truth when he said: ‘Fairy tales don’t tell children that dragons exist; children already know that dragons exist. Fairy tales tell children that dragons can be killed.’ Read the rest of this entry »

THE GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS is here

It’s the day we’ve all been waiting for . . . Melanie is here. The superb THE GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS (UK|US|ANZ) is released today in the UK, Australia and New Zealand.

Do you know Melanie’s secret yet? Get your copy to find out . . .

The incredible reviews for The Girl with all the Gifts by M R Carey

NOT EVERY GIFT IS A BLESSING

Every morning, Melanie waits in her cell to be collected for class.

When they come for her, Sergeant Parks keeps his gun pointing at her while two of his people strap her into the wheelchair. She thinks they don’t like her. She jokes that she won’t bite. But they don’t laugh.

Melanie is a very special girl.

Emotionally charged and gripping from beginning to end, THE GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS is the most powerful and affecting thriller you will read this year.

To read the first few chapters for free, visit the Girl with all the Gifts Facebook page.

Five things you didn’t know about Terry Brooks’ Shannara

With a hugely popular writing career reaching back more than thirty years, some fantasy readers may think they know all there is to know about the books of bestselling fantasy author Terry Brooks and his seminal world, Shannara. But think again.

To celebrate the conclusion of Terry Brooks’ most recent trilogy, the Dark Legacy of Shannara, we thought we’d unearth a few facts about the world of Shannara which may surprise fantasy readers out there . . . 

 

1. While influenced by The Lord of the Rings, the Shannara series is more influenced by William Faulkner, who wrote generational sagas where family secrets can destroy from within.  Terry Brooks wrote his college senior thesis on Faulkner.

2.  The Shannara series is set in a far future after the destruction of own world.  That means Elves are living in our world right now…

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3.  Jon Favreau (Iron Man) and Miles Millar & Alfred Gough (Smallville) are trying to bring THE ELFSTONES OF SHANNARA (UK|AUS) to television à la Game of Thrones.

 4.  WARDS OF FAERIE (UK|AUS), BLOODFIRE QUEST (UK|AUS), and WITCH WRAITH (UK|AUS) are the three books comprising the Dark Legacy of Shannara trilogy. They are an indirect sequel to THE ELFSTONES OF SHANNARA (UK|AUS), widely regarded as Terry’s best novel.

 5.  Terry created airships in the Shannara series because he thinks there should be a natural progression in technology from a medieval setting. He also grew tired of keeping track of long treks on horseback.

Talking airships in Terry Brooks's brand new Dark Legacy of Shannar novel WARDS OF FAERIE - perfect for fans of Christopher PaoliniTalking airships in Terry Brooks's brand new Dark Legacy of Shannar novel BLOODFIRE QUEST, book two in the series and perfect for fans of Christopher PaoliniThe new Uk cover for WITCH WRAITH, book three in the Dark Legacy of Shannara series by Terry Brooks - perfect for fans of Christopher Paolini

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Dark Legacy of Shannara is out now in paperback. Terry Brooks’ next novel, THE HIGH DRUIDS BLADE (UK|AUS), is published in March.

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The Monster in the Mirror

Hardcore horror fans are sometimes dismissive of “creature features” – horror narratives that build their scare tactics around a monster.  Obviously there’s a very respected classical canon of monsters (vampires, werewolves, zombies, demons . . . ) that sit close to the heart of the horror genre and partially define it.  But then there’s a host of other beasties that are exiled to the outer darkness – or the Black Lagoon, 40,000 fathoms, outer space, the Korean sewer system, wherever it was they came from in the first place.

I can see the distinction, to be honest.  You look at a vampire (sparkly or not) and you think horror.  You look at the spiky cactus beast from The Quatermass Experiment, or the lolloping mutant in The Host, or Godzilla stomping on a toy Tokyo, and you think sci-fi.  Or depending on your tastes, maybe you think “that tea isn’t going to make itself . . . ”

There’s a deeper distinction to be drawn, though.  It concerns our relationship with the monster and the reaction that it draws from us.  Creature features are predominantly about spectacle, and they probably share more DNA with thrillers than with horror stories.  They can be scary, but it’s a fairly uncomplicated fear.  The fear of being eaten, say, or having your head ripped off.  Monsters in horror have the potential to scare us or challenge us in different ways. Read the rest of this entry »

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!

The astounding reaction to THE GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS

We have been amazed to see the overwhelming outpouring of love The Girl With All the Gifts. It’s not even out yet but it proves this will be the book that everyone will be talking about in 2014.

We wanted to show you a range of the incredible feedback we’ve been getting – from fellow authors, such as John Ajvide Lindqvist, the author of LET THE RIGHT ONE IN, from booksellers in the UK and from across the world, from people within publishing, and from just about every type of person you can think of. It’s amazing to see how many people this book is wowing well ahead of its publication.

Here is just a small selection of what people have been saying:

 

 

AUTHORS:

 ’A great read that takes hold of you and doesn´t let go’

John Ajvide Lindqvist, author of LET THE RIGHT ONE IN

 ’Brilliant . . . Gripping right to the end’

SUNDAY TIMES bestselling author Carole Matthews

 ’Both tender and devastating, a page-turner which kept me guessing up to the very last scene, as well as a meditation on what it means to be human . . . Fantastically enjoyable’

Naomi Alderman, multi-award winning novelist

‘Kazuo Ishiguro meets The Walking Dead – I loved this’

SUNDAY TIMES bestselling author Jenny Colgan

 BOOKSELLERS:

‘Thrilling, heart-breaking and clever, this is an end of the world story with a difference . . . I loved this and would recommend it to everyone’ Read the rest of this entry »

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