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Category: Fiction

Cover launch: CHASING EMBERS by James Bennett

Chasing Embers by James Bennett, a contemporary fantasy novel perfect for fans of Ben AaronovitchDo you ever feel like there’s something more to your city than meets the eye?

Have you ever sensed a touch of magic simmering beneath the streets?

Do you ever wonder about the myths intertwined in our folklore – and whether there’s any truth to them?

You could just be right. Because this Autumn, something’s about to be let loose…

Today we can reveal the cover for CHASING EMBERS (UK/US/ANZ), a spectacular debut fantasy novel coming in September from author James Bennett.

If you’re a fan of the books of Ben Aaronovitch, Benedict Jacka, Jim Butcher and Kevin Hearne, this contemporary fantasy is about to sweep you off your feet . . .

Get ready to meet Red Ben Garston. He’s a rascal, a rogue and an anti-hero who will stand shoulder to shoulder (and likely end up in a tussle) with the likes of Harry Dresden, Alex Verus, Peter Grant and Atticus O’Sullivan. He’s got a chip on his shoulder and a very big secret hiding under his skin.

Intrigued? See the below info and stay tuned for more soon . . . It’s available for pre-order now.

Behind every myth there is a spark of truth.

There’s nothing special about Ben Garston. He’s just a guy with an attitude in a beaten-up leather jacket, drowning his sorrows about his ex in a local bar.
Or so he’d have you believe.

What Ben Garston can’t let you know is that he’s also known as Red Ben. He can’t let you know that the world of myth and legend isn’t as make-believe as you think, and it’s his job to keep that a secret. And there’s no way he can let you know what’s really hiding beneath his skin . . .

But not even Ben knows what kind of hell is about to break loose. Because a centuries-old rivalry has just resurfaced, and the delicate balance between his world and ours is about to be shattered.

Something’s been hiding in the heart of the city – and it’s about to be unleashed.

Cover launch: THE SUDDEN APPEARANCE OF HOPE by Claire North

THE SUDDEN APPEARANCE OF HOPE by Claire North, author of THE FIRST FIFTEEN LIVES OF HARRY AUGUST

Today we can unveil the cover for an astonishing new book. It’s from Claire North, author of the word-of-mouth phenomenon THE FIRST FIFTEEN LIVES OF HARRY AUGUST (UK | US | ANZ),  and the critically acclaimed TOUCH (UK|US|ANZ).

THE SUDDEN APPEARANCE OF HOPE (UK|US|ANZ) is the extraordinary tale of a girl with a very unique problem . . .

You might have met Hope Arden before. In fact, you might have met her a hundred times.

But there’s no way that you’ll remember who she is. Because Hope’s unique problem . . . is that she’s the girl the world forgets.

It all started when she was sixteen years old. A slow declining, a kind of isolation, one piece at a time. Her father forgetting to drive her to school. Her mother setting the table for three, not four. A teacher forgeting to chase her missing homework. A friend looking straight through her and seeing a stranger.

No matter what Hope does – the words she says, the people she hurts, the crimes she commits – you will never remember who she is. That makes her life tricky. But it also makes her dangerous.

THE SUDDEN APPEARANCE OF HOPE (UK|US|ANZ) is the tale of a girl no one remembers, but her story will stay with you for ever.

It will be released in hardback, ebook and audio this May from Orbit in the UK and Redhook in the US – and it’s available for pre-order now! And in case you haven’t checked out Claire North’s novels yet, here are a few reminders why you should:

Praise for Claire North’s novels:

‘Little short of a masterpiece’ INDEPENDENT

‘North’s talent shines out’ SUNDAY TIMES

‘Poignant and intensely gripping’ GUARDIAN

‘A masterful literary thriller’ io9

‘Will seduce even scifi sceptics, and keep readers absolutely hooked to the dramatic conclusion’ SUNDAY MIRROR

‘As intriguing and breathless as it is brilliantly original’ LOVE READING

‘Bold, magical and masterful’ M. R. Carey, author of THE GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS

‘Utterly readable, utterly believable and compelling . . . one of the fiction highlights of the decade’ Judy Finnigan, Richard and Judy Book Club

THE RISING by Ian Tregillis – the follow-up to the acclaimed THE MECHANICAL

THE RISING (UK | US |ANZ) by Ian Tregillis has just been released worldwide. It’s the new book in the Alchemy War series, which tells the gripping tale of a mechanical man who was created to serve human kind but has thrown off the bonds of slavery.

It’s the follow-up to THE MECHANICAL (UK | US | ANZ), which was released early in 2015 to superb critical acclaim:

‘The first thing readers will say after finishing this splendid book is: “Wow.” The second thing will probably be: “When can I read the next one?’ Booklist

‘One of the sharpest, most intelligent, hugely compelling works I’ve read this year’ The Mechanical, Alchemy Wars 1 by Ian TregillisForbidden Planet International

‘As intricate and exquisite as the clockwork wonders it brings to life’ NPR

‘His characters are as convincing as ever, the plotting is beautifully articulated . . . readers with an interest in dark, intelligent fantasy will find much to admire here’ Kirkus

‘A hugely entertaining novel’ SFX

‘Absolutely fascinating, and unapologetically clever’ Sci-Fi and Fantasy Reviews

‘So absorbing that readers will be dying for the next entry in this new series’Library Journal

‘This book is truly unlike anything I’ve ever read before . . . I can’t wait to see what the next installment in The Alchemy Wars will bring’ Bibliosanctum

As well as getting this critical praise from reviewers, THE MECHANICAL has also been featured in:

Waterstones Best Fantasy Books of 2015,

Barnes and Noble’s Best Science Fiction and Fantasy on 2015,

Amazon’s UK’s Best Books of 2015: Science Fiction and Fantasy,

and Amazon’s US’s Best Books of 2015: Science Fiction and Fantasy.

So on the release date of THE RISING (UK | US |ANZ), we just wanted to say hurrah for booksellers! Thanks so much for supporting this fantastic series, and we’re glad you agree that Ian Tregillis is one of the most original and important new voices in speculative fiction.

Ian Graham’s Monumental Return: Author Wings His Way Back To Fantasy Shelves With THE PATH OF THE HAWK

Ian GrahamAround a decade ago we published Ian Graham’s blisteringly good fantasy debut: MONUMENT. It featured an anti-hero the likes of which we’d never seen before, and David Gemmell called it the most exciting fantasy of the year, adding that Graham was a ‘magnificent storyteller’. Some fans have even claimed that MONUMENT predicted the current grimdark trend in fantasy.

We are now super excited to announce that not only will we be releasing MONUMENT in ebook for the first time ever this December, but we have a brand new two book fantasy adventure from Ian Graham to share with you!

Coming to ebook in January 2016, THE PATH OF THE HAWK tells the tale of the Hawks, an elite regiment of soldiers entrusted with missions far beyond the scope of the conventional army:

Blessed Master Helligraine – one of the Church’s highest ranking, most beloved holy men, was abducted one year ago, his corpse found rotting in a river. When evidence emerges that Helligraine is still alive and being held against his will, three Hawks are dispatched to bring him home. But Helligraine’s past – and present – is not what it seems, and two nations are drawn into a conflict whose seeds were sown millennia ago.

A prequel of sorts, THE PATH OF THE HAWK is also a chance to learn more about what made Ballas the man he is in MONUMENT . . .

Dates for your diary:

MONUMENT comes out in ebook on 8th December this year.
THE PATH OF THE HAWK: BOOK ONE will be released in ebook January 26th 2016, with THE PATH OF THE HAWK: BOOK TWO following February 23rd.
THE PATH OF THE HAWK print omnibus edition will be released summer 2016.

Presenting STAKED, the new Iron Druid novel from Kevin Hearne!

On 26th January, Atticus is back!

Presenting the UK cover for STAKED (UK | ANZ), the next awesome instalment of The Iron Druid Chronicles by the legendary (not to mention New York Times bestselling…) Kevin Hearne.

Kevin is one of the freshest and downright funniest voices in fantasy. And his next instalment featuring the druid-with-skillz Atticus is going to make fans of the series squeeee with excitement…I kid you not!

This novel sees Atticus running into some major bloodsucking trouble. He needs a little help – but his allies Owen Kennedy and Granuaile have serious supernatural issues of their own. Check out the blurb for the book below…

And if you’re a fan of fast-paced, action-packed and witty-as-hell fantasy but haven’t checked out this bestselling series yet, what have you been doing with your life? It’s OK, you can pick up the series anywhere – but if you want to find out where it all began, try HOUNDED.

STAKED (UK | ANZ),  is available for pre-order now!

 

Iron Druid Atticus O’Sullivan, hero of Kevin Hearne’s epic New York Times bestselling urban fantasy series, has a point to make – and then drive into a vampire’s heart.

When a druid has lived for two thousand years like Atticus, he’s bound to run afoul of a few vampires. Make that legions of them. Even his former friend and legal counsel turned out to be a bloodsucking backstabber. Now the toothy troublemakers – led by power-mad Theophilus – have become a huge problem requiring a solution. It’s time to make a stand.

As always, Atticus wouldn’t mind a little backup. But his allies have problems of their own. Ill-tempered archdruid Owen Kennedy is having a wee bit of troll trouble: turns out when you stiff a troll, it’s not water under the bridge. Meanwhile, Granuaile is desperate to free herself of the Norse god Loki’s mark and elude his powers of divination – a quest that will bring her face to face with several Slavic nightmares.

As Atticus globetrots to stop his nemesis Theophilus, the journey leads to Rome. What better place to end an immortal than the Eternal City? But poetic justice won’t come without a price: In order to defeat Theophilus, Atticus may have to lose an old friend.

Cover launch: ZERO-G by Rob Boffard

We’re very proud to present the cover for ZERO-G (UK | US | ANZ) by Rob Boffard. It’s a totally edge-of-your-seat thriller set in space, and it really shows that Rob is a force to be reckoned with in the world of science fiction.

This is the second book in the Outer Earth series, which started with TRACER (UK | US | ANZ). To say that this series is addictive and explosive is an understatement.

The action takes place on a giant space station orbiting Earth, which contains the last surviving members of humanity. Meanwhile, 300 miles below, our planet lies in ruins.

Our main character is Riley Hale – a tracer, or courier. If you need something taken from one part of Outer Earth to another, she’ll get it there – and fast.

In book one, Riley gets caught in a conspiracy which threatens the future of the space station and humanity itself. And now in ZERO-G, she really has nowhere left to run. Not only is she being blackmailed and being forced to break just about every law that exists on Outer Earth, but a lethal virus has also broken out, and is tearing its way through the station. It really seems like this could be the end for human kind – unless Riley can move fast enough.

We’re going to have a rather out-of-this-world campaign happening for ZERO-G nearer to January 2016, when the book releases.

In the meantime, you can catch up on all the action with the first book TRACER. Check out the impressive list of reviews below!

Tracer by Rob BoffardTRACER sets a new standard for all-action SF’ – Ken MacLeod

TRACER is the literary equivalent of a base jump: fast, exhilarating and unforgettable, and once you start it you can’t stop. I loved it’ Sarah Lotz, author of THE THREE

A stunning debut by Rob Boffard that never lets up, from the nerve-jangling beginning to the explosive end‘ – James Douglas, author of THE DOOMSDAY TESTAMENT

Relentlessly fast pace…Vivid action scenes’ – SFX;

Compelling, compulsive…Thoroughly entertaining – this one’s worth picking up if you’re in the mood for some sci-fi action’ – SCIFI AND FANTASY REVIEWS

If you’re after a fast-paced, action-packed, cinematic space adventure, then Tracer is absolutely for you . . . A promising debut, I think Rob Boffard is an author to watch’ – CIVILIAN READER

A hugely enjoyable and exciting space dystopia . . . I loved this. I’ll definitely be looking out for the next book in the series’ – NUDGE BOOK

(See below for the ZERO-G cover in its full glory…) Read the rest of this entry »

Orbit Fantasy Writing Workshop – the results…

Orbit Fantasy Workshop with Karen MillerThis summer, we ran our first ever Orbit Fantasy Writing Workshop. It was led by the million-copy bestselling author Karen Miller, and we’re pleased to say it was a great success. We had an enthusiastic response from writers taking up the challenge to write 2,000 words of a fantasy novel in one week, and a large number of these participants also submitted their sample to our writing competition at the end of the week.

We were superbly impressed with the quality of submissions we received. All of them showed promise, and we can honestly say that we enjoyed every sample we read. The judging process proved very tricky, but the Orbit Editorial Team and Karen Miller have now picked their winner.

Congratulations to S. M. White from Louisville, Kentucky, who has won the competition with his submission “The Broken Door”.

We were all thoroughly captivated by this sample. It tells the tale of Kirren – a soldier who has been set to watch over the gates of his city and guard against the demons that wait outside. When a battle-worn stranger appears at the walls, demanding to be let in, Kirren refuses – as he has been ordered to open the gates to no one. But when the stranger outside is attacked by a demon, Kirren must decide whether to obey his orders, or give into his compassion by aiding his fellow man…

This sample fulfilled the writing challenge that Karen had set of writing about a moral dilemma – and it did it in style.

The Falcon Throne, a new epic fantasy novel from Karen MillerThe prize S. M. White will receive is a number of editorial consultations with an Orbit editor and Karen Miller herself on this sample and further sections of his complete novel.

We have also informed a small number of competition entrants about being on the final shortlist, and they will all be receiving free copies of Karen Miller’s novel THE FALCON THRONE (US |UK | AUS).

For all those who took part but didn’t win – please don’t be disheartened. The quality of everything we received was high, and we hope that you’re going to keep plugging away, because writing is all about sticking at it!

We’re hoping to run another Orbit Fantasy Writing Workshop in future, so please do look out for that. In the meantime, for more writing inspiration, follow Karen Miller on her site at www.karenmiller.net

Meet the author: Julia Knight, author of the Duellists novels

Julia Knight, author of Swords and Scoundrels, book one in the Duellists trilogyWe interviewed Julia Knight, author of the Duellists trilogy. The first book, SWORDS AND SCOUNDRELS (UK|US|ANZ) is out this month. It’s a fast and furious fantasy adventure about two siblings, Kacha and Vocho, who are known for the finest swordplay in their kingdom – until they are dishonoured and forced to become reluctant highwaymen. The sequels LEGENDS AND LIARS  (UK|US|ANZ) and WARLORDS AND WASTRELS  (UK|US|ANZ) will follow in November and December 2015.

What was the inspiration behind SWORDS AND SCOUNDRELS?

Lots of things! I was reading a lot about post-Moorish Spain – which was inspiration for the fallen empire in the book – and Renaissance Italy, which inspired all the city states that are at each other’s throats. Then add to this a re-reading of the Musketeers, and my happening across a video for an architect’s design for a clockwork city and….hey presto!

Swords and Scoundrels, Legends and Liarsa and Warlords and Wastrels - the Duellists Trilogy by Julia Knight

Which was your favourite character to write?

That is a really hard question, as I love them all in different ways. Vocho was a blast to write, because he’s just so vain and unintentionally funny but he does have a heart too (when he remembers). I like Kacha because she takes no crap from anyone, especially Vocho. Petri was supposed to be the bad guy . .  . but I found I rather felt for his predicament . . .

Who really is the better duellist – Kacha or Vocho?!

Depends on who you ask . . . As Vocho says, she’s better at technique, but he has an advantage in strength and reach. Both are devious as required. I’d say they both have their strengths but that balances out so they are actually fairly evenly matched.

Where’s your favourite bookshop?

I’m going to cheat and say it’s a toss up between Forbidden Planet in London and my local Waterstones in Horsham, West Sussex. Forbidden Planet because I cannot leave without buying *something* and it is just so very cool. And my local Waterstones because it’s got everything – a café, squishy sofas, staff that really know their books (and are more than happy to chat about them, or help me find something). It also has a decent SFF section which brings me on to the next question…

When you walk into a bookshop which section do you gravitate to first?

I always gravitate to the SFF section first in any bookshop. However I do have a soft spot for other genres – historical (both fiction and non-fiction) and crime in particular, so once I’ve mined the SFF I tend to browse there too. Frankly I’ll read almost anything!

What we can expect from the next Duellists novel LEGENDS AND LIARS?

Dastardly magicians, dashing duellists and warring cities. It gets deeper into the characters, and darker too, though it’s still got plenty of light-hearted moments . . .

New from Claire North, author of HARRY AUGUST and TOUCH: The Gameshouse novellas

At the start of November, we are launching something brand new from Claire North – author of the critically acclaimed and bestselling novels The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August and Touch.

Enter the world of the Gameshouse, a world where the best players compete secretly not just for riches – but for political power, for the control of kingdoms, for their very lives… These are the tales of The Serpent (UK|US|ANZ), The Thief  (UK|US|ANZand The Master (UK|US|ANZ).

The Gameshouse novellas are three digital stories that can be read separately, but which also fit together to make a complete, intricately woven tale.

Covers for the Gameshouse novellas The Serpent, The Thief and The Master by Claire North, author of thw First Fifteen Lives of Harry August

These stories are thrilling, so rich and beautifully crafted. They’re a perfect example of how Claire’s stories are breathtaking in scope but also painfully intimate. If you’re a fan of her previous novels then we know you’ll love these stories – and they’re also a great way to sample her writing for the first time.

See below for the blurb for the first novella, The Serpent:

In seventeenth century Venice exists a mysterious establishment known only as the Gameshouse.

There, fortunes are made and broken over games of chess, backgammon and every other game under the sun.

But those whom fortune favours may be invited to compete in the higher league . . . a league where the games played are of politics and empires, of economics and kings. It is a league where Capture the Castle involves real castles, where hide and seek takes place on a scale as big as the British Isles.

Not everyone proves worthy of competing in the higher league. But one woman who is about to play may just exceed everyone’s expectations.

Though she must always remember: the higher the stakes, the more deadly the rules . . .

All three titles will be released digitally at the start of November 2015, and are available for pre-order now. They will also be available as a complete volume in audiobook.

Cover launch: FIRE TOUCHED, the new Mercy Thompson by Patricia Briggs

We’re very proud to present the UK cover for FIRE TOUCHED, the new Mercy Thompson novel by Patricia Briggs.

Waiting for the next Mercy book can be tough for urban fantasy fans, since we’re all on the edge of our seat to find out what happens next in this gripping series . . . But we’re glad to say that that it’s coming in March 2016 and is available for pre-order now.

Fire Touched, the new Mercy Thompson urban fantasy novel by Patricia Briggs

There’s a real treat in store with this new book . . . see what’s to come below!

Mercy Thompson is back, and she’ll soon discover that when the fae stalk the human world, it’s the children who suffer . . .

Tensions between the fae and humans are coming to a head. And when coyote shapeshifter Mercy and her Alpha werewolf mate, Adam, are called upon to stop a rampaging troll, they find themselves with something that could be used to make the fae back down and forestall out-and-out war: a human child stolen long ago by the fae.

Defying the most powerful werewolf in the country, the humans and the fae, Mercy, Adam and their pack choose to protect the boy no matter what the cost. But who will protect them from a boy who is fire touched?

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