- - April 24th, 2013
One of the coolest things in Orson Scott Card’s novel ENDER’S GAME – and likely one of the most difficult things to film – are the combat scenes that take place in the zero gravity battle room. So just how did they go about filming them for the Ender’s Game movie?
There’s a great exclusive interview here on i09 from Asa Butterfield (star of Hugo and The Boy In the Striped Pajamas), who plays Ender Wiggin himself.
It’s a very cool insight into the challenges of filming a scifi movie, e.g.:
“When you’re in the harnesses to stop yourself from falling at the waist, which is where they’re connected, you have to be tensed up. So keeping actions smooth whilst having your whole body completely tensed is surprisingly difficult. Meanwhile you’re saying your lines . . .”
You don’t get those issues filming a rom-com!
If you’re based in the UK and want to keep up with all the Ender’s Game film news, there is now both an Ender’s Game UK Facebook page and Ender’s Game UK Twitter account (@EndersGameFilm) that you can follow, along with the Ender’s Game Official Tumblr.
And if you’re keen to find out more back story to ENDER’S GAME, and the conflict that spawned the battle school, we’ll soon be publishing two explosive Orson Scott Card books telling of mankind’s first contact with the alien race – EARTH UNAWARE (UK | ANZ) and EARTH AFIRE (UK | ANZ), books 1 and 2 in The First Formic Wars.
- - April 11th, 2013
In anticipation of the upcoming film based on the classic science fiction novel ENDER’S GAME (UK | ANZ), we’re extremely excited to announce the UK acquisition of a brand new series set in the same world. See the covers released here for the first time . . .
The First Formic Wars series begins with EARTH UNAWARE and continues with EARTH AFIRE. It’s set 100 years before the events of ENDER’S GAME.
Before Ender Wiggin is born, before the battle school has been built, mankind is about to have its first encounter with an alien race. The Formics are coming to Earth, and things are not about to go well . . .
Not only does this series give some fantastic back story to the tale of ENDER’S GAME and what happened in the first conflict with the Formics, this also happens to be an exceptionally good, space-battle-filled adventure all of its own. The series has had some great reviews in already:
‘A standout tale of sf adventure that gives Ender series fans fascinating backstory to the classic Ender’s Game’ LIBRARY JOURNAL
‘The story progresses nimbly, with plenty of tension and excitement and Card’s usual well-developed characters’ KIRKUS REVIEWS
‘Literate prose and superlative characterisation . . . excellent’ BOOKLIST
Both of these books are out very soon at the start of June – so not long to wait. They’re a perfect way to fill the time before the film is released in October. . . (Hurry up already movie!)
The series is co-written by Orson Scott Card, the author of ENDER’S GAME, and Aaron Johnston – a New York Times bestselling author, Marvel comic writer, and associate producer on the upcoming ENDER’S GAME movie. Look below for the blurb for EARTH UNAWARE and check out both books on 4th June 2013. Read the rest of this entry »
- - April 4th, 2013
The finalists for the Arthur C. Clarke Award 2013 have been announced, and we’re delighted to see 2312 (UK | US | ANZ) by Kim Stanley Robinson and INTRUSION (UK | ANZ) by Ken MacLeod both on the shortlist. Here’s the full list of nominees:
Nod by Adrian Barnes (Bluemoose)
Dark Eden by Chris Beckett (Corvus)
Angelmaker by Nick Harkaway (William Heinemann)
The Dog Stars by Peter Heller (Headline)
Intrusion by Ken MacLeod (Orbit)
2312 by Kim Stanley Robinson (Orbit)
All of us at Orbit offer our congratulations to Stan and Ken, and to the other authors on the shortlist. The winner will be announced at a ceremony at the Royal Society in London on 1 May 2013.
Praise for 2312:
Robinson blends mystery and suspense with lyrical evocation of a complex future” – SUNDAY TELEGRAPH
“Polymathic, visionary brilliance” – FINANCIAL TIMES
“A challenging, compelling masterpiece of science fiction” – PUBLISHER’S WEEKLY (STARRED REVIEW)
Praise for INTRUSION:
A disturbingly real socialist dystopia” – GUARDIAN
“Intrusion is a finely-tuned, in-your-face argument of a novel” – SFX
“A twistedly clever, frighteningly plausible dystopian glimpse” – Iain M. Banks
- - April 3rd, 2013
I am officially Very Poorly.
After a couple of surgical procedures, I am gradually recovering from jaundice caused by a blocked bile duct, but that – it turns out – is the least of my problems.
I first thought something might be wrong when I developed a sore back in late January, but put this down to the fact I’d started writing at the beginning of the month and so was crouched over a keyboard all day. When it hadn’t gone away by mid-February, I went to my GP, who spotted that I had jaundice. Blood tests, an ultrasound scan and then a CT scan revealed the full extent of the grisly truth by the start of March.
I have cancer. It started in my gall bladder, has infected both lobes of my liver and probably also my pancreas and some lymph nodes, plus one tumour is massed around a group of major blood vessels in the same volume, effectively ruling out any chance of surgery to remove the tumours either in the short or long term.
The bottom line, now, I’m afraid, is that as a late stage gall bladder cancer patient, I’m expected to live for ‘several months’ and it’s extremely unlikely I’ll live beyond a year. So it looks like my latest novel, The Quarry, will be my last.
As a result, I’ve withdrawn from all planned public engagements and I’ve asked my partner Adele if she will do me the honour of becoming my widow (sorry – but we find ghoulish humour helps). By the time this goes out we’ll be married and on a short honeymoon. We intend to spend however much quality time I have left seeing friends and relations and visiting places that have meant a lot to us. Meanwhile my heroic publishers are doing all they can to bring the publication date of my new novel forward by as much as four months, to give me a better chance of being around when it hits the shelves.
There is a possibility that it might be worth undergoing a course of chemotherapy to extend the amount of time available. However that is still something we’re balancing the pros and cons of, and anyway it is out of the question until my jaundice has further and significantly, reduced.
Lastly, I’d like to add that from my GP onwards, the professionalism of the medics involved – and the speed with which the resources of the NHS in Scotland have been deployed – has been exemplary, and the standard of care deeply impressive. We’re all just sorry the outcome hasn’t been more cheerful.
A website is being set up where friends, family and fans can leave messages for me and check on my progress. It should be up and running during this week and a link to it will be on my official website at friends.banksophilia.com.
- - March 1st, 2013
The Los Angeles Review of Books‘s profile of Robert Jackson Bennett explores Bennett’s entire genre-bending speculative oeuvre, from the Edgar Award-winning THE COMPANY MAN (US | UK | AUS) to last month’s AMERICAN ELSEWHERE (US | UK | AUS).
“There’s always an awkward moment in reviews of Bennett’s work when the reviewer tries to sum up his genre affiliations in a couple of words. Niall Ferguson called The Company Man “a love letter to airships and acid noir — by way of steampunk, sci-fi and murder mystery.” FantasyLiterature.com calls his latest book “classical mythology, Lovecraftian gothic, quantum science and what’s-in-the-woods horror.” Bennett himself once described his debut novel Mr. Shivers as “magical realist/fantastical/horror/whatever-the-reviewer-wants-to-call-it-that-day.”
Read the whole article.
The Los Angeles Times also reviewed AMERICAN ELSEWHERE, which they said “manages to surprise, terrify and move the reader.” You can read the full review here.
- - February 18th, 2013
The Philip K. Dick award-winning series, THE PETROVITCH TRILOGY (UK | US) by Simon Morden is about to be released as an ebook omnibus for the first time.
This is ahead of the release of brand new title from Simon called THE CURVE OF THE EARTH (UK | US | ANZ) – also coming in March.
All these novels star Russian émigré and super-genius Samuil Petrovitch, whose incredibly low tolerance for fools and penchant for getting on the wrong side of pretty much everyone makes him the most unlikely hero the world has ever seen.
Or what’s left of the world, anyway.
See, there’s the small issue of the apocalypse. London as we know it has suffered an Armageddon . . . but hey! Life still goes on right?
If you’re entering the Metrozone for the first time, we’ve put together a handy guide to its genesis, and what sort of things you might expect to find there . . . Read the rest of this entry »
- - February 15th, 2013
“The age of kings is dead and I have killed it.” I just get goose bumps every time I see that line gracing the marvelous cover of PROMISE OF BLOOD (US | UK | AUS). It won’t be much longer now before this new epic fantasy series begins hitting shelves. (April 16th!) In the meantime, we’ve just launched The Powder Mage Trilogy Facebook fanpage as way of introducing you to this explosive debut. ”Like” the page and you’ll get access to the first chapter of PROMISE OF BLOOD and be eligible to receive other exclusive content as it becomes available.
A little about the book in case this is the first time you’re hearing about it.
It’s a bloody business overthrowing a king…
Field Marshal Tamas’ coup against his king sent corrupt aristocrats to the guillotine and brought bread to the starving. But it also provoked war with the Nine Nations, internal attacks by royalist fanatics, and the greedy to scramble for money and power by Tamas’s supposed allies: the Church, workers unions, and mercenary forces.
It’s up to a few…
Stretched to his limit, Tamas is relying heavily on his few remaining powder mages, including the embittered Taniel, a brilliant marksman who also happens to be his estranged son, and Adamat, a retired police inspector whose loyalty is being tested by blackmail.
But when gods are involved…
Now, as attacks batter them from within and without, the credulous are whispering about omens of death and destruction. Just old peasant legends about the gods waking to walk the earth. No modern educated man believes that sort of thing. But they should…
Sounds good right? Check it out for yourself by becoming a fan of The Powder Mage Trilogy on Facebook. Believe us, you don’t want to miss a minute of the action.
- - January 17th, 2013
Today Orbit UK is proud to release EXILES (UK | ANZ), an omnibus edition of the critically acclaimed science fiction trilogy, the Uplift Storm series by David Brin. It contains BRIGHTNESS REEF, INFINITY’S SHORE and HEAVEN’S REACH.
These novels, like all books in the multi-award winning Uplift universe, revolve around the theme of biological “uplift” – which is where one species genetically enhances another species to make it sentient.
The intergalactic civilisation called the Five Galaxies is made up of a multitude of sentient races, with each species having its own “patron” race, responsible for uplifting it. But it’s a mystery why humanity seems to be the only species in the universe that hasn’t been uplifted by another patron race . . .
This theme seems to reflect many fundamental questions we have about our own existence. Why do we appear to be alone in the universe as the only form of intelligent life? And if there are other intelligent life forms out there – how will they view us?
Being an active member of SETI, the organisation which conducts scientific research on life in the universe, David Brin is very qualified to talk on this subject. I thought Orbit readers might be interested to read David Brin’s recent post “An Open letter to Alien Lurkers”. It’s his plea to intelligent alien life forms to make sure they don’t get the wrong end of the stick about us humans. To paraphrase a few of the messages within this great piece:
—> If you’ve been monitoring humans’ TV, radio and internet for years now – please be reassured: we’re not all THAT crazy, violent or extreme. Our fiction exaggerates our actions, and our news just covers the bad stuff. But most of us are actually quite relaxed, stable, peaceful beings.
—> If you’re seeing us as dangerous competitors – please don’t. The more civilised we get, the more we realise that competition and cooperation aren’t mutually exclusive. We might be able to add something to the galactic community – and a little bit of competition is always healthy. So please can we talk about it before you either overlook us or blow us to smithereens?
—> If the reason you haven’t contacted us yet is because you’re waiting for us to reach some milestone level of cilivisation, then please could you give us a helping hand with this? We’re very keen to learn!
Trust me, it’s very worth checking this brilliant piece out.
EXILES (UK | ANZ) is the final in a number of beautiful reissues we’ve produced for some of David’s most prestigious and best-known titles, to celebrate the release of his recent masterpiece EXISTENCE (UK | ANZ). All of these books can be seen below in their full glory.
- - November 28th, 2012
Today we’re celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Culture series by bestselling author Iain M. Banks! For decades, the Culture series has engaged our imaginations and taken us to new, exotic alien worlds. Check out the interview below to find out more about Iains most recent novel, THE HYDROGEN SONATA (UK | US | AUS) as well his reflections regarding the past and future of the Culture.
But that’s not all…since we can’t very well pass out these delicious Culture cupcakes digitally, there will be a full day of fun and prizes elsewhere on the internet. Head on over to Twitter for more Culture-related activity by searching for the hashtag #25YearsofCulture.
With the 25th anniversary of the Culture series now upon us (Consider Phlebas was published in 1987), have you come to regard the series as your life’s work? Do you think you’ll ever ‘complete’ the series, or do you still have a long list of ideas that you want to explore?
I suppose the Culture series will form the largest part of my life’s work; it’s unlikely I’ll come up with another over-arching structure on the same scale now. I’m perfectly happy with that. I’ll keep writing about the Culture for as long as I still feel there are new things to say, new avenues to explore. It’s important that I feel able to write SF outside the Culture, but even within it the restrictions are minimal; most of the action in most of the Culture books takes place well outside the Culture itself, and it’s been that way since the beginning, with Phlebas.
I don’t intend ever to complete it; I decided right from the start to resist the temptation to tear it all down at any point, and this has become sort of indicative and symbolic of the nature and demeanour of the Culture itself, now: it means to resist completion and put off Subliming, so that it can keep on going, sticking around in the Real and trying to do good (as it sees it), for as long as it can, and it’s already envisaging that when it does finally fade away, it’ll be when its going will hardly be noticed, because being something like the Culture – behaving like it – will be pretty much the default state for all galactic civilisations. (Though, in this, it could, of course, be completely wrong.)
I’ve more than enough material and ideas for another full-on Culture novel, and that has been the case for at least the last decade or so, no matter where I’ve been in the Culture-novel-writing cycle, as new ideas keep on coming along at a slow but steady rate. At the moment I’m tempted to try something a bit more oblique next time, though I’m also tempted to go with something tighter and more wildly kinetic, too… Who can say? We’ll see.
Click to read more.
Read the rest of this entry »
- - November 7th, 2012
There is a new way to receive updates on James S. A. Corey’s publishing activities over on Facebook. Become a fan of the official Facebook fanpage and connect with other fans of the Expanse series. You’ll also gain access to exclusive excerpts from the upcoming novel ABADDON’S GATE!
For those of you who haven’t picked up these books yet, you can read a sample from LEVIATHAN WAKES (UK | US | AUS) here and get hooked on this critically-acclaimed SF series.
Praise for The Expanse series
“It’s been too long since we’ve had a really kickass space opera. Leviathan Wakes is interplanetary adventure the way it ought to be written.” — George R.R. Martin
This is the future the way it was supposed to be.” – The Wall Street Journal on Leviathan Wakes
“A worthy sequel to Leviathan’s Wake. Compelling characters and a plot that combines political intrigue with military sf create a memorable story that begs for film adaptation.” – Library Journal