- - July 14th, 2014
The exciting news broke over the weekend that MTV have ordered 10 episodes of a TV adaptation of Terry Brooks’ Shannara novels. After years of fans worldwide calling for this epic fantasy series to make it to the small screen, it’s fantastic to hear that it’s finally been green-lighted.
The first season will be based on The Elfstones of Shannara (UK | ANZ), which when first released spent 16 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. Directing will be Jonathan Liebesman (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles), and the script is written by Smallville creators Al Gough and Miles Millar. Terry Brooks himself will be taking an executive producer role, along with Jon Favreau and Dan Farah.
The casting is yet to begin – the question is: who would you all like to see starring?
To catch up on the latest in the Shannara world, check out Terry Brooks’ recently released The High Druid’s Blade (UK | ANZ) – a standalone novel which is a great entry-point into the Shannara world.
- - June 20th, 2014
Last week we attended the David Gemmell Awards ceremony – now in its sixth year – and were thrilled to see PROMISE OF BLOOD by Brian McClellan win the Morningstar category for best debut novel.
EMPEROR OF THORNS by Mark Lawrence won the Legend award for best novel, while the artwork for the same book – created by Jason Chan - won the Ravenheart category for best cover art.
Many congratulations to Brian and his fellow winners, and also to all the other authors and designers who were shortlisted.
Brian’s new novel, THE CRIMSON CAMPAIGN (UK | US | ANZ) is out now in hardback, ebook and audio. The third and final novel in the Powder Mage trilogy, THE AUTUMN REPUBLIC, will be published in February 2015.
Praise for PROMISE OF BLOOD:
‘Just plain awesome . . . Innovative magic, quick-paced plot, interesting world. I had a blast’ – Brandon Sanderson
‘An historically influenced fantastical romp filled with machismo, intrigue and magic’ – SciFiNow
‘Promise of Blood is the best debut I’ve read in ages’ – Peter V. Brett
‘A French Revolution with wizards; McClellan’s debut packs some serious heat’ – Kirkus Reviews
‘Tense action, memorable characters, rising stakes . . . Brian McClellan is the real thing’ – Brent Weeks
- - June 12th, 2014
Great news for fantasy fans who prefer to listen to tales of epic adventure, rather than reading them: BLOOD SONG is now available as an audio download!
Anthony Ryan’s powerful novel took the fantasy world by storm last summer, receiving huge critical acclaim and going on to become the UK’s bestselling epic fantasy debut in 2013.
Now audio fans can get in on the action and follow Vaelin Al Sorna’s journey, as he progresses from a callow youth to someone you really wouldn’t want to find yourself in a swordfight with.
BLOOD SONG is epic fantasy in every sense of the word, featuring everything we love about the genre: intense battles, shady politics and mysterious powers. Oh, and a bad-tempered horse.
You can listen to a sample of the BLOOD SONG audio edition below:
TOWER LORD, the highly-anticipated sequel to BLOOD SONG, will be released in audio next month – alongside the hardback and ebook editions.
Praise for BLOOD SONG:
‘A tremendous debut . . . Fast-paced, action-packed and character-driven’ – Fantasy Book Critic
‘An utterly engrossing high fantasy epic from a major new talent’ – Buzzfeed
‘A top contender for most impressive debut of the year’ – SFFWorld
‘Epic fantasy at its best’ – BookBag
‘An instant sensation’ – Read Dream Relax
- - June 4th, 2014
Harry Dresden is top of the charts!
We’ve just heard that Jim Butcher’s SKIN GAME is a NUMBER ONE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER, coming top of all the hardback fiction titles in the charts last week.
Huge congratulations to Jim from all at Orbit for this well-deserved success. Harry too, of course!
You can check out the first chapter of SKIN GAME or listen to an audio extract on the Orbit blog here.
- - May 27th, 2014
MIRA GRANT TO COMPLETE “PARASITOLOGY” SERIES AND RETURN TO “NEWSFLESH” SERIES IN NEW NOVELS AND NOVELLAS FROM ORBIT
Orbit announced today the acquisition of three new novels and four original novellas from multiple Hugo Award-nominated author Mira Grant. One of the novels will be a third book in the “Parasitology” series, following the Hugo Award-nominated PARASITE (US | UK | AUS) and SYMBIONT, and will conclude the trilogy, while the second novel and all four novellas will be set in the world of the “Newsflesh” series. The third novel will be a standalone.
Mira Grant is a pseudonym of Seanan McGuire, winner of the 2010 John W. Campbell Award for best new writer. Orbit published the first Mira Grant novel, FEED (US | UK | AUS), in 2010, and the following year it became her first Hugo Award-nominated novel. The sequels, DEADLINE (US | UK | AUS) and BLACKOUT (US | UK | AUS), were also nominated for the award. Seanan McGuire has also received two shared Hugo Awards for Best Fancast for her work on the SF Squeecast.
PARASITE is a finalist for the 2014 Hugo Award, the fourth Best Novel nomination for Mira Grant. Her science fiction writing has been praised as “Horrifying, riveting, and a bit too plausible” (Library Journal, starred review of PARASITE) and “exceptionally creepy” (Fort Worth Star-Telegram on PARASITE).
Editor Will Hinton said, “It’s a dream to work with an author like Seanan and it’s thrilling to have more Mira Grant books to look forward to. I know her readers will be as excited as I am to return to the Parasitology trilogy, the beloved Newflesh series, and explore entirely new territory in a standalone novel.”
SYMBIONT, book two in the “Parasitology” series, will be published in Fall 2014. The “Parasitology” series is set in a near-future world where parasites have nearly eliminated human disease, but dependence on them may prove to be disastrous.
Seanan McGuire said of the deal, “I am overjoyed to be able to continue to write in the Parasite universe, and more, I am so, so excited to return to the world of Kellis-Amberlee, the Rising, and my unique approach to future journalism. I hope that everyone else will be as excited as I am to go back there, and I promise I have some thrilling surprises in store for you. As for that stand-alone third novel, well… You’ll have to wait and see what that’s going to be about. I can tell you one thing for sure: it’s going to be an adventure.”
The newly-acquired book three in the “Parasitology” series is currently scheduled for Fall 2015, while the first two “Newsflesh” novellas are slated for release in Summer 2014 and Summer 2015.
- - May 13th, 2014
In this year’s voter packet for the Hugo Awards, Orbit will be including extended previews of three novels we’ve published. These are:
PARASITE by Mira Grant
ANCILLARY JUSTICE by Ann Leckie
NEPTUNE’S BROOD by Charles Stross
We hope that these long extracts will provide a helpful introduction to these fantastic novels – and that they will encourage anybody who has not read them to read more.
We appreciate that some Hugo voters might be disappointed that the entire novels will not be available in the packet, and we would like to offer a word of explanation.
We are of course very much in favour of initiatives that help readers to engage with important awards, and we are always looking for new ways to help readers discover new authors. However, in the case of the voter packets, authors and rights holders are increasingly feeling that if their work is not included in the packet it will be at a disadvantage in the awards. It’s difficult for anyone to know for certain whether this is the case, but either way we don’t feel that authors and rights holders should feel under pressure to make their work available for free. There are a lot of different attitudes to the idea of giving work away for free, but we hope most people would agree that writers and rights holders should be able to make their own choice, without feeling that their decision might have negative consequences.
We would like to make it clear that this was our decision, and not one requested by any of our authors. It is a complex issue, with many different perspectives and opinions, and we believe that we are acting in the best interests of our authors while continuing to support the voter packet.
Going forward, we very much hope that awards administrators give careful consideration to voter packets, particularly in those categories in which shortlisted works are already widely available, and that they continue to look for new ways to encourage participation in awards.
In the meantime, I hope everyone eligible to vote in the Hugos who has not yet read the shortlisted novels enjoys the extended previews in the voter packet.
- - May 13th, 2014
As some of you may know, Orbit UK is an imprint of Little, Brown Book Group – and we’re proud to report that Little, Brown scooped up the prestigious Publisher of the Year title in the Bookseller Industry Awards last night.
Here’s a photo of the award and some key members of our team.
- - April 24th, 2014
Orbit recently acquired a debut epic fantasy trilogy by British author Stephen Aryan. The first book in the series, BATTLEMAGE, tells the story of mages treated as living weapons during a war between empires. It’s chock full of magic, scheming and truly epic battle scenes as these mages fight hard for an army that fears and distrusts them.
We’re sure you’re curious to meet the newest addition to Orbit, so we’ve created a mini-interview here with Stephen where you can get to know each other!
JH: Hi Stephen! Welcome to the Orbit gang!
SA: It’s a gang?
JH: Yep, we hang around on street corners, publishing books and scaring the neighbours. So what can you tell us about BATTLEMAGE, your very first novel?
SA: It’s an epic fantasy story set during a massive war and told from three main points of view; the front line warriors, the Heads of State and Generals conducting the war, and the Battlemages, wizards trained to fight and kill with their magic. Expect chopping off of limbs, political and espionage shenanigans, and black humour.
JH: Magicians, witches, wizards, we’ve read about them before – what’s different about your Battlemages?
SA: They’re a dying breed and are in demand all over the world. The Grey Council, the people in charge of magical training, abandoned their post years ago: the result is the majority of those born with a sensitivity to magic receive no training at all. Some have a little, which makes them unstable and, quite possibly, explosive as they don’t know how to control their power. Accidents happen quite often which has made a lot of people afraid of magic. So Battlemages are both feared and respected because they have immense power that makes them seem superhuman to most people, but they’re also necessary.
JH: Which books and authors influenced you in the writing of this series?
SA: The Earthsea novels by Ursula Le Guin was one early influence, which focus on Ged, a wizard who has several painful events that shape him as an adult. The other series that really made me think about wizards and magic were the Belgariad and the Malloreon novels by David Eddings. In both series there are only a handful of really powerful magic users who are also demi-gods and they walk that fine line between using their power to guide and protect humanity versus letting events run their natural course. LEGEND by David Gemmell was a big influence in terms of characterisation and my approach to story. Also the the work of Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman, in particular their Dragonlance novels, as they have magic, non-human races and diverse characters which I have in my books as well.
JH: If there’s one reason that readers should be looking forward to BATTLEMAGE, it is:
SA: Only one? Hmm, because it’s a rollicking good story with plenty of action, memorable characters, epic battles and a sense of humour throughout.
BATTLEMAGE will be out in October 2015, with the sequels to follow six months after. If you’d like to hear more from Stephen in the meantime, you can follow him on twitter at @SteveAryan or check out his website.
- - April 14th, 2014
The Expanse is coming to TV.
In thrilling news, the SyFy channel have commissioned a 10-episode television series. The script will be written by Academy Award-winning writing duo Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby, who count Iron Man and Children of Men among their credits.
Here’s author James S. A. Corey with the scoop on how it all came about:
So here’s what happened.
A few years back the Expanse books were out and doing pretty well, which was cool. Through our agent, we had a television agent in Hollywood – a fella named Brian Lipson – who was there to address any inquiries about the film and TV rights. That was a really pleasant place to be. We had a good publisher, a series that was getting good reviews, and a plan for what the next few books could look like. The rest of that – the TV guy, the rights, that stuff – it was the same level of CYA as flossing your teeth and doing your taxes. It’s what you do because it’s what you do, not because we expected anything to come from it.
And then there was this party in Los Angeles and Jason Brown and Ben Cook had a conversation. Jason had been looking for something in the science fiction line, and Ben passed on a recommendation of this book he’d read and liked called Leviathan Wakes. And in an unexpected twist Jason talked to people Ty knew from Game of Thrones about wanting to adapt Leviathan Wakes and those people emailed Ty and said do you know this guy named Jason wants to buy your book. So that was weird.
So then our TV guy – Brian – called us and told us that the books were getting some interest, and that he’d been looking specifically for folks who had screenwriters already lined up as part of the deal. We had some phone conversations with a few sets of folks, and one of them was Jason Brown. He worked with the producer Sean Daniel, who could bring the writers Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby to the table, the guys who wrote the first Iron Man movie and Children of Men. They weren’t the only good writers in the mix, but they were the only ones who wrote Iron Man and Children of Men. We managed to mostly keep our cool, nod sagely and say, yeah, they seem good. Let’s go with them. And then after we got off the phone we could talk about how cool it was that guys like that would be fans of our books. Read the rest of this entry »
- - January 31st, 2014
We’ve had some magnificent new praise Kim Stanley Robinson and his novel SHAMAN (US | UK | AUS). Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Gary Snyder had this to say:
“KSR has turned his formidable knowledge and imagination from outer space and future science onto the deep human past. He unfolds the rich and complex lives of our upper Paleolithic forebears: a lad with no family, called Loon, makes it from boyhood to a role in his small society as a Shaman, under the difficult, nutty, mentorship of an elder named Thorn. His trials, hungers, dangers, and skills remind us that our minds and tools are sophisticated and very ancient. A moment struck by watching the great beauty of a wild horse, a vision of two young women braiding each others’ hair by a stream, put us all in the same place. Wild food, vast landscapes, insight, logic, handiness, lovely and sometimes difficult sex, and talks by the fire – all under the sky – or on a long long walk – make up a world we are still in. I don’t think anyone but Kim Stanley Robinson could have brought this off.”
World-renowned artist Marina Abramović said simply that it was the “best book of the year.”
And finally the New Yorker added that “Robinson is one of our best, bravest, most moral, and most hopeful storytellers.”
You can read the full admiring piece on the author and his work here or read a sample from the novel.