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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: Videos

BLOODFIRE QUEST – Terry Brooks answers your questions

Bloodfire Quest, the second epic fantasy novel in Terry Brooks's Dark Legacy of Shannara series following Wards of FaerieToday we release the paperback of BLOODFIRE QUEST (UK|ANZ) – book two in Terry Brooks’s Dark Legacy of Shannara series following WARDS OF FAERIE (UK|ANZ). It’s a new epic fantasy set in the author’s core Shannara world, and it’s been knocking people’s socks off:

‘Explodes from the first page…the action doesn’t stop until the novel’s cliffhanger ending…Intense and exhilarating…Brooks is one of the best fantasy writers in the business’ ASSOCIATED PRESS

‘[Brooks] brings his distinct talent, giving a true grandeur to clashes involving terrifying creatures and powerful magic’ KIRKUS REVIEWS

‘A thrill ride that will leave readers wanting more…This volume, paired with the first, might be just the right place to introduce new readers to this fine writer’ BOOKLIST

The third book, WITCH WRAITH (UK|ANZ), is released very soon on 16th July.

Back in April, Terry did a very rare signing in the UK for the hardback release of BLOODFIRE QUEST. The queues at Forbidden Planet were phenomenal, and the signing went on for hours! See some pics of the event here.

For those who were unable to make it, we asked readers to send in their questions for this fantasy legend from afar. Now, we release Terry’s answers in the video below:

ps. Is it just me or is Terry awesome? No – the signs say it’s not just me . . .

Video: LOVE MINUS EIGHTY – Will romance survive into the future?

Love-Minus-EightyIf you think dating is hard now, I hate to tell you this, but it’s only going to get worse. Based on the Hugo-winning story, Bridesicle, LOVE MINUS EIGHTY (US | UK | AUS) is a cold and yet stirring look at the search for true love in the future. What is already a difficult task for us now becomes even more complicated in this twisted and poignant story penned by Will McIntosh.

Praise for LOVE MINUS EIGHTY: 
“This is speculative fiction at its most personal and powerful, extrapolating current social and technological trends and exploring how they would affect future people simply trying to live their lives and make their existence matter to someone.” – Kirkus (Starred Review)

Watch the trailer below.

 

Video: PROMISE OF BLOOD – The Age of Kings is dead…

Field Marshal Tamas has a message for the aristocracy of Adro. Watch the trailer below and prepare for the coming revolution.

PROMISE OF BLOOD (US | UK | AUS) is available everywhere in hardcover, ebook, and audio formats. Read the first four chapters here or become a fan of the series on Facebook.

*Footage by Gene Mollica and Michael Frost

In Alternate Soviet Russia, Magic Rules You

In exactly one month from today, Peter Higgins’s brilliant debut WOLFHOUND CENTURY will be published here in the US.  ”Sentient water, censored artists, mechanical constructs, old-fashioned detective work, and the secret police are all woven together in this rich and fascinating tapestry,” wrote Publishers Weekly, and that’s only the beginning of the wonderful praise we’ve received for this novel.

Watch the trailer on our website and pre-order your copy  of WOLFHOUND CENTURY today! You can also read the first five chapters on io9 right away.

WOLFHOUND CENTURY by Peter Higgins

 

 

Can You Shoot An Arrow Through An Epic Fantasy Novel?

The Red Knight How thick is dragonhide? Maybe as tough as a 650 page epic fantasy novel? Yeah that sounds about right, but…then what? Shockingly, none of us at Orbit have faced down any dragons recently. Vampires? Please, too easy. A splash of holy water, a stake through the heart, the hardest part is cleaning up the mess. Zombie Apocalypse? We’ve got all our contingency plans covered.

So what do you use if the goal is to put a dent in a target of epic proportions?

Miles Cameron is an author and historical reenactor. We asked him if he could shoot an arrow through his debut fantasy novel, THE RED KNIGHT. Here’s what happened when he answered the challenge.

So the next time you’re out hunting dragons, be ready with the right equipment. To find out more about Miles Camerons’s combat experience and THE RED KNIGHT, check out this interview.

Civilisation: are we doomed? SKYFALL and 3 other ways of looking at it . . .

The poster for the latest Sam Mendes bond movie Skyfall, starring Daniel CraigLast weekend, along with millions of other people I’m sure, I went to see the latest Sam Mendes Bond movie, SKYFALL. I found the film highly entertaining – with some very impressive action scenes, a slickest of slick opening sequence, a surprisingly believable plot (for an action movie I mean…), and a rather irresistible performance from the easy-on-the-eye Daniel Craig.

But I also found it interesting (with my Orbit hat on) that this time, 007 wasn’t having to save the world by disarming a nuclear warhead (think MOONRAKER or THUNDERBALL) or stopping the spread of a deadly virus (think ON HER MAJESTY’S SECRET SERVICE) or prevent an evil communist plot (think CASINO ROYALE and a whole host of other Bonds).

This time, Bond’s role was to combat the destruction looming from the leak of confidential information – by the world’s most sophisticated cyber-terrorist. Highly believable in this age of Wikileaks and hackers being potentially extradited for infiltrating US military systems.

It seems that the disasters befalling the various James Bonds have been evolving through the years – seemingly to keep up with the ways in which our world, our technology and our political and social struggles have been constantly changing. Because it appears that as we progress as a species, the potential pitfalls waiting to bring down Western world and civilisation itself seem to be constantly evolving too – and growing dangerously more numerous by the day. Read the rest of this entry »

Talking whales? And David Brin on…MTV? Something’s up…

Is it just me, or is science fiction starting to get more of the attention it deserves? It’s great to see that even MTV are getting in on the action – by filming David Brin at WorldCon 2012.

The topic was: why haven’t more species on Earth naturally self-uplifted to full sentience? With dolphins and apes sharing a similar intelligence level, and with parrots, crows, sea lions . . . and even prairie dogs being not too far behind, is there some kind of sentience “glass ceiling” that prevents bright creatures breaking through? And, if so, how did humanity manage to break through it and progress so far?

Get More:
MTV Shows

 

The questions David Brin is asking are timely. Because a recent discovery suggests that perhaps certain animals have the ability to push their limits further…

Research shows that a beluga whale called NOC made vocalisations that sounded extremely close to human speech. What’s more – this wasn’t exactly easy for the whale involved. As an io9.com article explains further, it had to adjust its own vocal mechanics and inflate part of its blowhole (through which it usually breathes) to make these sounds.

Is this an example of a whale trying to reach out to us and meet us halfway? Could this open up possibilities for communication between different species?

And then that raises an even bigger question. Should it now be our duty and obligation to offer other “pre-sapient” species a helping hand? We do, after all, now seem to have the tools of science to be able to do so – as shown by this article on making monkeys smarter using brain implants. Or would that just be the ultimate form of arrogance?

These are among the questions being raised not just in the interview above, but also in David Brin’s classic and award-winning Uplift books, which are soon to be re-released in the omnibus editions UPLIFT (UK | ANZ) and EXILES (UK | ANZ). And he also portrays the beginnings of the uplift process in his latest book: EXISTENCE (UK | ANZ), released as a paperback this November.

EXISTENCE by the award-winning author of the Uplift novels, David Brin, a science fiction book featuring the beginnings of genetic uplift of animals by human beingsUPLIFT: an omnibus edition of the three science fiction novels SUNDIVER, STARTIDE RISING and THE UPLIFT WAR, by the award-winning author David Brin, and featuring genetic uplift of animals by human beingsEXILES: an omnibus edition of the three science fiction novels BRIGHTNESS REFF, INFINITY'S SHORE and HEAVEN'S REACH, by the award-winning author David Brin, and featuring genetic uplift of animals by human beings

 

Google Hangout Video – Featuring Iain M. Banks, Peter F. Hamilton and Alistair Reynolds

Last night Google’s UK headquarters in London bore witness to a very special event: a discussion between the UK’s three biggest SF writers, Iain M. Banks, Peter F. Hamilton and Alistair Reynolds. Eight lucky fans from across the world – who were all lucky enough to win a competition to join the conversation – sat in on the debate and supplied questions.

The hour-long discussion covered a wide range of subjects, such as worldbuilding versus characterisation, approaches to writing and the future of science fiction in an increasingly digital age. The entire hour-long session was watched live by hundreds of fans and was also filmed. Many thanks to the Google crew for their hospitality and for making the event possible!

Iain M. Banks is on tour in the UK next week, signing copies of his brilliant new Culture novel THE HYDROGEN SONATA [UK | US | ANZ] – the events are as follows:

Weds 3rd October – Waterstones Piccadilly, London, 7pm
Thurs 4th – Toppings & co., Bath, 8pm
Fri 5th – Waterstones, Yeovil, 1pm
Fri 5th – Waterstones Galleries, Bristol, 7.30pm
Weds 10th – Waterstones West End, Edinburgh, 6pm
Thurs 11th – Manchester Literature Festival, 7pm
Fri 12th – Formby Books, Liverpool, 7pm

Kim Stanley Robinson reads from 2312

“One stands on a pebble next to a star…”

In his stunning novel, 2312 [UK | US | ANZ], Kim Stanley Robinson combines detailed research with a vivid imagination to create the most incredible descriptions of our galaxy 300 years in the future.  While he was in the UK, we filmed him reading from the book at Toppings in Bath (big thank you to Jeanette Weston at Magus Studios).

Here he reads a passage depicting dawn on the planet Mercury… prepare to be entranced.

And for a chance to win a SIGNED hardback of 2312, comment below with your favourite quote from the reading!  (Terms and Conditions apply)

Trailer for EXISTENCE by David Brin

Released today is EXISTENCE (UK | ANZ) - the phenomenal new science fiction novel from the multi-award winning David Brin. A book that io9 said will “make you think about the future in a whole new way.

Truly a tour-de-force of storytelling, it’s his first novel to be released in ten years, and in the words of the Guardian: ‘It’s been well worth the wait’.

To mark this fantastic event we have released a first edition of the book with a limited-edition 3D cover. Watch the trailer below to see what lies ahead . . .

 

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