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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.
Read a sample

Category: Uncategorized

Return to Mirgorod with TRUTH AND FEAR!

“I fell into Wolfhound Century and devoured it in three days.”— Richard Morgan

Today we are proud to release the greatly anticipated TRUTH AND FEAR, Peter Higgins’s enthralling sequel to WOLFHOUND CENTURY. TRUTH AND FEAR is the second novel in the Wolfhound Century trilogy, published by Orbit in the US and Gollancz in the UK.

TRUTH AND FEAR finds Investigator Lom returning to a Mirgorod in crisis, with the war against the Archipelago looking grim for all. Enemy divisions are massing outside the city, air raids are a daily occurrence and the citizens are being conscripted into the desperate defense of the city.

But Lom has other concerns. The police are after him, the mystery of the otherworldly Pollandore remains and the vast Angel is moving, turning all of nature against the city.

As complete destruction looms, Lom must find a way to save the city and save himself – before the horrors of war overtake them all.

Praise for WOLFHOUND CENTURY:

“Like vintage China Mieville, but with all the violent narrative thriller drive of Ian Fleming at his edgiest” RICHARD MORGAN

“An amazing, fast-paced story in a fantasy world poised dangerously on the edge of quantum probability, a world where angels war with reality” PETER F. HAMILTON

“I absolutely loved WOLFHOUND CENTURY. Higgins’s world is a truly original creation, Russian cosmism and Slavic mythology filtered through steampunk and le Carre. What really captured me was his beautiful style and language” HANNU RAJANIEMI

“An alternate history that will grab you by the lapels and snap you to attention.”— io9

“Sentient water, censored artists, mechanical constructs, old-fashioned detective work, and the secret police are all woven together in this rich and fascinating tapestry” — Publishers Weekly

“WOLFHOUND CENTURY merits the attention of Miéville fans looking for something new.” — Far Beyond Reality

“WOLFHOUND CENTURY is a strange, complex, earthy, sometimes violent read, and one of the best debuts I’ve gotten my hands on.” — My Bookish Ways

“This is a great, dark and fantastical thriller. It has the suspense of classic spy thrillers, mixed with the strange and the bizarre found in any number of critically-acclaimed fantasists.” — Civilian Reader

“Higgins doesn’t just build a world, he also thrusts the reader into it thanks to his incredibly adept use of an intense and stark atmosphere.” — Bookworm Blues

“Very dark, very gritty and very atmospheric. WOLFHOUND CENTURY is also a book free of genre constraints, allowing for a great original and entertaining read. Top Notch stuff by Peter Higgins.” — The Founding Fields

“Fans of dystopian fiction, noir, and science fiction and fantasy (especially those weary of tired old world building that always seems to center on English history or Western European norms) will find much of interest in this book.” — Nerds of a Feather

Read an excerpt from TRUTH AND FEAR or start from the beginning with WOLFHOUND CENTURY

March Events

March 5: Gail Carriger at WORD Bookstore, Brooklyn, NY, 7 PM

March 6: Mur Lafferty at Flyleaf Books, Chapel Hill, NC, 7 PM

March 6: Ken MacLeod Launches his latest novel DESCENT (UK|ANZ) at Blackwell’s Books, Edinburgh UK , 6.30 PM

March 7-9: Mira Grant (as Seanan McGuire) will be Guest of Honor at FOGcon, Walnut Creek, CA

March 12 and on: Gail Carriger will be participating in the Twitter Fiction Festival

March 15 Ken MacLeod will be appearing at A Celebration of the Life & Works of Iain Banks at The Huddesfield Literary Festival UK, 2PM

March 21-23: Gail Carriger will be Guest of Honor at ConDor, San Diego, CA

March 28-30: Mira Grant will be at Emerald City Comicon, Seattle, CA

Happy Holidays from Orbit: Cyborg Santa!

Happy Holidays from Orbit!

cyborgsanta2013webSee you in 2014!

Thanks to Gregory Titus for providing the 3rd annual SFF Santa for Orbit Books. Here’s Jetpack Santa and Epic Santa (with printable gift tags)!

 

The Making of a Cover: Interior Maps (Bonus)

Welcome to the most in-depth, behind-the-scenes, play-by-play account of how a cover is born, from the point of view of the Art Department. We’re charting the conception and birth of the Shadowdance series by David Dalglish.

So far we have talked about the first real step of a book, Acquisitionand then what goes into Cover Briefing. Then we let our minds wander and collect inspiration and form Directions for the cover. Then we agreed on a Photographer and Illustrator. We’ve even found our hero, the Cover Model. And we found a Trampoline for him to do stunt work on safely. We decked him out in book-specific Costume & Props. We spent all day at our Photo Shoot. After receiving the Rough Cuts and narrowing down the images, it was time for the illustrator to get to work, and while he did, Kirk was already working on the Design Roughs. Meanwhile, during this whole process for the cover, I was also working on developing Maps and Chapter Icons for the interior of the book.

Maps are an important part of world-building in SFF, especially in epic fantasy, and often authors will have pretty in-depth maps sketched out for themselves while writing the books. It’s also really interesting for readers to be able to see and navigate the maps along with the story, so at Orbit we try to include maps as often as they are available, and useful to the story. Of course, we need an artist to take the author’s sketches and notes and scribbles and turn them into a coherent map. It’s not just a art job, it’s also a seriously geek job. You need an artist that is really into figuring out the details and making everything work. It’s not uncommon for one of my map artists to discover that the geography needs extra definition (and in some cases, outright redesign) to get the pieces to work. In the case of David Dalglish’s Shadowdance series, the maps were already pretty detailed and included in David’s self-published versions. However, we really wanted to push them the extra mile, so I brought in illustrator and mapmaker Tim Paul.

I’ve known Tim Paul’s work as an illustrator for a while now, and actually had no idea he illustrated maps too. And then one geeky night at the Society of Illustrators (yes, such a place exists, and if you are a fan of illustration, SFF or otherwise, you should check it out if you’re in NYC. They also house the Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art) and we were having a super-geek conversation about D&D and how into being a Dungeon Master Tim was, how he made intricate maps and props for his campaigns. He had also started doing some map commissions for smaller publishers, and really enjoyed it. I literally hired him on the spot.

Neldar-Dalglish-TimPaul

Here’s a bit of process from him: Read the rest of this entry »

COLD BLOODED releases today!

For all you urban fantasy fans out there, your week just got a whole lot better.  The wait is over — COLD BLOODED (US | UK | AUS) by Amanda Carlson releases today!

If you read urban fantasy and you haven’t checked out the Jessica McClain series, I know the perfect book for the top of your “to read” pile.  FULL BLOODED (US | UK | AUS)  kicked off the series last year and the action has not stopped since.  Jessica McClain proves that it’s not easy being a girl.  It’s even harder when you’re the only girl in a family of werewolves.  But it’s next to impossible when your very existence spells out the doom of your race… Meet Jessica McClain — she just became part of the pack.

The third book in the series, COLD BLOODED, takes Jessica to new heights, and combines all of the best of the genre.  There are vampires, witches, and a really hot guy (oh my!). It will keep you on your toes and leave you guessing — by the end, you won’t know which way is up and you’ll be loving it the whole way!

Jessica McClain is on the run… again.

Finally reunited with Rourke, Jessica arrives home to find that her best friend has been kidnapped, her father has vanished, and the supernatural Sects — witches, demons, and sorcerers — don’t even have the courtesy to wait until she is unpacked to attack.

Now, mastering her powers as the sole female werewolf might not be enough to save them.  Thrown together in a shaky truce with the Vampire Queen, Jessica must show all the different Sects what the true meaning of “the enemy of my enemy” is or her father will die…

All three books are out and available now in your local bookstores.  And if that isn’t enough good news for this week, I am very excited to share that the Jessica McClain series will be continuing for two more books starting in 2014! Get a jump on the series now because I can guarantee you… you won’t want to miss what’s next.

 

 

The Rose and the Thorn, out today!

The second volume of Michael J. Sullivan’s Riyria Chronicles is out today in paperback and ebook editions.

The Founding Fields writes: “Michael J. Sullivan’s The Rose and the Thorn manages to be even better than The Crown Tower, making this book, and the duology – one of my favourite reads of 2013.” And Reading Realms says “So far, all of Sullivan’s Riyria books have been very well paced, sword-and-sorcery style action with strong characters, making them fun and easy to read.  I would recommend them to any fan of fantasy, new or veteran, young or old.”

You can read an interview with Michael about this prequel series at Fantasy Book Critic.

And check out the first chapter right here!

 

 

Announcing Mira Grant’s PARASITE tour!

First she had us on the run from zombies. Now Mira Grant is delving into the dangers that might hiding inside our own bodies.

PARASITE (US | UK | ANZ), out in October, starts a brand-new series from the bestselling author of FEED (US | UK | ANZ), DEADLINE (US | UK | ANZ), and BLACKOUT (US | UK | ANZ). In PARASITE, disease is virtually unknown thanks to SymboGen Corporation’s Intestinal Bodyguard, a genetically engineered tapeworm. But there are some unanticipated side effects…

You can get a taste of PARASITE in this excerpt at Popular Science. And, if you’re on the west coast, Mira may be coming to your city when PARASITE is released! Details of the tour are below.

Tuesday, October 29
7 PM: Borderlands, 866 Valencia Street, San Francisco, CA

Wednesday, October 30
7 PM: Books Inc. Mountain View, 301 Castro Street, Mountain View, CA

Thursday, October 31
7 PM: Mysterious Galaxy, 7051 Clairemont Mesa Boulevard, San Diego, CA

Friday, November 1
7 PM: B&N #2280, 401 NE Northgate Way #1100, Seattle, WA

Saturday, November 2
2 PM: B&N #2262, 12000 SE 82nd Avenue, Portland, OR

First Looks: Spring/Summer 2014 US Covers

Screen Shot 2013-09-04 at 5.17.04 PM

Another summer has come and gone, and here at Orbit, we’re already hard at work on next year’s exciting line-up! Here are some of the jackets we have ready so far with more to follow over the next few months.

Click on the images below to see a larger version and appreciate each cover in its full glory.  Pin, tweet, and comment away with reckless abandon. Let us know which books have already piqued your interest!

Martin_ReignofAsh-TP   œF�   Dalglish_ADanceOfShadows_TP  Carey_GirlWithAllTheGifts-HC   Corey_CibolaBurn_HC   Sapkowski_BaptismofFire-TP   Miller_PathToPower_HC   Irvine_Justice-TP   Weeks-BrokenEye-HC   Saintcrow_RipperAffair-TP   Wells_CursedMoon-TP   Jemisin_FifthSeason-TP   Abraham_WidowsHouse_TP

Art Credits: Reign of Ash: Illustration by Larry Rostant; Heaven’s Queen: Design by Kirk Benshoff; Dance of Shadows: Photo Illustration by Gene Mollica & Michael Frost, Design by Kirk Benshoff; The Girl With All The Gifts: Design by Duncan Spilling; Cibola Burn: Illustration by Daniel Dociu, Design by Kirk Benshoff; Baptism of Fire: Illustration by BARTŁOMIEJ GAWEŁ, PAWEŁ MIELNICZUK, MARCIN BŁASZCZAK, ARKADIUSZ MATYSZEWSKI,MARIAN CHOMIAK , Design by Lauren Panepinto; Path to Power: Illustration by Raphael Lacoste, Design by Kirk Benshoff; Justice: Design by Wendy Chan; Broken Eye: Photo by Shirley Green, Illustration by Silas Manhood, Design by Lauren Panepinto; The Ripper Affair: Photo by Shirley Green, Illustration by Craig White, Design by Lauren Panepinto; Cursed Moon: Photo by Shirley Green, Illustration by Don Sipley, Design by Lauren Panepinto; The Fifth Season: Design by Lauren Panepinto; The Widow’s House: Design by Kirk Benshoff

Cover Story: FORTUNE’S PAWN by RACHEL BACH

œF��$¿�Ƒ$�8Ò�ò¤»�däå¸R8BIFORTUNE’S PAWN (US | UK) and the Paradox Series by Rachel Bach is coming out this Fall in November 2013.

I’ve had a particular attachment to this project. As a father of a three year old girl, I love that the covers for this series are showcasing a strong female character. My kid already has to listen to me quote Ripley to her on a daily basis, now she gets to listen to Devi quips too.

Putting this book together was a challenge beyond figuring out how the series was going to look. It was really executing that vision that was the biggest obstacle. I wanted Devi’s face to be front and center. I wanted a snapshot moment of a badass female with an unamused expression to set the tone of the series, then have the cover of each volume expand on that moment. As if each cover was a visual interstitial for the series.

I had to create the initial illustration of Devi herself which I was going to use in the following two volumes. This was a combination of finding the right face, illustrating the armor and tech Devi uses in the books in a cool way, and bring that together in a badass way.

Once her portrait was done, the next phase as putting the face in the a couple contexts to give more depth to her character. I love idea or her floating I space with that jaded look on her face. As if the reason she’s there is just one more thing she has to deal with before getting done what she needs to get done.

Here is a small gallery showing the various stages of the FORTUNE’S PAWN.

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Here are the final covers for all three book in the Paradox Series!

Cover reveal: The Girl With All the Gifts

It is my great delight to reveal the cover for the book that everyone will be talking about in 2014.

The Girl With All The Gifts

Melanie is a very special girl. Dr Caldwell calls her ‘our little genius’.

Every morning, Melanie waits in her cell to be collected for class. When they come for her, Sergeant 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 loves school. She loves learning about spelling and sums and the world outside the classroom and the children’s cells. She tells her favourite teacher all the things she’ll do when she grows up. Melanie doesn’t know why this makes Miss Justineau look sad.

The Girl With All the Gifts will be published by Orbit worldwide in 2014.

 

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