- - 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.
Every vampire has heard rumor of the mythical place where their kind can daywalk. But what no vampire knows is that this City of Eternal Night actually exists.
And its name is New Orleans.
For centuries, the fae have protected the city from vampire infestation. But when the bloodsuckers return, the fragile peace in New Orleans begins to crumble.
Carefree playboy Augustine, and Harlow, a woman searching for answers about her absent father, are dragged into the war. The fate of the city rests on them — and their fae blood that can no longer be denied.
There is nothing as heart wrenching for readers and authors alike as concluding a series and leaving a whole world behind. But just as all good things must come to an end, new and fabulous things begin! Kristen Painter, author of the beloved House of Comarré novels, knows this process well as she heads into her second series — Crescent City. Book one, House of the Rising Sun, debuts next week, and in preparation, Kristen stopped by to talk about the transition process from an author point of view:
Top Five Reasons Ending an Existing Series is Hard
- Worldbuilding – Building worlds is tons of fun. But when you pour extensive amounts of gray matter into a world that’s spanned five novels and one novella, you’re pretty stuck in. You know the place intimately and you can navigate better than Google Maps. Ending the series means you don’t get to play there anymore.
- Characters – After a series run, your characters can feel like an extended part of your family. In some cases, you may have spent more time with them than your actual family. Throughout the books, your characters have grown and changed and those that have survived may have even become better people because of things they overcame along the way. You know them like you know yourself. When the series ends, there’s not a lot of chance to see them again.
- Readers – Readers get even more invested in a series than the author does sometimes, so for me, I’m always thinking about them when I write. My goal with every book is to entertain, so leaving a series makes me cringe. What if the readers aren’t happy with the ending? What if they still want more? What if the readers don’t like the new books? What if they hate the new hero/heroine?
- The New Book – All of a sudden you realize you have to come up with a new series – new worldbuilding, new characters, new conflicts, new plots. That can be daunting when you feel like you put everything you had into the series you just finished.
- The Final Book – The last book in a series carries a lot of weight. Writing it means shouldering the burdens of every unanswered thread you’ve created thus far. And some authors *coughmyselfcough* tend to create a lot of threads. All of them have to be wrapped up neatly and you’ve still got to have a conclusion that leaves the reader feeling satisfied. Oh, the pressure! It’s enough to make a writer drink. Or binge eat Swedish fish.
Read the rest of this entry »
- - March 25th, 2014
“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.
- February 28th, 2014
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
- - December 20th, 2013
Happy Holidays from Orbit!
See 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)!
- - October 21st, 2013
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, Acquisition, and 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.
Here’s a bit of process from him: Read the rest of this entry »
- - October 8th, 2013
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.
- - September 17th, 2013
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!
- - September 12th, 2013
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