Some may prefer to think of an M-16-packing Will Smith as the protagonist of Richard Matheson’s I AM LEGEND. Some may picture OMEGA MAN’s Charleton Heston driving a convertible Mustang through darkening streets, his submachine gun slung on the seat beside him. But when others read LEGEND, they see a dusty man in baggy clothes. There’s nothing glamorous about him, not a hint of the jaw-clenching confidence of a Hollywood star. He’s thin. His eyes are red-rimmed and he appears to be as mad as Don Quixote alone a hundred years into purgatory, tilting at corpses.
What is it about early postwar sci-fi that makes its worlds seem so dark and realistically shabby? Proximity to nuclear annihilation? The poorly forgotten horrors of World War Two? The rote mediocrity of peace after the time of global death and flame ended, the famished beginning of the age of mass consumption? Or is it only that we’ve been conditioned by the black-and-white movies of that time? Read the rest of this entry »
- - June 21st, 2010
I’m delighted to announce, after much careful tweaking, amending and perfecting, that we now have artwork for Gail Z. Martin’s The Sworn, book 1 in the Fallen Kings cycle (US I UK I ANZ). This is a new series but has many familiar faces from Gail’s Necromancer series, so will be great for new readers and Gail Martin fans.
We wanted something that would draw you into Gail’s world, that would hint at the action and pure thrill of her writing and I think Steve Stone has delivered something wonderfully atmospheric with this visual. Here be swords, brigands, dark magics and other forms of mayhem aplenty, so those seeking adventure between the pages need look no further.
In addition to saying something about this new book, we were also keen to produce something that would be in sympathy with the cover style of the Necromancer Chronicles, as this book is set in the same world as that series. But at the same time, we had to balance this against not wanting to reproduce the previous style exactly as this book is of course the start of something new. And to find out for yourself just how much excitement is in store, have a look at our first sneak preview of The Sworn with this early extract here.
You can also expect more from Gail Z. Martin all this week, as she will be talking about this new book as part of her Hawthorn Moon online book event. This has been a great success for several years now, so look out for interviews, giveaways, twitter-only extras, podcasts and much else!
- - June 18th, 2010
This extraordinary book was released in the UK this month, and is a powerful tale of politics and war …
“Basso the Magnificent. Basso the Great. Basso the Wise. The First Citizen of the Vesani Republic is an extraordinary man. He is ruthless, cunning and, above all, lucky. He brings wealth, power and prestige to his people. But with power comes unwanted attention, and Basso must defend his nation and himself from threats foreign and domestic. In a lifetime of crucial decisions, he’s only ever made one mistake. One mistake, though, can be enough.”
You can read a free extract of it here and it’s also available in the States and will be out soon in Australia.
K. J. Parker has attracted huge amounts of critical praise throughout a long career (UK I US), and here’s just a selection of it, below:
- ‘I have reviewed books before that I thought might someday be found to have achieved greatness . . . K.J. Parker is writing work after work that demands to be placed in this category’ Orson Scott Card
- ‘Impressive . . . there’s a mordant wit to the workings of Parker’s mind’ TIME OUT
- ‘I was hooked from the very first scene’ LOCUS
- ‘Parker raises the bar for realistic fantasy war craft’ PUBLISHERS WEEKLY
- ‘Has a complexity and ambiguity that’s lacking in much fantasy fiction’ DEATHRAY
- ‘One of fantasy’s premier voices’ SFX
- ‘Stunning’ BOOKBAG.CO.UK
Summer is a great time for science fiction fans to indulge their inner Eeyores. After reading Mira Grant’s latest, what could be better than stretching out under all that depressing sunshine with a classic book of the post-apocalyptic genre?
A CANTICLE FOR LEIBOWITZ covers a large swath of time as the human race attempts to put itself back together after a no-hold-barred nuclear war. It begins many hundreds of years after the game of fun with fusion was played, but the setting is still deliciously scorched and barren and humankind is poor and superstitious and still a wee bit mistrustful of science. There are ruins. There are atomic mutants hiding in desolate places. There are autocrats and barbarians. There’s a hermit cursed to live the centuries from one nuke war until what seems to be the beginning of the next. It’s what people in the film industry would call “high concept,” right? But this book is also admirable for its fine storytelling. The characters are as human as any you’re likely to meet, and easy to befriend. Read the rest of this entry »
- - June 14th, 2010
I know I skipped a week (I’ve been busy working on the Spring/Summer 2011 season), so to make up for it I give you not only a cover launch but also a fun behind-the-scenes video I made at the photo shoot for the collected edition of Lilith Saintcrow’s Dante Valentine Series.
I know a lot of you are already familiar with the five books of the Dante Valentine series, and as a fan myself, I was excited to get a chance to try a new look for Dante. The original series covers were very cool and graphic, but we felt for the relaunch with the Omnibus edition we wanted to go for a whole new look, and it would be fun to get a chance to actually personify Dante in the flesh. Read the rest of this entry »
- - June 8th, 2010
The year is 2014. A virus has been released that is turning the majority of the population into rabid, flesh-eating monsters. NOT COOL. You’re being forced to flee your home and can only take three things with you . . . tough call, but what would you pack?
To celebrate the fact that Feed (UK/US/AUS) is now out in the UK, we asked the author Mira Grant for her top three zombie-apocalpyse essentials. Every gal’s gotta have ’em! They are the following:
1) My house earthquake kit. Yes, it’s cheating a little, but if I have an apocalypse, I’m going to grab my pre-packed backpack full of water purification tablets, protein bars, multi-vitamins, first aid supplies, and knives. That’s what an earthquake kit is for.
2) A folding stock pump shotgun. Simple, effective, commonly used by law enforcement agencies, which will make ammunition easy to find once the initial looting of the Wal-Marts and gun shops has otherwise exhausted the supply.
3) My easily irritated, extremely clingy Siamese cat. Not even a zombie is going to function very well when hit with a face full of pissed-off clawing white thing with a score to settle. And trust me, you make her go outside, she’s got a score to settle with you.
Read the rest of this entry »
- - June 3rd, 2010
The griffins have landed in the UK! Here’s one of the majestic beasts caught on camera causing havoc in London just today. With the arrival of these ferocious creatures of fire, it may be that half of the city will turn to desert by this evening . . .
We’re wondering if you’ve spotted any griffins in your local vicinity? Send your reports and photos to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll reward the five most vigilant (and creative) people with copies of the first two books in the Griffin Mage series: Lord of the Changing Winds (UK/US/AUS) and Land of Burning Sands (UK/ US/ AUS). They’re released this month and next month in the UK, and are already available in the US.
The author, Rachel Neumeier – a long-term griffin observer and specialist – may be able to offer some helpful advice for dealing with any griffin nuisances in your local area. You can read Rachel’s account of what happens when griffins and humans clash on the SFX website. And for further information on the author, see her brand new website, launched just last week: www.rachelneumeier.com
- - June 2nd, 2010
BLONDE BOMBSHELL is Tom Holt’s hilarious science-fictional debut and features one of the most fiendishly clever weapons of mass destruction you are likely to encounter. With the future of mankind possibly at stake, we did what any publisher would do. We asked the author some questions and then hid under a table.
10. How smart can a missile really be?
Not that smart, or it wouldn’t allow itself to get blown up to further a socio-political disagreement between partially evolved primates. I wouldn’t want to play chess with one, though.
9. Could the events you describe in the book actually happen?
Actually, they already did (see below; extensive research), though the Orbit guys have done a great job blaming the ash cloud on the Icelanders. As with all my novels, nearly all the non-fiction bits are partially true. Read the rest of this entry »
- - June 1st, 2010
Yes, too many too count!
First in, we have Rachel Aaron finishing up the Legend of Eli Monpress series with Spirit War (MM in September 2011) and Spirit’s End (MM in Summer 2012) . Her first book will be out this October, The Spirit Thief, followed by The Spirit Rebellion and The Spirit Eater in November and December consecutively.
We’re excited to publish three more Jane True books from Nicole Peeler. The second of which, Tracking the Tempest, is just out this July.
Gail Carriger will be giving us two more Parasol Protectorate Books: Heartless (MM in July 2011) and Timeless (MM in Winter 2012). Her second book, Changeless, just hit the New York Times Bestseller list this April.
We have a few deliveries that you might be interested to know that they’re in and in the pipeline for publication: Black Prism by Brent Weeks (HC in August 2010), Flip This Zombie by Jesse Petersen (MM in January 2011), Green Eyed Demon by Jaye Wells (MM in March 2011), Cold Magic by Kate Elliott (TP in September 2010), Bitten in Two by Jennifer Rardin (TP in November 2010), Law of the Broken Earth by Rachel Neumeier (MM in December 2010) and Tempest’s Legacy by Nicole Peeler (MM in January 2011).
- - June 1st, 2010
I’m so excited to announce the publication of Stealing Fire by Jo Graham. Jo Graham has written two novels with Orbit previously: Black Ships and Hand of Isis. A historical writer in the tradition of Judith Tarr and Marion Zimmer Bradley, Jo writes about characters whose voices echo down the ages. Her writing is absolutely lyrical and Stealing Fire was an absolute pleasure to read.
Lydias of Miletus was once a solider of Alexander’s. But now that Alexander the Great is dead, Lydias has thrown his lot in with Ptolemy, one of Alexander’s generals who has grabbed Egypt as his personal territory. Aided by the eunuch Bagoas, the Persian archer Artashir, and the Athenian courtesan Thais, Ptolemy and Lydias must take on all the contenders in a desperate adventure whose prize is the fate of a white city by the sea, and Alexander’s legacy.