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Leviathan Wakes is by James S.A. Corey, which is the pen name of  Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck. This behemoth is hitting stores May 2011. What an awesome project. We’re talking space opera, big ships, interstellar travel, secrets, conspiracies, and high adventure. Once I got my hands on it the gears started turning full tilt.

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The Art Department is multiplying!

As the Creative Director of Orbit US, I am very happy to make some announcements and introductions. And maybe a few explanations, with a small peek behind the curtain at a book publishing art department. SFF readers are pretty opinionated about covers, which is awesome, so I’m guessing you’d like to know a little bit more about how an art dept. is set up.

When Orbit first launched here in the US three years ago, the cover design was handled by the fabulous Art Directors and Designers of the Little Brown Art Department (some of their awesome work can be pointed out in my very first ever Orbit blog post here.) Orbit’s first year in the US went so swimmingly that it jumped out from under the Little Brown umbrella and teamed up with Yen Press to become it’s own division of Hachette Books. It then needed its own art department and I was hired to get that moving. Kirk Behshoff, who you will meet in a minute, had already been handling the cover art for Yen Press while it was a part of Little Brown Young Readers, and thank goodness he came over with Yen or I might have lost my mind those first few weeks. So long story short, the last two years were a lot of wonderful covers mixed with panic and a lot of late nights, because let me tell you, two people for two imprints is a bit of an insane workload. And because of the time crunch, I stuck mostly to Orbit and Kirk stuck mostly to Yen.

But now we are three! As of the beginning of September, we have welcomed Wendy Chan onto the Orbit/Yen team as a Junior Designer. With Wendy’s help we’ve been able to start to mix it up a bit. I did my very first Yen covers (for the High School of the Dead series) and Kirk is handling some Orbit covers—the first of which, Leviathan Wakes, is launching today! Very exciting.

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Orbit goes digital first with THE WINDUP GIRL

Time Magazine named The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi as one of its ten best novels of the year. And the book has also won an extraordinary five of 2010’s major international SF awards: the Hugo, Nebula, Locus, Compton Crook Award and John W. Campbell Memorial Award.

To take advantage of the huge buzz for this book (read a free extract HERE), Orbit is taking the unusual step of releasing the ebook edition immediately, as the fastest way of getting this important work to a UK audience. The paperback print edition will be out later, from 2nd December. We are very excited to publish this in the UK, as the extraordinary word-of-mouth excitement for this work in the States has been tremendous and now UK fans will have access to this wonderful book. Read the rest of this entry »

Parasol Protectorate: FINAL DAY!

Day five and competition is fierce. I love reading all your comments in the posts, so keep it up! This is the last batch of covers, and the winners of each day will have a runoff vote on Monday!

I kind of love the Steampunk-versions-of-characters costumes too. It’s already awesome to be mashing up time periods and technology, but then you throw Green Lantern, Doctor Who, and Star Wars into it, and that’s just doubly awesome… If you havent seen them around the web, there’s some really cool anachronistic and Steampunked worlds here, here, and here. And altho not technically Steampunk, these “premakes” are favorites in the same anachronistic vibe.

And on to today’s covers, after the jump… Read the rest of this entry »

Rachel Aaron

Author post

Ideas about Ideas

Where do you get your ideas?

Ever since I got my agent and it was no longer an act of extreme hubris to introduce myself as a writer at parties, I’ve been waiting for someone to ask this question. I’ve got my answer all ready! It would go like this:

Random starry-eyed person: Where do you get your ideas?!

Me: China, where everything else in America comes from.


China is the new Schenectady, folks! Read the rest of this entry »

Parasol Protectorate: Day 4!

Just one more batch of covers left after these, and thank heavens, because I am seriously straining for good titles! Keep voting, and keep the comments coming.

Meanwhile, there’s some video from NY Comic Con of our volunteer Steampunk ambassadors giving out Parasol Protectorate buttons (where you can see the back of the “Careless” outfit in all it’s bustled glory) and the packed house at the Steampunk 101 panel, where there seems to have been a spontaneous dance contest for Parasol Protectorate swag. Awesome!

Today’s covers after the jump… Read the rest of this entry »

Parasol Protectorate: Day 3!

Hey everyone, sorry I’m a little late in posting today — you won’t be disappointed when you see all the fab Orbit cover launches we have lined up for the coming weeks. So a bit late but not forgotten, here is Parasol Protectorate: Team 3!

And yes, for the record, I am running short on good words that end in -less. Sooner or later, someone is going to end up with “Sugarless” but I am trying to avoid that kind of thing and just get inspired by the character once the cover is done. Hopefully I’ll be able to keep the streak going for TWO MORE DAYS! Stay tuned!

Team 3 after the jump…

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Food for Thought

Mira Grant recently dropped this pearl of wisdom in an interview with therealmcast.com:

“Phorid flies are native to South America, and the way they reproduce is gruesome and horrible in the extreme.  See, they inject their eggs into fire ants, and when those eggs hatch, the larvae eat the ant’s brain and take over its body, driving it around like a new sort of economy car.  When the larvae are ready to hatch, they chew off the ant’s head and crawl out of the hole.  Ponder this for a moment.  Nature makes zombies on a regular basis. Rabies changes your behavior.  Parasites and parasitic insects are more than happy to take over your brain for fun and profit.  I think some sort of zombie outbreak could definitely happen–the only question is how.

These are the thoughts that keep me up at night. And Mira is the one who gives them to me. So, if I look more tired than usual, blame the zombies…

Gail Z. Martin

As this blog comes out, The Sworn is getting closer and closer to its publication date in late January, and The Dread is nearly completed in first draft.  It’s been very interesting for me working on these two books, since they show the characters maturing and dealing with some new and troubling issues, compared to the challenges faced in the first four books.

Of course, one way that The Sworn and The Dread are different is that they offer a gateway into my world of the Winter Kingdoms for readers who haven’t read the other four books.  I like the idea of offering multiple points of entry into a fantasy world, so that as the number of books set in that world grows, readers don’t feel like they have to get caught up if they don’t want to do so or aren’t ready to tackle the project.  So for new readers, The Sworn and The Dread are a fresh start, while readers who have been with the series since the beginning will see old friends facing a brand new adventure. Read the rest of this entry »

What Makes a Genre?

Daniel Abraham recently put up a long and fascinating post regarding what defines a genre– any genre, from Westerns to Romance to Science fiction. And, frankly, he’s someone who knows a little something about what it means to work in a different genre since he is a wearer of many hats professionally. Daniel is the author of the critically acclaimed epic fantasy series The Long Price Quartet and the upcoming The Dragon’s Path as well as the urban fantasist MLN Hanover (author of The Black Sun’s Daughter series) and one half of James S.A. Corey, author of the upcoming space opera Leviathan Wakes. Like I said– he knows genre.

“I think that the successful genres of a particular period are reflections of the needs and thoughts and social struggles of that time.  When you see a bunch of similar projects meeting with success, you’ve found a place in the social landscape where a particular story (or moral or scenario) speaks to readers. You’ve found a place where the things that stories offer are most needed.

Check out the whole thing on his blog.

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