by March 26th, 2010-
I went and got myself tagged by Kate Constable. Kate posted six things which inspired her writing in general, and then asked other writers to reveal six things that inspired their work.*
I thought I’d specifically post about the Moorehawke Trilogy. So here they are! Read the rest of this entry »
There seems to be plenty of award talk going around at the moment, with the Clarke Award lists of nominees out, British Fantasy Society Awards longlists released and the BSFA only a few weeks away from its own Awards announcements. Perhaps these represent the first signs of Spring for the genre community…
But currently more pressing than all of the above are the imminent voting deadlines for the David Gemmell Awards (a few days away, with voting closing at the end of March) and the annual Locus Awards ballot (closing 1st April). The David Gemmell Awards are designed to honour the memory of David Gemmell and also to raise the profile of fantasy fiction in the UK, and this will be their second year. The whole team is crossing fingers for all our authors on the Gemmell longlists, including those down for the Legend Award for best fantasy novel here. You can also vote by following that link – and see above for the cute mini-Snaga that Brent Weeks was awarded last year for his shortlisted The Way of Shadows (UK I US). Also included within ‘the Gemmells’ are the Morningstar Award for best fantasy debut and the Ravenheart Award for best fantasy cover art.
The Locus Awards are in their 40th year and their longlist is the prestigious Locus Recommended Reading List of works published in 2009. So as well as crossing fingers for the Gemmells, we are also holding our collective breaths for Orbit authors in various Locus categories (this could get complicated!). Orbit nominees are Iain M. Banks, Walter Jon Williams, Daniel Abraham, Gail Carriger and Charles Stross. You can vote for the Locus Awards here.
Mr. Shivers, the debut novel by Robert Jackson Bennett, has been getting some fantastic praise around the review circuit, with a lot of comparisons to Stephen King + John Steinbeck, which is pretty awesome in my book. The Company Man is not a sequel, but if you liked Mr. Shivers, you will definitely like this one. It also takes place in an alternate history of America, and I would say this one, to me, feels like H.P. Lovecraft + Chinatown (the movie) happening in Fritz Lang’s Metropolis. If that doesn’t sound cool to you, well, then, I don’t know what else to say. Haha.
A bunch of Orbit books have been included in the “Fourth Annual BCSreview Tournament” and I expect you all to go vote. I think the competition is paltry, and should be easily trounced, but still, go vote.
I know you guys are big fans of hearing about covers and design from the artists/publishers side, so I thought I’d send you guys over to SciFi Signal, where they just posted a “Mind Meld” (dorks) on recent scifi/fantasy bookcovers. I was asked to post, and in fairness I excluded all our books, but it was great to see so many Orbit books getting a mention! Here was the question:
Q: It’s generally well accepted that a book cover’s primary responsibility is to sell the book. But artistically speaking, what makes a successful sf/f/h book cover? Which recent sf/f/h books had a cover that blew you away?
Which makes me ask you guys….what’s your favorite ORBIT cover? Let me know in the comments, I’m curious.
Kate Griffin’s A Madness of Angels wowed us all last year with its imagination, magic, and inventiveness.
We got exclusive CCTV footage of Matthew Swift himself in London back in 2009– check it out on the youtubes!
Now, Matthew Swift is back in this stunning sequel– say hello to The Midnight Mayor.
It’s said that if the ravens ever leave the Tower of London, then the Tower will crumble and the kingdom will fall. Resurrected sorcerer Matthew Swift is about to discover that this isn’t so far from the truth. . .
One by one, the protective magical wards that guard the city are falling: the London Wall defiled with cryptic graffiti, the ravens found dead at the Tower, the London Stone destroyed. This is not good news. This array of supernatural defenses – a mix of international tourist attractions and forgotten urban legends – formed a formidable magical shield, one that could protect London from the greatest threat it hasever known. But what could be so dangerous as to threaten an entire city?
Against his better judgment, Matthew Swift is about to find out. And if he’s lucky, he might just live long enough to do something about it . . .
Event dates are confirmed for Kelley Armstrong’s UK visit:
Tuesday 23rd March – Forbidden Planet, London
Wednesday 24th March – Waterstone’s Deansgate, Manchester
Friday 26th March – World Horror Con, Brighton
As a special treat, paperback copies of the beautifully re-jacketed Frostbitten will be exclusively available to buy two months in advance at the bookshop signings!
Elizabeth Moon’s writing has enriched the genre for many years and in her latest book, Oath of Fealty, her magic is clearly alive and well. I’ve read many of her books, and amongst them I’ve particularly enjoyed her Vatta’s War military SF adventures, as did the Guardian). And I still recommend the extraordinary and thought-provoking Speed of Dark to anyone who thinks SF isn’t for them (Nebular Award winner, critially lauded plus shortlisted for the Arthur C. Clarke award: think Flowers for Algernon or The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time).
But with Oath of Fealty we also have something very special. A return to the world of the classic Paksenarrion books, as Elizabeth writes fantasy for the first time in ten years. And so no one misses out on the earlier books, we’ve also reissued the original backlist trilogy in super-giant omnibus form as The Deed of Paksenarrion. Elizabeth recently posted for us on how she found out what subgenres suited her (and which didn’t!) but she is rare in her ability to easily swing from SF to fantasy and back again.
Please see here for a bit of background on how Elizabeth made her way back to fantasy, with an extract from Oath of Fealty. And here’s what others have thought of this return so far, with some early praise for Oath of Fealty, book 1 of Paladin’s Legacy:
‘What sheer delight! Oath of Fealty is an engrossing new adventure returning old friends to us in the first of three more books in the Paksenarrion universe. It’s quite simply a smashing story, and I am panting to read the next instalment from this consummate storyteller. Hurry up, Elizabeth!’ Anne McCaffrey
‘I found the book hard to put down because of Elizabeth Moon’s ability to make the story flow’
‘A must-read … thoroughly entertaining’
Romantic Times (4 1/2* Top Pick)
‘A stirring start to a new story arc … I can’t wait for more episodes’
I know I maybe say a lot of Orbit books are “favorites” of mine, and considering I was a geek way before I was a cover designer, I think I can be forgiven for this. I’m really lucky, as I have to read books for work that I would have read anyway, so I’m understandably a little overenthusiastic. And luckily, I’m a fast reader. It’s a point of pride with me that I read almost every manuscript before I start designing – the only time I don’t is when for scheduling reasons the full manuscript isn’t available by the time I have to start work. (In that case I resort to mercilessly pumping the editor for as much info as I can get.) A pet peeve of mine as a fan is to have a cover misrepresent a book, and I work really hard to make sure that doesn’t happen on any Orbit books. So, all that said, I read a TON of books. And I have a lot of favorites in Orbit authors. And then above those Orbit favorites, there’s Orbit books I would have preordered, waited on line, had to buy on opening day, if I didn’t work here.
The Matthew Swift series by Kate Griffin is absolutely that series. And this is not just a cover post, it is a love letter. Read the rest of this entry »