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The day’s arrived for The Heir of Night

If you’re in Australia and New Zealand, you’re definitely in the right place to get your hands on some exciting new fantasy as Helen Lowe’s Orbit debut, The Heir of Night, hits bookshelves today in all of its beautifully plotted and blazing red glory!

In case you missed it, the author has explained the world of The Heir of Night for us here, and the blogosphere has already weighed in favourably on this start to a new series:

‘The Heir of Night is a carefully plotted story in a complex world’ – fantasyliterature.com

‘Very promising and fast-paced new epic fantasy.’ – bookloons.com

‘A very rich and complex story with a perfect balance between action and character development that got me hooked from the first page.’ – fictionkingdom.blogspot.com

‘Helen Lowe’s prose flows effortlessly from the first pages to the last page and she uses magic in a good way.’ – risingshadow.net Read the rest of this entry »

Author post

Writing and Writer’s Workshops

The dog ate my homework.

The dog ate my homework.

I have a writer’s workshop coming up soon, so I’ve been going through my notes and reminding myself of what it is I wish to convey and how to best go about communicating it to my students. I can’t stand waffling and hot air, so I tend to give very short very concentrated workshops. They last a week maximum (sometimes in the case of workshops given to schools, the week is spread out in little pieces over a month or more) I don’t tend to focus on ‘voice’ or ‘finding your story’ or any of the other more esoteric subjects. My aim is simply to bring the participants back to the basics and to have them build themselves up from that base level, a piece at a time, until they’ve explored what it is they are writing and how they are writing it. Read the rest of this entry »

New York Comic Con: Joe Abercrombie and Mira Grant

If you’re in the Big Apple for New York Comic Con, be sure to stop by the Orbit booth (#2315) to meet authors Joe Abercrombie and Mira Grant.

Joe (BEST SERVED COLD) will be signing Friday 10/8 from 3-4 PM, and on Saturday 10/9 from 12-1 PM in the Orbit booth.  And, don’t miss the fantasy writer’s panel Friday night from 7:30 pm – 8:30 pm in Room 1A15.  Joining Joe Abercrombie on the panel will be Peter V. Brett (The Warded Man), Jim Butcher (Changes), Naomi Novik (His Majesty’s Dragon) Brandon Sanderson (The Way of Kings) and Deborah Harkness (A Discovery of Witches) – making this panel full of about as much awesome as the fire department will allow.

FEED fans! Mira Grant (a/k/a Seanan McGuire) will be signing on Saturday 10/9 from 3-4 pm in the Orbit booth. On Saturday night she’ll be on the panel “Do Zombies Dream of Undead Sheep?”  from 7:45 pm – 8:45 pm in Room 1A23. Her fellow panelists will include  Alaya Dawn Johnson (contributor to Zombies Vs. Unicorns), Robin Becker (Brains: A Zombie Memoir), Alan Goldsher (Paul is Undead), and Richard Kadrey (Kill the Dead). Again, not a panel to be missed.

So unless of course while in attendance at NYCC you find yourself a) in the midst of an very, very blood-drenched sword battle, or b) in the midst of a ravenous gaggle of brain-chomping zombies — we’ll see you there!

Ask Iain M Banks your questions

Mr Iain M. Banks is stopping by the Orbit London offices this week, so if you have any questions email them our way today at publisher@iainbanks.net, or tweet them at @orbitbooks with #askBanks.

We’ll be posting a video response to some of your questions later in the week.

Steampunk Fun at NYCC

This Fri-Sat-Sun is the New York Comic-Con and there’s a lot of exciting stuff going on at Orbit’s booth (#2315). I’m here to tell you about a really fun art-department project that all you Parasol Protectorate fans and Steampunk experts can be a part of. I am always super impressed by the imagination and care that Gail’s Steampunk fans put into their wardrobe and to celebrate that, we’re going to induct you all into the Parasol Protectorate!

If you are showing off your best Steampunk finery Friday or Saturday, come by the Orbit booth and we’ll be taking pictures of you in your best Victorian action poses. Next week we will be turning those pictures into custom Parasol Protectorate covers of your very own! We’ll be uploading them here on the blog a batch at a time, and we’ll have our blog readers vote on their favorite covers. The winner may even get a prize! Read the rest of this entry »

Author post

The Writer’s Precious Workplace

Ask any writer what tools are invaluable to their trade and it’s likely they’ll answer mostly in abstracts. For example, a good memory, an ear for dialogue, and a familiarity with the beats of a well-constructed sentence could all be prized tools for any writer. Physical, concrete tools favored by writers are usually complicated pieces of technology that only a very slim margin of working writers can afford.

But it seems these days that fewer and fewer writers are giving thought to one of the most invaluable tools of all: their workplace. Any craft requires a station; the carpenter has his workshop, and the painter his studio, so the writer must also have a place of creation, a peaceful sanctuary that allows mental abilities the room for action.

My own workplace is a great example of what any writer needs to get through the day-to-day toil of attempting literature. Come with me, and I’ll guide you through its many components, detailing how each article lends itself to my work. Follow my advice, and perhaps you too can create your own literary asylum, one that will help you survive both in the writing world and the physical one, protecting you against the many foes your writing will doubtlessly enrage. Read the rest of this entry »

Although Worldcon goers got a sneak preview several weeks back, The Heir of Night, (which is the first book of my epic The Wall of Night quartet) will be officially available for sale in Australia and New Zealand on 7 October — although UK readers will have to wait a little longer, until March 2011 — and I will definitely be celebrating! But a book coming on sale is a time for reflection, as well: not just about the path to that point, but also about the nature of the story I’ve told and what makes it special—for me, and I hope for readers ‘out there’.

One of the aspects I have always loved about Fantasy-Science Fiction (F-SF) is the door it opens into fantastic worlds. Science Fiction offers worlds such as Arrakis in Frank Herbert’s Dune and the Union/Alliance space of CJ Cherryh’s Downbelow Station, while Fantasy gives us Middle-Earth (Tolkien), Earthsea (Le Guin) and Bas-Lag (Miéville), to name only a very few. So it is perhaps not surprising that in The Heir of Night (Heir) I introduce my own world of Haarth. Read the rest of this entry »

The exclusive first chapter of Towers of Midnight

The wheel has been turning and now it’s almost time to release Towers of Midnight in hardback, the extraordinary penultimate volume of the Wheel of Time. It will be available from 2nd November, but we want to give you a taste of what is to come …

Click here for an exclusive free extract of chapter one!

And in taking on the mantle of genre grandmaster Robert Jordan, Brandon Sanderson has done some fantastic Wheel of Time re-reads. For a quick catch up on the previous Wheel of Time books please click here.

So what more can be said than the Wheel of Time turns, and ages come and pass, leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the age that gave it birth comes again. But now, the end draws near. It’s time to roll the dice.

Thieves, Scoundrels, and Demon Seeds

The time has come. . . Orbit is once again presenting you with three books in three months. So from October to December if you’re hungry for your fix of adventure fantasy, please run or log online to get these three new fantasies from Rachel Aaron.

But if you’re super lucky, you might be able to get one for free! Rachel is giving away 20 copies of The Spirit Thief here.

Eli Monpress is talented. He’s charming. And he’s a thief.

But not just any thief. He’s the greatest thief of the age – and he’s also a wizard. And with the help of his partners – a swordsman with the most powerful magic sword in the world but no magical ability of his own, and a demonseed who can step through shadows and punch through walls – he’s going to put his plan into effect.

The first step is to increase the size of the bounty on his head, so he’ll need to steal some big things. But he’ll start small for now. He’ll just steal something that no one will miss – at least for a while.

Like a king.

We also have a few awesome quotes in for The Spirit Thief:

“A romp of a lighthearted fantasy starring an absolutely darling rogue.” – Publishers Weekly

“Wry humor, engaging characters and full-tilt action plus an inventive twist on magic make for an exciting adventure.” — Gail Z. Martin

“Witty, smart, snappy, sassy, fast, furious and let’s not forget fun… Rachel Aaron isn’t so much knocking at the door as kicking it down.” — Tom Holt

The Spirit Thief is a delightfully giddy romp of a novel.” — Karen Miller

Read the first two chapter of The Spirit Thief here.

IAIN M. BANKS in conversation in Sydney 6 October

Known for his literary novels, science fiction and personal politics, Iain M. Banks will be in conversation LIVE in Sydney via Skype on 6 October for the release of his new novel SURFACE DETAIL published by Orbit.

As he rarely travels by plane,  technology will bridge the vast distance between the UK and Australia and enable Banks to talk to the Sydney audience while sitting in the Little, Brown office in London. Three cheers for technology!

Date: Wed 6 October

Time: 6pm for 6:30pm

Cost: $10/$7 conc

Venue: Gleebooks, 29 Glebe Point Rd, Glebe

Bookings: (02) 9660 2333

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