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Memorial Mandelbrot Wallpapers: Surface Detail

As some sharp mathematical eyes have pointed out, There’s more to the design incorporated in the Surface Detail cover than just a random pattern—it’s a visualization of a Mandelbrot Set. For those of you who have been lucky enough to already read Iain M. Banks’ latest Culture Novel, you’ll know this kind of pattern of infinite intricacy is very important to the story. So important that we called out the pattern more clearly in fancy bonus endpapers in the hardcover edition. (For those of you who haven’t picked up Surface Detail yet, here’s the first chapter.)

The Mandelbrot Set is named for the mathematician Benoît Mandelbrot, who published his studies on mathematical objects like this in “The Fractal Nature of Geometry”,  and for those of us who aren’t up on our mathematical studies, the simple explanation is that Mandelbrot’s research helped predict natural phenomena like jagged coastlines and the formation of clouds. At the age of 85, he passed away this Thursday in Cambridge, Massachusetts. And in his honor I’ve designed up some cover wallpapers, with some bonus Mandelbrot Set action.

Read the rest of this entry »

New guest post for the launch of THE HEIR OF NIGHT

Helen Lowe’s series of guest blog posts celebrating the launch of The Heir of Night continue today with a guest post by well known fantasy writer Juliet Marillier. Check it out here.

A shining example of a science fiction novel…

We’re very proud to announce that Lightborn (UK / ANZ) has arrived in stores in all its shining glory. Tricia Sullivan, a former Arthur C. Clarke Award-winner, has been widely acknowledged as an audacious, original and exceptionally talented author – here are just a few of the quotes she has received:

‘A challenging, disturbing, often compulsive read’ Time Out

‘Tricia Sullivan returns to science fiction not a second too soon . . . I haven’t enjoyed a book so much in a long time’ Guardian

‘Painfully gripping throughout – read it if you dare’ The Times

So if you do dare . . . dip into the world of Lightborn and you shall be greatly rewarded. You’ll find a fantastic premise that revolves around ‘shine’ – a mind-altering technology that has revolutionised the modern world. It’s the ultimate in education, self-improvement and entertainment – beamed directly into the brain of anyone who can meet the asking price. But what happens when that ‘shine’ goes renegade and develops a mind of its own?

With its striking cover, this really has turned out to be a very exciting package – and you can take a sneaky peek at what’s inside by reading a free extract here.

NYCC: Parasol Protectorate Covers Are Coming!

If you were at NYCC this weekend, you may have met some of our Parasol Protectorate ambassadors dressed in their Steampunk and Victorian best and giving out buttons for Gail Carriger’s books. Thank you greatly to Evelyn Kriete (who runs Steampunk Fashion and Jabborwhalky productions), G.D. Falksen (author, blogger, and moderator of the Steampunk 101 panel), Jeni Hellum (who blogs about Multiculturalism in Steampunk), and Joseph Hernandez (of Penny Dreadful Productions). I will point them out when I start uploading the Parasol Protectorate book covers made from the pictures I have of everyone looking fantastic both wandering around NYCC and everyone who came to the Steampunk photo meetup Saturday night.

Now, back to retouching for me! After the jump, some Steampunk links for you to enjoy while waiting for covers to be released and flickr uploads to process… Read the rest of this entry »

Iain M Banks podcast

Our friends at timhaighreadsbooks.com have shared a great Surface Detail podcast with us that you can listen to below.  Produced by Green-Shoot.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Photo courtesy of Green Shoot.

NYCC Recap: Full House!

I have been to many a convention, and let me tell you, NYCC was packed. Saturday was more crowded than any day of San Diego con this year, and everyone was hungry for books! Luckily Orbit had a lot going on to keep the demanding masses satisfied!

As you can see from the picture to the left of Mira Grant signing copies of Feed, Orbit’s author signings were a hit as usual—we ran out of books in less than a half hour for both Mira Grant and Joe Abercrombie, who was signing copies of Best Served Cold. Read the rest of this entry »

NYCC Recap: Orbit US 3rd Anniversary Party

It’s been a busy week/weekend here at Orbit US, and as we all start to come out of our post-NY Comic-Con exhaustion, we’ll be catching you up on all the excitement. First, let’s all take a moment to say HAPPY 3rd ANNIVERSARY to Orbit US. We had a little party to celebrate while people were in town for NYCC. It was held at the really cool subterranean Cellar Bar at the Bryant Park hotel, which had a seriously urban fantasy vibe going on. The cocktail waitress even had a corset on – and although Orbit was accused of requesting it specifically, I assure you it was a happy coincidence.

Pictures after the jump! Read the rest of this entry »

Busy publication week for Iain M. Banks

Mr Banks has had a busy publication week for Surface Detail – and he’s not going to be relaxing any time soon!  He spent last week being interviewed by all sorts of national and regional press – appropriately including the New Scientist and BBC TV filming him at the Science Museum.

Iain’s first event on the eve of publication at the Round House was a sell out, and he answered the audience’s questions for nearly 2 hours!  Then on Thursday he signed for a great crowd at Forbidden Planet.

If you haven’t managed to attend any of the events so far, Forbidden Planet, Blackwells in London and Foyles all have signed first editions of Surface Detail (though probably not for long!) Read the rest of this entry »

As a kid, I always loved armour and weapons. We lived in Singapore for some years, too, so in addition to western traditions including medieval armour, then cuirassiers, and later the long rifle, I was also aware of oriental armour and weaponry. I even had a Chinese sword—imitation, of course—and horse rider’s composite bow. From endless childhood games in which wars and battles were re-enacted, it is perhaps not surprising that I graduated to fencing during my high school and university years. As an adult, I trained first in tai chi and kung fu, and then the Japanese martial art aikido, which involves both “empty hand” training and weapons, including the Japanese sword, knife, and staff. Read the rest of this entry »

Version 43 is here

You’ve seen the new wallpaper and the dueling videos.

You’ve probably read the extract.

You may have seen the brand new and exclusive Amazon interview and article.

And you might even have heard when SFREVU called Philip Palmer’s work ‘relentlessly energetic, inventive and shamelessly ambitious.’

But if you don’t pick up a copy of Version 43 for yourself this month, or do any of the above actions for that matter, then… well, you should.  Or the cyborg will know.

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