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TOUCH by Claire North

TOUCH Claire North

The electrifying new thriller from the author of The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August
Read a sample

PRUDENCEGail Carriger

A new novel in the world of the Parasol Protectorate starring Prudence, the daughter of Alexia Tarabotti.
Read a sample.

Did we mention it’s bloody?

Praise for Brian Ruckley’s Fall of Thanes continues to snowball (*) around the web.
Over at the Hotlist, Pat calls it :

Dark, bloody, depressing, uncompromising, with a poignant ending that should satisfy most fans and characters that stay true to themselves till the very end, Fall of Thanes is an impressive conclusion to what is definitely one of the best fantasy series of the new millennium.

At Grasping for the Wind, John writes:

“The story has a great sense of oppression about it, and readers will wonder if all will finally end well for the characters we have come to appreciate.”

And The Mad Hatter’s Book Reviews says:

Fall of Thanes is one of the bloodiest books I have read in the last few years save The First Law trilogy although the Godless series may have a higher body count.”

UPDATE: Simon over at BookGeeks gives it a great review as well:

Fall of Thanes was for me a strong conclusion to a very enjoyable trilogy, a sequence of books that embodies everything I enjoy about traditional epic fantasy, and I look forward to seeing what Brian Ruckley does next.”

Uncompromising. Bloody. Cold. Now that’s what we’d call a perfect beach read!

(*) This being The Godless World, that snowball is probably gritty and specked with blood and bits of mail.


The David Gemmell Awards

On Friday night, Orbit UK attended the inaugural David Gemmell Legend Award for Fantasy, and a thoroughly enjoyable night was had by all. We were particularly excited, with our Brent Weeks on the five-book shortlist for The Way of Shadows [UK/US/ANZ]. Brent didn’t actually carry off the final award, but to win his place on the shortlist he fought off a strong list of almost eighty nominees so no mean feat. Surely Kylar would be proud!

The black-tie event was rather appropriately held at the Magic Circle headquarters in London, and we had to scale a rune-encrusted spiral staircase to reach the intimate plushly-red theatre. Or take the lift. All very atmospheric. And we were then treated to a short piece from Druss’s call to arms, read by James Barclay, before the ceremony itself. Our Hachette sister company Gollancz published the winning title in the UK, Blood of Elves, by Polish fantasy author Andrzej Sapkowski. However, as already reported, this was published by Orbit in the US so we also had cause to celebrate this too.

Jo Fletcher of Gollancz received the award itself – a huge great axe – on behalf of Andrzej Sapkowski courtesy of the Raven Armoury, but the short-listed authors also gained their very own mini-Snaga axes (to fight off the competition in future, no doubt …) We caught a few shots of Brent Weeks’ prize before putting it in the post to him, so see below for these. Other highlights included a charity auction, where prizes such as a rare first edition of Legend, use of a Jaguar for the weekend and the right to be written into Stan Nicholls’ next novel were up for grabs. Money raised went to Medecins Sans Frontieres. Here are some other comments, pictures, blogs etc. from the night from the British Fantasy Society, SFX and the MyFavouriteBooks blog.

The award itself is designed to honour the memory of David Gemmell and also to raise the profile of fantasy fiction in the UK. We don’t currently have a fantasy award to call our own, and organiser Deborah Miller and her team thought it was high time they did something about this, helped by French genre publishers Bragelonne, sponsoring this year’s event. Read more on Deborah’s mission here. Certainly the first event was a huge success and long may it continue! It’s great that fantasy talent can be recognised and rewarded in this way and if brings more people to enjoy the books, that’s great news too. And that’s not just from the Publisher’s point of view, honest.

There are plenty of fine things said about The Way of Shadows [UK/US/ANZ] on the Gemmell Award site and other reasons to read the book, if more are needed, are as follows:

‘A proper good yarn … Weeks tells his tale skilfully and tautly. And he dazzles with some jaw-dropping moments’ SFX
‘This unapologetically grim fantasy fable serves up a heady mix …. never wears out its 650-page welcome’ DeathRay
‘The most impressive debut novel I’ve read this year’

Read the rest of this entry »

Sapkowski wins Legend!

Blood of Elves US edition

Blood of Elves US edition

Andrzej Sapkowski’s Blood of Elves has won the inaugural David Gemmell Legend award! The announcement was made at the awards ceremony on Friday in London.

The award — chosen by popular vote — honors works “written in the ‘spirit’ of the late, great David Gemmell, a true Master of Heroic Fantasy.”

Blood of Elves is out now from Orbit in the US. ( print | ebook )

You can read an extract from the book here.

Rival nominee Joe Abercrombie was also in attendance, and reports:

“The validity of the David Gemmell Legend Award was called into serious question on Friday night when I didn’t win.”

Joe did get a chance to wield the axe though.

Philip Palmer’s ‘Art of Deception’ on BBC Radio 4 this week

Orbit author Philip Palmer is currently very excited indeed about the broadcast of his five-part radio serial ‘The Art of Deception’.

As he explains on his blog, the instalments will be broadcast on Radio 4 this week as part of the Woman’s Hour programme at 10.45, with a repeat at 19.45 GMT, Monday 22nd to Friday 26th June, before being made available via the BBC’s iPlayer.

In an earlier blog post, Philip introduces the play and talks about some of the background ideas and major themes:

“It’s not science fiction – it’s a straight thriller set in the world of art forgery and art theft. It stars Indira Varma and David Schofield, and is directed by my long-time collaborator and dashed nice chap Toby Swift.”

Check out those blog posts for more information and tune in for drama all this week!

An Interview with a Knight

Ever wonder where those fierce looking warriors on the front of fantasy covers come from? Brian Ruckley has a fascinating interview over at his blog now with the (real life!) knight pictured here.

A few weeks ago, I was sitting at home when I got a text from a friend. It was a jpg, and I couldn’t quite make out the image. I handed my phone to my son, and he squinted at it saying, ‘It looks like YOU! Yeah, I think it is you, on a poster or maybe a book cover … Fall of Thrones? No, the Fall of THANES?’

Read more

Marianne de Pierres’ June update: The News From Oz

The Australasian installment kicks off this time with the news that Russell Kirkpatrick pulled off a neat coup d’etat at the New Zealand National Convention this month by hijacking his GoH speech by presenting Speculative Fiction in Popular Music. Russell then packed his bags and is headed to Conjecture where he’ll be hobnobbing with other Orbit authors Sean Williams, Trudi Canavan and Karen Miller. Of course Sean Williams in his role as Convention DJ and Ditmar nominee for Best Novel (Earth Ascendant) will not allow Russell to choose the music.

According to Ms Canavan, all work and no conventions makes for a dull Trudi, so after Conjecture she’ll be making plans to attend WorldCon in Montreal. Karen Miller will be back at home though, to put on her K E Mills hat, and start the 3rd Rogue Agent novel, in which events of the past come back to haunt our intrepid heroes in ways they certainly weren’t expecting!

While half the Orbit Antips are swanning at NatCon, the rest of us are at home working, including Glenda Larke has just handed in Book Two of The Stormlords: Stormlord Rising and is now taking a break from writing to catch up on housework (yuk!, says Glenda) before starting book 3. Pamela Freeman has finished Full Circle and has just put Otlee’s Story, a new short story set in the Domains, up on her website for those who can’t wait until the next book. Pamela says that the French edition of Blood Ties now available, s’il vous plait.

Here’s news from Joel Shepherd, author of The Trial of Blood & Steel Quartet: Well Sasha (book one) is being reprinted here with Orbit in Australia, and Petrodor (book two) comes out in mass market next month, Tracato (book three) will be released in trade paperback in August.

I’d like to introduce new Orbit Oz author Sam Bowring. Sam has more than a few strings to his bow. When he’s not scribing, he’s a writer for the Logie Award winning Rove writing team, and a stand up comedian. His first book in The Broken Well Trilogy, Prophecy’s Ruin, will be released in October this year, with the next two coming out during 2010.

You can catch my news at my website but the short version of the last month is that when I’m not working on Transformation Space, I’m deeply, deeply hooked by Battlestar Galactica season 3 (better late than never!). Oh, and there’s that film option for Nylon Angel that I have hanging around on my desk. Must get around to signing it…

So that’s about it.



Set Sail With Kevin J. Anderson

Kevin J. Anderson makes his epic fantasy debut this month with his newest novel, THE EDGE OF THE WORLD, a thrilling tale of high seas adventure set against a backdrop of two nations at war, fighting for control over the world they know as well as Terra Incognita: the wider and far more mysterious world beyond, the world they have yet to discover, and explore – and survive.

And a rollicking story is not all Anderson has for his readers this time around. As an innovative companion to THE EDGE OF THE WORLD, Anderson has also co-written (with his wife Rebecca Moesta) the lyrics for an epic rock CD, “Terra Incognita: Beyond the Horizon,” based on one of the book’s storylines. Anderson says, “My work has always been heavily influenced by music, especially progressive rock—but Terra Incognita truly takes this into new territory.”

UK Jacket

UK Cover

Accomplished keyboardist and composer Erik Norlander of the group Rocket Scientists came aboard early on to write the music and produce the recordings. Vocals are by James LaBrie, of Dream Theater; Michael Sadler, of Saga; John Payne, of Asia; and Lana Lane, the “Queen of Symphonic Rock”. Additional artists performing on the CD are members of the groups Kansas, Shadow Gallery, IQ, Ghost Circus, Under the Sun, and Prymary. Together, the creative team has sold over 45 million recordings worldwide.


Orbit En France

We are delighted to announce that French publisher Calmann-Levy will be launching a new Orbit imprint in October 2009. On the launch list will be authors Kristin Cashore, Brandon Sanderson, J.V. Jones, Stephen R. Lawhead, and Mark Chadbourn. Orbit launched in the UK in 1974; in 2007, we launched in the US; and last year we launched in Australia. Orbit in France will be committed to publishing the most exciting SF and Fantasy authors — both new and established — from around the world, and we wish them every success for their launch and in the years ahead

The Edge of the World

This month sees our international publication of The Edge of the World by Kevin J. Anderson, the international bestselling author of the Saga of Seven Suns space opera sequence and, of course, co-author of the bestselling Dune prequels. The Edge of the World, Book One of Terra Incognita, is the beginning of a series that promises an incredible ride through a fully-realised fantasy landscape – and seascape. It’s a compelling, rollicking, maritime epic fantasy, set in a world modeled after Europe in the great Age of Discovery.

It is a time of sea monsters and mermaids, lost islands and ghost ships, leviathans and weather witches, in which brave captains in sailing ships explore the uncharted regions of the world, where even the finest maps are marked only with ‘Here Be Monsters’ or ‘Terra Incognita’. 

UK Jacket

UK jacket

After generations of friction, the leaders of two lands meet in the holy city of Ishalem to bring an end to the bloodshed and to divide the world between them.

Sadly, this new spirit of fellowship is shortlived. A single tragic accident destroys, in minutes, the peace that took years to build. The world is once more cast into the fires of war – and this time the flames may burn until nothing remains. From the highest lord to the lowest servant, no man or woman will be unchanged by the conflict.

The Edge of the World (US Jacket)

US jacket

But while war rages across both continents, a great quest will defy storms and sea serpents to venture beyond the horizon, where no maps exist – to search for a land out of legend. It is a perilous undertaking, but there will always be the impetuous, the brave and the mad who are willing to leave their homes to explore the unknown.

Even unto the edge of the world . . .

International bestseller Kevin J. Anderson gives us a story writ large on a canvas as big as the globe, but told through the eyes of the very human men and women caught up in events beyond their control. The journey to The Edge of the World starts here . . .

Orbit Summer Intern Wanted (Deadline extended)

Rule over this cube this summer!

This cube could be yours for the summer!

Orbit US is looking for a summer intern to start immediately in our New York office. We want someone who is passionate about publishing, loves books, and has read a wide range of Science Fiction and Fantasy. We’re looking for a bright, engaging, creative individual who will enjoy working in a team. You must be organized and detail-oriented.

This internship will not only give you the opportunity to experience the editorial side of publishing, but you will get to interact with the art, marketing, and publicity sides of the business as well. You must be currently enrolled in college or recently graduated.

If you’re interested, email orbit [at] hbgusa [dot] com Please respond by Wednesday June 10, 2009.

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