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Why Griffins?

Available May, 2010

Look, I don’t have anything against dragons. Honest. Dragons appear in two of my own books (not out yet). I love dragons! Especially the ones in RA MacAvoy’s Tea with the Black Dragon and Naomi Novik’s Temeraire and Barbara Hambly’s Dragonsbane. Maybe my favorite dragon of all time appears in Patricia McKillip’s The Cygnet and the Firebird, which right there probably tells you that I especially like my dragons to be powerful, subtle, ancient and wise.

But I’ve always had a soft spot for griffins. Read the rest of this entry »

When is a dwarf not a dwarf? When he’s a garden gnome…

Read on for a great piece from the talented Sally-Ann Spencer on her experience of translating The Dwarves (UK/ US/ ANZ) and The War of the Dwarves (UK/ US / ANZ) from the original German:

Turning German ‘Zwerge’ into English-speaking dwarves isn’t as straightforward as it might seem. For one thing, the English word ‘dwarf’ has two possible plurals: ‘dwarfs’ and ‘dwarves’. Which should be used for the translation? The dwarves of Girdlegard bear a certain resemblance to their counterparts in Middle Earth, so I went with the version popularized by Tolkien. But hang on a minute, Read the rest of this entry »

New Wallpaper Day: The Orphaned Worlds

For our Orbit UK fans, we have a fresh new wallpaper taken from the cover of The Orphaned Worlds by Michael Cobley, the sequel to Seeds of Earth. (You can read more about the book and Michael Cobley here.) I am loving the series illustrations being done by an Orbit favorite Steve Stone and I can’t wait to see the art plastered on all your assorted screens and digital devices. I’ve tried to cover all the standard display aspect ratios and devices (and yes, even the new iPad), but let me know if I’ve missed any important ones.

Enjoy the wallpapers, and don’t forget to pick up The Seeds of Earth and The Orphaned Worlds, both available now!

1024 x 768 |1280 x 800 | 1440 x 900 | 1680 x 1050 | 1920 x 1200 | iPhone | iPad | PSP

New Wallpaper Day: The Gaslight Dogs

Here’s a gorgeous wallpaper made from the cover art of The Gaslight Dogs by Karin Lowachee, out now. (You can read the cover launch here) The illustration was done by the fantastic Sam Weber, and I’m really thrilled to be able to offer it to you in a whole slew of formats. I tried to cover all the standard aspect ratios/devices (including a hot new iPad version for us disciples of St. Jobs) so let me know if I left an important one out.

And of course, go get a copy of The Gaslight Dogs! To me it felt like a little bit steampunk, a little bit Golden Compass, and a little bit old western, with a great story arc. I can’t wait for more from Karin Lowachee.

Enjoy!

1024 x 768 | 1280 x 800 | 1440 x 900 | 1680 x 1050 | 1920 x 1200 | iPhone | iPad | PSP

Hugos and Legends and Campbells, oh my!

We’re thrilled to see a number of our authors on award ballots and shortlists this year. We’ve done a brief round-up of our authors who are up for awards and Charlie Stross has been nominated twice! Could this be the year we finally HUGO STROSS? Here’s hoping!

A hearty congratulations to all of our authors who are up for these awards!

Hugo Awards

Best Novella

  • Charlie Stross for “Palimpsest” [UK]

Best Novellette

  • Charlie Stross again for “Overtime” [UK]

Best Short Story

  • N.K. Jemisin for “Non-zero Probabilities” [US/UK]

John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer

  • Gail Carriger [US/UK]
  • Seanan McGuire (aka Mira Grant) [US/UK]

David Gemmell Award Shortlist

David Gemmell Legend Award

  • Joe Abercrombie for Best Served Cold [US]
  • Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson for The Gathering Storm [UK]

The Morningstar Award for Best Newcomer

  • Jesse Bullington for The Sad Tale of the Brothers Grossbart [US/UK]
  • Amanda Downum for The Drowning City [US/UK]

Cover Launch: BITTEN IN TWO

Tough, sexy, dangerous, and a little bit crazy – that’s Jaz Parks. And Jennifer Rardin’s 7th book in the Jaz Parks series, Bitten in Two, has as much adventure and bad attitude as can fit in an urban fantasy book. For some reason I’ve noticed Jaz taking on a bit of a Joan Jett sneer in my head when I read these books – and that’s all good for me. If you haven’t started reading this series yet, I suggest picking up the first 3 at least all at once – you’ll tear through them wanting to know what happens to Jaz, her vampire boss Vayl, and her ragtag team of techno-geeks, CIA operatives, and one centuries-old prophetess. If you have been reading along with this series, then trust me, this one doesn’t disappoint. Read the rest of this entry »

Mage In Black!

Sabina Kane is back in this kick-ass follow up to Red-Headed Stepchild!

Half-vampire and half-mage,  Sabina Kane has never quite fit in.  Now on the run from the vampire side of the family, she’s finally going to meet her twin sister she never knew about — and a family that might not have her best interests at heart.

From Kat Richardson who called the first novel, “Brassy, sassy, and hip!” to Charlaine Harris who called it “Fast-paced and fun,” Jaye Wells is one of the hottest urban fantasy writers out there today!  Despite the lack of red hair — Angelina Jolie in the upcoming movie, Salt, reminds me of Sabina Kane.

You can find chapter one right here.

Check her out in bookstores everywhere!

Werewolves, and Vampires, and Dirigibles, oh my!

Gail Carriger is back with another tale of the trials and tribulations of Alexia Tarabotti.  Now, I can’t give too much away about Changeless. Suffice to say that there are trips to Scotland, assassination attempts, tea — and even crumpets. And perhaps…even Blameless coming to you in September 2010!

My favorite description of Alexia comes straight to you from io9: “Great worldbuilding and delicious rapier wit that recalls Austen and P.G. Wodehouse.”  Yes!  I love it — a combination of Jane Austen, a few vampires and werewolves and Alexia — and you have the perfect tea party.

And if you haven’t had a chance yet, do check out the video of the making of Blameless!

Environmentally-sound Ebooks!

Orbit is delighted, excited and not a little proud to announce the development of the world’s first 100% biodegradable ebook. As you all know (Bob), the problem with the current crop of ebooks is that the electrons that make up the work have a carbon cost. Certainly, the environmental impact of ebooks is much lower than for traditional publishing, but it is a finite and measurable amount.

Electron

An electron, yesterday

Not anymore!  Orbit’s proprietary new ‘Brigadoon’ e-formatting allows for a 100% carbon-free reading experience. By exposing the ebook file to a short burst of Cherenkov Radiation upon delivery, the electrons composing the file actually decay into lower-energy electrons and tachyons after the first reading. The new, low-powered electrons return to the environment at a net carbon cost of practically zero, while the tachyons, as is their nature, travel backwards in time to replace the ebook file that has just disappeared during the decay of the electrons that formed it.

To explain in layman’s terms: the electrons return to the environment and the ebook effectively travels backwards in time, reinventing itself before each reading causes it to cease to exist. With reference to Clarke’s Third Law, we hope you’ll forgive us a triumphant ‘Hey, presto!’

All of Orbit’s April titles will be available in Brigadoon as well as epub format from all good replicators.

Author post

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

There is something about a prison, like a police station, that makes you feel a little like a criminal even if you’ve done nothing wrong. I’m sure if you work there day in and day out that wouldn’t be the case, but as a visitor it’s hard to avoid the first time. The guards (both male and female) aren’t mean but they’re not, in general, entirely friendly either. The walls and floors are concrete. The doors do clang and buzz like the images in all of those prison movies and TV shows (and only open one at a time so there is never a way to run straight out). There are cameras everywhere, not so hidden if you know where to look. There are barely any windows, certainly not in the cell wings. Read the rest of this entry »

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