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In Their Own Words: Robert Jackson Bennett on MR SHIVERS

Robert says:

When I first started writing Mr Shivers, I eventually realised that what I was trying to write was a mythology.

Myths are fundamentally part of our deep collective subconscious. They’re figures and stories that are instantly recognisable, buried so deep they’re practically ingrained in us. I wanted to use mythology of the Great Depression and Southern folklore, things we all could identify without thinking – Hoovervilles and dirt roads and bogwater ditches, ramshackle homes sitting abandoned in empty fields, and desperate drifters trekking across harsh countries. Overloaded Zephyrs and Fords trundling west, kicking up dust. The echo of blues and gospel music haunting the hobo camps, and trading liquor or tobacco for a knife or a place to sleep. And always the promise of greener pastures out there, hiding somewhere behind a stretch of the horizon.

I wanted to take that and mix it with an even older mythology. Something much more primal, much more savage. Maybe when these wanderers struck out for the West they stumbled across something in the far ranges. An old story that’d been going on since before time was time. Maybe they’d found a place where the very bones of the earth rose up and pierced the rock and the dust. And maybe there was something living in those bones, something that’d been making its home there and had just been returning after a long while abroad . . .

It was about then that I realised Mr Shivers had been wandering for a while, but it was about time someone set him to paper.

Mr Shivers [UK|US|AUZ] is available from all good booksellers now.

C is for Cobley

C is for Cobley. Michael Cobley‘s Seeds of Earth, the opening volume of his Humanity’s Fire series, was published last year to great acclaim and a very gratifying response from the reading public, whose voracious demands sent it back for multiple reprints.
The mass market paperback is now unveiled for your reading pleasure – and a pleasure it is, indeed. The great Iain M. Banks thought well of it, calling Seeds of Earth:

‘Proper galaxy-spanning Space Opera with lots of weird aliens, secret ancient technologies and mysterious hyperweapons – a worthy addition to the genre’

Volume two, The Orphaned Worlds, will be published in trade paperback in April, giving you ample opportunity to addict yourself to this wonderful new series. 

You can read an extract from Seeds of Earth here.

B is also for Bennett

Mr Shivers B is also for Bennett. Robert Jackson Bennett, whose remarkable debut, Mr Shivers, is published this month in the UK, US and Australia. Robert’s US editor, DongWon, has waxed lyrical about Mr Shivers in this post, and has summed up the excitement perfectly. Go read it (the post and the book).

Mr Shivers is a startling début, a deft amalgam of thriller, cerebral horror and American gothic’ Guardian

You can read an extract here.

Soulless Scores An Award!

SOULLESS won the YALSA’s Alex Award! It is a an honor that is “given to ten books written for adults that have special appeal to young adults, ages 12 through 18.”

We’re very excited for Gail!

B is for Bakker

B is for Bakker, the author of the groundbreaking Prince of Nothing trilogy, who now returns to the world of Earwa with the first book of The Aspect-Emperor, The Judging Eye.

For readers who haven’t heard the buzz, no less an authority than Steven Erikson says:

‘Exquisitely intelligent and beautifully written . . . this is fantasy with muscle and brains, rife with intrigue and admirable depth of character, set in a world laden with history and detail. Take note, one and all, something remarkable has begun here . . .

You can read an extract from The Judging Eye here.

Fans of rich, robust fantasy rejoice! R. Scott Bakker is back.

A is for Abraham

It seems appropriate to begin the New Year with an ABC (for those of us who celebrated the Yule so . . . enthusiastically, that they’ve managed to mislay, for the moment, the neurons that deal with such matters). And so, in the finest traditions of children’s television, these are Orbit UK’s new releases for January . . .

A is for Abraham, whose Long Price Quartet has garnered extraordinary praise from the great and good of the literary world – not least, this fulsome endorsement from Junot Diaz, winner of the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for Literature:

‘Daniel Abraham is one of the reasons the fantasy genre continues to haunt my dreams. Abraham is fiercely talented, disturbingly human, breathtakingly original and even on his bad days kicks all sorts of literary ass . . . If you are meeting him for the first time I envy you: you are in for a remarkable journey.’

Orbit is delighted to be publishing Daniel Abraham‘s Long Price novels – A Shadow in Summer, A Betrayal in Winter, An Autumn War & The Price of Spring – in two omnibus editions: Shadow and Betrayal & Seasons of War. You can read extract from Book One here.

Get an extract of Pamela Freeman’s FULL CIRCLE, HERE

As Darren said in his round-up, the fantastic final volume of Pamela Freeman’s beautifully written Castings Trilogy is now here.  Full Circle (UK I ANZ I US) is a tremendous read, set in a troubled land of warlords and outcasts where the echoes of past atrocities taint the present. The Eleven Domains were forged in blood a thousand years ago and old wounds have been reopened as a ghost army marches to avenge ancient wrongs. But don’t just take our word for it, read a free extract HERE and check out just some of the praise we’ve had, below.

Plus, we have our fingers crossed for Pamela this weekend, as her illustrated children’s book Victor’s Challenge is on the shortlist for its category at the prestigious Australian Aurealis Awards.


  • ‘Lots of great ideas … A very effective fantasy debut’
  • ‘Sometimes, a jewel rises to the top … I loved reading Blood Ties’
    Grasping for the Wind
  • ‘Freeman shies away from simplistic morality, building elegantly well-rounded characters’
    Publishers Weekly
  • ‘A rich and magical world where insurgency is definitely brewing’
    Romantic Times
  • Blood Ties has the feel of Ursula le Guin’s fantasy novels … a wonderfully satisfying series’
    Aurealis Xpress
  • ‘An impressively different fantasy novel’
    Sydney Morning Herald
  • ‘There is nothing predictable about Freeman’s storytelling … I was completely hooked’
    Good Reading Magazine

And see Blood Ties (bk 1, UK I ANZ I US) and Deep Water (bk 2, UK I ANZ I US) here too:


Mr. Shivers is here!

Robert Jackson Bennett’s stunning debut novel is finally here!

Publisher’s Weekly gave it a starred review and said that Mr. Shivers “read[s] like a collaboration between Stephen King and John Steinbeck… Bennett makes dark fantasy feel like gritty realism, achieving a rare laconic eloquence that will captivate horror readers hungry for new voices.”

Not to be outdone, Library Journal also gave it a starred review saying: “Readers who liked Neil Gaiman’s American Gods will find similar themes here, while the setting and bleak inevitability invoke a more readable Cormac McCarthy. Compelling and truly horrifying, this debut novel is highly recommended for all”

Amazon picked for their Best Books of the Month saying: “Sprinkled with hobo folklore, Bennett’s supernatural dust storm of a debut offers a killer premise and may remind readers of vintage Stephen King.”

And The Guardian in the UK weighed in with another stellar review: “Mr Shivers is a startling début, a deft amalgam of thriller, cerebral horror and American gothic, written with a stark and artful simplicity that complements the examination of struggling humanity pushed to its limits”

Find out more at www.mistershivers.com.

Let them eat (Orbit) cake!

Here at Orbit we work very hard to publish the most exciting Science Fiction and Fantasy for the widest possible readership, remaining committed to publishing writers we believe to be exceptional in the best possible way. But did you know we take our food just as seriously?

Recently, as a thank you to our Sales team for supporting us so enthusiastically throughout the year, we put our baking mitts on to produce this tasty Orbit-themed cake.

And for a certain editor’s birthday not so long ago we produced this sugary treat . . . based on the axe awarded to the authors shortlisted for the David Gemmell Legend Award for Fantasy.

We’d love to see any SFF-themed cakes that you’ve come up with, or perhaps you have an idea about what theme you’d like to see in cake form? Robocake anyone? Dark Lord’s dessert? Elvish eccles? We’ll see what the Orbit catering team can come up with, and if our creation is up to scratch it may just appear on the site in a few weeks time!

An Extract from Charlie Huston’s My Dead Body

In case you hadn’t noticed, vampires are very much the In Thing at the moment, pretty comfortably dominating the worlds of literature, television and movies. Yes, indeed – with a twinkle in the eye and a disturbingly pointy smile, the debonair bloodsuckers are doing very nicely, thank you.

With one exception: Joe Pitt. Joe’s not doing so well, as it happens. Read the rest of this entry »

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