I’ve always had a soft spot for outcasts and rebels. It’s no surprise then that I created a world populated by dark races, who have been literally forced to live in the shadows, hidden from the human race. And in this world, lives an outcast among outcasts. Her name in Sabina Kane, and her story is about what happens when the red-headed stepchild grows up and realizes she’s been betrayed by those who should have protected her.
All of that sounds very deep and dark, but Red-Headed Stepchild is also about how Sabina finds her own tribe of misfits in unlikely places. A mischief demon with a predilection for infomercial shopping. An idealistic nymph who used to work in faery porn. A roguish mage who introduces Sabina to the world of magic. Each helps Sabina navigate a world filled with blood-thirsty wine makers, charismatic cult leaders and hookah-smoking vampires. So really, when you think about it, there’s something in Red-Headed Stepchild for the whole family to enjoy.
We’ve been loving the opulence of the latest cover in Kate Elliott’s Crossroads series, just in, and I thought I’d share it here. The rich colouring very much evokes the wonderfully vivid world-building and dramatic storytelling that categorises Kate’s work, plus it will look gorgeous on the shelf with the first two books, Spirit Gate and Shadow Gate.
It’s out in September this year in large format paperback and, to whet the appetite, here’s a little summary of the plot:
“GUARDIANS HAVE RETURNED TO THE HUNDRED, NOT TO DISPENSE JUSTICE BUT TO SPREAD CHAOS AND DESTRUCTION UNDER THE BANNER OF A TWISTED STAR.
Reeve Joss is struggling to defend a country ravaged by the assaults of twin armies. His men now patrol a land of burning villages and homeless refugees as Joss tries to separate traitor from friend. The Reeve’s days are also plagued by thoughts of the intriguing Zubaidit: pleasure-giver, spy and temple-trained assassin. But Zubaidit is focused on a dangerous mission, her target being warped Guardian Lord Radas. His death would leave the invading militia in chaos, but the old tales tell truly of the Guardians’ immortality – and of the powers they now wield to twist the hearts of men.
Joss’s nights are troubled too, disturbed by dreams of Marit. His old love has returned from death to become a feared Guardian herself, but Marit rejected the corrupt temptations they offered. She now seeks others of her kind, praying some are yet uncontaminated by the blight on the land – and have the will to fight it.”
And lastly a few quotes for the series to show just what a damn fine read is in store:
“Beautifully descriptive passages oozing with texture, taste and even aroma. Spirit Gate is the common thing done uncommonly well … accomplished storytelling” SFX
“Shadow Gate is the plump and mouthwatering second dish … This is every bit as full of texture and flavour as Spirit Gate, sure to leave you begging for more” SFX
“This is gritty, character-driven fantasy where no battle is easy and, crucially, no one is safe. Elliott juggles characters and plots with consumate ease” DeathRay
“An absorbing blend of action, romance, Fantasy, and the oriental … will ensure readers return for the next instalment” Starburst
Thanks again to everyone who came out to see Mike Carey and Kate Griffin at Forbidden Planet last night! It was a fantastic event and special thanks to Danie, Jon and the whole Forbidden Planet team for setting it up. Also, a big ol’ thanks to Gav, Graeme, Liz and Mark, and Simon and Mathew for coming by to say hi!
And for those who didn’t get a chance to attend the signing we’re giving you a chance to win 3 sets of signed copies of Thicker Than Water and A Madness of Angels. All you have to do to enter is email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Closing date is April 3rd. Good luck!
Just a reminder: Mike Carey will be reading from and signing copies of his latest Felix Castor novel, Thicker Than Water, and Kate Griffin will be reading from and signing advance copies of her debut, A Madness of Angels, at Forbidden Planet on Shaftesbury Avenue in London tonight from 6-7pm.
Hope to see you all there!
This award is given by the Libertarian Futurist Society in recognition of the best pro-freedom novel published during the previous year. The award will be presented during Anticipation, the 67th World Science Fiction Convention, which takes place from August 6-10, 2009, in Montréal, Quebec, Canada.
Best of luck to both!
- March 20th, 2009-
Hello and welcome to a few tid-bits of recent interweb activities:
Kate Elliott and Mike Cobley talk about ‘others’ in SF/F i.e. aliens etc. on bookgeeks. Both the science fiction and fantasy genres have a traditional reliance on ‘others’ – from extra-terrestrials and elves to angels and demons. How do you set out to create plausible ‘others’ (do they even need to be plausible?), and make sure that readers relate to them in the ways that you want?
Lastly, but no less interestingly, Jo Graham has posted on how to keep the story of Cleopatra fresh when it is well-known subject matter to many, and we’ve posted a taster extract of Hand of Isis (UK | US ) just out this month.
That’s it for now and have a good weekend with whatever Orbit book you happen to be reading!
Ever since I read The Poison Throne I’ve been wanting to share my great enthusiasm for this book, so I’m delighted to pass on news of our deal for the Moorehawke trilogy. Betrayal, torture, murder, an emerging rebellion and a beautifully pitched emerging romance all make for a robust, absolutely compulsive and beautifully written fantasy adventure. Without doubt, this is an Absolutely Compelling Read and I finished it in almost one sitting. So I was pretty hungry when I’d finished, I don’t mind telling you.
And to the plot … we follow young Wynter Moorehawke as she returns to Court with her dying father, finding her old home shadowed with fear and riddled with dangerous secrets. King Jonathan has become a violent despot, terrorising those he once loved, and his son Alberon has fled into exile to plan a royal coup. Meanwhile, Wynter’s half-brother Razi has been elevated to heir, and struggles to meet King Jonathan’s increasingly untenable commands while retaining his sanity. And at the heart of matters lies a war machine so lethal that no one dares speak of it. The kingdom would belong to the machine’s master, yet the consequences of using it are too appalling to consider.
The talented Celine Kiernan trained as an animator and has spent most of her career in the film business. She’s also a freelance illustrator – and writer of course! We’ll be launching this series internationally in the States and Australia as well as in the UK and we’ll be going out in mass market paperback with book one being scheduled for April 2010. Can’t wait!
Fantastic news just in: the final ballot for the 2009 Hugo Awards has been announced and we are absolutely delighted to congratulate Charles Stross, whose Saturn’s Children is nominated in the Best Novel category.
As if having a book shortlisted for the premier award in the SF world isn’t enough, the unfeasibly talented Mr Stross becomes the first author to have a novel on the Hugo shortlist in six consecutive years!
Trying to predict the future is fraught with peril, but I feel quite confident in saying that it will be quite some time before that amazing achievement is matched or bettered. Even the great Robert Silverberg only managed four-in-a-row.
Many congratulations to Charlie from all at Orbit, and if you are eligible to vote for the Hugos, remember:
*Actually, maybe you shouldn’t vote often. That would probably be bad.