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Looking Forward to 2010

Now that the ties and novelty lamps are returned, the trees recycled into useful if less sparkly mulch, and holiday egg nog has been sworn off forever, yet again, we at Orbit want to let you know what we’ve got in store for you in the coming months — in particular, about two new writers about whom you have probably already heard much — and, will be hearing more.

Our January debut, Mr. Shivers (US/UK), by Robert Jackson Bennett, should be on its way to bookstores even as you read this. In a starred review, Publishers Weekly noted that it reads “like a collaboration between Stephen King and John Steinbeck” and that he makes “dark fantasy feel like gritty realism, achieving a rare laconic eloquence that will captivate horror readers hungry for new voices.” Visit Mistershivers.com, and re-visit some of Robert’s past entries on the Orbit blog, where he readily displays his talent for pulling the rug out from under the feet of daily existence.

Then we’ll be bringing you N.K. Jemisin’s first novel, The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms [US February/UK April]. Romantic Times, giving it four and a half stars, calls it “an astonishing debut novel”, Kirkus Reviews has judged it “offbeat and engaging”, and Publishers Weekly, in its starred review, “a complex, edge-of-your-seat story with plenty of funny, scary, and bittersweet twists.” Jemisin’s debut Orbit blog post“Power and Privilege in Fantasy” is also not to be missed — and that you can read, right now. (Seriously. Now.)

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Power and Privilege in Fantasy

I’m going to start off my first blog post for Orbit with a non-sequitur. Because that’s how I roll.

I’m going to talk about movies rather than books. See, I can’t really call myself a fan of movies. I’ve seen a lot of the classics, love a good kung fu flick, occasionally get roped into seeing whatever blockbuster is new/hot/now, but I’m rarely actually excited by anything that’s coming down the recent-film pipe. I’m more “meh” than anything else. They pass the time. But I’ve found myself having unusually strong reactions to two new/forthcoming films: Avatar and Daybreakers. Very different films, and each elicits a very different reaction in me: I’m planning to see Daybreakers the instant it comes out, even though I’m not at all a fan of vampire stuff. While Avatar, despite being right in the sweet spot between my twin loves of beautiful visuals and stuff!blowing!up! space opera, has repelled me so fiercely that I don’t ever want to see it. Read the rest of this entry »

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Oh, You Noughtie Fans . . .

As a debut author, one of the questions I get asked a lot is, “How do you deal with negative reviews?” That’s an interesting query, on a number of levels. Because one of the things I’ve realized is how much reading, as an activity, has changed with the advent of the internet.

When I was a child, I was a very precocious reader who read “adult” books very early. In middle school (and to this day), one of my favorite series was Mercedes Lackey’s Last Herald Mage trilogy. I adored that book, loved Vanyel, wanted more than anything to have a Companion, and absolutely worshipped Mercedes Lackey.

So I did what any twelve-year-old fan worth her Whites did at the time: I joined Misty’s newsletter, became a “Herald” by penning some bad poems and drawing a picture of my Companion, and started writing to other fans. Read the rest of this entry »

Beyond the Wall of Time

This month, Orbit is proud to release Beyond the Wall of Time (UK/US), the final instalment in Russell Kirkpatrick’s spectacular Broken Man trilogy. With Russell’s previous works earning comments such as ‘Not since Tolkien have I been so awed’ from the wonderful Trudi Canavan, perhaps it’s no surprise that his Across the Face of the World was the US’s bestselling debut fantasy novel of 2008.

Beyond the Wall of Time yet again showcases Russell’s talent for strikingly vivid description and truly epic plotting. Find it in all good bookstores now!

The wall of time has fallen, leaving the Gods free to indulge their hunger for violence. Few know of their escape into mortal lands – and these few struggle against the control of the malevolent mage Husk and with their own problems.

Queen Stella, still in hiding, must make a deal with the Undying Man. His word is suspect, but her options are limited. Fisherman Noetos seeks revenge for the deaths of his loved ones, not yet realising the enemy is closer than even he can imagine. And the unconventional cosmographer Lenares is the only one with the power to prevent the Gods destroying the world – if she can get someone to believe her. 

The queen, fisherman and cosmographer must travel to Andratan to confront Husk. But whether they can break free of his hold on them, and defeat the Gods, is another matter entirely.

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An Urban Fantasy Holiday

Oh, the holidays. It’s a special time of year when I really enjoy reflecting on all the ways I’ve tortured my characters. To celebrate this magical and highly cathartic ritual, I’ve composed what is sure to be an instant holiday classic. Feel free to sing along!

The Twelve Days of An Urban Fantasy Heroine

On the first day of my UF novel, my author gave to me a demon in my pantry.

On the second day of my UF novel, my author gave to me, two love interests–and a demon in my pantry.

On the third day of my UF novel, my author gave to me, three bullet wounds–two love interests and a demon in my pantry.

On the fourth day of my UF novel, my author gave to me four mauling hellhounds–three bullet wounds, two love interests, and a demon in my pantry. Read the rest of this entry »

Karen Miller’s Love Affair With Stories

In thinking about writing this guest post (thank you, John!) I tried to remember when I first fell in love with stories – and for the life of me, I can’t! I vividly remember my primary school librarian introducing me to the world of Narnia with The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, and I remember choosing for myself the first of the Enid Blyton Secret Seven books that I read, but I just can’t recall a time when I wasn’t madly, passionately, devotedly and hopelessly in love with stories.

Read the whole post here!

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How to Find A God

With the holidays coming up (or already upon us, depending on the holidays you observe), it’s typical that at this time of year our thoughts begin to turn to rituals, worship, and theology more and more. And, as we watch our friends and family celebrate in their own different ways and winter settles in around us, the natural companion to faith weighs more heavily upon us – doubt. Read the rest of this entry »

Spring/Summer 2010 titles from Orbit US!

As we wrap up 2009 in the New York offices, we’re already looking forward to the terrific new titles we’ll be launching next year. Check out our Spring/Summer 2010 pub schedule for a peek at what’s in store, and update your TBR list today!

“Like a collaboration between Stephen King and John Steinbeck…”

Bennett_Mr. Shivers (HC)

Mr. Shivers got a terrific starred review in this week’s Publishers Weekly! We think they hit the nail on the head– Robert Jackson Bennett is clearly channeling the spirits of other writers. No, seriously, we’re worried he’s stealing their souls. Someone should look into this…

“Set during the Great Depression and reading like a collaboration between Stephen King and John Steinbeck, this remarkably assured first novel relates a good man’s desperate travels through the ruins of the American heartland on the trail of his child’s murderer. ” You can find the full review here (scroll down to the SF/Fantasy/Horror Section.)

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Finally, the sexy aliens

Well, I promised you sexy aliens, and here he is:

Pierson's Puppeteer

A Pierson’s Puppeteer in all his lithe glory…these cowardly geniuses are my 2nd favourite aliens in all of SF, together with all the other creatures in Larry Niven’s alien menagerie, like the Bandersnatchi, the Thrintun and the Kzinti. (Um, does anyone think that puppeteer’s necks are – dare I say it – phallic? Are they actually necks at all?)  [Sorta NSFW alien taxonomy ahead – Web Editor.) Read the rest of this entry »

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