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AGE OF IRON by Angus Watson

AGE OF IRON Angus Watson

Bloodthirsty druids and battle-hardened Iron Age warriors collide in the first volume of this action-packed historical fantasy trilogy.
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THE BROKEN EYEBrent Weeks

The third explosive novel in the New York Times bestselling Lightbringer series!
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David Gemmell Legend Award update

David Gemmell Legend Award

Just a quick reminder that the public ballot to decide the finalists of the inaugural David Gemmell Legend Award for Fantasy opens on December 26th.

Following a recently announced change to the voting system, the five most popular fantasy titles of 2008 – as decided by the voters – will then be put forward to a second round of public voting in April 2009 (as opposed to the original panel of judges) for final consideration, with the winner announced on Friday 19th June 2009.

The final long-list of eligible nominated titles – including entries from Orbit authors Brian Ruckley, K.J. Parker, Brent Weeks, Kate Elliott, Jennifer Fallon, Karen Miller and Russell Kirkpatrick – has been made available via the DGLA website as a pdf download and an online voting form will be available from Thursday, with an additional incentive to participate early: the fist 100 voters will receive a limited edition DGLA wristband.

Visit www.gemmellaward.com for more information on the award, or to discuss the nominated titles. And don’t forget to vote, from December 26th onwards!

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Orbit Links for December 19th 2008

Hello and welcome to the last Orbit Links round-up of 2008. Lots to tell you about this week, so – with but a brief segue to wish all our readers a happy, healthy and utterly book-filled holiday season – here we go:

See you in 2009!

Complete Orbit UK 2008 Publication List

If you point your browser towards the publishing schedules section of the site, you’ll find we’ve posted a complete list of Orbit UK’s 2008 publications.

2008 has been another fantastic year for Orbit UK. In the past 12 months we’ve published a total of 80 books by no fewer than 43 different authors, including: Brent Weeks, Brian Ruckley, Celia Friedman, Charles Stross, Charlie Huston, Christopher Moore, David Farland, Drew Karpyshyn, Elizabeth Moon, Fiona MacIntosh, Glenda Larke, Iain M. Banks, Ian Irvine, J. V. Jones, Jacqueline Carey, Jeff Somers, Jennifer Fallon, Jennifer Rardin, Jim Butcher, Jo Graham, K. J. Parker, Karen Miller, Karen Traviss, Kate Elliott, Kelley Armstrong, Ken MacLeod, Laurell K Hamilton, Lilith Saintcrow, Marianne de Pierres, Marie Brennan, Pamela Freeman, Patricia Briggs, Philip Palmer, Raymond Benson, Robert Buettner, Russell Kirkpatrick, Sean Williams, Shaun Hutson, Tad Williams, Terry Brooks, Tom Holt and Trudi Canavan.

By our reckoning we’ve published 23 science fiction titles (including 4 sf tie-in novelisations), 35 fantasy or comic fantasy titles and 22 horror or urban fantasy titles. We also published 7 UK debuts, by Brent Weeks, Jo Graham, Marie Brennan, Pamela Freeman, Patricia Briggs, Philip Palmer and Robert Buettner.

So, head on over to that full 2008 publication list and double-check to see if there are any gaps in your to-be-read list that need filling! It’s not too late to add a few titles to your Christmas wish-list, or to buy a few last-minute presents for friends and loved ones. Or why not just treat yourself to some holiday reading matter (go on… you know you want to!)

Deals and Deliveries – Pamela Freeman

I’m delighted to say that we’ve bought ASH AND EMBER by the talented (and lovely!) Pamela Freeman. This atmospheric stand-alone adventure will feature ancient gods of lake, fire and river, and their clash with newer spirits. The people of the Twelve Domains will be caught in an escalating conflict governed by blood, belief and family loyalties shaped over ages past.

The new novel will be set in the same beautifully-crafted world of Pamela’s previous trilogy, which started with BLOOD TIES, but we will follow new protagonists. Plus the action will be set some time in the future of the Castings books. ASH AND EMBER is currently scheduled for publication in October 2010, so don’t forget – but we will remind you!

Deals and Deliveries — Walter Jon Williams

I’m very pleased to confirm that we will be publishing two stand-alone follow ups to the forthcoming THIS IS NOT A GAME from Walter Jon Williams! The first of the pair, tentatively titled DEEP STATE, follows our game producer heroine from THIS IS NOT A GAME, Dagmar as she finds new ways to push the boundaries of games and politics, facing off against terrorists and spies in a dangerous contest of governments. Williams’s prescient, chilling vision of our future finds ever broader and more exciting horizons for the crowd’s place in the world. The next book in the series will continue to explore Dagmar’s strange, exciting world and find new speculative heights for Walter’s imagination.

New Iain [M] Banks fan forum now open

Calling all Iain [M] Banks fans: we’ve just relaunched the Iain [M] Banks fan forum over at www.iainbanksforum.net.

It’s open for registration to former forum members and anyone new who’d like to hang out and talk about the many and varied works of Iain Banks (or Iain M Banks). Do head on over and open an account.

Please do be aware, though: new accounts have to be moderated by the Forum Admin – that’s me! – which means they’ll generally be approved during UK office hours (although I’ll be checking in at weekends as well, time permitting).

Iain [M] Banks fan forum

This new site replaces the old and largely defunct fan forum, which had been closed to new members for some time and is due to be discontinued at some point in the near future. For those who like to know these things, the new forum is running on Jelsoft’s vBulletin system, which includes all the forum features you’d expect to see on a modern bulletin board: everything from custom avatars and user-titles to user-generated polls.

If you have any questions about the new forum, then please feel free to send a PM (private message) to the Forum Admin account, or to one of the forum’s two volunteer moderators, ‘edash’ or ‘rac’.

Hope to see you there!

Art Introductions

Hello everybody, I’ve just started as the Creative Director of the newly-created Orbit and Yen Press Art Department in the US. Prior to this, Orbit’s covers have been handled by the fabulous Little Brown Art Department, and they did a great job. However, now that Orbit is technically a separate division from Little Brown (and growing in leaps and bounds), it’s time for Orbit to have its very own dedicated art team. I thought it would be a nice introduction to my personal and professional taste to review a few of my favorite Orbit covers so far. It’s only been a little over a year of publishing in the US, but Orbit has already been pushing the envelope in their cover designs. This is very exciting for me as a book designer, but also as a fan. I’ve been a sci-fi/fantasy reader all my life, but I would be lying if I said I didn’t know a lot of the genre’s covers were more of a punchline than a selling point. In the last ten years, not only has the genre stepped both feet into popular culture with the influx of genre-influenced movies & TV shows, but the public at large has become much more design-aware. I think that means there’s a world of room to have covers that are recognizable to traditional genre readers and be attractive, well-designed, visually exciting covers. That said, let’s get started!
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In Their Own Words: Russell Kirkpatrick on DARK HEART

Russell says:

Dark Heart by Russell Kirkpatrick, UK paperbackA boy goes on a journey. This theme, or variations on it, has long dominated epic fantasy offerings. However, the Broken Man Trilogy, of which Dark Heart is the second volume, features as its main character a man who never leaves the building. Like a spider, he sits and waits for his prey to come to him.

Chief among his prey is a character I’ve had more email about than any other: Lenares the cosmographer. Readers love her quirkiness and the way she thinks and behaves, so different to standard fantasy characters. I was excited the day I thought of her, and I remain excited by what she’s becoming. Her gradual realisation of the web of danger ahead of her, and the ways she chooses to deal with it, earn this book its title. Dark Heart is, well, the darkest novel I’ve written.

Before the story is over each character has to answer the question: how many wrongs am I prepared to entertain in order to do what’s right? The various answers drive the book along at an ever-increasing pace; and as for the ending … ‘cruel’ is a fair description.

‘Middle’ novels of fantasy trilogies are supposed to be difficult to write. This one fair flew on to the screen. I’m delighted by Dark Heart and I’m sure you will be too.

Dark Heart by Russell Kirkpatrick is, as Russell says, the second part of the Broken Man Trilogy and is out now from Orbit in the UK and US. The first part of the trilogy is entitled Path of Revenge [UK | USA] and the conclusion, Beyond the Wall of Time is due for publication next year.

Find out more about Russell Kirkpatrick and his published work to date, over at www.russellkirkpatrick.com.

Three Orbit authors shortlisted for 2008 Aurealis Awards

Many congratulations to three of our Australian authors whose novels have been named on the shortlists for the 2008 Aurealis Awards – recognising the achievements of Australian science fiction, fantasy and horror writers – as follows:

Chaos Space by Marianne de Pierres, UK paperback Earth Ascendant by Sean Williams, UK paperback The Riven Kingdom by Karen Miller - UK paperback
  • Chaos Space by Marianne de Pierres for Best Science Fiction Novel
  • Earth Ascendant by Sean Williams for Best Science Fiction Novel
  • The Riven Kingdom by Karen Miller for Best Fantasy Novel

Sean Williams has also been shortlisted in three other categories: Best Collection (for Magic Dirt: The Best of Sean Williams from Ticonderoga Publications), Best Young Adult Novel (for The Changeling from Angus & Robertson) and Best Children’s 8-12 Years (for The Changeling sequel volume Dust Devils).

The Winners will be announced at the Aurealis Awards ceremony in Brisbane on Saturday the 24th January 2009. For more information on the 13th annual awards, visit www.aurealisawards.com.

In Their Own Words: Brent Weeks on BEYOND THE SHADOWS

Brent says:

Beyond the ShadowsBeyond the Shadows finishes the Night Angel Trilogy with a bang. There are revelations in this book that are going to send readers back to the beginning of the trilogy to read it all over again. Kylar comes into the fullness not just of his power, but of his identity, his purpose.

It’s a story of sacrifice and redemption, of the good and evil in each of us, of people who love each other so much they’ll give everything, of friends who will stand and be counted. It’s a story of looming catastrophe, and always – always – hard choices. There’s armies and war and magic and political brinkmanship. The stakes couldn’t be higher. It’s a story of friends who have to choose between loyalty and duty.

I’d love to be more specific, but when one’s strength is surprises, it behoves one not to drop spoilers…

Shadow’s Edge (UK | US | AUS) is out now and you can find it at all good high street and online booksellers.

Book one in the Night Angel Trilogy, The Way of Shadows, and book two, Shadow’s Edge are also available now. Check out our first chapter extract from the very beginning of the series and see what Brent had to say about The Way of Shadows and Shadow’s Edge in his previous In Their Own Words pieces for us.

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