- - February 4th, 2009
Award-winning Night Sessions author Ken Macleod is set to host a discussion on how computer games inform our ideas of evolution at The Drill Hall, Edinburgh this Saturday 7th February 2009.
How life-like are games like Spores and Second Life and what can they teach us about human evolution?
Ken and synthetic biologist Dr Alistair Elfick will be leading this debate, hosted by The Skinny Magazine and the ESRC Genomics Policy and Research forum.
For more information on this free, ticketed event click here.
- - February 3rd, 2009
Good Afternoon from the Orbit US Art Department. Today we’re giving you a sneak peak at the new Joe Abercrombie title, BEST SERVED COLD. (Out in July in the US)
This book is an exciting new chapter for Abercrombie fans, and a great place to jump on if you’ve never read Joe’s books before. This title is a standalone, so don’t worry about needing to know backstory, just jump in…
Best Served Cold is the story of Monza Murcatto, the Snake of Talins, the most feared and famous mercenary in the ruthless Duke Orso’s employ. Her victories have made her popular — a shade too popular for her employer’s taste. Betrayed, thrown down a mountain, and left for dead, Murcatto arises with a broken body and a burning hunger for vengeance.
“A Girl?!” you say? Well, trust me, this is pure Joe Abercrombie. It is as action-packed, as edgy, and as bloody (as you can see from the cover) as any epic fantasy I’ve read in a long time. However, it also opens the door for a brand new audience of female readers (myself included) to get sucked into Joe’s vivid storytelling and the world of Styria. This book is both true to Joe’s First Law Trilogy and a huge step forward into exciting new terrain. Read the rest of this entry »
- - January 28th, 2009
The Art Department of a book publisher is a mysterious thing to a lot of people. Sure, you know what we do, we’re the ones who make the pretty bookcovers. But friends and family are always kind of mystified about the process of designing a cover. How do we find art? Who decides what the cover is going to look like? How can you possibly have memorized 5,000 fonts and yet still bemoan that you just can’t find the right one? (This is not unlike a teenager looking into a full fridge and complaining that there’s nothing to eat). So I thought I’d take you, loyal readers, through the process of a cover, start to finish. Read the rest of this entry »
- January 27th, 2009
Jeff Somers — author of The Electric Church, The Digital Plague, and the forthcoming The Eternal Prison — is tweeting a short story, a few lines at a time.
the sense of vastness that the open, undeveloped property conveyed—he felt unreal, as if it was all put there just for him to contemplate. 9:00 AM yesterday from web
With the soft rustling of the grass swaying in the wind and the shadowed, shifting mass of the tree line in the distance— 9:00 AM yesterday from web
The sky was a peculiar shade of dark, dark purple, making it seem like the universe beyond was on fire, being consumed. 9:00 AM yesterday from web
Henry stood on his back porch with a cup of after-dinner coffee and shivered in the cool twilight air. 9:00 AM yesterday from web
The Black Boxes, by Jeff Somers 8:59 AM yesterday from web
Follow him at www.twitter.com/somers_story
- - January 27th, 2009
Some exciting news for all you Prince of Nothing fans! A full chapter one extract of R. Scott Bakker’s The Judging Eye is now available to read:
The tracks between whim and brutality are many and inscrutable in Men, and though they often seem to cut across the impassable terrain of reason, in truth, it is reason that paves their way. Ever do Men argue from want to need and from need to fortuitous warrant. Ever do they think their cause the just cause. Like cats chasing sunlight thrown from a mirror, they never tire of their own delusions.
At the behest of their Holy Aspect-Emperor, the priests of the Thousand Temples harangued their congregations, and the Judges of the Ministrate scoured the land, seeking out and destroying all those who would either dispute the Truth or choose avarice over the mortal demands of the darkness to come. Everyone, whether caste-slave or caste-noble, was taught the Great Chain of Missions, how the words and works of each made possible the words and works of the other. They learned how Men, all Men, warred all the time, whether tilling fields or loving their kin. All lives, no matter how humble, were links that either fortified the Great Chain or impaired it, leading to the First Ring, the link from which the world itself hung: the Holy War against the apocalyptic designs of the Consult …
Or as it came to be called, the Great Ordeal.
Read the full chapter here >
- - January 23rd, 2009
Following on from Ken MacLeod‘s excellent showing on last year’s awards shortlists, we’re delighted to announce that 2009 has begun in similar fashion. We’ve just received news that his dark, near-future SF thriller, The Night Sessions, has been shortlisted for the BSFA Award for Best Novel!
Many congratulations to Ken and thanks to those who nominated The Night Sessions. The award will be presented over the Easter weekend at LX, the 60th National Science Fiction Convention, in Bradford. In the meantime, may I urge you to vote early and vote often!
- - January 20th, 2009
I am delighted to say that we have just acquired Traitors’ Gate – book three in Kate Elliott’s stunningly atmospheric Crossroads sequence – in addition to the as-yet untitled book four in the series.
This is a fabulous fantasy adventure where a few key individuals play their parts in a violent struggle for land and power, against a colourful backdrop of different cultures and religions. We follow spies, temple-trained assassins and otherworldly Guardians whose function is to administer justice – until corruption turns their powers to dark purposes.
Spirit Gate and Shadow Gate are already out in mass market paperback, and Traitors’ Gate will now follow in large format paperback in September 09.
- - January 16th, 2009
Brandon Sanderson, who is completing Robert Jordan’s epic Wheel of Time series, is giving fans two chances to win a walk-on role in A Memory of Light and raise money for charity at the same time.
From his website:
I realized that we had something very special in the Wheel of Time book–an opportunity that shouldn’t be passed up. I wrote an email to Harriet, telling her about the charity that Pat had been using for his drive. It’s called Heifer International. Instead of just giving food to the poor, they go into developing countries, give them animals to care for, and teach them how to use the livestock to create a sustainable source of income and food. It’s a fantastic idea, and a worthy charity. I asked Harriet if she’d mind me auctioning off a character in A Memory of Light. She was behind that 100%. As some of you may know, Robert Jordan did something like this once, giving a walk-on part to a fan in one of the books. There are a LOT of people who need to be named in this story, and so why not let a few of those names and descriptions go to real people?
You can get the full details of both chances at his website here.
- - January 15th, 2009
To celebrate the release of TWO amazing Karen Miller books this month, Hammer of God (US/UK), and, under the name K.E. Mills, The Accidental Sorcerer (US/UK), we’re giving you a chance to win signed copies of Karen’s first four books.
For the next four Mondays, we’re going to be giving away a series of signed books and all you have to do to enter is be a fan on Karen’s Facebook page.
Full details are on the fan page – hope to see you all there soon!
- - January 14th, 2009
As well as publishing many established writers, Orbit is committed to launching new authors — and we put a lot of effort into our publishing plans for them. Early success for an author isn’t always necessary to ensure a successful writing career (and it doesn’t always guarantee one), but it’s certainly a great help and encouragement to all concerned.
We’re happy, thrilled, and pleased as punch, to report that in 2008 Orbit published the bestselling SFF debut novels in both the UK and the US.
In the UK, the bestselling SFF debut of 2008 was THE WAY OF SHADOWS, by Brent Weeks. The first book in the Night Angel Trilogy, we published it in October, and with the second and third volumes following in subsequent months it quickly became clear that fans everywhere were talking about Brent and THE WAY OF SHADOWS. This year has also got off to a great start for Brent: this week, the three books in the Night Angel Trilogy are the first, second, and third bestselling mass-market paperbacks in the UK SFF market.
In the US, Orbit published the two bestselling debuts of the year. Double happy! The bestselling SFF debut of 2008 was ACROSS THE FACE OF THE WORLD, by Russell Kirkpatrick, the first volume in the Fire of Heaven Trilogy. This is a great fantasy adventure series, with world-building and storytelling equally epic in scope. The second bestselling debut of 2008 in the US was Brent Weeks’ THE WAY OF SHADOWS (see above!).
Congratulations from all at Orbit to Russell and Brent … and here’s wishing a Happy New Year to everyone — especially the loyal readers who helped make Russell and Brent so successful.