- December 22nd, 2008
Odyssey 2010 – the next-but-one reincarnation of the annual Eastercon British National Science Fiction Convention – have announced that two of their Guests of Honour will be Orbit authors Iain M. Banks and Mike Carey.
It’s far too early for detailed programming, but as well as the traditional GoH interviews, Iain and Mike are bound to be involved in a number of panels, discussions and general bar-talk during the four-day convention, which in 2010 will return to the London Heathrow Radisson Edwardian; scene of this year’s Orbital 2008 event.
Other Guests of Honour announced for Eastercon 2010 include British SF authors Alastair Reynolds and Liz Williams, along with Artist Guest of Honour Carlos Ezquerra, and Fan Guests of Honour Jon and Fran Dowd (all Guest of Honour appearances are subject to work and other commitments).
For more information, see www.Odyssey2010.org.
- - December 22nd, 2008
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!
- - 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:
- Fantasy Book Critic presents a 2008 review & 2009 preview from Kevin J. Anderson.
- Over at his Neth Space blog, Ken takes a look at R. Scott Bakker‘s forthcoming fantasy opus The Judging Eye and declares Bakker’s writing to be “nothing short of excellence”.
- Marie Brennan explores the fantasy genre’s fascination with monarchy in her latest column for SFNovelists.com. And RobotsAndVamps.com has posted a quick review of Midnight Never Come.
- SFFWorld.com has posted Rob Bedford’s review of Orphan’s Alliance by Robert Buettner and Robert reveals the cover and publication date for the fifth book in the Jason Wander series, Orphan’s Triumph.
- Blogger Graeme Flory re-traces his steps to re-visit Fool Moon, the second book in Jim Butcher‘s Dresden Files series, for his Graeme’s Fantasy Book Reviews blog, whilst Gav at NextRead posts a round-up review of the next three books.
- Mike Carey has written a Best of 2008 piece for the Forbidden Planet International blog.
- Reviewer Mark Chitty was highly impressed by Michael Cobley‘s forthcoming science fiction novel, Seeds of Earth.
- David Farland (Dave Wolverton) has some advice for writers on weathering a recession: write it out.
- Pamela Freeman‘s Blood Ties is critiqued by Aidan Moher of A Dribble of Ink and then discussed by Aidan, Pamela and others in the comments.
- Ian Graham is interviewed over at Speculative Horizons, talking about the prequel to Monument.
- Charlie Huston‘s Book of All Future Names project reaches volume IX: Shadding and Necrotic.
- Christopher Moore has contributed a 17-syllable Poetry of the Living Dead piece to the Zombie Haiku project.
- The Fantasy and Sci-Fi Lovin’ blog is giving away a copy of Orcs by Stan Nicholls.
- GreenManReview.com takes a look at forthcoming comic fantasy The Accidental Sorcerer by K.E. Mills.
- Philip Palmer asks: is the Keanu Reeves re-make of The Day The Earth Stood Still actually helping to save the Earth from alien invasion?
- Gary Reynolds has posted a chunk of Dark Space by Marianne de Pierres at his Concept SciFi blog and Fantasy Book Critic has a review of the sequel, Chaos Space.
- Jennifer Rardin talks to Reading With a Bite about her Jaz Parks series.
- Brian Ruckley has posted another selection of recommended books that pre-date the Internet.
- Brandon Sanderson re-visits an interview from this time last year to see how things have changed over twelve months of work on the final Wheel of Time instalment.
- Jeff Somers shares a random musing or two on the subject of Battlestar Galactica and romance in sci-fi.
- John Ottinger has posted a review of the first part of Scott Westerfeld‘s Risen Empire over at Grasping for the Wind.
- Australian Dark Fiction blog HorrorScope.com has posted a review of Earth Ascendant by Sean Williams.
See you in 2009!
- - December 19th, 2008
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!)
- - December 19th, 2008
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!
- - December 12th, 2008
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.
- - December 11th, 2008
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).
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!
- - December 10th, 2008
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!
Read the rest of this entry »
- - December 8th, 2008
A 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.
- - December 8th, 2008
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 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.