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The Midnight Mayor is here!

Kate Griffin’s A Madness of Angels wowed us all last year with its imagination, magic, and inventiveness.

We got exclusive CCTV footage of Matthew Swift himself in London back in 2009– check it out on the youtubes!

Now, Matthew Swift is back in this stunning sequel– say hello to The Midnight Mayor.

It’s said that if the ravens ever leave the Tower of London, then the Tower will crumble and the kingdom will fall.   Resurrected sorcerer Matthew Swift is about to discover that this isn’t so far from the truth. . .

One by one, the protective magical wards that guard the city are falling: the London Wall defiled with cryptic graffiti, the ravens found dead at the Tower, the London Stone destroyed. This is not good news.  This array of supernatural defenses – a mix of international tourist attractions and forgotten urban legends – formed a formidable magical shield, one that could protect London from the greatest threat it hasever known.  But what could be so dangerous as to threaten an entire city?

Against his better judgment, Matthew Swift is about to find out. And if he’s lucky, he might just live long enough to do something about it . . .

Kelley Armstrong tour dates confirmed

Event dates are confirmed for Kelley Armstrong’s UK visit:

Tuesday 23rd March – Forbidden Planet, London

Wednesday 24th March – Waterstone’s Deansgate, Manchester

Friday 26th March – World Horror Con, Brighton

As a special treat, paperback copies of the beautifully re-jacketed Frostbitten will be exclusively available to buy two months in advance at the bookshop signings!

Oath of Fealty

Elizabeth Moon’s writing has enriched the genre for many years and in her latest book, Oath of Fealty, her magic is clearly alive and well. I’ve read many of her books, and amongst them I’ve particularly enjoyed her Vatta’s War military SF adventures, as did the Guardian). And I still recommend the extraordinary and thought-provoking Speed of Dark  to anyone who thinks SF isn’t for them (Nebular Award winner, critially lauded plus shortlisted for the Arthur C. Clarke award: think Flowers for Algernon or The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time).

But with Oath of Fealty we also have something very special. A return to the world of the classic Paksenarrion books, as Elizabeth writes fantasy for the first time in ten years. And so no one misses out on the earlier books, we’ve also reissued the original backlist trilogy in super-giant omnibus form as The Deed of Paksenarrion. Elizabeth recently posted for us on how she found out what subgenres suited her (and which didn’t!) but she is rare in her ability to easily swing from SF to fantasy and back again.

Please see here for a bit of background on how Elizabeth made her way back to fantasy, with an extract from Oath of Fealty. And here’s what others have thought of this return so far, with some early praise for Oath of Fealty, book 1 of Paladin’s Legacy:

‘What sheer delight! Oath of Fealty is an engrossing new adventure returning old friends to us in the first of three more books in the Paksenarrion universe. It’s quite simply a smashing story, and I am panting to read the next instalment from this consummate storyteller. Hurry up, Elizabeth!’ Anne McCaffrey

‘I found the book hard to put down because of Elizabeth Moon’s ability to make the story flow’

‘A must-read … thoroughly entertaining’
Romantic Times (4 1/2* Top Pick)

‘A stirring start to a new story arc … I can’t wait for more episodes’

Cover Launch: THE NEON COURT

I know I maybe say a lot of Orbit books are “favorites” of mine, and considering I was a geek way before I was a cover designer, I think I can be forgiven for this. I’m really lucky, as I have to read books for work that I would have read anyway, so I’m understandably a little overenthusiastic. And luckily, I’m a fast reader. It’s a point of pride with me that I read almost every manuscript before I start designing – the only time I don’t is when for scheduling reasons the full manuscript isn’t available by the time I have to start work. (In that case I resort to mercilessly pumping the editor for as much info as I can get.) A pet peeve of mine as a fan is to have a cover misrepresent a book, and I work really hard to make sure that doesn’t happen on any Orbit books. So, all that said, I read a TON of books. And I have a lot of favorites in Orbit authors. And then above those Orbit favorites, there’s Orbit books I would have preordered, waited on line, had to buy on opening day, if I didn’t work here.

The Matthew Swift series by Kate Griffin is absolutely that series. And this is not just a cover post, it is a love letter. Read the rest of this entry »

Author post

Two Trick Pony

One of the worst things that happens to writers (or actors, painters, composers) is getting stuck in a rut…to feel like, or be seen as, a one-trick pony.  One trick is never enough–not for the audience, and not for the writer.  More tricks are more fun. Read the rest of this entry »

One of the most captivating new voices in fantasy…

Not only is N. K. Jemisin‘s The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms one of the most beautiful books I’ve seen for a while, it’s had some of the most stunning reviews too:

‘Jemisin’s first novel has a wistful, lyrical tone, and the intrigue – both romantic and political – is skilfully handled. Book one in the Inheritance Trilogy is sensitive, restrained high fantasy.’ – The Guardian, Eric Brown

‘…a story that manages to be both fantastically grand and very personal. Definitely recommended.’ – Waterstone’s Books Quarterly

‘More than the sum of its parts… Jemisin is well worth keeping an eye on.’ – SFX, Guy Haley [also included in the SFX books of 2010 round-up]

‘Extremely well-written, imaginative, emotionally gripping, and featuring a compelling narrator, The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms is an almost perfect debut… and could end up being one of the best fantasy releases of the year.’ – Fantasy Book Critic, Robert Thompson

‘Convoluted without being dense, Jemisin’s engaging debut grabs readers right from the start… a complex, edge-of-your-seat story with plenty of funny, scary, and bittersweet twists.’ – Publishers Weekly

‘Debut author Jemisin creates a mesmerizingly exotic world where fallen gods serve as slaves to the ruling class and murder and ambition go hand in hand… an engaging heroine and a fresh take on traditional dynastic fantasy make this trilogy opener a delight for the fantasy reader and introduce a strong new voice to the genre.’ – Library Journal

Read the rest of this entry »

Author post

Excuse Me While I Drool.

Oh, I am a very happy camper. Would you like to know why? Shall I tell you? Indeed I shall. This is why: my amazing, fantabulous wonderful designers at Orbit have sent me the cover art for The Rebel Prince: Book Three of the Moorehawke Trilogy. So, I now have all three covers to smile over and stroke fondly, and call my very own.

I must say I. LOVE. THESE. COVERS. I love everything about them. I love Steve Stone’s wonderful art work – in particular that fact that he didn’t just pick a generic fantasy boy and girl for the first and last covers but actually made them look like Wynter and Alberon ( Not having read The Rebel Prince, he even went to the trouble of contacting me to ask what Alberon looked like!) Steve’s artwork rocks. Go! Now! Run to his website and check out all the great covers he’s done. Read the rest of this entry »

Glenda Larke’s The Last Stormlord out now!

Glenda Larke is a major talent in epic fantasy and her latest novel– THE LAST STORMLORD is out now in the US and UK!

She has been getting some incredible advance praise in her native Australia:

“…a bold, inventively original world…a sweeping saga that unmistakeably marks her as one of Australia’s best speculative fiction writers.”

Nexus, Issue 259, Dec 2009

“What a tale! Can’t wait for the next instalment. This is a GREAT book.”

―AurealisXpress, Aug 2009

Read the rest of this entry »

“Blameless”, or “How To Design A Cover in 1:55 seconds”

As you guys know, your friendly neighborhood Creative Director has been slaving away at the Fall 2010/Winter 2011 Orbit covers (yes, we work that far in advance) and now that the covers are (mostly) done I’ve started to launch them on the blog for your viewing pleasure, and general online critique. Well, I have a special treat above for devoted Orbit fans, cover design aficionados, and especially admirers of Ms. Alexia Tarabotti, heroine of Soulless. Timed to celebrate this month’s release of Changeless, Alexia Tarabotti’s second adventure, I have a special Making of the Cover Video for the next book, due out in September 2010, Blameless.
Read the rest of this entry »


Following Celine Kiernan’s post below on translation into the German language, it seems appropriate to make a quick mention about one of our own titles in translation released this month: The War of the Dwarves (UK/ US/ ANZ), from international bestseller Markus Heitz.

Translated from the original German by the very talented Sally-Ann Spencer, this is the eagerly anticipated sequel to The Dwarves (UK/ US/ ANZ), described by SFRevu as: ‘The kind of solid fantasy that the market thrives upon’, and by The Bookbag as ‘A fabulous addition to the fantasy genre’. Read an extract here!

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