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The Water Knife by Paolo Bacigalupi

THE WATER KNIFE Paolo Bacigalupi

The electrifying new thriller from multi-award winning author of The Windup Girl


The exhilarating fifth novel in James S. A. Corey’s New York Times bestselling Expanse space opera series.
Read a sample.

The Summoning New Cover Style

This month sees the re-release of The Summoning (UK/ANZ), the first book in Kelley Armstrong’s Darkest Powers series. It’s got a new cover to fall in line with the look we’ve given to its sequel The Awakening (UK/ ANZ), and we think it’s super-stylish. The reviewers have had some great things to say about what’s inside the covers too – here’s what Melissa Marr, author of Wicked Lovely has to say about the book:

Action, danger, supernatural secrets, and a hint of romance – Armstrong’s world is one in which trusting the wrong person can have dire consequences. You’ll be desperate for a sequel.

And DeathRay have been equally complimentary, calling it:

A punchy opening to the series, benefitting from strong characterisation and atmosphere.

The Summoning sees Kelley Armstrong returning to the Otherworld, but this time from a teenage perspective. Read the rest of this entry »

Charles N. Brown, 1937-2009

We’d like to note the passing of and fondly remember Charles N. Brown, founder and longtime editor of Locus magazine, who died July 12. His numerous opinions regarding sf, fantasy, its practitioners, its critics, and its media spinoffs are well recalled, by both those with whom he agreed and with whom he disagreed. It is impossible to overstate his influence on the development of the field during the past forty years.

Charles passed away in his sleep, peacefully, on his way back from Readercon, having just seen many of his friends. Ave atque vale.

Listen to Charles Stross

Following on from last week’s post about the publication of Saturn’s Children and Wireless, I see that the powers that be on the excellent SF podcast magazine, Escape Pod, have offered up their latest podcast and lo! it is none other than Charles Stross‘s ‘Rogue Farm’, which appears in the aforementioned Wireless.

So, point your iTunes, web browser or enslaved artificial intelligence at Escape Pod, and enjoy some free Strosstime: ‘Rogue Farm’, recorded at Balticon 43.

New Series from Daniel Abraham!

I’m delighted to announce that Orbit has acquired World English Language rights in The Dagger and the Coin, a new series from Daniel Abraham. Daniel is, of course, the author of the acclaimed Long Price Quartet, which Orbit will publish in the UK at the end of January 2010, in two omnibus-style volumes.

Changing direction a little, The Dagger and the Coin will be epic fantasy on a grand scale, Very much in the tradition of George R. R. Martin‘s wonderful A Song of Ice and Fire –  fast-paced and filled with war, intrigue, sex, murder, magic, great fortunes lost and won, dark gods, crime, exotic races, fantastic set pieces, dragons, underground resistance movements and strange occult powers.

In Daniel’s own words: ‘In the way that The Long Price Quartet was a semi-tragic meditation on the epic scale of an individual life, The Dagger and the Coin is a love letter to fantasy adventure intended to keep the reader from getting enough sleep..’

‘I’m very conscious of the influences I’m cultivating going into it – Walter Tevis, Alexandre Dumas, Tolkien, J. Michael Strazinski, Joss Whedon, GRRM, Friedrich Reck-Malleczewen, Dorothy Dunnett, Tim Parks – and I’m trying to take the things that I love about each one of them and make a stew out of it. It’s set right at the friction point between the medieval period and the renaissance, so we’ve got knights and kings, but we also have merchant houses and finance. There’s some magic of the understated sort. There’s political intrigue. There’s a girl who was raised as the ward of a Medici-style bank, there’s a high nobleman who’s gotten himself and his family in over his head, there’s an emotionally scarred mercenary captain straight out of Dumas.

‘The point of it all is to make a book that reads to me now the way that the Belgariad did when I was 16. I’m going to be swimming in everything I think is cool for the next year, and I’m really looking forward to it

And for our part, Orbit is hugely excited to be publishing The Dagger and the Coin internationally. The combination of Daniel’s vision and talent and the grand canvas offered by epic fantasy promises to make The Dagger and the Coin something truly special. But don’t just take our word for it. Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist, Junot Diaz says:

‘Daniel Abraham is one of the reasons the fantasy genre continues to haunt my dreams. Abraham is fiercely talented, disturbingly human, breathtakingly original and even on his bad days kicks all sorts of literary ass. Welcome to the world of the andats, of the haunted extraordinary poets, a world where men enslave ideas, where these slaves scheme to avenge themselves, where every bad deed spawns more, a world where after the treachery, the conspiracies, the journeys, all that’s ever left in the end are the consequences. Welcome to Daniel Abraham. If you are meeting him for the first time I envy you: you are in for a remarkable journey.’

A remarkable journey, indeed. Welcome aboard!

Charles Stross: Double Star

July sees the publication of not one, but two, new Charles Stross books – the paperback of Saturn’s Children and the hardback of Wireless.

Saturn’s Children is Charlie’s homage to the late Robert Heinlein, as the eagle-eyed among you will have spotted from this post’s title. It also gives Charlie a sixth consecutive Hugo shortlisting for Best Novel, which is a remarkable achievement – even the great Robert Silverberg only managed four.  Audaciously told without a single human character, it is nonetheless replete with humanity as well as Charlie’s trademark dark humour, clever plotting and 100-mile-an-hour ideas.

Wireless, is a new collection of short fiction, including Locus Award-winning novella ‘Missile Gap’, Bob Howard story ‘Down on the Farm’ (read an extract here), ‘Unwirer’, a collaboration with fellow Prometheus Award-winner Cory Doctorow and the hitherto unpublished novella ‘Palimpsest’. Running the full gamut of Charlie’s incredible imagination, which, as everyone knows, goes up to eleven, Wireless is a snapshot of a writer at the height of his powers and a wonderful introduction to an essential voice in modern science fiction.

As multi-award-winning editor and anthologist Gardner Dozois says ‘Where Charles Stross goes today, the rests of science fiction will follow tomorrow.’

The Most Awesomely Bad SFF Cover in the World II: The Worsening

The title suggestions keep rolling in, and you’ve come up with some beauties! but we’re still asking for your help coming up with the most ridiculously bad high-concept SFF cover in the universe.

So again: we look for titles that cause the reader to not merely gape in astonishment upon reading the words, but to feel suddenly thrust into a hallucinatory dream neither imagined nor desired. Or, close.

Orbit readers! Keep putting those vivid imaginations of yours to work. As we know, there are extremely high bars to meet in this particular competition and we know we won’t be disappointed.

Winter in Australia…an ideal time for writing & reading fantasy

We are delighted to announce that we have signed with Trent Jamieson for a series of three loosely linked, edgy urban fantasy novels, set in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. The books in his Death Works series will be released concurrently by Orbit in Australia, the UK and the US, starting with ‘Death Most Definite’ in August 2010. Sam Bowring’s first novel in his Broken Well Trilogy, ‘Prophecy’s Ruin’, will be in the ANZ bookshops in October and he is about to deliver the second manuscript this week. Look out for the striking cover on ‘Prophecy’s Ruin’. Pamela Freeman concludes the Castings Trilogy in September with the release of ‘Full Circle’, and Joel Shepherd is now writing the last book in his Trial of Blood and Steel quartet. That’s what we’re up to this winter.

The Most Awesomely Bad SFF Cover in the World

Here at Orbit we’re very proud that our books tend to be smart, sophisticated — dare we say, awesome? (yes, we dare) — but there’s still a part of all of us that loves the look and feel of a truly, epically bad SFF book cover. And since we don’t get a chance to publish books that fit that profile we thought we’d call on our readers to help us create one — or at least create the jacket for one.

Over the next few weeks we’ll be asking for your help coming up with the most ridiculously bad high-concept SFF book cover in the universe – think Wyvern II: The Wyverning, or Martian Under the Doormat. (We know you can do better) Once we’ve settled on the titles we’ll work out the reading line, the blurbs, and cover elements. And then, with your help, our fearless Orbit US Creative Director Lauren is going to design a cover for it that will present it in all its mad glory.

Think you can help? Leave your suggestions for titles below (*)

(*) As much as we appreciate good satire, the point of this exercise isn’t to riff on the titles of an older work, or to haze existing covers — we want to come up with new vistas of badness, so original titles only please.

The zombies aren’t coming… they’re already here.

I’m very pleased to announce that we have acquired a new science fiction trilogy from new author Seanan McGuire writing as Mira Grant. The first book in the series, called FEED, tells the story of a small group of journalists living in an America infested with zombies. Twenty years after The Rising, Georgia and Shaun Mason are invited to cover a rising political star in the race for the White House and find themselves on the trail of the biggest story of their lives. This is a delightful, action-packed read that presents a fully-realized dystopia—a future America ruled by fear where the people don’t leave their houses and the truth is harder to find than ever before.

Mira Grant is an amazing new talent and we are delighted to be publishing her. We’ve barely announced and already the buzz is rolling: Look for this in stores in the US and the UK in Summer 2010.

Did we mention it’s bloody?

Praise for Brian Ruckley’s Fall of Thanes continues to snowball (*) around the web.
Over at the Hotlist, Pat calls it :

Dark, bloody, depressing, uncompromising, with a poignant ending that should satisfy most fans and characters that stay true to themselves till the very end, Fall of Thanes is an impressive conclusion to what is definitely one of the best fantasy series of the new millennium.

At Grasping for the Wind, John writes:

“The story has a great sense of oppression about it, and readers will wonder if all will finally end well for the characters we have come to appreciate.”

And The Mad Hatter’s Book Reviews says:

Fall of Thanes is one of the bloodiest books I have read in the last few years save The First Law trilogy although the Godless series may have a higher body count.”

UPDATE: Simon over at BookGeeks gives it a great review as well:

Fall of Thanes was for me a strong conclusion to a very enjoyable trilogy, a sequence of books that embodies everything I enjoy about traditional epic fantasy, and I look forward to seeing what Brian Ruckley does next.”

Uncompromising. Bloody. Cold. Now that’s what we’d call a perfect beach read!

(*) This being The Godless World, that snowball is probably gritty and specked with blood and bits of mail.

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