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Descent by Ken MacLeod

DESCENT Ken MacLeod

Author of 2013 Arthur C. Clarke Award-nominated Intrusion tells a science fiction story for the twenty-first century – what happens when conspiracy theorists meet Big Brother?
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THE LASCAR’S DAGGERGlenda Larke

The start of a brand new epic fantasy trilogy from the author of the Stormlord series – full of scheming, spying, action and adventure.
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Charles Stross interviewed for Agony Column podcast

SaturnCharles Stross features in the latest podcast from Rick Kleffel’s Agony Column, which is a recording of a Geekspeak interview that was broadcast on KUSP radio on Monday.

Rick and Charlie, along with Lyle Troxell and Sean Cleveland, talk about a wide range of topics, including Isaac Asimov and Robert Heinlein; two of the major literary influences on Charlie’s recently-released novel Saturn’s Children.

They then go on to discuss the building blocks of the milieu that Charlie explores in Saturn’s Children: artificial intelligence, a robotics-based and dehumanised future extension of human civilisation, interplanetary travel, space exploration (and the necessity for robotics therein), memory backups and personality duplication, the class-structure of robotic society in the book, the ethics of programming an artificial intelligence and a whole range of other great sf-nal subjects.

You can visit Rick Kleffel’s Trashotron site to read the intro to the podcast, and then download the MP3 file from a link in the text.

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Stephenie Meyer’s BREAKING DAWN – Launch Day events

Stephenie MeyerBreaking Dawn, the fourth title in Stephenie Meyer‘s global mega-selling Twilight Saga series, will be published in the UK on Monday August 4th.

To celebrate the launch of the eagerly-awaited conclusion to the story of Bella and Edward, dozens of boosktores right across the UK – including Borders Oxford Street branch and Waterstone’s Manchester Arndale – will be holding special publication-day events, with competitions, prizes, giveaways and more.

Visit the official Stephenie Meyer UK website for a full listing of all the events that are due to take place, and check to see which bookstores near you will be opening early on the big day.

Andrzej Sapkowski: Fantasist, Cat Fancier.

Andrzej Sapkowski
Over at Of Blog of the Fallen, Larry has translated this June 2008 Fantasymundo interview with Andrzej Sapkowski. There are some marvelous insights from the author, including this digression on cats:

“For me the cats are an obsession. … I believe that they are supernatural creatures, with an identity and personality of their own … . It is very good to have one in the house, because then no demon will cross the shadows, because this [the cat] is in the shadows, waiting and vigilant.”

You can read the interview in Spanish here, or read Larry’s translation here and here.

What I Learned at Comicon

All in all, we had a great time at the show. Lilith Saintcrow rocked the Eye on the Present panel, which should be online eventually. We had a limited giveaway of Orcs galleys which were snatched up by fans in minutes. Kevin J. Anderson chatted with us about The Ashes of Worlds (vid to come) And our friends at Yen Press threw a great rooftop party complete with fireworks.

Orbit authors taking part in Conflux 5 Virtual Minicon

Canberra’s fifth annual Conflux convention takes place later this year, over the weekend of Friday October 3rd – Monday October 6th, at The Marque, Canberra, Australia.

Ahead of the main event, Conflux is staging a Virtual Minicon this coming weekend, August 2nd – August 3rd.

Participation is easy: simply sign up for the Conflux Forums and then log in at the appropriate time, depending on the author(s) you’d like to chat to via the forums and bearing in mind the relevant time-difference between your own timezone and Canberra’s (GMT +10) of course.

A number of Orbit authors are taking part in the online activities over the course of the weekend, with time-slots as follows (again, these are Canberra-time…)

Saturday August 2
12.00 p.m. – Glenda Larke
7.00 p.m. – Karen Miller

Sunday August 3
11.00 a.m. – Sean Williams
12.00 p.m. – Kevin J Anderson
5.00 p.m. – Marianne de Pierres

Visit the Virtual Minicon page of the Conflux website for more information.

Orbit Links for July 25 2008

Welcome to our regular Friday links round-up. Plenty to get through this week, so without further ado:

As always, if you see any online articles, reviews or interviews that feature an Orbit author, please feel free to drop us a line and let us know! We’ll happily name-check your website or blog with a heads-up credit in return (please remember to provide us with a link…)

Marie Brennan talks to Amazon.com’s Omnivoracious

Jeff VanderMeer put six questions to Marie Brennan, author of Midnight Never Come [UK/US], for a piece on the Amazon.com blog, Omnivoracious.

Marie answers questions on her academic background in archaeology and folklore and how that helps her writing to develop and maintain a sense of perspective and separation from twenty-first century modes of thought and belief, as well as explaining her fascination for exploring the under-city of London. She even comes up with a survival plan for being stranded beneath the city with no hope of rescue.

Check out the piece at www.omnivoracious.com.

Orbit’s 300th Post! And our Top 30 items to-date…

According to our content-management system (and we have no reason to believe that it would lie to us) this is the 300th post to go out on the Orbit website since we launched it back in March last year.

To celebrate, we thought we’d take the opportunity to consult with our traffic analytics software and run off a list of our Top 30 content items to-date. Looks like you folks really like your extracts! Well, we hear you, and we’ll make sure we keep them coming.

We’d also love to hear which articles you, our readers, have particularly enjoyed. Any hidden gems or more recent pieces that didn’t quite make the Top 30, for instance? Please feel free to use the comments below to let us know what sort of content you’d like to see more of (or less of – we can take it!) on the site.

And now, without further ado, here are those Top 30 items since March 2007:

  1. Read an extract from Matter by Iain M Banks
  2. Read an extract from Winterbirth by Brian Ruckley
  3. Read an extract from Once Bitten, Twice Shy by Jennifer Rardin
  4. Read an extract from Saturn’s Children by Charles Stross
  5. Priestess of the Write: An Interview with Trudi Canavan
  6. Read an extract from The Electric Church by Jeff Somers
  7. Read an extract from The Last Wish by Andrzej Sapkowski
  8. The Wheel of Time Continues to Turn
  9. Announcement of Robert Jordan‘s passing
  10. Read an extract from Black Ships by Jo Graham
  11. Read an extract from Debatable Space by Philip Palmer
  12. Read an extract from Empress by Karen Miller
  13. Read an extract from The Innocent Mage by Karen Miller
  14. Orbit announces plans to expand in the US and UK
  15. Mike Carey on camera
  16. Introducing The Last Wish
  17. Tom Holt Talks Time Travel
  18. The Escapement arrives
  19. Read an extract from The Devil’s Right Hand by Lilith Saintcrow
  20. Introducing Matter
  21. Urban Fantasy come true
  22. Orbit acquires Red-Headed Stepchild by Jaye Wells
  23. Just another day at the office… IN HELL!
  24. Standing Out or Fitting In? Tim Holman on Orbit cover art
  25. The bestselling debut of 2007 – The Innocent Mage by Karen Miller
  26. Devi Pillai reports from World Fantasy 2007
  27. Orbit in Australia
  28. Fiona MacIntosh‘s video-intro for Odalisque
  29. Orbit acquires two more books in Jim Butcher‘s Dresden Files series
  30. Best Summer SF Reads in The Times

New-look StephenieMeyer.co.uk website goes live

We’ve just re-launched the UK website of mega-bestselling author Stephenie Meyer, whose Twilight saga is published in the UK by Orbit’s sister-imprint, Atom.

It looks a lot like this:

StephenieMeyer.co.uk Screenshot

The fourth book of the saga, Breaking Dawn, will be published in the UK on August 4th and there are launch-day events taking place right across the UK – see this news item on the site for details of events taking place at bookstores in your area.

Second Iain [M] Banks Q&A session – questions wanted!

Iain [M] Banks enjoyed providing answers for his first email Q&A session so much that he’s asked us to set up another one right away.

And so, without further ado, we hereby call for all you Banks-fans and readers to send in your questions for Iain. Visit the official Iain Banks website for more information, general guidelines etc.

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Please note that though we make every effort to ensure the suitability of links, Orbit cannot be held responsible for the content of external sites.