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.
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!
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 »
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.
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.
Beyond the Shadows finishes the Night Angel Trilogy with a bang. There are revelations in this book that are going to send readers back to the beginning of the trilogy to read it all over again. Kylar comes into the fullness not just of his power, but of his identity, his purpose.
It’s a story of sacrifice and redemption, of the good and evil in each of us, of people who love each other so much they’ll give everything, of friends who will stand and be counted. It’s a story of looming catastrophe, and always – always – hard choices. There’s armies and war and magic and political brinkmanship. The stakes couldn’t be higher. It’s a story of friends who have to choose between loyalty and duty.
I’d love to be more specific, but when one’s strength is surprises, it behoves one not to drop spoilers…
Book one in the Night Angel Trilogy, The Way of Shadows, and book two, Shadow’s Edge are also available now. Check out our first chapter extract from the very beginning of the series and see what Brent had to say about The Way of Shadows and Shadow’s Edge in his previous In Their Own Words pieces for us.
Following an office re-shuffle here at Orbit Towers we’ve unearthed a batch of books that were put aside for a special occasion. December 25th or thereabouts is always pretty special for a variety of reasons, so we thought that we’d take the opportunity to spread a little joy with a seasonal Goodie-Bags Giveaway…
What’s in the bags? What’s in the bags?
A whole heap of good stuff! The number of Goodie-Bags will vary, as will their contents, but they could include some (although not necessarily all) of the following:
- - Proof (ARC) copies of Matter by Iain M. Banks (and possibly a signed hardback or two)
- - Proof (ARC) copies of Halting State by Charles Stross
- - Hardback copies of The Execution Channel by Ken MacLeod
…and all sorts of other assorted loot as well.
What do I have to do? What do I have to do?
The sweepstake is open to everyone who is a member of the Orbit UK e-bulletin list as of 5.00 p.m. (UK time) on Monday December 15th. If you’re already a member of the Orbit UK ebulletin list then you don’t have to do a thing; you’ll automatically be entered into the draw, as long as you don’t unsubscribe from the list before the sweepstake closing date.
On the other hand, if you’re not already receiving our regular eBulletins, then you’ll need to visit the ebulletin sign-up page and subscribe to the Orbit UK list to be in with a chance of winning a Goodie-Bag (and do feel free to subscribe to our US and Australian lists at the same time!)
When will I get my Goodie-Bag? Eh? Eh?
Well, if you’re one of the lucky winners, we’ll do our best to get your Goodie-Bag sent out in time for delivery before December 25th, but depending on where you live, your books might arrive a little later…
Standard competition rules apply, Orbit’s decision as to the number and contents of the Goodie-Bags will be final, and no correspondence will be entered into, etc.
The Orbit UK Schedule page has been updated with details of the great new Orbit titles we’ll be bringing you in February 2009. The following Orbit books will be available from all good bookstores – high street and online alike – as of February 5th:
- The Magician’s Apprentice by Trudi Canavan – This brand new, stand-alone novel (perfect for readers new to the series as well as established fans) is a prequel to the Black Magician Trilogy, set hundreds of years before the action in The Black Magician.
- Matter by Iain M Banks – The paperback edition of the latest Culture novel, from the UK’s number-one bestselling science fiction author.
- Men of the Otherworld by Kelley Armstrong – A collection of four novellas set in the ‘Otherworld’ milieu, which tell the story of Clay Danvers, a very powerful – and very singular – werewolf.
- Bone Crossed by Patricia Briggs – In the fourth book in the urban fantasy series about VW mechanic and shape-shifter Mercedes Thompson, our heroine prepares to defend her pack against the hostile queen of the local vampire seethe.
- Small Favour by Jim Butcher – The latest book in the best-selling Dresden Files series sees our hero Harry land in trouble again, as the Queen of the Winter Court calls in the first of two ‘small’ favours…
Linus Torvalds (Linux anyone?) weighs in on Brent Weeks’ Night Angel Trilogy:
“Happy Thanksgiving / Black Friday shop-til-you-drop-fest!” to our US readers. “Chin-up, it’s nearly the weekend!” to our UK readers. “Smile, it’s the weekend already!” to our Australian readers. And to everyone else: hello, and welcome, whatever your timezone, to our regular round-up of Orbit Author links: