- - September 12th, 2008
Over at his ConceptSciFi blog and ezine, Gary Reynolds has been talking to novelist, screen- and radio-writer Philip Palmer, author of the gloriously head-mashing space opera Debatable Space [UK | US] about a whole range of subjects, including (of course) the book itself, as well as Philip’s approach to writing, his techniques and processes and his experiences with writing and publishing.
Philip had the following to say on the subject of his love of science fiction:
“Science fiction is a genre that deals with exciting ideas. It’s about speculation and dreaming and imagining; and once you add real vibrant characters to that mix, it’s unbeatable.”
And in an update on his current projects, he drops a few hints about his next Orbit novel:
“I’ve just started a second draft of Red Claw, my latest Orbit novel, which is a high concept action thriller – think Predator on an alien planet and you pretty much have it. I wanted to do something exciting and visceral and also brainy … I also wanted to write a science fiction book in which the ‘science’ isn’t quantum physics or astrophysics, it’s biology. This is a book which brims with aliens of every sort, not just alien monsters – alien grasses, alien bugs, alien soil, alien plankton, alien everything.”
You can read the whole interview over at www.conceptscifi.com and find out everything you ever wanted to know (and a whole lot more) about Philip Palmer over at his blog/website www.philippalmer.net.
- - September 12th, 2008
Welcome to our regular Friday lunchtime Orbit links round-up. Shake the rain from your coat, pull up a chair, put your feet up by the fire and enjoy a hot cuppa while we tell you what some our our authors have been up to online in the past week or so…
- Dazed Digital has posted a quick interview with Iain [M] Banks, which was conducted at this year’s Edinburgh Book Festival.
- Paul Cornell gives a brief progress report on his BBC radio adaptation of Iain [M] Banks‘ short story ‘The State of the Art’ during a recent interview on IO9.com.
- As more of Robert Jordan‘s vast collection of antique and replica weaponry goes up for sale on eBay, armourer Greg Kitchens has posted a few photographs to help whet potential bidders’ appetites.
- Karen Miller is now signed-up to write Star Wars Clone Wars novels nos #2, #4 and #5.
- K.J. Parker‘s forthcoming novel The Company gets the SFFWorld.com review treatment, courtsey of Mark Yon.
- Fantasy & Sci-Fi Lovin’ Book Reviews takes a look at The Way of Shadows and concludes: “even after almost 700 pages, I can’t wait to get my hands on the next book.”
- Matt Staggs reviews Orcs, by Stan Nicholls: “an action-packed tale reminiscent of Glenn Cook’s “Black Company”
- Marianne de Pierres has posted a link to some preliminary character sketches from the forthcoming Parrish Plessis Animation Project.
- Marianne de Pierres has also taken part in a podcast discussion on the subject of believable characterisation.
- Blogger Jeff C of Fantasy Book News and Reviews talks to Brian Ruckley about the art of crafting battle scenes.
- Brandon Sanderson, who is currently completing the final part of Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series, posts about a forthcoming RPG based on his Mistborn series.
- The latest SFSignal.com Mind Meld article addresses the subject of readers’ and writers’ (or their characters’) opposing viewpoints, and Charles Stross is one of the respondents.
- Meanwhile, Charles Stross was distinctly unamused by recent hysteria over the switch on of the CERN Large Hadron Collider. (Anyone who is still worried about possible Hadronageddon can check hasthelargehadroncolliderdestroyedtheworldyet.com for an update on the situation…)
- Star Wars Imperial Commando: Order 66 by Karen Traviss has been reviewed over at Graeme’s Fantasy Book Review.
- Sean Williams celebrates his NYT Bestseller status.
- Grasping For the Wind reviews Orphanage by Robert Buettner.
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…)
- - September 12th, 2008
Most everything I write starts with a physical object, a thing I hold in my hand. Colours In The Steel began nearly forty years ago with a pitchfork. It was very old, handmade by some backwoods blacksmith, and I used it to help my father carry the hay from the orchard out back of the house. As I walked along with it on my shoulder, I saw my shadow and imagined it was a soldier; and once I’d called that soldier into existence, I felt under an obligation to him to provide him with a story. Thirty-odd years later, in a foul mood, I started writing it down. The rest, as they say, is bibliography.
The Engineer trilogy started with a Bridgeport universal milling machine, a seventy-year-old miracle of engineering with which a competent machinist could make anything from an earring-back to a battleship. Its owner, who was teaching me to use it, spoke a strange language, where the words seemed familiar but had new and radically different meanings.
To him, ‘tolerance’ wasn’t an abstract. You could stick a definite article in front of it, or make it plural. A tolerance to him was the degree to which you were allowed to deviate from an unattainable ideal, and it was quantified in ten-thousandths of an inch. One ten-thousandth this side of the line was OK; the other side, and the thing you’ve been working on for two days straight turns into scrap and goes in the trash. It’s not often you get three complete books handed to you on a plate like that. All I had to do was go away and shuffle the words around.
The Company started with the flying jacket my father brought back from the War. It spoke for itself. I just hope I was paying attention.
The Escapement, part three of K.J. Parker‘s Engineer trilogy, has just been published by Orbit in the UK in paperback and is also available in large paperback from Orbit in the US. Together with the first two parts of the series – Devices and Desires [UK | US] and Evil for Evil [UK | US], it tells the story of Ziiani Vaatzes, Engineer, and a whole lot more…
K.J.’s new novel, The Company tells the story of a group of war veterans trying to come to terms with peacetime (although of course, as with any of K.J.’s books, you can never assume that there’s just the one level of meaning in play). The Company will be published early next month by Orbit in both the UK and US.
- September 11th, 2008
Writing Kushiel’s Justice was like time-travelling. Not because it’s set in an alternate historical world, but because I got to relive the experience of being young and falling in love for the first time. Of course, I was a young man named Imriel de la Courcel this time around, which was a big difference. And the object of my affections was the Dauphine of Terre d’Ange, who ran the risk of being disinherited if our affair was discovered. Other than that, it was a lot like I remembered it: torrid, obsessive, maddening and glorious.
Well, except for the part where politics and dire magic wielded by shape-changing magicians come between the lovers, and Imriel is forced to set out on an impossible quest in a faraway land to avenge a horrible betrayal. There’s that difference, too. Still, I had a tremendous time revisiting the first flush of love in all its hectic, heartbreaking, hungry glory. I hope you enjoy the ride!
Kushiel’s Justice – the sequel to Kushiel’s Scion – is the second part of Jacqueline Carey‘s Treason’s Heir series and tells the story of Imriel de Courcel, a young man who is third in line to the throne and a troubled scion of a dangerous bloodline.
You can find our more about the author at her official website, www.jacquelinecarey.com, which is regularly updated with the latest news and events information and also offers extracts from her latest books, including one from Kushiel’s Justice.
- - September 10th, 2008
As the new guy here at Orbit US, I am very pleased to announce my first acquisition: Robert Bennett’s fantastic debut, Mr Shivers. It’s a genre-bending thriller set during Great Depression, following a man searching for his daughter’s killer in a lawless West ruled by railmen and filled with the desperate poor searching for a better life. Chock-full of hobos and murder and blood, this is a truly excellent first novel that reminds all of us here at Orbit of an early Stephen King as much as the finest sort of revenge western. (Fall/Winter 09/10)
I’m very excited about this project for a lot of reasons, not least maybe they’ll let me stop mopping the floors around here and bringing Devi her margaritas to “earn my keep.”
- - September 10th, 2008
Its been a busy few months at Orbit US and I should mention some titles that were delivered recently. Hm…It’s very interesting how they all come in together. Now perhaps I can slack and get my cabana boy to bring me my margaritas. . .
First, MONSTER by A. Lee Martinez has delivered. An exciting story about Monster, who specializes in pest control, for — you guessed it — monsters!! (May 2009)
Avery Cates is back in THE ETERNAL PRISON, with more bullets, action, and more government factions than what is currently in the political horizon ;) (August 2009)
THE HUNDRED THOUSAND KINGDOMS, by N.K. Jemisin is lushly imaginative world where a young woman becomes an heir and must contest for the throne of The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, where gods, family and murder all go hand in hand. (Fall/Winter 2009)
SOULLESS by Gail Carriger introduces Alexia Tarabotti, a preternatural who gets involved with the politics of Victorian London when she “accidently” kills a vampire. (Fall/Winter 2009)
We also have in Karin Lowachee’s GAS LIGHT DOGS. Very different from her previous military science fiction novels, this is a Victorian era steampunk novel in the style of Philip Pullman taking us from the Arctic North to steeped rooftops of civilization and the savages to the east. (Fall/Winter 2009)
- - September 9th, 2008
Walter Jon Williams (author of the forthcoming This is Not a Game) has a post on his blog about his role writing the “science fiction parts” of the dialogue for Spore – the long anticipated and much-hyped new game from Will Wright.
“When you encounter some fifteen-eyed, twenty-tentacled Purple People Eater lecturing you from the command center of its UFO, you’re talking to me, baby!”
Check it out!
- - September 9th, 2008
Hunter’s Prayer was actually the first-written of the Jill Kismet series. It came about because I was just finished with the Dante Valentine books and I needed a character who wasn’t so ‘broken’. I actually thought nobody would ever want to publish it because of some of the themes – abuse, prostitution, human sacrifice, and the like – so I let myself go and just went to the darkest corners, the places where I usually hold back when I’m writing something with a specific goal in mind. It was a shock to find that my editor wanted it, and wanted it yesterday!
With both my editor and agent so certain I went ahead and sold the book – and I’ve been endlessly glad I did. There’s nothing like stretching out of your comfort level to really challenge a writer.
Hunter’s Prayer – the second of Lilith Saintcrow‘s Jill Kismet novels – is out now in paperback in both the US and UK.
Lilith writes a regularly-updated blog on her website at www.lilithsaintcrow.com, which includes frequent items of advice for aspiring writers. You can also read the free Saint City serial novel, Selene at www.lilithsaintcrow.com/selene.
- - September 8th, 2008
Orbit is excited to announce that we’ve bought three more Jaz Parks novels starting with Bite Marks in October 2009.
For those of you who can’t get enough– or just can’t wait that long –don’t forget that Bitten to Death is just out and we’ll have One More Bite in January 09.
And take the facebook quiz to find out what kind of urban fantasy star you really are!
- - September 8th, 2008
We’ve just had an eagerly-awaited delivery in the form of The Destiny of the Dead, the final volume in Ian Irvine’s fabulous Song of the Tears trilogy, set within Ian’s wider Three Worlds sequence.
This really is a major occasion, as it marks the end of an eleven-book cycle and a huge amount of hard work by the author. At around 2.3 million words this is an epic feat indeed. And you never know, there might be room for a few more Three Worlds books one day, if we’re lucky. But for now, that’s it from Santhenar. Except to say that Ian has topped a million Three Worlds books in print worldwide: hurrah!
All three series can be read alone, but reading more books in the wider cycle adds a real sense of historical depth, and a picture of three worlds at war down the ages.
Here are just some of the great things that have been said about the series:
“A worldbuilding labour of love with some truly original touches”
Locus Magazine on A Shadow on the Glass
“Irvine has brought both a lively intelligence and a keen moral sense to the heroics and spell-play of the modern fantasy novel”
Roz Kaveney on The Way Between the Worlds
“A page-turner of the highest order … Irvine can now consider himself comfortably ranked next to the works of Robert Jordan and David Eddings. Formidable”
SFX Magazine on Geomancer
“Epic, non-stop action adventure”
Starburst on The Curse on the Chosen
“Hang on with both hands, because this story waits for no one”
SFX on The Curse on the Chosen
And please read on for book blurbs and more info …
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