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Descent by 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 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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Orbit Links for July 11 2008

Welcome to the latest weekly round up of links of interest featuring Orbit authors; various item that we’ve found online (or have been sent in to us) over the course of the past week:

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…)


SFX Magazine SF and Fantasy Books Special out now

SFX SF & Fantasy Books Special July 2008The latest special issue of the UK’s bestselling SF & Fantasy magazine, SFX takes an in-depth look at SF and Fantasy Books, and is packed full of Orbit (and Atom) author action:

  • – The best bits from 13 years of SFX interviews with Iain M Banks.
  • Tom Holt lauds Isaac Asimov’s Foundation as a “bona fide SF masterpiece”.
  • – Dave Golder talks to Stephenie Meyer about the phenomenal success of her Twilight series and the forthcoming movie adaptation.
  • – Nine Orbit authors (Brian Ruckley, Karen Miller, Philip Palmer, Jo Graham, Sean Williams, Kelley Armstrong, Mike Carey, Charles Stross and Ken MacLeod) reveal their literary inspirations in a ‘Write On…’ feature article.
  • Charles Stross, Jennifer Rardin, Lilith Saintcrow, Jennifer Fallon, Elizabeth Moon, R. Scott Bakker and Jeff Somers each answer ten quick-fire interview questions.
  • – Lots of Orbit-published authors feature in the ‘SFX Top 100 SF & Fantasy Authors of All Time’ poll results: Charles Stross (97), Ken MacLeod (94), Jacqueline Carey (85), J.V. Jones (82), Terry Brooks (61), Jennifer Fallon (58), Jim Butcher (43), Tad Williams (42), Trudi Canavan (40), Orson Scott Card (36), Arthur C. Clarke (18), Robert Jordan (17), David Gemmell (12) and Iain M Banks (7). Well done to all, and thanks to everyone who voted!

On-sale now from all good newsagents (or available to order online from the SFX website) priced £5.99, the ‘zine also comes with a free audiobook sampler that includes extracts from Matter by Iain M Banks and Stephenie Meyer‘s The Host.

Review round-up: ‘Night Shift’ by Lilith Saintcrow

Night Shift by Lilith Saintcrow UK pbIn the past couple of weeks we’ve seen a flurry of reviews of Lilith Saintcrow‘s brand new novel, Night Shift [US | UK], the first in a new series starring kick-ass demon-hunter Jill Kismet.

Writing for the My Favourite Books blog, Liz was particularly impressed with the strength of Lilith’s new protagonist:

“Lilith has again created a vibrant, strong, female heroine who keeps you running behind her in a breathless charge against forces you just know you would never be able to walk away from completely unscathed.”

Graeme, of Graeme’s Fantasy Book Review fame enjoyed Lilith’s moody and atmospheric prose:

“I like what she is setting up; it’s very atmospheric (in a noir kind of way) and dark. Just the right kind of vibe for the story being told. The good news is that Saintcrow makes sure that her scene-setting doesn’t get in the way of telling a fast paced and gritty tale.”

Over at the Midwest Book Review site (not the easiest to navigate, but stick with it) Terrilyn Fleming highlights the noir-cinematic feel of Lilith’s writing:

“Lyrical language and movie-worthy fight scenes are staples in Saintcrow’s novels, and this one is no exception. In Night Shift, Saincrow’s usual beautiful language is complemented with almost Chandleresque noir phrases … Her fight scenes contain blood spatters that hang in the air and a billowing coat that snap out parachute-like when Kismet jumps from roofs. The scenes are so well painted it is like reading a graphic novel.”

And whilst Amanda at bemoans the lack of proper vamps in Jill Kismet’s world, she was still suitably impressed enough to conclude:

Night Shift powers readers through an action packed nightscape of bloody death – usually dispensed by our heroine Jill. In my view Night Shift makes for more engaging reading than the Dante Valentine books but I think that readers will have to make up their own minds. Certainly if you have enjoyed the earlier [series] I can’t see you being disappointed by Night Shift.”

You can sample the first part of the book for yourself by reading an extract from Night Shift here, read Lilith’s intro to the book in our recent In Their Own Words item and can find out much more about the author, her new series and her previous books, over at her official website:

In-depth Marie Brennan interview at Fantasy Book Critic

Marie Brennan - Midnight Never Come (UK)Over at his Fantasy Book Critic blog, Robert has posted the longest and most detailed interview we’ve seen to-date with Marie Brennan, author of Midnight Never Come [UK/US].

Robert and Marie discuss the origins of the story, the differences between Midnight Never Come and some of the other Elizabethan Faerie titles currently being published, here next novel And Ashes Lie (scheduled for publication in 2009), her earlier books (which we’re reissuing in the US this summer), her short fiction writing, her academic background in anthrolopogy and folklore and more.

Great stuff, well worth a read if you’re a fan of Marie’s first Onyx Court book already, or are at all curious about the background to the series.

Notice for Orbit US enewsletter subscribers

If you’re a subscriber to the Orbit US enewsletter, you may have had a bounce-back error when entering our most recent sweepstakes – if that’s the case, just resend your entry to . Sorry for any inconvenience!

The Digital Plague Trailer

Author Jeff Somers put together a great little trailer for his latest novel, THE DIGITAL PLAGUE.

If you’re in New York, make sure to save the date on August 20th to see Jeff at the Fantastic Fiction reading series.

In Their Own Words: Kevin J. Anderson on The Saga of Seven Suns.

Kevin says:

The Ashes of WorldsYeah, I know you’ve been burned before. As a SF/F reader, you tend to look at anything touted as “a new epic series” with a jaded eye. You’ll believe it when the author actually delivers finished books instead of promises.

You’ve gotten hooked before by reading the first volume or two, and then the author goes AWOL, losing interest in the series, or being years late on delivery, or — worse — the purported trilogy turns out to be ten books or more, with no end in sight.

I stand before you humbly offering my “Saga of Seven Suns” — planned as a seven-volume continuous story (“Seven Suns” = 7 volumes, get it?) with a beginning and an actual end, not to mention a lot of high points in between.

Just as a good architect draws a detailed blueprint of a skyscraper complex before breaking ground and erecting the framework, so I outlined the “Saga,” knowing generally where all the features were going to be, but leaving plenty of room for embellishments.

I’ve worked eight years of my life on this series, which I consider to be my love letter to the science fiction genre: galactic empires, alien races, lost civilizations, strange worlds, horrifying monsters, exciting space battles, a vast cast of characters, dozens of tangled plot threads, romance, betrayal, politics, religion, and even some nasty robots.

Each book in the “Saga” came out on time, each year, seven years in a row. As a fan and a reader myself, I know what you expect from your authors — and if you read this series, I hope you think I’ve delivered what I promised.

The (COMPLETE!) Saga of Seven Suns

Book 1: Hidden Empire
Book 2: A Forest of Stars
Book 3: Horizon Storms
Book 4: Scattered Suns
Book 5: Of Fire and Night
Book 6: Metal Swarm
Book 7: The Ashes of Worlds

Orbit Links for July 04 2008

Welcome to our latest round-up of links of interest featuring Orbit authors. We’ve got a bumper selection this week, all new content that we’ve found (or has been sent in to us) over the course of the past week:

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…)

In Their Own Words: Patricia Briggs on ‘Blood Bound’

Patricia says:

Blood Bound by Patricia Briggs UK pbBlood Bound is the second of my series about Mercy Thompson, a coyote-shapeshifter VW mechanic who lives in a world where werewolves and vampires hunt the night. Moon Called, the first book, introduced the werewolves. Blood Bound focuses on the vampires. Mercy owes one of them a favor and it’s time to pay-up – but the cost turns out to be more than either of them expected.

One of the things I most love about urban fantasy is that the monsters can really be monsters. I didn’t want my vampires to be just people with fangs – they had to (forgive the pun) have a bite to them.

Blood Bound – book two of Patricia Briggs’ Mercy Thompson series is out now in paperback in the UK.

You can find our more about Patricia and her writing over at her official website,

‘Midnight Never Come’ competition – the winners

Marie Brennan - Midnight Never Come (UK)Midnight on Monday was the cut-off point for entries to our Midnight Never Come prize quiz competition and Tuesday saw a flurry of activity as the overall winner and runners-up were selected (by means of our polyhedral plastic random number generating system) from amongst the fantastic volume of correct entries we received.

Thank you very much indeed to everyone who took part, and we do hope you enjoyed puzzling out the answers. All the winners were contacted earlier this week, so I’m afraid if you haven’t heard from us by now, then your luck wasn’t in… at least, not this time – do keep your eye out for more Orbit competitions in the future.

The overall winner – who will soon be enjoying a $500 spending spree with their book retailer of choice, as well as receiving a signed copy of Marie Brennan‘s Midnight Never Come – is:

Carmen R from Columbus, Georgia

And the ten runners-up, who will be receiving a signed copy of Midnight Never Come, are (in approximate order of distance from Orbit’s London HQ):

- Ian S from Dunstable, Bedfordshire
- Linda R from Mildenhall, Suffolk
- Susie A from Alsager, Cheshire
- Bill T from Huyton, Merseyside
- Brian S from Beverley, East Yorkshire
- Kathleen G from Haddon Heights, New Jersey
- Charlene C from Hymera, Indiana
- Mary W from Chicago, Illinois
- Kristy G from Orem, Utah
- Dawn L from Redwood City, California

Many congratulations to our overall winner and runners-up, and we do hope you all thoroughly enjoy reading Midnight Never Come!

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