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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 18 2008

Welcome to this week’s round-up of links of interest featuring Orbit authors that we’ve found (or have been sent in to us) over the course of the past seven days or so:

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…)


Robert Buettner stars in AISFP Podcast #47

Orphanage UK editionFormer military intelligence officer turned military-sf writer Robert Buettner is the subject of the 47th Adventures in SciFi Publishing podcast.

The first three volumes in Robert’s Jason Wander series are out now from Orbit US and will all be published by Orbit UK in August:

  • #1 – Orphanage [US / UK]
  • #2 – Orphan’s Destiny [US / UK]
  • #3 – Orphan’s Journey [US / UK]

I’ve just finished Orphanage myself and I thought it was a cracking, high-octane read that will definitely appeal to fans of Allan Cole & Chris Bunch’s Sten series, but don’t just take my word for it: check out these two recent reviews of Orphan’s Journey at bookreviewsandmore and sffworld.

Terry Brooks interviewed for

The Elves of Cintra by Terry Brooks UK pbOver at one of the bestselling fantasy authors of the past 30 years, Terry Brooks, has been interviewed by top UK fan-journo, Sandy Auden.

Sandy talks to Terry about the genesis of the Genesis of Shannara series – Armageddon’s Children and The Elves of Cintra – and how he planned the books to act as a bridge between his Word and the Void series and the long-running and hugely popular Shannara epic.

Terry goes into quite a bit of intriguing detail (warning: a few potential spoilers!) that fans of the series will love, and reveals the key importance of one particular character, who will become the focus of Genesis of Shannara volume three, The Gypsy Morph, which we’re publishing in the UK in September.

Check it out at

The Big Idea: Marie Brennan

Marie Brennan pops in over at Whatever, John Scalzi’s blog, to talk about her novel, Midnight Never Come, and the Big Idea behind it:

What would faeries be doing while English history is trundling along? Of course, that automatically implies something: that the fae aren’t static, timeless creatures. They have a history, too, and it reflects, contrasts with, or otherwise interestingly comments on what humans are doing.

Fittingly, then, the first thing I came up with was Invidiana: Elizabeth’s dark mirror. Being a faerie, she’s all about immortal beauty; Elizabeth tried desperately to create an unchanging image of herself as the beautiful Virgin Queen, even as she aged and her teeth went bad and smallpox left its scars. Elizabeth never married; Invidiana is the most loveless creature you can imagine. And both of them, of course, are reigning queens of England. I originally just implied a metaphysical link between them, but in the book it’s explicit: when Elizabeth was imprisoned in the Tower during Mary’s reign, she made a secret deal with Invidiana, that they would help each other out.

Read the full piece here and pick up Midnight Never Come at all good booksellers today!

Freya and Harry star in ‘Interview with the Succubus’

Okay, okay… so there was this retired succubus and this model-47 femmebot… no, wait, that’s not how it goes. Alright, I’ve got it: a retired succubus and a trenchcoat-wearing wizard walk into a Chicago bar and… no, that’s not right, either.

But seriously, folks, Freya Nakamichi, star of the new Charles Stross novel Saturn’s Children, and the one and only Harry Dresden, loved the world over by fans of Jim Butcher‘s Dresden Files series, are the subjects of the latest couple of author Jackie Kessler’s Cat and Muse interviews.

In this ongoing series, fictional character Jezebel the former demon interviews fellow fictional characters about their lives, loves, longings and, in Freya’s case, fashion nightmares. Jezebel also chatted to Lune, of Marie Brennan‘s Midnight Never Come fame, not so long ago. Check them all out, well worth a tea-break read!

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.

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