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TOWER LORD by Anthony Ryan

TOWER LORD Anthony Ryan

Following on from 2013′s bestselling epic fantasy debut is the second novel in the Raven’s Shadow series – a powerful epic fantasy from an exciting new British talent.
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VALORJohn Gwynne

War has erupted in the Banished Lands as the race for power intensifies. Sides are chosen and oaths will be fulfilled or broken in a land where hell has broken loose.
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Ugly is the new Awesome

The Orbit US edition of Orcs is out next week, but the verdict is in on the cover model: UGLY. Which is, of course, exactly what we were going for when we hired the orc on the cover (we interviewed hundreds of orcs before settling on Walter, who had the perfect combination of pathos, anger and ugly.)

Orcs

Walter’s visage has proven too ugly even for some of the genre’s most prominent critics. Jeff VanderMeer (who, let’s be honest, must have seen an awful lot of ugly covers in his years as an SFF critic) eventually decided he had to pretty up the orc.

Jeff writes:

“Just look at what a few randomly applied stars, flowers, smiley-faces, and the like can do to make a cover more humane! In fact, maybe Orbit should even run a “Beautify Your Orcs” contest. I bet readers would get a kick out of that.”

Pretty?

So inspired by Jeff’s suggestion, we’re asking you to beautify Walter. Here’s a link to a jpg image of the cover – Photoshop it, print it out and draw on it, scribble on it in MS Paint – then post the result to your blog or send us a copy of the image. To sweeten the deal we’ll send a copy of Orcs to the first five people to email their image to orbit@hbgusa.com .

Where did Walter come from, you ask? Our orc was sculpted by Nimba Creations, an FX firm that has created effects for films including King Kong, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, and Nightmare on Elm St.

Every wrinkle, scar, and pore on Walter was done by hand. And there are a lot of lovely details that you don’t see on the final cover – Walter’s slightly beseeching eyes and gloriously awful teeth. You can practically smell his breath just looking at him.

Ugly?
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Orbit Links for September 5th 2008

Here’s another selection of links to items of interest featuring Orbit authors that we’ve found online during 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…)

Read an extract from HALTING STATE by Charles Stross

Halting State by Charles Stross, UK paperbackThis month we’re publishing the mass-market (regular sized) paperback of Charles Stross‘s near-future novel of crime and computer gaming, Halting State.

A whole bunch of reviewers rather enjoyed it when it first came out last year in the US and we think BoingBoing’s Cory Doctorow summed it up pretty darn well in his review:

“Charlie Stross’s latest novel Halting State starts out as a hilarious post-cyberpunk police procedural, turns into a gripping post-cyberpunk technothriller, and escalates into a Big Ideas book about the future of economics, virtual worlds, the nation state and policing, while managing to crack a string of geeky in-jokes, play off a heaping helping of gripping action scenes, and telling a pretty good love story.”

But don’t just take Cory’s word for it (or ours)… you can sample the opening section of the story for yourself, courtesy of this extract from Halting State that we’ve posted elsewhere on the site.

And please feel free to leave your own mini-review of the book (or a link to your review elsewhere) in the comments, below, if you’ve already discovered the joy of Halting State for yourself and want to shout it to the world. We’d love to hear your thoughts.

Orbit UK schedule update: November 2008

We’ve just updated the Orbit UK Schedule page with six great new titles that we’ll be bringing to UK readers in November 2008:

Living With the Dead by Kelley Armstrong, UK paperbackA Sword From Red Ice by J.V. Jones, UK paperbackChaos Space by Marianne de Pierres, UK paperback
Earth Ascendant by Sean Williams, UK paperbackShadow's Edge by Brent Weeks, UK paperbackThe Curse on the Chosen by Ian Irvine, UK paperback
  • Living With the Dead by Kelley Armstrong – her brand new Otherworld novel.
  • A Sword From Red Ice by J.V. Jones – book three of the Sword of Shadows saga.
  • Chaos Space by Marianne de Pierres – the second part of Marianne’s Sentients of Orion space opera saga.
  • Earth Ascendant by Sean Williams – part two of Sean’s galaxy-spanning Astropolis series.
  • Shadow’s Edge by Brent Weeks – the second part of Brent’s debut fantasy series about a reformed assassin seeking to escape his violent past.
  • The Curse on the Chosen by Ian Irvine – the second instalment of the epic fantasy saga The Song of the Tears.

Click the titles to read the trailer text over at the schedule page, and start firing up those retailer wish-lists!

Orbit Links for August 29 2008

Welcome to our latest round-up of links to items of interest featuring Orbit authors. 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…)

Second Iain [M] Banks Q&A now online

Over at the official Iain [M] Banks website, we’ve just posted the second Iain Banks email Q&A session, in which Iain answers selected questions from his fans and readers.

This time around you can discover Iain’s predictions for the next big UK literary stars, his view of the Minds’ attitude toward the rest of the Culture, a question as to would he / wouldn’t he write an episode of Doctor Who, whether he thinks there will ever be a Culture-based MMORPG, and more…

Head on over to www.iain-banks.net to read the full piece.

Karen Miller UK Signings

EmpressJust a reminder that Karen Miller will be in the UK signing at:

Waterstone’s Bracknell at 1pm tomorrow

and

Waterstone’s Basingstoke at 6pm tomorrow.

Hope to see you there!

Orbit Authors talk visuals with the BookGeeks

The Glas Valley, from Brian Ruckley's 'Godless World'; sagaTwo Orbit Authors – Brian Ruckley and Jeff Somers – recently took part in the first BookGeeks SF and Fantasy Writers’ Panel.

The round-robin discussion, which also includes contributions from authors Alastair Reynolds and Jaine Fenn, is on the subject of the marriage of prose and visuals. Specifically: maps (is their inclusion in sf / fantasy books a good thing / bad thing?), cover art (should an on-cover portrayal of a book’s characters or vehicles be encouraged / avoided?) and visualised representations of the authors’ work (what would they like to see, what would work best – games, comcis, movies?)

The piece is presented in round-robin format, with each authors’ responses to the three questions then commented upon by the other three authors, which works quite nicely to build up a the discussion between the participants. It all makes for some very interesting reading. Do check it out and do leave your own comments; pieces like this always work best with plenty of feedback.

Orbit Links for August 22 2008

It’s Friday lunchtime, which can mean only one thing (well, around here, anyhow): it’s time for our weekly round-up post of links to items of interest featuring Orbit authors:

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…)

Free Serial Novel From Lilith Saintcrow!

Selene Screen ShotLilith Saintcrow – author of the Dante Valentine Series and the new Jill Kismet Series – has just launched a free serial novel: Selene. Set in the world of the Dante Valentine series, Selene expands on the Saint City adventures of Selene and Nikolai. New chapters will be posted every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. You can read the serial here or subscribe to follow it on your rss reader here. Enjoy!

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