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The Ugly Truth (part 2)

Just a day or two ago, I posted about how nearly every novel written in the mainstream or genre category features attractive protagonists.  I added that I find this especially galling in fantasy / sci fi because mine is a genre of limitless possibilities. i09.com picked up the post, and a great slew of comments were left.  I love a good debate, but reading through these, I feel it’s time for a clarification. Read the rest of this entry »


PrintNow in bite-sized format: the mass market edition of Best Served Cold by Joe Abercrombie. Now even more bad-ass.

I may have gone over this before, but you may ask, “Why would you change the cover from Hardcover to Paperback?” and my answer usually is “Why not?!” — there’s always more than one way to portray the story in a book, and why not take the opportunity to do something new and maybe even attract a few new readers that you may have missed the first time around. There’s some seriously publishing-geeky conversations over here between Editorial and Art about audience, readers, how people browse in bookstores vs. airports vs. bog box chains, etc. but in my book I will usually always go for reshuffling the elements at least — keeping the art, but playing with the crop, size, order, type on a cover. (That is, unless the Creative Director hasn’t had a lot of sleep that week, or some other art emergency is draining manpower when the cover change comes up for discussion, so don’t go back thru the backlist and nitpick me, ok? Ha.) Read the rest of this entry »

Author post

The Shreveport Smackdown: The True Story

Shreveport Herald Police Blotter
November 11, 2009

Shreveport police are still sorting through statements after urban fantasists Nicole Peeler and Jaye Wells allegedly attacked one another at their mutual signing, according to witnesses and bookstore staff.

As stated by one bystander, Mary Lois White, also of Shreveport, “It was all going along fine, when suddenly Nicole said something about how vampires are ‘played out,’ and Jaye said, ‘I’ll play you out, you seal-lover,’ and then Nicole told Jaye to ‘Bring it!’ and Jaye grabbed her by the hair.”

hair pulling

“It was brutal,” interrupted White’s husband, Douglas. “She struck like an adder. Nicole didn’t have a chance.”
Read the rest of this entry »


Bullington_Sad Tale Bros. Grossbart (TP)I first encountered Hegel and Manfried Grossbart as a child in an old book my parents picked up at a garage sale—Trevor Caleb Walker’s Enter the Nexus, Black Monolith. Not realizing what a rare find this century-old edition was, my parents gave me the glorified chapbook, thinking that Walker’s thrashing, inept verse was intended as limericks for children, a bit like the copy of Wilhelm Busch’s Max and Moritz that I so adored. At that age I did not even realize Walker was intending poetry and thought it was simply a bizarrely written series of short stories about graverobbing brothers being unkind to man, woman, and beast. I certainly did not appreciate the volume’s value, and so it went the way of so many old horror comics and paperbacks—worn out and abandoned after a few summers, and entirely forgotten by the time University beckoned. Read the rest of this entry »

Author post

The Ugly Truth

If you ask me, there are way too many good-looking people in fiction.

I get why attractive people dominate film and television.  That’s no mystery.  People like looking at pretty people.  It’s built into us.  I’m not being judgmental here because, heck, I love looking at pretty people as much as anybody.  I’ve enjoyed sub-standard entertainment far more than I should because of a pretty face.  Anything with Kate Beckinsdale will usually win me over, even if ninjas or dinosaurs aren’t involved.  Strangely, this doesn’t apply to the Underworld films, even though they do have some awesome werewolves in them.  Still, every rule has its exception. Read the rest of this entry »


Holt_Blonde Bombshell (TP)Don’t tell me you haven’t read Tom Holt yet! You love Douglas Adams, read Terry Pratchett, dabble in some A. Lee Martinez, but you haven’t discovered Tom Holt? Well, now is your chance. A huge favorite in the UK, Tom Holt has an impressive backlist of that kind of really funny, smart, and absurdist humor that we all met with the Hitchhiker’s series (way back in what, high school?) and need a pretty steady fix of. I admit I had never been introduced to his books before, but Orbit UK has been publishing him for a long time, and he’s developed quite an underground fan base in the US, who subsist on a diet of imports. This release will be not only the US launch of Tom Holt but also the start of a new cover look for the UK.

Blonde Bombshell is a great jumping-on point if you’ve never read Mr. Holt, and if you’re already a fan, you’ll be excited to hear that it’s Tom’s first book that is more of a humorous science fiction, (rather than humorous fantasy) novel. Here’s a description: Read the rest of this entry »

That Was the Week That Was

As always we’ve got news and much more coming up for you later this week but wanted to pause briefly to let you know what you might have missed, last week. And, if hadn’t time to read any of our posts yet — well, now’s your chance.

Orbit author Jaye Wells (THE RED-HEADED STEPCHILD) made her debut post on the Orbit blog, telling of the thrill-packed nonstop life of an urban fantasy writer. And, weremonkeys.

The World Fantasy Convention! Orbit editors Devi Pillai (an old hand at this sort of thing) and DongWon Song (a newer but now far more experienced hand) wrote of their experiences, and we reported on the greatest con suite party ever, as hosted by the one and only Gail Carriger, author of SOULLESS.

Creative director Lauren Panepinto unveiled the cover for Jo Graham’s STEALING FIRE; Devi Pillai steered you to Nicole Peeler’s just-published (and Selkie-riffic) TEMPEST RISING; and Anna Gregson passed on many of the great things being said about Marianne de Pierres and her Space Opera Supreme, MIRRORSPACE (Orbit UK/Australia).

Author post

Day in the Life

Hello, Orbiteers! For my first post here, I thought I’d share with you a day in my life as an urban fantasy author. Brace yourself. The reality ain’t pretty. Read the rest of this entry »

Marianne de Pierres: ‘Space opera supreme’

That’s how the Sydney Morning Herald has described Marianne De Pierres’ phenomenal Sentients of Orion series. Out this week is the fantastic third instalment of the series, Mirror Space (UK/ AUS), and readers are in for a treat.

We continue to follow Mira Fedor, a young baroness with the ability to pilot sentient spaceships, in her attempt to liberate her home planet Araldis from hostile forces. As the Orion League of Sentient Species seems unable or unwilling to help, she’s forced to enlist the help of ruthless mercenary captain Rast Randall. But Rast’s contacts may have their own, more sinister agenda in mind . . .

With previous books in the series being lauded as:  ‘Brilliant in all sense of the word’ (Sean Williams),  and ‘A beautifully plotted, full-on action ride with gorgeous twists’(Aurealis), we suggest you take the advice that Hub Magazine gave about the series:

‘Readers who hunger for perceptive, intelligent and unflinching literary science fiction should seek this book out as soon as possible’

You can read an extract here.

The Greatest Suite Party Ever: A Series of Vignettes

That would be the suite party at the just-held World Fantasy Convention in San Jose, hosted by the always snazzily dressed Gail Carriger, in honor of her debut novel SOULLESS.

The soiree featured delectable delicacies, luscious libations, oscillating octopi, parasols aplenty, a bevy of neo-Victorian beauties, as well as numerous delightful dandies — and all immortalized in glossy color photos by photographer Britt Hart.

Treacle tart, anyone?

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