- - June 23rd, 2008
The sixth and final question in our Midnight Never Come themed prize quiz went live on Friday, on the Competition Gallery page over at www.midnightnevercome.com.
Correctly unravelling all six cryptic clues will grant you six entries to our email sweepstake. The competition will remain open for entries until midnight (GMT) on June 30, after which the over-all winner and runners-up will be drawn at random from the correct entries received.
So, you still have a week to puzzle out the answers and make sure you’re in the running for the £250 / $500 book voucher first prize..! What are you waiting for? www.midnightnevercome.com!
[P.S. Don't forget, if you wish to gain entry to Invidiana's court, you'll need to look to the moon...]
- - June 20th, 2008
Welcome to our weekly round-up of links of interest featuring Orbit authors that we’ve spotted elsewhere on the WWW (or have been pointed out to us) in the past seven days:
- Over at Graeme’s Fantasy Book Review, blogger Graeme Flory has a number of good things to say about a trio of recent Orbit titles: Kelley Armstrong‘s The Summoning, Patricia Briggs‘ Blood Bound and Lilith Saintcrow‘s Night Shift.
- Independent publisher Circlet Press recommends the works of Iain M Banks if you like your science fiction hot and steamy…
- Marie Brennan, writing at SFNovelists.com, explains how the cut and thrust of dynamic, real-time storytelling during fantasy roleplaying sessions helps to make her a better writer. And a new interview with Marie has been posted at the LiveJournal Community Fangs, Fur and Fey.
- Philip Palmer has nothing but good things to say about the Iron Man movie.
- Parrish Plessis and Sentients of Orion author Marianne de Pierres has been interviewed by Lynne Jamneck over at Suite101.com: check out part I and part II of the piece.
- Fantasy author Brian Ruckley assaulted by Arctic Tern! Audio footage available!
- In Lilith Saintcrow‘s latest writing-advice column she explains why the term ‘hack writer’ isn’t necessarily as derogatory as you might assume.
- Charles Stross will be interviewed in Second Life tomorrow lunchtime (SLT) and will be announcing details of a mini-tour of the US South-West in the near future, taking in both DragonCon in San Diego and Worldcon in Denver.
- Sean Williams has posted his essay ‘A Discordant Melody’ – on the subject of his ongoing love-affair with the gothic – which will also be available as an extra in the UK paperback edition of his next Orbit title, Earth Ascendant. And check out his recent Astropolis Update blog post for some interview action, review links and more.
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…)
- - June 20th, 2008
The Edinburgh International Book Festival recently published its 2008 events schedule, which includes appearances by Orbit authors Iain M. Banks and Ken MacLeod.
Iain will be appearing on Wednesday August 13th, from 8.00 to 9.00 p.m. in a session billed as ‘The Biggart Bailey Event’, to talk about his latest novel, Matter [UK / US]. Tickets are £9 (£7 conc.) and are on-sale as of this morning; if you head on over to tickets.edbookfest.co.uk and run a search for ‘Iain Banks’ the details should pop right up*.
Ken will be taking part in a couple of EIBF events this year: at 2.30 p.m. on Sunday 17th August he’ll be appearing at Pepper’s Theatre in a ‘Fine Fiction’ talk about his latest Orbit title, The Execution Channel [UK]. Tickets for this event are £9 (£7 conc.) as well. And at 5.30 p.m. he’ll be part of the line-up for the ‘Amnesty International Imprisoned Writers Series’ event, the tickets for which are free and available from the festival box office on the day of the event.
*The EIBF schedule website is a bit sticky at the moment, with tickets having gone on sale today, but there’s a pdf copy of the full schedule at www.edbookfest.co.uk if you’d like more information on the events and are having trouble connecting.
[Thanks to DaveH of Iain Banks fanzine 'The Banksoniain' for the heads-up.]
- - June 18th, 2008
When Pamela Freeman was in the UK recently, we had a fascinating conversation about technology in fantasy (I felt quite awed at her knowledge!). And Pamela promised to write down some of her thoughts on the subject for our blog. So, in honour of Blood Ties (UK/US), her debut fantasy out this month, here it is:
Do you ever get the feeling that most epic fantasy is set in the same time? Olden times – vaguely pre-industrial, vaguely medieval, vaguely Dark Ages … often a bit of each. One example I read recently – a society which had tailored jackets but no socks!
So often, fantasy authors stick technologies from widely different times together as though every culture prior to the invention of the steam engine was the same. The point of history is that things change – and this includes technology.
Technology! I hear you exclaim. They didn’t have technology then!
But they did. It didn’t use electricity, but it was technology nonetheless.
Read the rest of this entry »
- - June 17th, 2008
This week’s official stats are in and we’re delighted to announce that Blood Noir [UK], the latest instalment in Laurell K. Hamilton‘s legendary Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter series, has just spent its third week at the top of the UK Hardback SF/Fantasy best-seller charts, according to figures produced by Nielsen Bookdata.
Hearty congratulations to Laurell on topping the UK SF&F charts yet again and proving that, when it comes to urban fantasy, Anita Blake – the original kick-ass heroine – is still number one!
For more information on Blood Noir, visit the catalogue page of the Little, Brown website. For more on Laurell K Hamilton, visit her official homepage at www.laurellkhamilton.org.
- - June 16th, 2008
The dice-of-randomness have spoken again and we’ve drawn weekly winner #2 in our Brian Ruckley Facebook competition. This week’s lucky winner is – Jan Ove B from Norway – who will be receiving a signed, personalised copy of Brian’s brand new novel, Bloodheir [UK/US] in the near future.
There are now just two more chances to win during June, folks. To be in with a shout, you’ll need to sign up as a Fan of Brian’s Winterbirth Facebook Page in time for the remaining draws at lunchtime on June 20 and 27.
- - June 13th, 2008
Here’s another quick round-up of links of interest featuring Orbit authors that we’ve spotted (or have been pointed in the direction of) online this week:
- Fantasy Book Critic interviews Jacqueline Carey (we’ll be publishing our first book from her this August).
- Russell Kirkpatrick dispels a glamour-myth or two in a blog piece entitled ‘What’s it Like to be a Writer?’
- Elizabeth de Jager, guest-posting at The Book Swede’s blog, was very impressed by Stephenie Meyer‘s new novel, The Host.
- Karen Miller will be attending Denvention, this year’s Worldcon, and will be appearing on no fewer than three panels, to boot.
- Philip Palmer ponders the future of batteries and concludes that he’s “essentially an optimist about the possibilities of scientific progress”, even if the universe he describes in Debatable Space is far from utopian…
- Brian Ruckley has been musing the possibilities of product placement in fantasy fiction (I do believe he might be serious… we’d best alert his editor).
- More how-to writing advice from Lilith Saintcrow; this week it’s a selection of ‘Quick and Dirty Ways to Write Better’.
- Jeff Somers spotted a copy of The Digital Plague on the Hachette USA stand at BEA this week (Hachette Book Group is Orbit’s parent company in the US).
- Charles Stross debunks the Singularity, or at least, some of the myths that have grown up around the concept as widely portrayed in science fiction.
- Scott Westerfeld has posted a clip from his recent TV news appearance.
- Sean Williams is delighted to announce that he’s had a novella accepted for inclusion in a Jonathan Strahan-edited anthology entitled Godlike Machines.
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!
- - June 13th, 2008
The third of six cryptic clues linked to the world of Marie Brennan‘s Midnight Never Come [UK/US] has been revealed today, over at the Competition Gallery page of www.midnightnevercome.com.
Remember, correctly answering all three questions gives you a triple chance of winning the first prize of £250 / $500 of vouchers from your favourite book retailer. And with another three conundrums to come next week, that will give you a half-dozen chances to win… tell me, what could you possibly be waiting for?
Oh, and have you made your way to Invidiana’s court yet? You haven’t? Well then, perhaps you should look to the night sky..?
- - June 11th, 2008
Over at Jackie Kessler’s blog the faerie Lune from Midnight Never Come answered questions from Jezebel, a former demon. It’s surprisingly civil, all things considered. Check it out here.
- - June 11th, 2008
I’ve always conceived Astropolis as three fairly different books. Saturn Returns is a complicated psychological piece (with lots of explosions) in which Imre Bergamasc puts his mind back together and decides that he’s going to do the same thing for the galaxy. Earth Ascendant is what he tries to do with the pieces. How does one go about managing an empire that large? At what cost success? (The third book is, naturally, a car-chase.)
The time-scales in Astropolis are huge. Every now and again I’d stop myself and think, “Did really send those guys on a journey that will last fifty thousand years?” It seems so wrong, and yet so right. In order to realistically manage a galactic civilisation, with no ftl technology at all, people will have to think this way.
And they’d better have a good knowledge of Edgar Allen Poe too, if Imre’s version of the future is anything to go by.
Saturn Returns, book one of the Astropolis sequence, is out now in the UK.
You can find our more about Sean’s writing over at his official website, www.seanwilliams.com and keep up to date with the latest developments via his LiveJournal page.