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Orbit Books

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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Six chances to win with

Marie Brennan - Midnight Never Come (UK)The sixth and final question in our Midnight Never Come themed prize quiz went live on Friday, on the Competition Gallery page over at

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?!

[P.S. Don't forget, if you wish to gain entry to Invidiana's court, you'll need to look to the moon...]


Orbit Links for June 20 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:

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…)

Iain M Banks and Ken MacLeod at EIBF 2008

Matter by Iain M BanksThe 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 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 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.]

Why Pamela Freeman hates the olden times…

Blood Ties by Pamela Freeman 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 »

Laurell K Hamilton’s ‘Blood Noir’ storms UK book charts

Blood Noir by Laurell K HamiltonThis 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

Brian Ruckley Facebook comp winner #2

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.

Orbit Links for June 13 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:

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!

MNC poses questions three…

Marie Brennan - Midnight Never Come (UK)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

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..?

Interview from Hell

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.

In Their Own Words: Sean Williams on ‘Saturn Returns’

Sean says:

Saturn Returns by Sean WilliamsI’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, and keep up to date with the latest developments via his LiveJournal page.

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