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AGE OF IRON by Angus Watson

AGE OF IRON Angus Watson

Bloodthirsty druids and battle-hardened Iron Age warriors collide in the first volume of this action-packed historical fantasy trilogy.
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The third explosive novel in the New York Times bestselling Lightbringer series!
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Deals and Deliveries: Jo Graham acquisition

We’re excited to announce the acquisition of Stealing Fire by Jo Graham, a novel about the theft of the body of Alexander the Great and the founding of a new era for Egypt.


Review round-up: Ken MacLeod’s THE NIGHT SESSIONS

The Night Sessions UK HardbackKen MacLeod is surely one of the most intriguing, astute and perceptive of the current crop of British science fiction writers and so it’s no surprise to see his latest novel, The Night Sessions being covered by a number of review venues.

In print: Eric Brown, writing for The Guardian calls it “a stunning indictment of fundamentalism of all kinds”. A review in SciFi Now said: “MacLeod spins a yarn that moves at a fast pace, and which doesn’t disappoint; exciting and intriguing, it keeps a consistent level of interest throughout its passage.”

BBC Focus called it: “A twisting conspiracy tale shot through with MacLeod’s gloriously mordant sense for the absurd.” And Lisa Tuttle, writing for The Times gives the book a brief mention in one of her regular science fiction review columns.

And online: Daniel Coysh, writing for the Morning Star Online, takes a close look at the book from a left-wing political perspective, concluding: “Once more, MacLeod delivers the goods in style and cements his position not only as one of science fiction’s most intelligent and politically conscious authors but also as a great writer who transcends the genre.”

Bloggers Gav at and Doug at A Convenient Truth were both equally enthusiastic. Gav was suitably impressed by Ken’s pace and plotting, whilst Doug enjoyed the sense of thematic relevance and grim foreboding that Ken conjures up: “Nobody can read this book without a sense of foreboding, as so much of it feels painfully possible.”

You can get a feel for the opening of the novel by reading an extract from The Night Sessions here on the Orbit website. And do let us know if you’ve written a review, or spotted a new one online, by leaving a comment below…

Orbit Links for September 19th 2008

Arrrrrr me hearties! Cap’n Orbit here, markin’ International Talk Like a Pirate Day wi’ another fine haul o’ Orbit Author Links, plundered from the briny depths of T’Interwebs! Arrrrrr!

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…)

Arrrrrr! ;)

Robert Buettner talks to, ORPHANAGE reviewed

We recently released all three books (to-date) in Robert Buettner‘s Jason Wander series in the UK (having first re-published them with new cover art in the US this April) and it’s lead to a definite resurgence of interest in the series.

Orphanage - UK editionOrphan's Destiny - UK editionOrphan's Journey - UK edition

Over at UK-based blog / webzine Concept SciFi, blogger Gary Reynolds has posted a detailed email interview with Robert, which covers a range of topics including the author’s inspiration for the series, his writing processes (“Compared to most writers, who are planners, I’m a duct tape improviser. I begin with an idea of where my story will end, and some idea of who will live it and how. But I don’t know exactly what has to happen next.”) and his current projects and plans for the future.

Meanwhile, over at Grasping For The Wind, John Ottinger has reviewed the first Jason Wander book, Orphanage [US / UK]. John explains that the book is a (freely-acknowledged by the author – see the interview, above) homage to Heinlein’s Starship Troopers and Haldeman’s The Forever War, but points out that Buettner also brings “post-9/11 sensibilities” to the classic ‘young man goes to war’ storyline. He also points out that whilst this isn’t a hard-sf novel, it’s a gripping and engaging one, summing it up by saying:

“Some suspension of disbelief will be required for those who like their science fiction to be based wholly in reality. But if you can let that go, you will end up with a deeply emotional and adventure filled novel of particularly high quality.”

We recently asked Robert to introduce the Jason Wander series in his own words, and this is what he told us.

The first three books in the series are currently available, as follows:

  • Orphanage [US / UK]
  • Orphan’s Destiny [US / UK]
  • Orphan’s Journey [US / UK]

Book four in the series, Orphan’s Alliance is scheduled for publication by Orbit US in late October 2008 and Orbit UK in January 2009. Book five in the series, Orphan’s Triumph is currently being finished.

Iain M Banks Q&A III – Call for Questions

The one and only Iain M. Banks will be taking part in a third Q&A session via his official website in a couple of weeks’ time, and so a new call for questions has gone out.

If you have a burning question you’d like to put to the man himself – it can be something specific to one of his books, or a more general query about his writing habits, interests or influences – then here’s how.

The deadline for this round is Friday, October 3rd, so you’ll need to get your thinking caps on quick. And don’t forget to check out Email Q&A I and Email Q&A II to see what’s already been asked and answered. Follow-up questions are welcome, as long as they’re interesting

Shannara, Star Wars and All That

The Gypsy Morph by Terry Brooks, UK hardbackYou say ‘to-MAY-to’ and I say ‘to-MAH-to’,
You say ‘shu-NAR-a’ and I say ‘SHAN-uh-ra’,
‘shu-NAR-a’ . . . ‘SHAN-uh-ra’,
‘shu-NAR-a’ . . . ‘SHAN-uh-ra’,
Let’s call the whole thing Geekspeak. . .

Behold! The Gods of Geek have seen fit to bestow upon me a brand new, super-shiny iPhone, and – lo! – I have become addicted to podcasts.

Hmm. So what does the above mock-portentous gibberish have to do with the ill-conceived George and Ira Gershwin pastiche that opened this blog post? I’m glad you asked! This morning on the train in to work, I passed the time standing up, plotting horrible deaths for the train company executives who can’t organise enough seats for paying customers listening to Terry Brooks discussing his career on Rick Kleffel’s excellent Agony Column podcast.

This particular episode is a ‘cast of Geekspeak, Santa Cruz public radio station KUSP’s live weekly show. Terry talks about how he got started as a writer, his Shannara series (the latest volume, The Gypsy Morph, is available now), Star Wars, writing the Episode One tie-in and a whole lot more.

Check it out

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Philip Palmer talks DEBATABLE SPACE with

Debatable Space pbOver at his ConceptSciFi blog and ezine, Gary Reynolds has been talking to novelist, screen- and radio-writer Philip Palmer, author of the gloriously head-mashing space opera Debatable Space [UK | US] about a whole range of subjects, including (of course) the book itself, as well as Philip’s approach to writing, his techniques and processes and his experiences with writing and publishing.

Philip had the following to say on the subject of his love of science fiction:

“Science fiction is a genre that deals with exciting ideas. It’s about speculation and dreaming and imagining; and once you add real vibrant characters to that mix, it’s unbeatable.”

And in an update on his current projects, he drops a few hints about his next Orbit novel:

“I’ve just started a second draft of Red Claw, my latest Orbit novel, which is a high concept action thriller – think Predator on an alien planet and you pretty much have it. I wanted to do something exciting and visceral and also brainy … I also wanted to write a science fiction book in which the ‘science’ isn’t quantum physics or astrophysics, it’s biology. This is a book which brims with aliens of every sort, not just alien monsters – alien grasses, alien bugs, alien soil, alien plankton, alien everything.”

You can read the whole interview over at and find out everything you ever wanted to know (and a whole lot more) about Philip Palmer over at his blog/website

Orbit Links for September 12th 2008

Welcome to our regular Friday lunchtime Orbit links round-up. Shake the rain from your coat, pull up a chair, put your feet up by the fire and enjoy a hot cuppa while we tell you what some our our authors have been up to online in the past week or so…

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…)

In Their Own Words: K.J. Parker on THE ENGINEER TRILOGY and THE COMPANY


The Company by KJ Paker, UK TPbMost everything I write starts with a physical object, a thing I hold in my hand. Colours In The Steel began nearly forty years ago with a pitchfork. It was very old, handmade by some backwoods blacksmith, and I used it to help my father carry the hay from the orchard out back of the house. As I walked along with it on my shoulder, I saw my shadow and imagined it was a soldier; and once I’d called that soldier into existence, I felt under an obligation to him to provide him with a story. Thirty-odd years later, in a foul mood, I started writing it down. The rest, as they say, is bibliography.

The Engineer trilogy started with a Bridgeport universal milling machine, a seventy-year-old miracle of engineering with which a competent machinist could make anything from an earring-back to a battleship. Its owner, who was teaching me to use it, spoke a strange language, where the words seemed familiar but had new and radically different meanings.

To him, ‘tolerance’ wasn’t an abstract. You could stick a definite article in front of it, or make it plural. A tolerance to him was the degree to which you were allowed to deviate from an unattainable ideal, and it was quantified in ten-thousandths of an inch. One ten-thousandth this side of the line was OK; the other side, and the thing you’ve been working on for two days straight turns into scrap and goes in the trash. It’s not often you get three complete books handed to you on a plate like that. All I had to do was go away and shuffle the words around.

The Company started with the flying jacket my father brought back from the War. It spoke for itself. I just hope I was paying attention.

The Escapement, part three of K.J. Parker‘s Engineer trilogy, has just been published by Orbit in the UK in paperback and is also available in large paperback from Orbit in the US. Together with the first two parts of the series – Devices and Desires [UK | US] and Evil for Evil [UK | US], it tells the story of Ziiani Vaatzes, Engineer, and a whole lot more…

K.J.’s new novel, The Company tells the story of a group of war veterans trying to come to terms with peacetime (although of course, as with any of K.J.’s books, you can never assume that there’s just the one level of meaning in play). The Company will be published early next month by Orbit in both the UK and US.

In Their Own Words: Jacqueline Carey on KUSHIEL’S JUSTICE

Jacqueline says:

Kushie's Justice by Jacqueline Carey, UK paperbackWriting Kushiel’s Justice was like time-travelling. Not because it’s set in an alternate historical world, but because I got to relive the experience of being young and falling in love for the first time. Of course, I was a young man named Imriel de la Courcel this time around, which was a big difference. And the object of my affections was the Dauphine of Terre d’Ange, who ran the risk of being disinherited if our affair was discovered. Other than that, it was a lot like I remembered it: torrid, obsessive, maddening and glorious.

Well, except for the part where politics and dire magic wielded by shape-changing magicians come between the lovers, and Imriel is forced to set out on an impossible quest in a faraway land to avenge a horrible betrayal. There’s that difference, too. Still, I had a tremendous time revisiting the first flush of love in all its hectic, heartbreaking, hungry glory. I hope you enjoy the ride!

Kushiel’s Justice – the sequel to Kushiel’s Scion – is the second part of Jacqueline Carey‘s Treason’s Heir series and tells the story of Imriel de Courcel, a young man who is third in line to the throne and a troubled scion of a dangerous bloodline.

You can find our more about the author at her official website,, which is regularly updated with the latest news and events information and also offers extracts from her latest books, including one from Kushiel’s Justice.

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