- - August 19th, 2015
Giving a whole new meaning to the phrase “laugh in the face of danger,” K.S. Merbeth’s upcoming debut, BITE, will make you chuckle, it will make you cry — but most importantly, it is going to make you fear our very possible and not so distant future.
To find out a little bit more about the brains behind this epic debut, we’ve asked Merbeth to stop by and answer a few of our burning questions:
Where did the idea for BITE come from?
In post-apocalyptic stories, there are always groups of gun-toting psychos looting and killing their way through life. They’re usually presented as mindless villains, by-products of the craziness of the world, without backstories or motivations or anything that makes them seem human. And yet, they are human. So I started to wonder – who are these people? How’d they end up this way? What are their lives like behind the scenes? And those questions spawned the idea of a story with typical “bad guys,” a crew of raiders, as the protagonists.
How did you create such an unusual cast of characters?
Well, to be honest, I’ve never really been a fan of “normal” characters and standard heroes. Instead, I tend to fall in love with fascinating villains and weird side-characters – so those are the types of characters I end up creating, but in my case they’re the main cast. I started with some basic concepts and traits, but discovered a lot about the characters through writing the first draft. Many of them – especially Kid, my main character – really seemed to develop on their own.
Which character was your favorite to write?
That’s a tough one! Kid, of course, was super fun because of her tendency to magnificently screw things up, and the crew’s leader, Wolf, is full of one-liners that I thoroughly enjoyed writing. However, I think my favorite overall was Dolly. She’s a blue-haired markswoman who kicks some serious ass, and her odd personality creates a lot of awkward, interesting interactions with the other characters.
Who are some of your favorite authors?
Margaret Atwood, Philip K. Dick, Kurt Vonnegut, Haruki Murakami, Neil Gaiman, Brandon Sanderson… there are plenty more, but those are some of my favorites!
What do you like to do in your free time?
Aside from reading, my main hobby is playing video games, which I probably spend way too much time doing. I also enjoy board games, binge-watching a variety of TV shows, cooking (badly), and laughing at horror movies. As for things that actually force me to get out of my pajamas and leave the house, I love to travel! I really like experiencing new places, new food, and new beer.
What are some of your favorite dystopian films or video games?
First of all, the latest Mad Max may be new, but it’s already secured a special place in my heart. Some of my other favorites are The Road, Zombieland, and The Matrix. Games-wise, I’m a big fan of the Left 4 Dead and Fallout series!
BITE will hitting bookshelves next summer. To find out more about the novel, check out the acquisition announcement.
- - August 18th, 2015
And now it’s here! THE PARADOX, the very, very, very much-awaited sequel to Charlie Fletcher’s THE OVERSIGHT is out this week, and . . .
“I’ll certainly be reading the next one” Cory Doctorow, BoingBoing
the critics who loved THE OVERSIGHT . . .
“The start of something amazing” Mike Carey
will clearly . . .
“The second book can’t come soon enough” Booklist (starred review)
be . . .
“If there is a sequel to this then I shall be first in line to read it” Fantasy Book Review
very . . .
“It’s going to be something special” SF Site
happy . . .
“I’d read a prequel this evening, a sequel as soon as.” Niall Alexander, Tor.com
to . . .
“Promises a trilogy worth sinking your teeth into” SciFiNow
hear . . .
“Go on and relish The Oversight without further prompting – then we can all wait eagerly for more!” Locus
If you missed Charlie at the Nine Worlds convention last week, he’ll be at Edinburgh Book Fair on 21st August and Sledge-Lit in Nottingham in November. If you can’t make it to the UK, look out for his upcoming slot on John Scalzi’s The Big Idea, or find out what he’s up to on twitter at @CharlieFletch_r. THE PARADOX is out this week in ebook and print.
- - August 17th, 2015
We’re very proud to present the UK cover for FIRE TOUCHED, the new Mercy Thompson novel by Patricia Briggs.
Waiting for the next Mercy book can be tough for urban fantasy fans, since we’re all on the edge of our seat to find out what happens next in this gripping series . . . But we’re glad to say that that it’s coming in March 2016 and is available for pre-order now.
There’s a real treat in store with this new book . . . see what’s to come below!
Mercy Thompson is back, and she’ll soon discover that when the fae stalk the human world, it’s the children who suffer . . .
Tensions between the fae and humans are coming to a head. And when coyote shapeshifter Mercy and her Alpha werewolf mate, Adam, are called upon to stop a rampaging troll, they find themselves with something that could be used to make the fae back down and forestall out-and-out war: a human child stolen long ago by the fae.
Defying the most powerful werewolf in the country, the humans and the fae, Mercy, Adam and their pack choose to protect the boy no matter what the cost. But who will protect them from a boy who is fire touched?
- - August 13th, 2015
Today we’re excited to unveil the cover for THE LAZARUS WAR: LEGION (UK | US | ANZ).
If you like gripping action and adventure in deep space, along with tales of elite fighters and frightening alien tech (we certainly do!), then this series is for you. We love it with a passion . . .
This great artwork comes from the artist Ioan Dumitrescu. This is the second book in the series following THE LAZARUS WAR: ARTEFACT (UK | US | ANZ), which is already available digitally. It features Conrad Harris, otherwise known as Lazarus. He’s a man who has died a hundred deaths. There are some battles in deep space which no human could survive . . . So Lazarus and his team run suicide missions against a hostile alien race in remotely operated simulant bodies.
This series is from Jamie Sawyer, a great new talent on the SF scene. You can find him on Twitter as @JSawyerAuthor. Check out what some other great science fiction authors have been saying about his series:
‘A gripping read that moves at warp speed’ Jack Campbell, author of the Lost Fleet novels
‘Starships sporting particle beam weapons, railguns the size of skyscrapers, laser batteries, missiles… And then there are the uber-human super-soldiers clad in powered armour and wielding plasma weapons… Is that enough for you?…This, dear readers, is the good stuff. Recommended’ Neal Asher, author of the Agent Cormac novels
‘A highly promising science fiction debut – a fun, gripping adventure story, with a mystery at its core that kept me turning the pages’ Gary Gibson, author of STEALING LIGHT
‘An adrenaline shot of rip-roaring military SF packed with cinematic action sequences and tightly drawn characters’ Stephen Deas, author of ELITE: WANTED, EMPIRES: EXTRACTION
THE LAZARUS WAR: ARTEFACT (UK | US | ANZ), is already available as an ebook, and THE LAZARUS WAR: LEGION (UK | US | ANZ) is available for pre-order now. It releases as a digital-first edition in under a month, on the 1st September 2015.
The complete series will be released in print next year, but now’s a great time to get ahead of the game and snap it up in ebook for a reduced price. You’ll see just why Jamie is such an exciting new talent with big things to come!
Check out the blurb for THE LAZARUS WAR: LEGION below… Read the rest of this entry »
I live at my desk.
It’s the part I like least about being a writer. Most of it is pretty awesome, but spending six to eight hours at a desk every day is no fun. Even in my other career, as a freelance journalist, I spend far more time at my desk than I’d like. Used to be that journalism was about shoe leather and getting out of the office to meet sources; that’s a little tricky when my sources can just as easily be from six time zones away, and when interviews are conducted by Skype. Most walking I do is between desk and kitchen, to get more coffee.
Over the years, I’ve become very used to working by myself. So when Gemma (Orbit’s publicist) suggested we head out on tour in support of TRACER, visiting various bookshops across the UK to meet staff and sign copies, part of me was like, “You mean talk to people? In person? Do I have to wear real clothes, and not just boxer shorts?”
Fortunately, my brain leapt in before I said something stupid, and told her this would be a great idea. So she and I set off from Kings Cross in London on a seriously epic tour, bracketing the book’s UK release date: seven bookshops, six cities, three days.
Read the rest of this entry »
This was the first time I saw TRACER on sale, ready to go. It was our first stop of the tour – Leeds, where we swung by the local Waterstones. It was…weird. Good weird, but still weird. Gemma took this photo while Joe from Waterstones watched me like, “Am I gonna have to call security?”
- - August 6th, 2015
We’re thrilled to present THE RISING (UK | US | ANZ), the stunning new novel in the Alchemy Wars series by Ian Tregillis, coming this December.
It is the gripping tale of Jax, a mechanical man or “clakker”, who has thrown off the bonds of slavery. He is no longer bound to the will of the humans that created him. But now he is on the run – because to be free is to be dangerous . . .
THE RISING is the sequel to THE MECHANICAL (UK | US | ANZ), a novel which was exceptionally well received this year.
Read the reviews below to see just why Ian Tregillis is being lauded as one of the most original new voices in speculative fiction.
‘The first thing readers will say after finishing this splendid book is: “Wow.” The second thing will probably be: “When can I read the next one? . . . This is a rousing SF/fantasy adventure, with a brilliantly imagined and beautifully rendered alternate world’ Booklist
‘One of the sharpest, most intelligent, hugely compelling works I’ve read this year’ Forbidden Planet International
‘The Mechanical is as intricate and exquisite as the clockwork wonders it brings to life’ NPR
‘His characters are as convincing as ever, the plotting is beautifully articulated . . . readers with an interest in dark, intelligent fantasy will find much to admire here’ Kirkus
‘The rich characters and gripping story really make this tale soar’ Publishers Weekly
‘A hugely entertaining novel’ SFX
‘Absolutely fascinating, and unapologetically clever’ Sci-Fi and Fantasy Reviews
‘So absorbing that readers will be dying for the next entry in this new series’ Library Journal
‘This book is truly unlike anything I’ve ever read before . . . I can’t wait to see what the next installment in The Alchemy Wars will bring’ Bibliosanctum
Look out for THE RISING in December 2015 and see the full cover below. Read the rest of this entry »
- - August 3rd, 2015
From HBO scriptwriter Charlie Fletcher comes a wildly original and hugely entertaining new fantasy series for a generation that has grown up with Harry Potter and Neil Gaiman.
Buy it now:
Read An Extract
The latest novel in this compelling urban fantasy series featuring Alex Verus, the Camden-based mage who just can't stay out of trouble despite his ability to see the future. Perfect for fans of Jim Butcher or Ben Aaronovitch.
Buy it now:
Read An Extract
A modern twist to the Prince Charming tale in this third urban fantasy in the Pax Arcana series.
Buy it now:
A brand new fantasy trilogy by Hugo, Nebula & World Fantasy Award nominated author N.K. Jemisin.
Buy it now:
The emperor Glauca interrogates his prisoner—a simple farm boy who just happens to be a skilled thief.
Buy it now:
A brand new thriller with a supernatural twist from New York Times bestselling author Lilith Saintcrow.
Buy it now:
New York Times bestseller Brent Weeks is back with the new novel in his magnificent Lightbringer series, now in trade paperback.
Buy it now:
Read An Extract
- - July 31st, 2015
This week we’ve launched the first Orbit Fantasy Writing Workshop, led by the bestselling author Karen Miller. We really hope you’ve been enjoying taking part.
As the week draws to a close, today we’re posting a final piece of advice from Karen on Making a Good First Impression with your Fantasy Novel. We hope this helps when you’re adding the final touches to your writing piece.
For the chance to get personal feedback from an Orbit editor and bestselling author Karen Miller, submit your writing sample (up to 2,000 words max) below, along with a brief author biography (up to 150 words). All submissions should be in .doc, .docx or PDF format, and should include your name and the title of your submission on every page. Submissions must adhere to the writing challenge set by Karen Miller to be considered.
Submissions will be open until the end of 3rd of August. Don’t forget to read the terms and conditions before entering, and happy writing!
** Submissions are now closed. Thanks to everyone who entered! The winner will be notified by email. **
- - July 30th, 2015
Terry Brooks reflected on the Shannara series as The Sword of Shannara wraps filming, and later, the studio debuted a trailer at San Diego Comic-Con.
Speaking of Comic-Con, there were a lot of Expanse related happenings, which you should absolutely get caught up on.
She Who Brings Gifts, the film adaptation of M. R. Carey’s THE GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS (UK | US | ANZ), has also wrapped.
In more SF TV- and movie-related news, Terminator: Genisys is out and Jamie Sawyer has the low down on what to expect from Arnie’s latest, plus here’s a pretty great list by a pretty great guy of some space-based TV shows you should definitely be watching right now.
Are you a tetrachromat? Maybe the next Prism even? Chances are…likely not and here’s why.
There were a whole host of AMA’s on Reddit this month. Read through the archives below:
Several SF authors will be featured in this year’s Dispatches From The Future presented by Popular Science including our very own Kim Stanley Robinson, Ann Leckie, Will McIntosh, N. K. Jemisin, Seanan McGuire (aka Mira Grant) and James S. A. Corey. Check it out online or in their August issue.
Markus Heitz’s THE DWARVES (US | UK | ANZ) has inspired a video game! Check out the teaser trailer for this upcoming tactical rpg.
NASA’s Kepler spacecraft may have just discovered Earth 2.0, but Kim Stanley Robinson says that interstellar colonization may not be the solution to all our problems. Check out the discussion on Science Friday.
Julius Thomas, Tight End for the Jacksonville Jaguars, has a list of recommended reads up at the Player’s Tribune including the Night Angel Trilogy and Lightbringer series by Brent Weeks.
- - July 30th, 2015
Felicia Sevigny knows your future. The problem is, she can’t make sense of her own.
As a famed tarot card reader, all is well in luck and love for Felicia, until Russian crime leader Alexei Petriv walks into her shop and demands a reading. Neither the infamous Petriv nor the future shown in his cards is what she expects.
The same could be said for this wonderful new novel we’ve acquired for our sister imprint Redhook, THE RULE OF LUCK. A whirlwind thriller romance in a futuristic setting, THE RULE OF LUCK goes above and beyond being a science fiction novel or a romance read – it perfectly melds the two, tugging at your heartstrings while sending you cross planet on high-speed chases alongside a genetically-enhanced (and incredibly handsome…) criminal mastermind.
THE RULE OF LUCK is brought to you by talented debut author, Catherine Cerveny, an avid fan of science fiction and romance who wishes the two genres would cross paths more often.
If you’re a fan of great books that get your heart-rate dialed way up, this non-stop thrill-ride is for you. You can grab an e-copy of THE RULE OF LUCK and its sequel next year, but until then, please join us in welcoming Catherine to the Redhook list. You can find her on Twitter as @catcerveny.