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Odalisque Video

Odalisque book coverThis month, Orbit UK is publishing Odalisque, the start of a new series by Fiona McIntosh. It’s a dark novel set in a world of Byzantine manoeuvres and courtly intrigue — Interzone commented in their review: “I approached her new book Odalisque, set in the city-state of Percheron, with high expectations. They were more than justified . . . a beautifully structured novel, full of cruelty, wonder, mystery and terror. It has a splendid momentum that holds its audience through thick and thin. Fiona McIntosh goes from strength to strength. This is a dazzling start to her Percheron series.”

Fiona was in the UK on holiday last week, and in between sightseeing managed to get in a number of signings at bookshops in London: particular thanks to Stef at Waterstone’s 19-23 Oxford Street, Jon at Borders Oxford Street, Lee at Borders Charing Cross Road and C.J. at Waterstone’s Trafalgar Square. However, we also arranged for Fiona to make a short video about Odalisque, and you can see it on our YouTube page.

General Contact Unit “Recent Convert”

Looking forward to the publication of Matter by Iain M. Banks next year (from Orbit in both the UK and US) I’ve been surfing the huge and helpful body of websites on the Culture, and happened on this comprehensive Wikipedia entry listing the ships of the Culture. They include the General Contact Unit “Well I Was In The Neighbourhood”, the Offensive Unit “All Through With This Niceness And Negotiation Stuff” and, my favorite, the Demilitarized Rapid Offensive Unit “Resistance Is Character-Forming”.

Saturn Returns Review and Competition

Saturn Returns by Sean WilliamsThere’s a great review of Sean Williams’ Saturn Returns, recently published by Orbit UK, at Graeme’s Fantasy Book Review. Graeme concludes that it “ties up enough loose ends to give a satisfying sense of closure while leaving the broader plot strands to run on into later books . . . I think this will shape up to be one of the better sci-fi series that are out there.”

Graeme is also running a competition to win one of ten signed copies of the book — just visit his website for more details. But do hurry — entries need to be in by Monday 9 July.

Readers in the UK can find Saturn Returns in good bookshops, including Waterstone’s, where it’s being promoted as the SF Bookseller’s Choice for July.

Orbit at the ALA

Jo Graham

Jo Graham
(photo: Robert Walters)

Wilda Williams at Library Journal reports here on a lunch hosted by Orbit at the ALA (American Library Association) Convention in Washington D.C. recently. It was great to have the chance to talk with so many librarians and journalists about our launch list and publishing strategy, and hear about some of the issues and challenges they face.

And I got to meet Jo Graham, author of Black Ships, for the first time. She’s fantastic. She spoke wonderfully about her debut novel and read the opening pages beautifully. Everybody wanted more — but they’ll have to wait! Also got to see the White House for the first time — but Jo was the highlight of the day for me.

Dark Space Review Redux

Dark Space by Marianne de PierresLast month, Paul Raven wrote a terrific review of Marianne de Pierres’ new book Dark Space for online magazine Scalpel, which sadly folded shortly afterwards. However, it’s good to report that Paul’s review has found a new home at T3A Space. Paul describes it as: “very dark. Unflinchingly so; it’s a complex and exciting novel, almost devoid of cheap sentiment and comfortable vindication. It’s not a cheerful read, but it is a very rewarding one. It’s always a joy to find intelligent and exciting space opera; to find it being written by a woman unafraid to bring her own perspective to a traditionally masculine genre, doubly so.”

Read the rest of the review here.

Best Summer Reads

Glasshouse by Charles StrossToday’s edition of The Times includes their choice of best summer reads, including an SF selection from critic Lisa Tuttle. There’s a good representation of Orbit UK titles: the ubiquitous Charles Stross picks up a fantastic recommendation for Glasshouse, which “twists and surprises in impressively mind-bending style.”

Meanwhile, Laurell K. Hamilton, whose latest Anita Blake novel The Harlequin is published by us this month was described as “the queen of erotic vampire thrillers . . . increasingly baroque, but still a hardcore guilty pleasure.”

Finally, two books published by our sister imprint Atom, which publishes for young adult readers, were also chosen: Scott Westerfeld’s Parasite Positive is described as “the best of the many vampire books around”, while Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight is recommended for “those who prefer the more romantic idea of the sexy vampire . . . an old-fashioned love story in modern dress.”

Orbit in SFX #159

No Dominion by Charlie HustonHot on the heels of the coverage in the latest issue of Death Ray, the new issue of SFX just arrived. Like their rivals at Death Ray, they had good thing to say about Christopher Moore’s A Dirty Job: “The real joy . . . comes from the way that, rather than relying on the central premise to carry him through, Moore wrings so many laughs from the incidental stuff. This contrast of the domestic with the demonic draws comparisons to Buffy the Vampire Slayer but, as well as matching Joss Whedon’s whip-smart dialogue joke for joke, Moore is an exceptional novelist. At times, his prose exudes the quality of John Irving.”

They also review Charlie Huston’s new book No Dominion, the second outing for vampyre private eye Joe Pitt, of which they write: “You’ll like this . . . it’s a damn fine read and, crucially, a very interesting new take on vampires.”

Jeff Somers’ Fugue of Pain

Jeff Somers
Jeff Somers, author of The Electric Church (Orbit US and UK Sept. 07) has been blogging (reluctantly and hilariously) at Jeffreysomers.com/blather.

Before being ‘compelled’ to blog, Jeff was a long-time zine publisher, running the The Inner Swine since 1995. (The Inner Swine has the kind of cult following that posts videos of dogs eating the latest issue.)

In his latest posts, Jeff writes about the economics of zine publishing, the mixed blessing of telecommuting, and the lengths Orbit goes to encourage our authors to blog.

Death Ray Issue 3 Out

A Dirty Job by Christopher MooreI’ve just received my copy of issue 3 of Death Ray, a startup glossy SF magazine. It’s good to report that there are some nice reviews of Orbit UK titles, especially Allen Steele’s Spindrift — “an interesting, entertaining, well-told tale” — and Christopher Moore’s A Dirty Job, described as “an insightful piece on the nature of death, and grief, how we deal with such things and find the strength to go on. Christopher Moore is adept at making such points even while making the reader laugh out loud at the absurdity of life in general. And that’s his greatest strength.”

There’s also an interesting feature on the young adult/SF crossover, with contributions from Orbit’s Publishing Director Tim Holman and Editorial Director Darren Nash. And though we don’t publish either of these authors, I really enjoyed the extended piece on Neil Gaiman and a shorter article on Samuel R. Delaney’s Babel-17. Death Ray is available through newsagents in the UK, and readers in the US can find it at branches of Barnes & Noble and Borders.

Mike Carey interview

There’s a terrific interview on Fantasy Book Critic with Mike Carey, whose series of novels featuring freelance exorcist Felix Castor is published by Orbit in the UK: The Devil You Know and Vicious Circle were published to massive acclaim last year, and the third book, Dead Men’s Boots, is due in September. Readers in America can discover just how dark and irresistible Castor’s world is in July, when our sister company Grand Central Publishing releases The Devil You Know in the US.

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