- - June 8th, 2015
Congratulations, Witcher fans, THE LAST WISH (US) by Andrzej Sapkowski is now a New York Times bestseller!
If you are new to the series, now is a great time to jump in and THE LAST WISH is a perfect place to start:
Geralt of Rivia is a witcher. A cunning sorcerer. A merciless assassin.
And a cold-blooded killer.
His sole purpose: to destroy the monsters that plague the world.
But not everything monstrous-looking is evil and not everything fair is good. . . and in every fairy tale there is a grain of truth.
Magic and war combine in this action-packed first book in the internationally bestselling Witcher series that inspired the video game. Also, be sure to check out the rest of the Witcher novels here.
Praise for the Witcher novels:
“The character interplay is complex, unsentimental and anchored in brutal shared history. All bodes well for twisty plotting to come.” — SFX
“Like Mieville and Gaiman, Sapkowski takes the old and makes it new.” — Foundation (UK)
“Sapkowski revitalizes the genre with energetic and compelling writing. A breath of fresh air in a well-worn genre. Don’t miss it!” — Dreamwatch (UK)
- - June 5th, 2015
Anna Jackson, Senior Editor at Orbit UK, has acquired World Rights in a three-book contemporary fantasy series by UK novelist James Bennett for a major five-figure sum. The agent is John Jarrold, and the first book, provisionally titled ASCENT OF EMBERS, will be scheduled for the second half of 2016. The sequels will follow over the next eighteen months.
This contemporary fantasy series features the last few remaining creatures from myth and legend hiding among us in human form. But the delicate balance between their world and ours is disturbed when a centuries-old rivalry resurfaces.
Acquiring editor Jackson said, ‘This highly imaginative and massively entertaining story grabbed our attention and wouldn’t let go. Fast-paced and action-packed, it explores what happens when the realms of classic myth and the real world collide. Our hero Ben Garston is one that the reader can’t help but root for, and fans of Ben Aaronovitch and Jim Butcher are sure to be enthralled. We can’t wait to unleash this story upon the world!’
James Bennett is a British writer of fantasy and horror. Born in Loughborough and raised in Sussex, South Africa and Cornwall, his travels have furnished him with a love of different cultures, history and mythology. He’s had several short stories published internationally in the independent press, his latest ‘Broken Bridges’ in Fox Spirit’s European Monsters anthology earning a feature in Starburst magazine. James Bennett currently lives in West Wales.
Feel free to join him on Twitter: @wytcheboy
He said: ‘I’m delighted that my first major series has been acquired by one of the world’s leading publishers of SF and Fantasy. I’m sure it’s the beginning of an exciting ride!’
- - June 2nd, 2015
We’ve been getting some impressive early praise for TRACER by Rob Boffard – the blockbuster debut thriller releasing next month.
TRACER is set on Outer Earth – a huge space station floating 300 miles above the planet’s surface. It contains all that remains of humanity – a million souls crammed into this broken-down, rusting, inescapable station.
What’s more, there’s a madman hiding on the station, and he’s about to unleash havoc . . .
If you imagine The Bourne Identity meets Gravity then you’ll be some way towards imagining what a thrill-ride this book is. See below for some of the great things people have been saying so far, and for the eye-catching full UK cover.
‘Fast, exhilarating and unforgettable, and once you start it you can’t stop. I loved it’ – Sarah Lotz, author of The Three
‘TRACER sets a new standard for all-action SF’ – Ken MacLeod
‘Riley Hale battles to save the last remnants of humanity in the claustrophobic, brilliantly evoked world of a crumbling space station where danger lies around every corner. A stunning debut by Rob Boffard that never lets up, from the nerve-jangling beginning to the explosive end’ – James Douglas, author of The Doomsday Testament
‘Ludicrously fast-paced, with a brilliant sci-fi setting, TRACER is an absolute blast of a read’ David Owen, author of Panther
‘Compelling, compulsive…Thoroughly entertaining – this one’s worth picking up if you’re in the mood for some sci-fi action’ Sci-Fi and Fantasy Reviews
(Click to enlarge)
Trudi Canavan is an international bestselling author whose novels have been translated into more than 20 languages. Following the paperback release of THIEF’S MAGIC (UK | US | ANZ), the start of Trudi’s brand new adventure series, she shares some thoughts on what it’s like to be an author based in Australia whose novels are sold around the world.
The Tyranny of Distance is the name of a history book published back in the 60s, and the title has become a phrase used whenever Australians discuss the difficulty of doing business – or anything, really – in a world where most English-speaking nations are far, far away. The difficulties of, for instance, trading with customers half a world away is one reason why Australia produced a lot of wool – it doesn’t deteriorate on long sea voyages.
Sometimes, when I’m abroad, I’m asked what it is like to be an Australian author who is a bestseller outside of my country, or why Australian fantasy is so good. I often think of this phrase, but don’t use it because I am unsure if anyone outside of Australia will know and understand it. Yet I think distance has a lot to do with the answer to both questions. These are some of the ways:
Since shipping is costly, not all books printed outside of Australia are sold here. Until ebooks were easily accessible we were only reading the most popular authors. Since authors draw, consciously and unconsciously, on what we’ve read and seen before, we have been emulating or subverting the best of the genre. Raised on the best, is it any surprise that Australian fantasy writers do well? However…
When it comes to who is writing fantasy, we aren’t as influenced by assumptions and attitudes in other markets. For example, I did not encounter anyone who thought that mainly men write epic fantasy until I ventured overseas in 2011. In fact, when it came to who reads fantasy, I grew up in an era and place where boys were more likely to read science fiction and girls to prefer fantasy. Little wonder, perhaps, that by 2012 two-thirds of traditionally published Australian fantasy writers for adults were women. However, when it comes to being published overseas, and now that the the local fantasy imprints are global, we have this and other differences in our markets to deal with.
Plane fares to and from Australia are expensive, and jet lag means Aussie authors can’t nip over to the other side of the world for a weekend and function as well as someone who hasn’t just had their sleep cycle reversed. So when we do travel overseas we tend to stay longer, which means taking more time away from writing. Even something as simple as giving away a signed copies of your book is more costly than it is for our overseas counterparts, because postage ranges from the same or double the value of the book. But on the other hand…
Email, the world wide web and social media have overcome many of the problems of distance. Only in the latter is it obvious that an author is Australian, because of the time difference. This can be a bit frustrating, as conversations on Twitter, for example, often begin and end (and are Storified) before we Aussie wake up and can contribute. (Though this can be an advantage if it stops us leaping in before knowing all the facts!)
Digital publishing has also made more books available to us – and a lot more Aussie fantasy available to the rest of the world through small presses and self-publishing. It doesn’t overcome all problems of distance, as there are still territorial issues and sorting out epub and reader issues means getting help from overseas, which can be more difficult, but it has generally made it easier to reach a global audience.
So you can see there are many aspects and both advantages and disadvantages to being an Australian author who is successful overseas. What I love most is, wherever I go readers are so welcoming. They will go to extraordinary efforts to come and see me whenever I am in their home country, because they know that it might be a long wait until I am in their part of the world again. And meeting readers is my favourite part of being an author.
Aside from the writing part, of course!
- - May 15th, 2015
Arriving at Orbit this summer from Waterstones Book Club author Louisa Hall comes SPEAK, a novel which will make readers everywhere question what it really means to be human.
Emily St. John Mandel, Arthur C. Clarke winner and author of STATION ELEVEN, calls SPEAK the ‘rarest of finds’, and it is already one of Huffington Post‘s Brilliant Books You Won’t Want to Miss this Summer.
She cannot run. She cannot walk. She cannot even blink. As her batteries run down for the final time, all she can do is speak. Will you listen?
From Alan Turing’s conviction in the 1950s to a Silicon Valley Wunderkind imprisoned in 2040 for creating illegally lifelike dolls. From a pilgrim girl writing her diary to a traumatised young girl exchanging messages with a software program, all these lives have shaped and changed a single artificial intelligence – MARY3. In Speak, she tells you their story, and her own. It the last story she will ever tell, spoken both in celebration and in warning.
When machines learn to speak, who decides what it means to be human?
[Cover design by Jack Smyth from the Little, Brown Book Group Design team.]
- - May 14th, 2015
Everybody’s favourite probability mage arrives on audiobook today! The complete Alex Verus series is now available to buy in audio. This London-based urban fantasy series by Benedict Jacka has a growing legion of fans including Jim Butcher, Patricia Briggs and Charles Stross. The sixth book in the series, VEILED, will be out in August.
Listen to a sample here:
- - May 13th, 2015
Please see the below for a press release sent out this morning, giving more exciting news on the upcoming film version of M. R. Carey’s THE GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS (UK | US | ANZ).
FULL CASTING ANNOUNCED FOR SHE WHO BRINGS GIFTS, PRINCIPAL PHOTOGRAPHY WILL BEGIN ON 17 MAY
ANAMARIA MARINCA, FISAYO AKINADE, ANTHONY WELSH, DOMINIQUE TIPPER AND NEWCOMER SENNIA NANUA WILL JOIN GEMMA ARTERTON, PADDY CONSIDINE AND GLENN CLOSE
WARNER BROS. TO RELEASE IN THE UK
SHE WHO BRINGS GIFTS is a post-apocalyptic zombie thriller adapted by acclaimed novelist M.R. Carey from his best-selling novel ‘The Girl With All Gifts’. The highly anticipated feature from Colm McCarthy, produced by Camille Gatin and Angus Lamont will start shooting on 17 May in the West Midlands.
Funded by the BFI Film Fund, Creative England and Altitude Film Entertainment the film is being sold internationally by Altitude Film Sales. The film will be distributed in the UK by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.
SHE WHO BRINGS GIFTS takes place a generation after the world has ended. Four adults and a unique child will decide the fate of humanity.
Newcomer Sennia Nanua will take the leading role. Also joining the cast are Anamaria Marinca (Fury, 4 Months, 3 Weeks & 2 Days, Europa Report), Fisayo Akinade (Cucumber, Banana and Ordinary Lies), Anthony Welsh (Starred Up, My Brother The Devil) and Dominique Tipper (DMX, Vampire Academy, Montana, The Expanse).
Colm McCarthy says of his twelve year old star: “Sennia walked into the room as the last of 500 girls I’d met and just shone. She has taken being the lead actress in a film with Glenn, Gemma and Paddy in her stride and completely inhabits this amazing character. She’s a very special girl.”
The newly confirmed cast join Gemma Arterton (The Voices, Tamara Drewe, The Disappearance of Alice Creed), Paddy Considine (acting roles include the upcoming Macbeth, Pride, also the director of BAFTA award-winning Tyrannosaur), and the multi-award winning and six-time Oscar® nominated actress Glenn Close (who recently completed a run on Broadway in A Delicate Balance and will soon be seen in Anesthesia and The Wife.
Ben Roberts, Director of the BFI Film Fund says: “We’re thrilled that ‘Gifts’ is out of the box. Completely original, Mike Carey has adapted his own book brilliantly and found an inspired collaborator in Colm – who we’ve admired for some time. Camille and Angus have pieced it together with real ambition, and a first rate cast and crew.”
Richard Holmes, Senior Film Executive at Creative England, says of the project:
“We are truly excited about She Who Brings Gifts – it is a pure genre film with added heart and brain. It has a fantastic West Midlands presence with a hugely respected international cast and a spectacular use of locations. We’re very proud to support it!”
Creative England has announced support for the film through its West Midlands Production Fund, which supports feature films and high end TV drama from companies based in the West Midlands, or from producers looking to film in the region. In the last three and a half years the organisation has invested over £9 million in film projects and is backing She Who Brings Gifts alongside the BFI Film Fund.
- - May 7th, 2015
SNAKEWOOD tells the story of the Twenty, a band of mercenaries being hunted down one-by-one by an unknown killer. We’re so excited to have acquired this debut epic fantasy tale from British author Adrian Selby, coming in 2016 – almost twenty years after he first put pen to paper! Which, if you think about it, is one year for every dead mercenary. Or is it? Who’s killing them anyway, and why? You’ll have to wait until early next year to find out . . .
Adrian says: “SNAKEWOOD is set in a world where magic is in the plant-life, concoctions of which, known as ‘fightbrews’, radically transform the capabilities and appearance of warriors at a terrible cost. In conceiving of this all those years ago, I knew the story I wanted to tell was focused on these soldiers and the price they pay for their brews and their sins. I can’t describe how delighted I am to have my debut published by Orbit. Their passion and their support for SNAKEWOOD make me very excited about sharing the world that’s been in my head for twenty odd years with this other world I live in the rest of the time.”
And no, you won’t have to wait twenty years for the next one!