Check out the cover of Mira Grant’s chilling new novel PARASITE and pre-order your copy today from your favorite retailer! PARASITE releases this November.
Orbit is so excited to announce that Terry Brooks will be visiting the UK for the first time in over 5 years! He will be in London on holiday but has spared an evening to schedule an event at Forbidden Planet – on Wednesday 3rd April at 6pm. He will be signing copies of the first in his new series, Wards of Faerie (now available in paperback) and his new hardback Bloodfire Quest (out 12th March). Like our Orbit UK Facebook page for full details and updates.
And for all Terry’s UK fans who can’t make it to London, never fear… whether you can attend the signing or not, every person who emails a question for Terry to firstname.lastname@example.org will receive a Bloodfire Quest badge! We will film his answers so everyone gets to ‘meet’ him. Plus the top three questions will win a signed and dedicated book. (UK entrants only).
Join us to celebrate a great year for a legend of the fantasy genre! 2013 is an especially exciting year for Terry as his full Dark Legacy of Shannara series will available, with the last novel in the trilogy, Witch Wraith, publishing this July.
The Los Angeles Review of Books‘s profile of Robert Jackson Bennett explores Bennett’s entire genre-bending speculative oeuvre, from the Edgar Award-winning THE COMPANY MAN (US | UK | AUS) to last month’s AMERICAN ELSEWHERE (US | UK | AUS).
“There’s always an awkward moment in reviews of Bennett’s work when the reviewer tries to sum up his genre affiliations in a couple of words. Niall Ferguson called The Company Man “a love letter to airships and acid noir — by way of steampunk, sci-fi and murder mystery.” FantasyLiterature.com calls his latest book “classical mythology, Lovecraftian gothic, quantum science and what’s-in-the-woods horror.” Bennett himself once described his debut novel Mr. Shivers as “magical realist/fantastical/horror/whatever-the-reviewer-wants-to-call-it-that-day.”
The Los Angeles Times also reviewed AMERICAN ELSEWHERE, which they said “manages to surprise, terrify and move the reader.” You can read the full review here.
Super-genius cyborg and hero of the Freezone, Samuil Petrovitch, has a fiery temper – one prone to exploding with more potency than the nukes that signaled the apocalypse around the turn of the 21st century. Generally, Petrovitch’s explosions of anger will take the form of curses in his Russian mother tongue (or perhaps explosions of extreme violence, poisoning, putting bombs in people’s chests and stitching them up again… He’s nothing if not inventive).
To help you decode the various insults hurled at all and sundry by Petrovitch in Simon Morden’s new novel THE CURVE OF THE EARTH (UK | US | ANZ), we’ve put together a handy glossary of Russian swearwords with a very British translation so as not to offend any delicate sensibilities…
Samuil Petrovitch usage: Ahueyet! We’ve got some series govno on our hands.
Translation: Egad! It appears our metacarpus have become tainted with effluent.
Samuil Petrovitch usage: The only way I can explain your actions is to assume your father was balvan.
Translation: Your poor decision making suggest there was an extreme deficiency in your father’s intelligence quotient.
Samuil Petrovitch usage: Chyort voz’mi, this is exactly what I didn’t want to happen.
Translation: Curses! I find myself in the most hateful of all possible worlds.
Samuil Petrovitch usage: Chyort! How stupid are you?
Translation: Dash it all! Your foolishness demands explanation!
Samuil Petrovitch usage: That’s the sort of thing I’d expect to hear from a durak.
Translation: Your communication suggests that your skull is a vacant receptacle rather than a protective covering.
Samuil Petrovitch usage: I have had enough of this govno.
Translation: No more faeces for me, thank you.
Samuil Petrovitch usage: Seriously, Reconstructionist America can idi v’zhopu
Translation: I would recommend that Reconstructionist America remove itself from my presence at once, preferably in a painful manner.
Samuil Petrovitch usage: Glad I brought my Kalash.
Translation: How fortuitous that I have this Russian-made firearm
Samuil Petrovitch usage: I’ve had enough of your kon govno.
Translation: I doubt the veracity of your explanation, which has the perfume of equestrian faeces.
Samuil Petrovitch usage: Past’ zajeb, or I’ll blow your knees off
Translation: Be quiet, my good sir, or I shall be forced to relieve you of your mobility.
Samuil Petrovitch usage: This a whole new category of pizdets
Translation: Our situation is beginning to resemble a cluster of effluent.
Samuil Petrovitch usage: If I had a decent pushka, this wouldn’t be such pizdets
Translation: How I yearn for a firearm of significant calibre to relieve the difficulty of my situation!
Samuil Petrovitch usage: Your yajtza must be bigger than the moon.
Translation: Your gentleman’s treasures appear to be of planetary proportion.
Samuil Petrovitch usage: Get this yebani tube out of my gullet before I vomit into my lungs.
Translation: Kindly remove this fornicating tube from my digestive tract or I fear we will be having a backwards performance of breakfast.
Samuil Petrovitch usage: Yobany stos, is that the only gun you brought?
Translation: Ploppers! I had expected you to be more fully prepared for armed combat.
Samuil Petrovitch usage: You talk too much, zhopa.
Translation: You are surprisingly communicative for an orifice that is not generally used for speaking.
Adored by readers and revered by authors, Terry Brooks is a trailblazing epic fantasy author like no other. His action-packed stories and unique characters have captured the imagination of fantasy fans all over the world.
If you’ve been looking for an excuse to start on an epic Brooks adventure, now is your chance. WARDS OF FAERIE (UK | AUS) is out now in paperback, followed up with book two of the Dark Legacy series, BLOODFIRE QUEST (UK | AUS ) on 12th March. With dark powers, an epic adventure, and a fight for survival, Terry Brooks will draw you into the Shannara adventure and not let go.
What readers have been saying about WARDS OF FAERIE:
“Brings back the magic that was in the first Shannara series” – Goodreads 5 star review
“Terry Brooks has provided me with a lifelong love of Fantasy” – Orbit reader
“He writes with such detail to create a world that is wholly believable and which you can sink into for hours at a time” – Orbit reader
“Transports you to a world of fantasy that you can get lost in” – Orbit reader
“Everything a good fantasy story should be – full of adventure, romance, magic and danger” – Goodreads 5 star review
“Threads are so marvellously woven together, and the tapestry they form is one of action, mystery and sorrow” – Bookreporter.com
Since we think Terry Brooks is an ultimate fantasy writer, to celebrate the release of WARDS OF FAERIE, we asked readers to tell us what their ultimate fantasy hero might look like. Here are the results…
Read the rest of this entry »
by February 27th, 2013-
Last week I mentioned the diversity of heavily armed societies a reader might expect to find in a High Epic tale like THE GATHERING OF THE LOST (UK|ANZ) – which got me thinking about the importance of conflict to epic fantasy generally, and about the specific conflicts in the Wall of Night series’ world of Haarth.
The Importance of Large-Scale Conflict In Epic Fantasy
Something I’ve discussed before in relation to epic fantasy – particularly in my Big Idea post for THE HEIR OF NIGHT (UK|ANZ) – is the way in which classic epic stories speak to our human condition through juxtaposing the internal conflicts of the protagonists with the external conflicts in which they are engaged. Nations and worlds are often at stake; at the very least major paradigm shifts and world-altering events provide a way of exploring more personal struggles and human cost.
The conflicts that characterize the Wall of Night series honour that epic tradition. Read the rest of this entry »
In exactly one month from today, Peter Higgins’s brilliant debut WOLFHOUND CENTURY will be published here in the US. ”Sentient water, censored artists, mechanical constructs, old-fashioned detective work, and the secret police are all woven together in this rich and fascinating tapestry,” wrote Publishers Weekly, and that’s only the beginning of the wonderful praise we’ve received for this novel.
The illustrator for the covers of this series, Tim Byrne, did an awesome job representing the vertigo-inducing city of Mahala, the setting for FADE TO BLACK and all the Rojan Dizon novels. We asked Tim to go step-by-step through the process of creating such a cool image:
I started off by doing a very quick sketch of the cover to get an idea of how the perspective might work. I wanted to convey the extreme height of the city of Mahala and how it might be if you were at the bottom looking up. I nearly always start a cover by positioning the type – as once I know where and how that is sitting, I know how much space I have left for the rest of the image.
Next I started blocking in the faces of the buildings/vertical streets using an image of a mud face that I had – which I repeated, scaled and distorted in order to get the perspective to work. This gave me a base on which to start adding bits of buildings and windows.
by February 22nd, 2013-
I don’t know about other authors, but for me the process of writing a book has always included music. Music provides so much inspiration for me, can really help in capturing the tone or feel of a scene – or an entire book! There are songs that have come to be so associated with one of my stories that I can’t listen to them without thinking of the characters the lyrics have come to represent.
I came into my teens in the 80s – I do not feel that old! – the decade of the music video. I remember seeing ‘Thriller’ for the first time, and staring slack-jawed at the TV as this amazing story played out in front of me. Aha’s ‘Take On Me’ is still one of my all-time favorite videos. The merging of music and story took hold of me and refused to let go.
The first book I ever wrote (I was 12 so be kind!) was about a rock band. OK, it was about Duran Duran, but I changed the names. Over 300 pages of angst and music – I even wrote lyrics, which were awful. To this day, if a song grabs my attention I’m going to think of a story to go along with it – my own little music video playing inside my head. It doesn’t matter if it’s Nine Inch Nails, Bon Jovi or Alice Cooper, if it catches my attention, I’m going to find the plot and play it out in my head.
So, it shouldn’t surprise you that the Immortal Empire has a soundtrack behind it. As I plotted and planned, and then began to write, I actually embarked upon a quest to find the the perfect music. I wanted something that was modern, but would make me think of the Victorian Era as well. Then, I discovered Emilie Autumn and I knew I’d found my soundtrack. Not just my soundtrack, but a target audience. At this point I wasn’t certain my weird little book would be of interest to anyone, but then I visited Emilie’s fan boards and realized that there were people out there who would like this sort of book.
I could ramble on and on about music and how it inspires me, and how I’m making a jacket to wear to Emilie’s next concert in New York with all the glee of a 14 year-old dying her bangs to match John Taylor’s, but I think I’ll share some of my playlists with you instead. Here are just a few songs (in no particular order) that I listened to while writing these books. Will they make you think of various scenes or characters in the Immortal Empire? Oh, I’m not going to list songs from LONG LIVE THE QUEEN – I don’t want to give anything away! Read the rest of this entry »
by February 22nd, 2013-
During our recent conversation about his Laundry novels, Charlie Stross mentioned he’d started out seeking to revitalize the horror behind Lovecraftiana by drawing a connection between unknowable dangers and the very familiar terror of the Cold War arms race. I found that particularly interesting. After all, the Laundry series and the Milkweed books share a subgenre that pits agents of the secret state against super- or paranormal entities. So perhaps it isn’t surprising that we’ve both recast the thermonuclear deterrence of Mutually Assured Destruction as something even more precarious: the threat of a mystical and far more absolute annihilation.
(We even followed parallel lines of thought when it came to titles. Charlie called his story of the Shoggoth Gap “A Colder War,” while I went with THE COLDEST WAR for my tale of mystical brinksmanship.)
I was a child when the Reagan-era arms race began. But I had an early interest in science, so I’d already scoured the school library to read everything I could find about those wondrous things called atoms. Which unfortunately meant I had a vague notion of these things called atomic weapons. (Who in their right mind thought it was a good idea to let me read this stuff? Way to go, mom and dad.)
Thanks to classroom discussions of current events at the time, I also knew we were building them as fast as we could. Halfway around the world, so was another monolithic power. And we were aiming them at each other, like lions circling and snapping their teeth. But at that age I didn’t understand why this was happening, or why our enemies were so terrible that global annihilation was preferable to their triumph in some abstract and incomprehensible conflict. All I knew was the world teetered on a razor’s edge, and that my fate rested in the hands of people who knew nothing of me, my parents, or my cat (good old Gadzooks).
That’ll mess with your head when you’re 10 years old.
And so I spent the early 1980s filled with an almost paralyzing dread. Read the rest of this entry »