- - May 27th, 2014
MIRA GRANT TO COMPLETE “PARASITOLOGY” SERIES AND RETURN TO “NEWSFLESH” SERIES IN NEW NOVELS AND NOVELLAS FROM ORBIT
Orbit announced today the acquisition of three new novels and four original novellas from multiple Hugo Award-nominated author Mira Grant. One of the novels will be a third book in the “Parasitology” series, following the Hugo Award-nominated PARASITE (US | UK | AUS) and SYMBIONT, and will conclude the trilogy, while the second novel and all four novellas will be set in the world of the “Newsflesh” series. The third novel will be a standalone.
Mira Grant is a pseudonym of Seanan McGuire, winner of the 2010 John W. Campbell Award for best new writer. Orbit published the first Mira Grant novel, FEED (US | UK | AUS), in 2010, and the following year it became her first Hugo Award-nominated novel. The sequels, DEADLINE (US | UK | AUS) and BLACKOUT (US | UK | AUS), were also nominated for the award. Seanan McGuire has also received two shared Hugo Awards for Best Fancast for her work on the SF Squeecast.
PARASITE is a finalist for the 2014 Hugo Award, the fourth Best Novel nomination for Mira Grant. Her science fiction writing has been praised as “Horrifying, riveting, and a bit too plausible” (Library Journal, starred review of PARASITE) and “exceptionally creepy” (Fort Worth Star-Telegram on PARASITE).
Editor Will Hinton said, “It’s a dream to work with an author like Seanan and it’s thrilling to have more Mira Grant books to look forward to. I know her readers will be as excited as I am to return to the Parasitology trilogy, the beloved Newflesh series, and explore entirely new territory in a standalone novel.”
SYMBIONT, book two in the “Parasitology” series, will be published in Fall 2014. The “Parasitology” series is set in a near-future world where parasites have nearly eliminated human disease, but dependence on them may prove to be disastrous.
Seanan McGuire said of the deal, “I am overjoyed to be able to continue to write in the Parasite universe, and more, I am so, so excited to return to the world of Kellis-Amberlee, the Rising, and my unique approach to future journalism. I hope that everyone else will be as excited as I am to go back there, and I promise I have some thrilling surprises in store for you. As for that stand-alone third novel, well… You’ll have to wait and see what that’s going to be about. I can tell you one thing for sure: it’s going to be an adventure.”
The newly-acquired book three in the “Parasitology” series is currently scheduled for Fall 2015, while the first two “Newsflesh” novellas are slated for release in Summer 2014 and Summer 2015.
- - May 27th, 2014
Today marks the first print publication of the opening book in D.J. Molles’s beloved Remaining series, a story of one soldier’s mission in a ravaged world: SURVIVE, RESCUE, REBUILD. This paperback is a special edition, with an introductory price, featuring the bonus novella THE REMAINING: FAITH.
This series is a must-read for fans of The Walking Dead and World War Z:
In a steel-and-lead encased bunker a Special Forces soldier wait on his final orders.
On the surface a bacterium has turned 90% of the population into hyper-aggressive predators.
Now Captain Lee Harden must leave the bunker and venture into the wasteland to rekindle a shattered America.
Paperbacks of the the next books in the series will follow each of the next three months, here is the full release schedule:
Book 1: THE REMAINING, including The Remaining: Faith novella (May 27, 2014)
Book 2: THE REMAINING: AFTERMATH (June 24, 2014)
Book 3: THE REMAINING: REFUGEES (July 29, 2014)
Book 4: THE REMAINING: FRACTURED (August 25, 2014)
These two novellas, as well as the ebooks of the first four books in the series, are also on sale now in ebook editions:
Novella 1: THE REMAINING: TRUST
Novella 2: THE REMAINING: FAITH*
*Starting today the ebook edition of book 1, The Remaining, will also include the novella, The Remaining: Faith. If you’ve previously purchased the Orbit ebook edition of the first novel you can request an updated file of that book, which will include the Remaining: Faith novella, from most retailers.
- - May 27th, 2014
The day that Dresden fans have been waiting for is finally here: SKIN GAME, the latest thrilling adventure starring Harry Dresden, comes out in hardback, ebook and audiobook today!
Harry Dresden, Chicago’s only professional wizard, is about to have a very bad day. As Winter Knight to the Queen of Air and Darkness, Harry never knows what the scheming Mab might want him to do. Usually, it’s something awful.
This time, it’s worse than that. Mab’s involved Harry in a smash-and-grab heist run by one of his most despised enemies to recover the literal Holy Grail from the vaults of the greatest treasure horde in the world – which belongs to the one and only Hades, Lord of the Freaking Underworld.
Dresden’s always been tricky, but he’s going to have to up his backstabbing game to survive this mess – assuming his own allies don’t end up killing him before his enemies get the chance . . .
Still not convinced you need some more Harry Dresden in your life? Read the SFX Magazine review of SKIN GAME, listen to an audiobook sample read by James Marsters (yes, that James Marsters) or watch the amazing fan-made book trailer now!
- - May 26th, 2014
Orbit’s brand new ebook cover for SPEED OF DARK
SPEED OF DARK is a profound, powerful near-future novel by Elizabeth Moon, which tells the story of a young man with autism who is offered a possible ‘cure’ for his condition.
The book’s fans include Jo Walton, Greg Bear and the late, great Anne McCaffrey. It was the winner of the Nebula Award, was shortlisted for a Clarke and can truly be said to have achieved classic status since it was first published over a decade ago.
This is why we’re delighted to announce that SPEED OF DARK (UK|ANZ) has been chosen as the next Hodderscape Review Project pick. We can’t wait to find out what Hodderscape’s team of reviewers think of this novel, ten years on and ten years closer to the future which it described . . .
A previous Orbit title on the Hodderscape Review Project was Ursula Le Guin’s THE LEFT HAND OF DARKNESS (UK|ANZ): read the reviews here.
- - May 21st, 2014
What happens when two writers from different genres come together to talk about science fiction, fantasy, and story crafting? Find out in part two of our SFF interview swap between Rachel Bach and Elizabeth Moon!
Elizabeth Moon has degrees in history and biology, and served as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Marine Corps. CROWN OF RENEWAL (UK | AUS) is the final installment of her Paladin’s Legacy series. This gripping epic should be on every fantasy reader’s To Read List. Expect it to be hitting bookshelves on May 27th, or you can start at the beginning with OATH OF FEALTY.
Rachel Bach grew up wanting to be an author and a super villain. Unfortunately, super villainy proved surprisingly difficult to break into, so she stuck to writing and everything worked out great. Her current project, the Paradox series, is a high-octane SF adventure across many fascinating alien worlds. Look for the third novel, HEAVEN’S QUEEN (US | UK | AUS), online and in stores on April 22nd or start at the beginning with FORTUNE’S PAWN.
Rachel: First off, let me say what an amazing honor it is to get to do anything with Elizabeth Moon. I’ve been a fan of yours since my early teens when I took my mom’s DEED OF PAKSENARRION omnibus to school and nearly flunked out of 8th grade due to the constant class skipping reading sessions. In defense of my juvenile delinquency, I’d never encountered anything like Paks before. Her adventures, and the fact that she was the one having them, completely overturned my ideas of what was possible in Fantasy, and it’s hard for me to overstate the influence your books had on my writing. I can draw a straight line from my own stories, especially my Devi books, right back to Paks, and so my first question for you is, was that ever in your mind? While writing Paks, did you ever think ‘I’m writing a strong female character that young women will look up to,’ or was she just who she was?
Elizabeth: (First I dig my toe in the dirt, writhe a bit, and blush, muttering ‘Oh, shucks.’ Followed by ‘Wait – you skipped class in 8th grade? I never dared do that, and I hated most of 8th grade.’ OK, now that’s out of the way . . . )
The short answer is: ‘Not really.’ Like many first books, Paks was partly rebellion against books that didn’t give me what I wanted as a reader . . . including women who were more like real women I knew: women with agency, with intelligence and drive, with both physical and moral courage, and with interests beyond home and sex. And as someone who’d been fascinated with military history since childhood (legacy of WWII vets, including women vets) and a veteran myself, I wanted more realistic women in science fiction and fantasy military stories.
With the exception of Joe Haldeman’s THE FOREVER WAR, male writers who depicted female soldiers at all depicted them as cartoonish cigar-smoking butch lesbians with no military ability except looking butch and acting mean. (To be fair, a lot of the male soldier characters were equally cartoonish.) Female writers were writing women warriors by then, some of them with obvious knowledge of sword-fighting (for instance) but the female characters seemed always outsiders – not integrated into a military organization from recruit to commander, with characters of both sexes showing a range of skills. Yet in real history, some women had fought alongside men without being detected as women until badly wounded or dead. Others were known to be women and also fought well. I wanted to explore ‘the natural soldier’ as a woman. And it was mostly for my own satisfaction, though as my alpha-readers began to respond, it was also for them.
Paks cooperated by being who she was like a laser beam . . . through good times and bad, she was (and remains) one of the most purely focused characters I ever had to deal with, the easiest to write until the end of the book when she . . . rode away and hasn’t come back as a viewpoint character. It wasn’t until later, when I first got feedback from young women, that I realized what she might mean to them.
Read the rest of this entry »
- - May 20th, 2014
“…a winning combination of A Game of Thrones, sword-and-sorcery RPGs, and vivid description.” – Publishers Weekly on A DANCE OF CLOAKS
A DANCE OF SHADOWS (US | UK | AUS), the fourth Shadowdance novel, is out today! A bit about what lies ahead for the master assassin Haern:
When Lord Victor Kane attacks the city, determined to stamp out all corruption, foreign gangs pour in amidst the chaos in an attempt to overthrow the current lords of the underworld.
And when a mysterious killer known as the Widow begins mutilating thieves, paranoia engulfs the city. Haern knows someone is behind the turmoil, pulling strings. If he doesn’t find out who — and soon — his beloved city will burn.
David Dalglish’s action-packed stories are hugely addictive. If you’re new to the Shadowdance novels, here is an excerpt from the first book, A DANCE OF CLOAKS. For those of you with a long weekend coming up, there is no better time to start reading this thrilling fantasy series.
Over on Buzzfeed today, David Dalglish shares a personal story about the time he ran a Dungeons & Dragons campaign set in the world of the Shadowdance novels, and the mayhem that followed. Start your morning off with a smile and this great read. If you’ve ever DM’d a game before, I’m sure you’ll be able to empathize with his trauma.
- - May 19th, 2014
The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America announced the winners of the 2013 Nebula Awards this past weekend and we are thrilled to report that Ann Leckie has won the Nebula award for Best Novel!
Congratulations to Ann, who adds the Nebula Award to her Clarke Award, her BSFA Award for Best Novel and her Kitschie Award for Best Debut Novel, all for her spectacular first novel.
You can read a sample from ANCILLARY JUSTICE here. To find out more about the author, check out her website or follow her on twitter at @ann_leckie.
- - May 15th, 2014
The wait is over! THIEF’S MAGIC (UK|US|ANZ), the brand new fantasy novel from Trudi Canavan, is available this week.
It’s set in a brand new world, featuring a whole new cast of characters, and it’s her most thrilling fantasy adventure yet! You can read a free extract right here on Trudi’s Facebook page.
Trudi Canavan is an absolute phenomenon, with over 2 million copies sold worldwide. Last Christmas, we asked Trudi’s legions of fans to tell us exactly what they love so much about her books. Here’s a selection of the amazing feedback we received – this is why Trudi is loved by millions of readers all around the world:
‘Few fantasy authors can create characters so endearing that you fall in love with them. Trudi takes you on such an enjoyable journey with these characters that it leaves you wanting to re-read the same stories time and again’
‘The only author that wakes my imagination!’
‘I love reading fantasy but Trudi Canavan really stands out. She is one of those rare authors who manages to be both completely accessible and massive in scope’
‘She takes me to another land, a land full of magic and excitement’
‘Trudi’s books really let me escape from normal life, I feel like I’m actually there with the characters!’
‘An exceptional author who writes stories that are left in the imagination for years’
‘Her books help me escape everything that goes on in my day/week, have helped me to accept myself and inspire me to be creative everyday. Thank you Trudi for changing my life’
‘The interesting characters, the amazing world building and the mind-blowing make Trudi Canavan’s books the perfect read!’
- - May 14th, 2014
Orbit is about to publish the first book in a brand new series from No. 1 Sunday Times bestseller, Trudi Canavan. THIEF’S MAGIC is set in a brand new world and features all new characters.
To celebrate the release, Trudi Canavan is designing a one-of-a-kind ereader or tablet cover featuring one of her own beautiful illustrations, bringing two characters from THIEF’S MAGIC to life.
In a world where an industrial revolution is powered by magic, Tyen, a student of archaeology, unearths a sentient book called Vella. Once a young sorcerer-bookbinder, Vella was transformed into a useful tool by one of the greatest sorcerers of history. Since then she has been collecting information, including a vital clue to the disaster Tyen’s world faces.
Elsewhere, in a land ruled by the priests, Rielle the dyer’s daughter has been taught that to use magic is to steal from the Angels. Yet she knows she has a talent for it, and that there is a corrupter in the city willing to teach her how to use it – should she dare to risk the Angels’ wrath.
See these two characters featured on the ereader/tablet cover below:
This will be the perfect accessory for one lucky Trudi Canavan reader, and a brilliant way to start this tremendous new series.
To enter the competition, simply fill out the form below in full.
Please read our full terms and conditions before entering. Please note the above image is a mock-up of the ereader cover the winner will receive. Final cover to made specifically to fit brand of ereader owned by winner, and design may vary depending on brand.
Read the first three chapters now on the Trudi Canavan Facebook page.
I’m aware this is a Quality Problem and expect not a bit of sympathy here, but a new book (THE OVERSIGHT) does mean book launches etc, and at some stage public speaking will inevitably be involved, and people who spend most of their lives being articulate on the page (where they have the great advantage of a) not having to do so in real-time and b) being able to edit and re-polish their words before public consumption) now have to perform without those safety nets. Talking in public and the demands of real-time articulacy are, on balance, probably good for you, like getting some bracing fresh air after the fug in the office, but the moment I dread is when the chairperson turns to the audience and wonders if anyone has any questions . . .
The truth is, I don’t mind the questions. I don’t even mind that they are usually the same ones, because at least the questioners are different each time. I mind my answers. I mind them because it’s always me replying, and I know what I’m going to say and that I for one am going to have to listen to it all again. So, to try and end-run the inevitable, here’s a pre-cooked answer to a couple of the Top Five FAQs, in the hope we can skip them next time and enable me not to have to suffer my own repetitiveness any more.
The questions are “How do you get your ideas?” and “Do you always have a clear plan when you start writing?”
The short answer to both of these is conveniently the same one: I like getting lost. More specifically, I like getting lost on purpose.
I got the habit a long time ago, when I was first working in London and trying to get to know my way around. It wasn’t anything like The Knowledge, that heroically compendious act of street-memorizing that all London cabbies have to master, but it was my small version of it. I worked a three-day shift at the time. That left me with four days off per week in an expensive city on a not enormous wage. So walking around and exploring was a good way to divert myself without spending all my cash. I would set off in one direction and when I got to a junction where I had previously turned left, I would turn right, and so on until I turned myself round and tried to get home as directly as possible. London has never been subject to any uniform grand design (though Wren had unbuilt and rather wonderful plans for a refurb following the Great Fire) so it’s an organic jumble with no grid to orient you, which made getting lost a doddle. If you want to conquer a city and make it your own, you need boots on the ground: and so I tramped the streets, loafing and looking.
I remember first stumbling across the ominous façade of Hawksmoor’s Christchurch Spitalfields with a perfect hunter’s moon hanging in the sky beside it. That led me to Peter Ackroyd’s book Hawksmoor in particular, then his London-centric writing in general (which stimulated a deeper sense of the historic weirdness in the city’s many shadows) and a renewed interest in Blake and Dickens that sprang from that. That led me to Dickens’ Household Words which contains masses of fantastic articles he wrote about walking around London. I’d take a reprint with me while I walked and read and compare past with present when I stopped in whatever café or pub I found myself outside at lunchtime. Sometimes the book was HV Morton’s London, which provided similar first-hand views of the same cityscape but nearly a hundred years later. Walking cities with a book (and a notebook) became a habit I still have. Not a bad result from a single serendipitously taken turn in the road whilst involved in the act of purposely getting lost.
More specifically, I got the idea for the plot of the entire Stoneheart trilogy (in which London’s Statues come alive, but only visibly to two children) simply by walking from statue to statue and letting the thing join itself up in my head. For example, I had to get my characters to the Blackfriar’s pub (conveniently situated outside the Orbit offices, by the way) and so just meandered in that general direction, picking up characters like Sphinxes, Dr Johnson and the tremendously lithe Temple Bar Dragon on the way. (An American academic called Andelys Wood has rather amazingly photographed all the statues mentioned in the Stoneheart books, efficiently mapping that all that serendipity.)
Of course ideas don’t only come from the simple act of getting lost; you have to be paying attention. You have to have a good memory, or failing that, the notebook in your back pocket. Most of all you have to follow up those unexpected links. Like good luck, serendipity happens most often to those alert enough to notice it and well enough prepared to grab it as it passes. Which is why even the most aimless loafer needs to keep their pencils sharpened.
“I like getting lost” is also the answer to that second FAQ. Getting lost in London is pretty stress-free for me. I’ve been lost in other more stressy paces so I’m well aware this isn’t always the case. I know that there’s usually an Underground (Subway) station close by, or failing that a bus stop to take me back into charted waters. In London the Underground is a hidden organic grid beneath the randomness of the city. It’ll get you from A to B, but it doesn’t tell you any interesting detail about the terrain you’re travelling beneath. When I write I have a similar schematic, at least a beginning, middle and end, but usually some more connecting stops along the way, but I don’t have the whole work mapped out as a detailed beat-sheet. Doing that detail of planning is, for me, wildly unproductive. As a novelist the real pleasure is 100% freedom to get lost in your own story and see what presents itself unexpectedly, but process can only be stress-free if you have at least a bare schematic underpinning everything. The very best days are the ones in which you re-read yesterday’s pages and can’t quite remember writing them, or how those associations happened or indeed where that new character jumped in from, as if you have been working in a fugue state (I think that’s what the “Flow” is). I’m not going to get all spoilery about the The Oversight, but when Lucy Harker first opened her mouth I, like anyone else, was entirely surprised by what came out.
And that’s why, for me, for at least why writing is inextricably all about getting lost: “It’s the serendipity, stupid”.
Of course that’s a steal from James Carville and the sign he put up in the Clinton campaign office in the ’92 election to keep everyone on-message, but then stealing is a big part of the answer to another prime contender for the FAQ Hall of Fame, which is “Where do your characters come from?” And that’s a question I do like, because the answer changes with each book. Maybe we’ll get to that . . .