- - July 9th, 2014
This week sees the release of THE HIGH DRUID’S BLADE (UK | ANZ), a brand new stand-alone novel by Terry Brooks, set in the Legendary world of Shannara.
This exciting epic fantasy adventure tells the tale of Paxon Leah, a descendant of the royals and warriors who once waged war with magical weapons. But to Paxon, those days of legend are long gone now, and he leads a quiet life – until extraordinary circumstances will rewrite his destiny . . .
To celebrate the release, we’ve designed the beautiful Shannara family tree below (click to enlarge it!) showing the Ohmsford and Leah family lineage. It really demonstrates the richness of the Shannara world. But the great thing about the new book THE HIGH DRUID’S BLADE is that it’s a stand-alone novel, so a great place to discover this world for the first time. You can read an extract here.
Readers in the UK now have the chance to win a beautiful A2 poster of this family tree.Check out our competition on the Orbit UK Facebook Page.
Click to see the full size
- - July 4th, 2014
We know many of you have been waiting eagerly for the newest Terry Brooks Shannara novel, THE HIGH DRUID’S BLADE to hit shops, and next week the wait will finally be over. A standalone set in Terry’s wildly popular Shannara world, this story follows Paxon Leah leading a quiet life – until extraordinary circumstances overturn his simple world . . . and rewrite his destiny.
To celebrate this new generation added to the story of Shannara, we thought we’d make something special to show the great history from which this legend has come. It’s only for rough now, but we’re in the process of designing a family tree to show the Ohmsford lineage, and how Terry Brook’s stories have captured an entire world’s history, generation after generation.
The full tree – in colour – will be available to win as a print next week to coincide with publication of THE HIGH DRUID’S BLADE. We can’t wait for you to see the final product! It’s going to be a must-have for all Shannara fans, old and new.
Click to see a larger version
- - July 3rd, 2014
At last. The event that thousands of you have scribbled in your diaries (or typed with equal fervour into your digital calendars) is finally here: the publication of Anthony Ryan’s TOWER LORD.
Rewind to September 28th, 2012. FantasyCon, Brighton. A gloriously hot day where the town’s population were doing what British people do when the weather’s nice: flock to the beach, use disposable BBQs that don’t really work, and get sunburned.
Anne Clarke – then Editorial Director of Orbit UK – and I snuck out of a launch party (not our own party, I should add) to discuss a book that we’d just received on submission.
‘Is it good?’ Anne asked me.
‘I’ve only read about 100 pages,’ I replied, blinking against the sparkling of the sun on the sea. ‘But yeah, it’s good. In fact, I think it’s really good.’ (I think I might have actually looked around in a conspirational manner as I said this. In my defence, most of the great and good of London genre publishing were only just out of earshot.)
“Well,’ Anne replied with a knowing nod. You ought to read the rest. Quickly.’
So I did. The following day I read for seven hours straight until I finished the book. It took about the same amount of time afterwards to comprehend just how fantastic it was. We bought the book that same week in a hard-fought auction and published it the following spring.
That novel was Anthony Ryan’s BLOOD SONG (UK | ANZ), which went on to receive universal acclaim and become the UK’s bestselling epic fantasy debut in 2013.
I’ve written before about why I love this book so much (crisp prose, visceral action sequences and a suitably conflicted hero, in case you can’t be bothered clicking the link). I was delighted to see that tens of thousands of readers loved BLOOD SONG for exactly the same reasons I did. Even Amazon felt the same way, making BLOOD SONG their favourite SFF book of 2013.
But once the dust has settled, you’re left pondering the inevitable question: how will the next book measure up? After all, the road to publishing hell is paved with ‘difficult’ second novels.
The answer, I’m pleased to say, is that TOWER LORD is an even better book than its illustrious predecessor.
I won’t say much more, save that TOWER LORD retains all of the best elements of BLOOD SONG (the exciting action scenes, the razor-sharp intrigue and the wonderful characterisation) as well as broadening the scope and raising the stakes even higher. We meet some fascinating new characters (including, I should add, some excellent female protagonists) and get to explore some thrilling new places. And then there’s the jaw-dropping revelations about – ah, but I’ve said too much already.
If you loved BLOOD SONG, you’ll love TOWER LORD. If you haven’t read BLOOD SONG, then I suggest you read it immediately (unless you’re operating heavy machinery). And if you didn’t like BLOOD SONG, well . . . I’m afraid you’ll feel a bit lonely, as there’s not many of you.
TOWER LORD is out now in hardback, ebook and audio.
I’ll leave you with a quote from the book:
‘It’s always the way with great men, they can’t see the knives of those who live in their shadow.’
- - July 3rd, 2014
Today we publish THE RHESUS CHART by Charles Stross in stunning hardback. This adventure sees IT guru and secret agent Bob Howard go up against some bloodsuckers from the London financial district. When a small team of investment bankers at one of Canary Wharf’s most distinguished financial institutions discovers an arcane algorithm that leaves them fearing daylight and craving O positive, someone doesn’t want the Laundry to know. We all know big cities can suck the life out of you, and our technologically-able hero is about to find out the truth behind this lasting adage.
If you’ve not discovered the Laundry (the top secret agency who deal with the supernatural) yet this is the perfect place for new readers to start.
To celebrate Charles Stross is running a competition to win some amazing Laundry swag, including a signed first edition hardback of THE RHESUS CHART. All you have to do to enter is head over to his blog and comment with the wackiest, funniest or most unfair reasons you think that employees might be pulled up for disciplinary action at the Laundry, the British Secret Service Division for dealing with the Supernatural. Entries will be judged by Charlie who’ll arbitrarily pick the cleverest reasons, or just the ones that make him laugh the loudest and the longest. There are some examples here, to get you started:
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- - July 1st, 2014
One of the hardest the things about being a fan is the waiting, especially when it’s something you really, really, really want.
Well, Brent Weeks fans, you have less than two months of waiting until the big release of THE BROKEN EYE, but those two months don’t have to be completely maddening. Join us on Goodreads for a Lightbringer Read-Along! This month we’ll be reading and discussing THE BLACK PRISM followed by THE BLINDING KNIFE in August.
In other news, Brent Weeks announced THE BROKEN EYE Book Tour on his blog yesterday! Mark your calendars and don’t forget to RSVP on Facebook or Goodreads!
- - June 30th, 2014
The winners of the 2014 Locus Awards have been announced, and we’re thrilled to see two Orbit authors among them!
Congratulations to James S.A. Corey for winning the Locus Award for Best Science Fiction Novel, for ABADDON’S GATE (US | UK | ANZ); to Ann Leckie for winning the Locus Award for Best First Novel, for ANCILLARY JUSTICE (US | UK | ANZ); and to all the rest of the winners!
You can see the full list of winners here.
- - June 24th, 2014
Book two of D.J. Molles’s bestselling series is available now in paperback! When a bacterium turns 90% of the population into hyper-aggressive predators, it’s up to a group of elite soldiers like Lee Harden to salvage what they can from the wreckage. The obstacles are immense, but failure is not an option. See what’s in store for Captain Harden in THE REMAINING: AFTERMATH.
To Captain Lee Harden, the mission to rescue his countrymen and rebuild the nation seems like a distant memory.
Wounded and weaponless, he has stumbled upon a group of survivors who may be his last hope. But a tragedy in the group causes a deep rift and forces him into action.
And in the chaos of a world overrun by infected, Lee is pursued by a new threat: someone who will stop at nothing to keep him from his sworn duty.
If you are new to the series, make sure to check out the first book, THE REMAINING and follow the author on Facebook.
THE REMAINING – Available now.
THE REMAINING: AFTERMATH – Available now.
THE REMAINING: REFUGEES – July 2014
THE REMAINING: FRACTURED – August 2014
Novella 1: THE REMAINING: TRUST
Novella 2: THE REMAINING: FAITH
- - June 24th, 2014
For those of you craving something new and exciting now that E3 is over, Orbit has the answer. Baptism of Fire, the latest book in the Witcher series and the basis for the popular video games, is on shelves now! Do not miss this epic adventure featuring Geralt’s latest quest.
The Wizards Guild has been shattered by a coup and, in the uproar, Geralt was seriously injured. The Witcher is supposed to be a guardian of the innocent, a protector of those in need, a defender against powerful and dangerous monsters that prey on men in dark times.
But now that dark times have fallen upon the world, Geralt is helpless until he has recovered from his injuries.
While war rages across all of the lands, the future of magic is under threat and those sorcerers who survive are determined to protect it. It’s an impossible situation in which to find one girl – Ciri, the heiress to the throne of Cintra, has vanished – until a rumor places her in the Niflgaard court, preparing to marry the Emperor.
Injured or not, Geralt has a rescue mission on his hands.
Praise for The Witcher series:
“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)
This is the third of the Witcher novels by Andrzej Sapkowski. And if you haven’t yet, make sure to check out where it all started with The Last Wish, Blood of Elves, and The Time of Contempt available now.
- - June 23rd, 2014
To celebrate the release of the seventh book in the Iron Druid chronicles, SHATTERED (UK | ANZ), we asked you to come up with your best questions for author Kevin Hearne (or Oberon). We had some absolutely fantastic responses, and Kevin has answered a selection of the best below.
Q. How did you get interested in Druids and how have you collected your information of how Atticus understands his magic?
KH: I got interested in Druids because I’m a tree hugger. The modern-day Druids, of course, are revivalists who are basing their ceremonies on nineteenth-century guesswork. The ancient Druids never wrote anything down except for things like property boundaries on stones marked with Ogham. Atticus’s magic system, therefore, is almost entirely my fabrication. His abilities are suggested by legends, however: multiple accounts speak of shape-shifting, divination, and even of teleportation (which I presented as a shifting between planes). There are also accounts of weather manipulation, which Atticus has used in a small way in the first two books. I unified those legendary Druidic abilities under the system of binding.
Q. Which super villain do you think Atticus would have a tough time defeating?
KH: Going to go a bit obscure on you: Cyclone, an old opponent of Spider-Man’s that I always found to be quite scary as a kid. He controls the wind in a hundred-foot radius around his body and can pluck the very air out of your lungs, preventing you from taking another breath. He can also create tornado-force whirlwinds about himself, which he can use defensively (any strike with Fragarach would be deflected) or offensively, lifting Atticus off the ground and cutting him off from the earth. I’m sure there are other super villains who could also succeed but that’s the first one that came to mind.
Q. What is Atticus’ favourite pop culture tshirt?
KH: He has one that says WHAT THE FRAK in really large letters and then, in a much smaller font underneath, “happened in Season 4 of Battlestar Galactica?” Because it was a mess.
Q. How is it that a Druid who has had so much grief from the Fae, came to name his dog after Shakespeare’s King of the Fairies?
KH: Atticus thinks of it as wry jest. He knows very well that the Fae are actually ruled by women – Brighid, the Morrigan, etc. – and Oberon & Titania were merely Shakespeare’s creations.
Q. Does Oberon have an accent when he ‘talks’?
KH: Great question! He has the standard Western American accent – in other words, not anything southern or northeastern – mixed with the slightly manic tone of an excited, hungry, and horny hound. Atticus adopted him when he had been living in America for a while and of course Oberon’s pop culture diet in the States included plenty of American movies and TV.
- - June 20th, 2014
Last week we attended the David Gemmell Awards ceremony – now in its sixth year – and were thrilled to see PROMISE OF BLOOD by Brian McClellan win the Morningstar category for best debut novel.
EMPEROR OF THORNS by Mark Lawrence won the Legend award for best novel, while the artwork for the same book – created by Jason Chan – won the Ravenheart category for best cover art.
Many congratulations to Brian and his fellow winners, and also to all the other authors and designers who were shortlisted.
Brian’s new novel, THE CRIMSON CAMPAIGN (UK | US | ANZ) is out now in hardback, ebook and audio. The third and final novel in the Powder Mage trilogy, THE AUTUMN REPUBLIC, will be published in February 2015.
Praise for PROMISE OF BLOOD:
‘Just plain awesome . . . Innovative magic, quick-paced plot, interesting world. I had a blast’ – Brandon Sanderson
‘An historically influenced fantastical romp filled with machismo, intrigue and magic’ – SciFiNow
‘Promise of Blood is the best debut I’ve read in ages’ – Peter V. Brett
‘A French Revolution with wizards; McClellan’s debut packs some serious heat’ – Kirkus Reviews
‘Tense action, memorable characters, rising stakes . . . Brian McClellan is the real thing’ – Brent Weeks