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Descent by Ken MacLeod

DESCENT Ken MacLeod

Author of 2013 Arthur C. Clarke Award-nominated Intrusion tells a science fiction story for the twenty-first century – what happens when conspiracy theorists meet Big Brother?
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THE LASCAR’S DAGGERGlenda Larke

The start of a brand new epic fantasy trilogy from the author of the Stormlord series – full of scheming, spying, action and adventure.
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LAST TO RISE – the stunning conclusion to the Rojan Dizon novels

Released today is LAST TO RISE, the third and final novel in the Rojan Dizon series by Francis Knight, following FADE TO BLACK and BEFORE THE FALL. The ending to this action fantasy series is intensely powerful and moving.

Things are at breaking point for the towering vertical city of Mahala. It has long been a city plagued by corruption, by the exploitation of the weakest – where the pain of the downtrodden has endlessly paid for the whims and fancies of the privileged elite.

But now things are reaching boiling point – as the city is under siege and Rojan’s desperate efforts to save the city using his forbidden magic are driving him further and further into the depths of madness. Although he’d gladly see this city burn, he will give his all to save those who mean something to him – as they’re all he’s got left.

This quote from Publisher’s Weekly really sums up how magnificent it is:

Knight’s Rojan Dizon trilogy conclusion presses its growing cast of characters into intense moments of loyalty and sacrifice to close with a sharp turn into darker, more rewarding territory . . . With Rojan’s best friend anchoring him to humanity on one side and his exhausting, bloody, agonizing magic driving him closer to insanity on the other, the novel takes on a propulsive, fractured energy that mirrors Rojan and Mahala’s increasingly frantic struggle for survival.

The series, which has grown in complexity since the beginning, reaches a profoundly moving conclusion that is both unexpected and entirely satisfying.

If you haven’t picked up the Rojan Dizon novels yet (starting with FADE TO BLACK) I urge you to give them a go, as it’s one of the most dynamic and readable series around from a very promising new British fantasy talent.

Fade to Black, book 1 in the Rojan Dizon series by Francis Knight, perfect for fans of Scott Lynch and Douglas Hulick Before the Fall, book 2 in the Rojan Dizon series following Fade to Black by Francis Knight, perfect for fans of Scott Lynch and Douglas Hulick

 

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Cover Reveal: THIEF’S MAGIC by Trudi Canavan

The new cover for THIES' MAGIC, book one of the fantasy series Millennium's rule by bestselling Trudi CanavanWe’re very proud to present the cover for THIEF’S MAGIC, a thrilling new fantasy novel coming from the number 1 bestselling author Trudi Canavan next May. The illustration is by the very talented Lee Gibbons.

THIEF’S MAGIC is book one in the brand new Millennium’s Rule series. Here in the Orbit office we all pounced on this manuscript as soon as it came in. And we haven’t been able to stop talking about it since – because I’m excited to say it’s truly one of the best things Trudi’s ever written…

Here’s a sneak peek at what’s in store for readers next May:

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.

But not everything is as Tyen and Rielle have been raised to believe. Not the nature of magic, nor the laws of their lands.

Not even the people they trust.

If you want to be the first to hear news on Trudi and her books, then “like” the official Trudi Canavan Facebook page. This is where we’ll be releasing exclusive extracts, videos and competitions before they’re available anywhere else – so make sure you don’t miss out!

2013 Goodread Choice Awards: Final Round

The final round of voting for the 2013 Goodreads Choice Awards is here at last! Below are your nominees from Orbit!

FantasyVOTE NOW!
A MEMORY OF LIGHT by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson (UK | AUS)
A MEMORY OF LIGHT 

Paranormal FantasyVOTE NOW!
COLD DAYS by Jim Butcher (UK | AUS)
FROST BURNED by Patricia Briggs (UK | AUS)
HUNTED by Kevin Hearne (UK | AUS)

COLD DAYS FROST BURNED Hunted

Science FictionVOTE NOW!
EARTH AFIRE by Orson Scott Card & Aaron Johnson (UK | AUS)
ABADDON’S GATE by James S.A Corey (US | UK | AUS)
EARTH AFIRE Abaddon's Gate

HorrorVOTE NOW!
PARASITE by Mira Grant – Parasite (US | UK | AUS)
Grant_Parasite-HC

Debut Goodreads Author - VOTE NOW!
PROMISE OF BLOOD by Brian McClellan (US | UK | AUS)

PROMISE OF BLOOD

Graphic Novels & Comics - VOTE NOW!
THE INFERNAL DEVICES: CLOCKWORK PRINCE story by Cassandra Clare, art by Hyekyung Baek (UK | AUS)

Infernal Devices

This last round of voting closes on November 25th so don’t forget to cast your vote before then.

RT Reviewers’ Choice Awards

RT Book Reviews announced the nominees for this year’s RT Reviewers’ Choice Awards, and we’re pleased to see a number of Orbit titles among them! See the list below the cut.

Read the rest of this entry »

Barnes & Noble Discovery Friday

This year, Barnes & Noble is debuting a new promotion called “Discovery Friday” to give you a start to your holiday shopping. On Friday, November 22nd, there will be events and activities at Barnes & Noble bookstores across the country. A number of Orbit authors will be participating at their local B&Ns. Check the list below to see if one of them will be near you!

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Kate-Locke-profile

I have a confession to make — I like characters that are flawed. I like them bitter and acerbic, and as capable of evil as they are of goodness. I particularly like those who are a little…unhinged. Not so much crazy-dangerous as crazy-reckless.

In the Immortal Empire series, I created Xandra Vardan who I think is a delightfully twisted character. I don’t want to go into spoiler territory, so I’ll say only that Xandy is a monster — even amongst the werewolves and vampires that populate her world. She’s a good-hearted person (for the most part). She’s loyal to those she loves and would do anything to protect them. She’s also snarky, petty and sometimes a raving bitch. And sometimes, she’d like to eat your liver — maybe open a vein. It would be entirely too easy for Xandra to kill, and she’s pretty certain she’d like it. In most stories she’d probably be the villain. In Long Live the Queen (and the first two books in the series, God Save the Queen, The Queen is Dead), she’s the hero.

I don’t think I’m alone in this preference for slightly mad characters. There’s a reason why Faith was so popular with Buffy the Vampire Slayer fans. She was predictable only in her unpredictability — a wild card. I loved it when Willow went dark, or when Spike and Dru came out to play.

A common mistake amongst authors — new and experienced — is to make our main character(s) so ‘good’ that they lack depth. That depth tends to then go into secondary characters who end up stealing every scene they’re in because they’re much more interesting and complex than the hero. In other cases, it simply doesn’t make sense for the protagonist to be that twisted. Buffy was a little of both. She didn’t have the luxury of being mad. Buffy had to be responsible and strong and righteous. That doesn’t mean she was always good, however. After all, she seem to have a thing for emotionally unstable men… One of my favorite episodes, though, is the one that had you wondering if Buffy really was a vampire slayer, or a poor delusional girl in a mental hospital. Either way, she’s screwed.

The bottom line is that characters need a balance of unpredictability to go with that predictable behavior. Everyone has a code by which they live, but we’re all capable of horrendous things. However, in a protagonist, that balance needs to be really clear — your narrator needs to be at least a little bit reliable. The most fascinating characters are good people capable of terrible things.

Or not so great people capable of great things. A great example of a recent character who made being twisted work is Captain Jack Sparrow. Not the most heroic of men, but when it comes right down to it, he can usually be depended on to do the right thing — or something that will lead to the right thing.

Xandra tries to be a good person, but sometimes she falls short. She’s not really that nice  — she’s selfish and petulant, and sometimes she’s a raving bitch. There were times when I worried for her sanity, and those were the times I loved her most. The monster in her wants blood and violence and maybe a little song and dance to go with it. In the movie Con Air Steve Buscemi’s character Garland Gray is an absolute nutcase — a psychopathic killer who once wore a victim’s head as a hat. He’s twisted. He’s also the most compelling character in the whole movie, and when he walks away in the end, you’re rooting for him even though you know he’s a monster. In fact, if you want a great example of twisted characters, watch ‘Sons of Anarchy’ — almost every one on that show is exactly the sort of character capable of both good and evil. I think Xandra would feel right at home.

In LONG LIVE THE QUEEN (US | UK | AUS) Xandra comes up against a character even more twisted than herself. I’d be lying if I didn’t say that Ally was incredibly fun to write. She was also heart-breaking. The more whacked I tried to make her, the more attached I became. My favorite characters in the series are the ones that are monsters and accept it — maybe even like it. At the very least, they make no excuses.

LONG LIVE THE QUEEN is out now! Look for it online and in stores everywhere. If you’re new to this series, check out the first book GOD SAVE THE QUEEN (US | UK | AUS).

Cover Reveal: THE REMAINING by D.J. Molles

We’re thrilled to share the stunning cover art for the first four books in D.J. Molles’ Remaining series, which follows Captain Lee Harden and a group of survivors as they fight to rebuild a devastated America. The eBooks of all four will be available from Orbit starting January 2014, with print additions coming out in successive months starting in May.

In the meantime here is a synopsis of the first book in the series, THE REMAINING….

In a steel-and-lead-encased bunker 20 feet below the basement level of his house, a Special Forces soldier waits for his final orders. On the surface, a plague ravages the planet, infecting over 90% of the populace.

The bacterium burrows through the brain, destroying all signs of humanity and leaving behind little more than base, prehistoric instincts. The infected turn into hyper-aggressive predators, with an insatiable desire to kill and feed.

Soon the soldier will have to open the hatch to his bunker, and step out into this new wasteland, to complete his duty: SURVIVE, RESCUE, REBUILD.

This gritty tale of survival and perseverance will enthrall fans of World War Z and The Walking Dead.

THE REMAINING (US | UK) – Paperback – May 2014, eBook January 2014
THE REMAINING: AFTERMATH  (US | UK) – Paperback – June 2014, eBook January 2014
THE REMAINING: REFUGEES (US | UK) – Paperback – July 2014, eBook January 2014
THE REMAINING: FRACTURED (US | UK)– Paperback – August 2014, eBook January 2014

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Molles_TheRemainingRefugees-TP.jpg Molles_TheRemainingFractured-TP.jpg

Cover design by Lauren Panepinto.

Goodreads Readers Choice Awards: Semifinal Rounds

The second round of voting for the 2013 Goodreads Choice Awards is officially open! Thanks to you, ANCILLARY JUSTICE, AMERICAN ELSEWHERE, and THE INFERNAL DEVICES: CLOCKWORK PRINCE have been added to the list of nominees via write-in decision. Below are the Orbit books up for a Readers Choice Award.

FantasyVOTE NOW!
A MEMORY OF LIGHT by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson (UK | AUS)
THE CROWN TOWER by Michael J Sullivan (US | UK | AUS)
PROMISE OF BLOOD by Brian McClellan (US | UK | AUS)

A MEMORY OF LIGHT crown-tower-highRez PROMISE OF BLOOD

Paranormal FantasyVOTE NOW!
COLD DAYS by Jim Butcher (UK | AUS)
FROST BURNED by Patricia Briggs (UK | AUS)
HUNTED by Kevin Hearne (UK | AUS)

COLD DAYS FROST BURNED Hunted

Science FictionVOTE NOW!
EARTH AFIRE by Orson Scott Card & Aaron Johnson (UK | AUS)
ABADDON’S GATE by James S.A Corey (US | UK | AUS)
ANCILLARY JUSTICE by Ann Leckie (US | UK | AUS)

EARTH AFIRE Abaddon's Gate Leckie_AncillaryJustice_TP

HorrorVOTE NOW!
PARASITE by Mira Grant – Parasite (US | UK | AUS)
THE REMAINING: FRACTURED by DJ Molles (US | UK)
AMERICAN ELSEWHERE by Robert Jackson Bennett (US | UK | AUS)

Grant_Parasite-HC Molles_TheRemainingFractured-TP.jpg Bennet_AmericanElsewhere_TP

Debut Goodreads Author - VOTE NOW!
PROMISE OF BLOOD by Brian McClellan (US | UK | AUS)

PROMISE OF BLOOD

Graphic Novels & Comics - VOTE NOW!
THE INFERNAL DEVICES: CLOCKWORK PRINCE story by Cassandra Clare, art by Hyekyung Baek (UK | AUS)

Infernal Devices

The second round of voting closes on November 16th so don’t forget to cast your vote before then.

No author events near you this weekend?

You can still watch our online event, “A Night at the Space Opera,” on YouTube! Science fiction authors Daniel Abraham (James S.A. Corey), Ann Leckie, and Rachel Bach were joined by Scientific American associate editor Clara Moskowitz to talk about the genre and humanity’s future in space.

James S.A. Corey is the author of the Expanse series, starting with the Hugo Award nominated LEVIATHAN WAKES (US | UK | ANZ); the most recent book was ABADDON’S GATE (US | UK | ANZ). Look for CIBOLA BURN in June 2014!

Ann Leckie is the author of the debut novel ANCILLARY JUSTICE (US | UK | ANZ). io9 called it “the mind-blowing space opera you’ve been needing,” and NPR Books called it “assured, gripping, and stylish.”

Rachel Bach is the author of FORTUNE’S PAWN (US | UK | ANZ), which came out on Tuesday! Look for the sequel, HONOR’S KNIGHT (US | UK) in February 2014. She is also the author, as Rachel Aaron, of the Eli Monpress epic fantasy series.

Goodreads Readers Choice Awards: Opening Rounds

The first round of voting for the 2013 Goodreads Choice Awards is officially open! Below are the Orbit books we’re thrilled to see still on the list.

FantasyVOTE NOW!
A MEMORY OF LIGHT by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson (UK | AUS)
THE CROWN TOWER by Michael J Sullivan (US | UK | AUS)
PROMISE OF BLOOD by Brian McClellan (US | UK | AUS)

A MEMORY OF LIGHT crown-tower-highRez PROMISE OF BLOOD

Paranormal FantasyVOTE NOW!
COLD DAYS by Jim Butcher (UK | AUS)
FROST BURNED by Patricia Briggs (UK | AUS)
HUNTED by Kevin Hearne (UK | AUS)

COLD DAYS   FROST BURNED   Hunted

Science FictionVOTE NOW!
EARTH AFIRE by Orson Scott Card & Aaron Johnson (UK | AUS)
ABADDON’S GATE by James S.A Corey (US | UK | AUS)

EARTH AFIRE   Abaddon's Gate

HorrorVOTE NOW!
PARASITE by Mira Grant – Parasite (US | UK | AUS)
THE REMAINING: FRACTURED by DJ Molles  (US | UK)

Grant_Parasite-HC   Molles_TheRemainingFractured-TP.jpg

Debut Goodreads Author
PROMISE OF BLOOD by Brian McClellan (US | UK | AUS)

PROMISE OF BLOOD

The first round of voting closes on November 9th so don’t forget to cast your vote before then. This is also your only chance to write-in titles for the various categories. Let your voice be heard!

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