- - July 15th, 2014
Tom Holt’s latest comic fantasy, THE OUTSORCERER’S APPRENTICE, is now available in paperback and digital! This new novel – from an author many compare to Terry Pratchett and Douglas Adams – tells the story of a wizard who’s seen the profit in ancient prophecies and the investment value in a dragon’s hoard . . .
It’s a novel of overlords, underlings and inhuman resources. It’s THE OUTSORCERER’S APPRENTICE.
A happy workforce, it is said, is a productive workforce.
Try telling that to an army of belligerent goblins. Or the Big Bad Wolf. Or a professional dragon slayer. Who is looking after their well-being? Who gives a damn about their intolerable working conditions, lack of adequate health insurance, and terrible coffee in the canteen?
Thankfully, with access to an astonishingly diverse workforce and limitless natural resources, maximizing revenue and improving operating profit has never really been an issue for the one they call “the Wizard.” Until now.
Because now a perfectly good business model – based on sound fiscal planning, entrepreneurial flair, and only one or two of the infinite parallel worlds that make up our universe – is about to be disrupted by a young man not entirely aware of what’s going on.
There’s also a slight risk that the fabric of reality will be torn to shreds. You really do have to be awfully careful with these things.
Praise for Tom Holt:
‘Uniquely twisted . . . cracking gags’
‘Gratifyingly clever and very amusing’
Mail on Sunday
- - July 14th, 2014
The exciting news broke over the weekend that MTV have ordered 10 episodes of a TV adaptation of Terry Brooks’ Shannara novels. After years of fans worldwide calling for this epic fantasy series to make it to the small screen, it’s fantastic to hear that it’s finally been green-lighted.
The first season will be based on The Elfstones of Shannara (UK | ANZ), which when first released spent 16 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. Directing will be Jonathan Liebesman (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles), and the script is written by Smallville creators Al Gough and Miles Millar. Terry Brooks himself will be taking an executive producer role, along with Jon Favreau and Dan Farah.
The casting is yet to begin – the question is: who would you all like to see starring?
To catch up on the latest in the Shannara world, check out Terry Brooks’ recently released The High Druid’s Blade (UK | ANZ) – a standalone novel which is a great entry-point into the Shannara world.
- - July 11th, 2014
We’re very happy to unveil our cover for an exciting new book coming from Patricia Briggs on 2nd September 2014! It’s called SHIFTING SHADOWS (UK | ANZ), and it’s a collection of fantastic short stories set in the world of Mercy Thompson.
Patricia Briggs is a number one New York Times bestseller and one of the most popular urban fantasy authors writing today. This anthology revolves around her much-loved character Mercy Thompson – mechanic, shapeshifter and fighter – and the people she calls friends. It includes numerous brand-new stories which you won’t have seen anywhere else.
Mercy fans – this is a must! And for anyone who hasn’t read Patricia Briggs yet, this might be a good time to check out why Kelley Armstrong calls the Mercy Thompson series ‘the best new urban fantasy series I’ve read in years’.
- - July 10th, 2014
There are few books that unsettle me like a Mira Grant novel, but no other books give me the chills as much while also drawing me in with raw humanity. In PARASITE you’re taken to a world where the inexorable march of corporate progress and medical advancement has designed a cure for the ailments that haunt all of us. Oh, and this miracle cure is tapeworms surgically implanted into our digestive system. But this remedy is revealing itself to have hidden and profound side effects.
In the era of “too big to fail” and the devastating effects we’re having on our environment it’s not difficult for me to imagine massive companies having devastating results, consequences we are all complicit in, but the author’s intelligence, in-depth research, and uncanny ability to raise suspense make the nightmare of this book all too believable.
But what makes the horror fully real is the main character Sal. In Sal I found the perfect protagonist to draw me into this world and behind the curtain of SymboGen, the corporation claiming to be our savior. Waking up from an accident Sal has to learn to start all over again. Walking, speaking, and everything else is new to her. She is a child, but not a child, and her raw innocence made me fully share in the same sense of defenselessness she feels as she learns the dark secrets of the world and finds monsters everywhere. Reading Parasite terrifyingly brought me back to the days when I looked for creatures under the bed, but this story shows that monsters are within us and all around.
PARASITE is currently available for $1.99 in the US and £1.99 in the UK for a limited time. Read an excerpt here.
- - 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.