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Posts Tagged ‘epic fantasy’

Cover Launch: THE DREAD WYRM by Miles Cameron

We’re delighted to launch the cover for Miles Cameron’s THE DREAD WYRM, the much-anticipated new installment in the Traitor Son Cycle that began with THE RED KNIGHT and THE FELL SWORD, coming out in October this year.

DreadWyrmCover_Cameron

Some are born to power. Some seize it. And some have the wisdom never to wield it. 

The Red Knight has stood against soldiers, armies and the might of an empire without flinching. He’s fought on real and magical battlefields alike, and now he’s facing one of the greatest challenges yet. A tournament.

A joyous spring event, the flower of the nobility will ride against each other for royal favor and acclaim. It’s a political contest — one which the Red Knight has the skill to win. But the stakes may be higher than he thinks. The court of Alba has been infiltrated by a dangerous faction of warlike knights, led by the greatest knight in the world: Jean de Vrailly — and the prize he’s fighting for isn’t royal favor, but the throne of Alba itself…

Not caught up? There’s still time to check out the first two books.

theredknight Cameron_FellSword_TPB

Praise for the Traitor Son Cycle:

“I cannot recommend the Traitor Son Cycle enough…amazing.” — SF Signal

“Literate, intelligent and well-thought-out…George R. R. Martin comparisons will no doubt be in abundance.” — SFF World

“Medieval fantasy at its finest.”— Fantasy Faction

“The series promises to be a standout epic fantasy for the ages.” — SF Signal Fantasy Book Critic

The Orbit Fantasy Writing Workshop continues

Orbit Fantasy Workshop with Karen Miller

The Orbit Fantasy Writing Workshop continues this week and runs until 3rd August. It’s led by Karen Miller, the bestselling author of THE FALCON THRONE (US | UK | AUS). We’re very happy to see so many people taking part. To find out how you can get involved, see details here.

In order to provide some helpful advice along the way, Karen posted this piece on Writing Your First Fantasy Novel on Monday.

And since the challenge she has set involves writing a character who is morally conflicted, today she gives some great pointers on Writing the Villain: or learning to love your inner Darth Vader. It should really get you thinking about what brings characters to life.

And in addition to this, Karen is also participating in a Reddit Ask Me Anything (AMA) today, so do feel free to put any questions you have about writing to her.

Please keep letting us know how things are going by leaving comments on this site, or posting on Twitter with the hashtag #OrbitFantasyWorkshop. Best of luck with the writing!

SWORDS AND SCOUNDRELS…Introducing the Duellists series by Julia Knight!

En garde! We have something very exciting in store for fantasy fans this Autumn . . .

Announcing the Duellists trilogy – a brand new adventure fantasy series from the hugely talented British author Julia Knight.

This year we’ll be releasing not just one, but all three books in this fast and furious series – full of ruffians, scoundrels and rogues . . . and more action than you can shake a very pointy stick at!

The three books are as follows:

SWORDS AND SCOUNDRELS (UK | US | ANZ) – October 2015

LEGENDS AND LIARS (UK | US | ANZ) – November 2015

WARLORDS AND WASTRELS (UK | US | ANZ) – December 2015

So what’s the series about? Well, it follows two former champion duellists, a brother and sister named Kacha and Vocho. They’re down on their luck – and have been forced to become reluctant highwaymen. But when they pick the wrong carriage to rob, their simple plan to win back fame and notoriety go south fast . . . and they’ll find themselves mixed up in a plan to reclaim a stolen throne.

Covers for the Duellists books by Julia Knight - Swords and Scoundrels, Legends and Liars and Warlords and Wastrels

The world-building in this series really draws you in and the dynamic between the characters is superb – I can’t wait for you guys to meet Kacha and Vocho. If you’re into the likes of Douglas Hulick, Scott Lynch and Brandon Sanderson then this will be right up your street. And what’s great is, you’ll be able to get your hands on the whole series fast!

Look below for more details and to see the covers in full. You can follow Julia on Twitter as @Knight_Julia and her series is available for pre-order now . . .
Read the rest of this entry »

Orbit launches a Fantasy Writing Workshop with Karen Miller

This summer, Orbit is launching an online fantasy writing workshop, hosted on OrbitBooks.net. It will be led by Karen Miller – the million-copy bestselling author who rose to fame with her debut The Innocent Mage, and whose most recent release is the critically acclaimed epic fantasy The Falcon Throne (UK | US | ANZ).

The free week-long event, which starts on 27th July 2015, will invite aspiring authors to take part in a communal online “write-along” challenge, during which they will each be encouraged to pen their own sample of a new fantasy novel. They will also be invited to submit this sample into a competition at the end of the week.

Miller will be kicking off the writing workshop by setting a writing challenge for aspiring fantasy authors on 27th July, and will be providing advice and words of encouragement throughout the week. She will also taking part in a Reddit “Ask Me Anything” session on 29th July, during which time participants will be able to put their own questions on writing to her.

Miller said: “One of the hardest things about starting a writing career is the feeling that you’re alone, that nobody understands what you’re going through, and that it’s really hard to figure out how to do it right! That’s why I’m so excited to share a little of what I’ve learned since I wrote my first fantasy novel. It’s been a wild ride, these past few years, and if a new writer can be helped by something I’ve said, it will make all the hard work worthwhile.”

Any aspiring authors interested in taking part should follow @OrbitBooks on Twitter and look for the hashtag #OrbitFantasyWorkshop for updates, or sign up to the Orbit newsletter here.

For further information contact gemma.conley-smith@littlebrown.co.uk or anna.jackson@littlebrown.co.uk

Cover Launch: SKYBORN by David Dalglish

I was fortunate enough to art direct David’s first series, the Shadowdance novels, so when I heard we were ready to work on his next series I was super excited. SKYBORN (US | UK | AUS)  is about the Seraphim, an elite military force protecting a floating island of Weshern. The Seraphim guard the remnants of mankind, defying gravity using ancient wings and mastering powerful elements to wage war in the skies.

The new series has been a different design challenge from the Shadowdance books in that we wanted to convey a different feel for the cover art. In David’s first series, we wanted emphasis on the main character, a ninja-like assassin, and the books’ energetic action. In Skyborn, the characters are a bit more unique in that they have metal wings to fly, wield swords, and wear military uniforms. Ultimately, the new series needed to convey high adventure.

In what I would call serendipitous timing, the work of Tommy Arnold came across my desk as we were discussing the covers. His style just hit the nail on the head for this project. His ability to illustrate characters was spot on. He could also handle textures beautifully: fabrics, metals, flames, etc. And most importantly, his illustrations really pull the viewer in and engage you. It was a no brainer in reaching out to get Tommy on board.

So after settling on what we wanted for the covers, we got Tommy moving. I couldn’t have had more fun designing David’s super fun new series with such a talented artist!

I’m thrilled to present the cover to Skyborn by David Dalglish!

Dalglish_Skyborn-TP.jpg

Skyborn, the first volume of a new series by David Dalglish, will be hitting shelves November 2015.

author post

Thief's Magic by Trudi CanavanTrudi Canavan is an international bestselling author whose novels have been translated into more than 20 languages. Following the paperback release of THIEF’S MAGIC (UK | US | ANZ), the start of Trudi’s brand new adventure series, she shares some thoughts on what it’s like to be an author based in Australia whose novels are sold around the world.

The Tyranny of Distance is the name of a history book published back in the 60s, and the title has become a phrase used whenever Australians discuss the difficulty of doing business – or anything, really – in a world where most English-speaking nations are far, far away. The difficulties of, for instance, trading with customers half a world away is one reason why Australia produced a lot of wool – it doesn’t deteriorate on long sea voyages.

Sometimes, when I’m abroad, I’m asked what it is like to be an Australian author who is a bestseller outside of my country, or why Australian fantasy is so good. I often think of this phrase, but don’t use it because I am unsure if anyone outside of Australia will know and understand it. Yet I think distance has a lot to do with the answer to both questions. These are some of the ways:

Since shipping is costly, not all books printed outside of Australia are sold here. Until ebooks were easily accessible we were only reading the most popular authors. Since authors draw, consciously and unconsciously, on what we’ve read and seen before, we have been emulating or subverting the best of the genre. Raised on the best, is it any surprise that Australian fantasy writers do well? However…

When it comes to who is writing fantasy, we aren’t as influenced by assumptions and attitudes in other markets. For example, I did not encounter anyone who thought that mainly men write epic fantasy until I ventured overseas in 2011. In fact, when it came to who reads fantasy, I grew up in an era and place where boys were more likely to read science fiction and girls to prefer fantasy. Little wonder, perhaps, that by 2012 two-thirds of traditionally published Australian fantasy writers for adults were women. However, when it comes to being published overseas, and now that the the local fantasy imprints are global, we have this and other differences in our markets to deal with.

Plane fares to and from Australia are expensive, and jet lag means Aussie authors can’t nip over to the other side of the world for a weekend and function as well as someone who hasn’t just had their sleep cycle reversed. So when we do travel overseas we tend to stay longer, which means taking more time away from writing. Even something as simple as giving away a signed copies of your book is more costly than it is for our overseas counterparts, because postage ranges from the same or double the value of the book. But on the other hand…

Email, the world wide web and social media have overcome many of the problems of distance. Only in the latter is it obvious that an author is Australian, because of the time difference. This can be a bit frustrating, as conversations on Twitter, for example, often begin and end (and are Storified) before we Aussie wake up and can contribute. (Though this can be an advantage if it stops us leaping in before knowing all the facts!)

Digital publishing has also made more books available to us – and a lot more Aussie fantasy available to the rest of the world through small presses and self-publishing. It doesn’t overcome all problems of distance, as there are still territorial issues and sorting out epub and reader issues means getting help from overseas, which can be more difficult, but it has generally made it easier to reach a global audience.

So you can see there are many aspects and both advantages and disadvantages to being an Australian author who is successful overseas. What I love most is, wherever I go readers are so welcoming. They will go to extraordinary efforts to come and see me whenever I am in their home country, because they know that it might be a long wait until I am in their part of the world again. And meeting readers is my favourite part of being an author.

Aside from the writing part, of course!

Announcing SNAKEWOOD, a Fantasy Twenty Years in the Making

adrian selby -- cr selfSNAKEWOOD tells the story of the Twenty, a band of mercenaries being hunted down one-by-one by an unknown killer. We’re so excited to have acquired this debut epic fantasy tale from British author Adrian Selby, coming in 2016 – almost twenty years after he first put pen to paper! Which, if you think about it, is one year for every dead mercenary. Or is it? Who’s killing them anyway, and why? You’ll have to wait until early next year to find out . . .

Adrian says: “SNAKEWOOD is set in a world where magic is in the plant-life, concoctions of which, known as ‘fightbrews’, radically transform the capabilities and appearance of warriors at a terrible cost. In conceiving of this all those years ago, I knew the story I wanted to tell was focused on these soldiers and the price they pay for their brews and their sins. I can’t describe how delighted I am to have my debut published by Orbit.  Their passion and their support for SNAKEWOOD make me very excited about sharing the world that’s been in my head for twenty odd years with this other world I live in the rest of the time.”

And no, you won’t have to wait twenty years for the next one!

Meet Alex Marshall: author of the spectacular A CROWN FOR COLD SILVER

A CROWN FOR COLD SILVER (US | UK |AUS) is a particularly special new epic fantasy, and we’re thrilled to be releasing it today in hardcover, e-book and audio formats. NPR Books published a glowing review this morning, saying “It’s a vibrant book, and a generously lush one…A Crown for Cold Silver drags epic fantasy through the mud — but it does so with wit, wonder, and wisdom.”

A Crown for Cold Silver will grab you from its first bloody pages and surprise you many times over as unconventional hero and supreme badass Cold Zosia embarks on her quest to destroy those who have taken everything from her.  To celebrate the release of this spectacular story, we’d like you to meet the author, Alex Marshall!

How did the idea for A CROWN FOR COLD SILVER form – was it a particular scene or character that occurred to you, or was there a particular moment when you knew that this was the book you were going to write?

I work in a very linear fashion, so the first things that came to me became the first scenes in the book: the classic fantasy set-up of a bloodthirsty horde descending on a tranquil hamlet, but with an older woman as the sole survivor of the assault, instead of a young hero.

Is that something that appeals to you, subverting the tropes of the genre?

I’d say my chief concern is always to create interesting characters and present them with interesting problems. I do my best to let the characters determine the plot, whether that means subverting the conventions of the genre or playing along with them. That said, I’m trying to tell new stories here instead of just retelling old ones, so Crom help any innocent tropes that might get in the way.

There are so many formidable and fantastic characters in this book – a barbarian addicted to intoxicating insects, a shaman who eats demons for breakfast, a retired warrior queen who faked her own death – do you have favourites?

My favourite may be Zosia, the former warrior queen with the devilish canine companion, Choplicker – she’s the lynchpin to the whole novel, a very conflicted character, and writing her scenes was always intense and illuminating.

Read the full interview here.

Glenda Larke and Trudi Canavan Sweep Australian Awards

We’re excited to announce that Glenda Larke’s fantasy epic THE LASCAR’S DAGGER has won the Best Long Written Work 2014 in the Tin Duck Awards, as well as winning, in a tie with Trudi Canavan’s superb THIEF’S MAGIC, the Best Novel of 2014 in the Ditmar Awards!

The Tin Duck Awards are the Western Australian science fiction achievement awards, given out annually at Swancon. The Ditmar Awards are an Australia-wide award and are given out every year at Natcon, the Australian National Science Fiction Convention. Both are reader-voted awards.

Big congratulations go to Glenda, Trudi and all the other winners!

If you’ve already read and enjoyed THE LASCAR’S DAGGER and THIEF’S MAGIC, watch out for their sequels, THE DAGGER’S PATH (released January this year) and ANGEL OF STORMS (coming in November).

THE LASCAR'S DAGGER and THIEF'S MAGIC

Cover Launch: Clash of Iron and Reign of Iron

Angus Watson’s Iron Age trilogy burst onto the epic fantasy scene last September with AGE OF IRON, an action-packed adventure in which battle-hardened warriors take on a ruthless warlord and his sadistic druids. Today we’re proud to launch the next two covers in the series! CLASH OF IRON continues the story in April this year, and the epic finale REIGN OF IRON will end the series in September.

Read AGE OF IRON today, or see what people are saying…

‘Unflinchingly bloodthirsty and outrageously entertaining’ Christopher Brookmyre

‘It simply grabbed me by the throat and wouldn’t let go’ Bibliosanctum (five stars)

‘Watson’s tale is gore soaked and profanity laden – full of visceral combat and earthy humor, and laced with subtle magic’ Publishers Weekly

‘Would I read the next one? Yes, absolutely. Bring me my hammer, bring my beer, bring it on!’ SF Crowsnest

‘A fun and addictive read’ Fantasy Faction

CLASH OF IRON and REIGN OF IRONCovers by Larry Rostant, designed by Ceara Eliot.

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