Posts Tagged ‘fantasy’
Trudi 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!
- - May 7th, 2015
SNAKEWOOD 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!
- - April 15th, 2015
We’re thrilled to be able to show you the cover for WAKE OF VULTURES: a rich, dark fantasy of destiny, death and the supernatural world beneath the surface, coming from Orbit in October 2015.
Cover design by Lauren Panepinto.
We are unbelievably excited for this truly one of a kind fantasy, and we know you will be too! Because as Chuck Wendig put it, “Hot damn, this book is good.”
Advance praise for WAKE OF VULTURES:
“I don’t care what else you’ve seen in the bookstore today. Buy this book because it’s the thrilling, delightfully written, and important one you’ve always wanted to read.”
— Kevin Hearne
“Wake of Vultures doesn’t just fly — it soars. Lila Bowen brings in a wild fantasy quite unlike anything I’ve ever read, with a voice that’s weird and wonderful. Bowen is truly a talent to watch. Hot damn, is this book good.”
— Chuck Wendig
“Sharp as a silver Bowie and unsentimental as a stray bullet, Lila Bowen’s Nettie Lonesome earns a place among the legends of the Weird West.”
— Matthew Stover
“Wake of Vultures is a ferocious, fascinating take on the magical Old West – creatively and unsentimentally grim, yet rich with hope and heart.”
— Cherie Priest
- - April 14th, 2015
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.
- - April 8th, 2015
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).
- - March 3rd, 2015
Today, Orbit US & UK are very excited to announce the international acquisition of a new trilogy called the Seraphim by David Dalglish, author of the Shadowdance novels. We’ll be publishing the first, Skyborn, this November. I asked David to tell me about about why he is so excited about.
“With, I get to start from scratch in a brand new world, and try out ideas that wouldn’t work in a more traditional fantasy setting. But not everything’s changing. I love throwing fireballs around, and I love intricate sword fights. It’s what I do. It’s what I’m good at. In the Seraphim books, you’ll experience aerial battles at break-neck speed between elite soldiers flinging ice and fire and lightning at one another before clashing with their blades. How can you not have fun with that?”
Sounds good? I know! You can’t wait till November? Don’t worry. I’m reading it now and I’m telling you — its worth the wait!
- - February 11th, 2015
We have two Butcher-tastic* announcements to share with you today!
The first is that Jim Butcher will be coming to the UK – he will be a Guest of Honour at Eastercon, Dysprosium, which is taking place in London from 3rd-6th April. In the days following he will be touring the country with exact dates yet to be announced. Watch this space!
We can also announce the publication date for THE CINDER SPIRES: THE AERONAUT’S WINDLASS, the first book in Jim’s brand new series of airborne adventure and mad sorcery. The book will be released in hardback and ebook on the 29th of September 2015 and it’s available to preorder now from major retailers.
In Jim’s own words, it’s “League of Extraordinary Gentlemen meets Sherlock meets Hornblower. There are goggles and airships and steam power and bizarre crystal technology and talking cats, who are horrid little bullies.”
For all the latest updates on the new series and the UK tour, become a fan of Orbit UK on Facebook, and sign up to our newsletter.
- - February 11th, 2015
We’re feeling pretty good (one might even say a little smug) about launching this gorgeous cover by Lauren Panepinto, for Tom Holt’s newest comic fantasy, THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE SMUG. The only bad news is, you’ll have to wait until 28th July to read it…
Same as the Old Evil, but with better PR.
Mordak isn’t bad, as far as goblin kings go, but when someone, or something, starts pumping gold into the human kingdoms it puts his rule into serious jeopardy. Suddenly he’s locked in an arms race with a species whose arms he once considered merely part of a calorie-controlled diet.
Helped by an elf with a background in journalism and a masters degree in being really pleased with herself, Mordak sets out to discover what on earth (if indeed, that’s where he is) is going on. He knows that the truth is out there. If only he could remember where he put it.
- - January 27th, 2015
How many adventurers to does it take to bring a corrupt city to its knees? Read THE CITY STAINED RED by Sam Sykes and you’ll find out! This action-packed adventure fantasy is the kind of story that once you start, it’s impossible to put down. So whether you’re buried under a few feet of snow right now or just craving a new book to sink your teeth into, check it out in print and e-book!
More about the story:
After years in the wilds, Lenk and his companions have come to the city that serves as the world’s beating heart.
The great charnel house where men die surer than any wilderness.
They’ve come to claim payment for creatures slain, blood spilled at the behest of a powerful holy man.
And Lenk has come to lay down his sword for good.
But this is no place to escape demons.
Praise for THE CITY STAINED RED:
“Action fantasy with soul-albeit a small, dirty, funny soul.”—Brent Weeks
“Insouciant, unrepentant and irrepressible adventurers in a powder keg of a city. And that’s just how the story begins.”—Robin Hobb
“Sykes has put the fun back in fantasy with fantastical creatures and a lovable crew of malcontents. The City Stained Red is like David Eddings meets Conan the Barbarian.”—Brian McClellan, author of Promise of Blood
“Sam Sykes continues to reinvent the fantasy adventuring party in a vibrant world of rude magic and good intentions gone bad. Bold and exuberant, never cynical, Sykes fights the good fight on behalf of rich fantasy that nonetheless refuses to apologize for being kick-ass fun.”—Scott Lynch
“Excitement, vivacity, and sly wit… simply impossible not to enjoy.”—RT Book Reviews (4.5 Stars)
- - December 9th, 2014
Today we celebrate the US publication of The Inheritance Trilogy omnibus, which includes the novels THE HUNDRED THOUSAND KINGDOMS (US | UK | AUS), THE BROKEN KINGDOMS (US | UK | AUS), and THE KINGDOM OF THE GODS (US | UK | AUS). Since their first publication, these books have received critical acclaim and many award nominations, including the Nebula and Hugo Award. They are an absolute must-read for fantasy fans, containing the excellent world building and superb characters that every one of N.K. Jemisin’s books is known for. As a special treat, this omnibus also includes a brand-new novella in the Inheritance Trilogy world, THE AWAKENED KINGDOM! You can also purchase the novella by itself wherever e-books are sold.
Last night, we hosted our latest Google+ Hangout: The New Classics of SFFF with N.K. Jemisin and Ann Leckie. If you missed it, you can watch a video of it on Youtube. It’s a fascinating discussion of the evolution of language, the SFF genre, and much more. Enjoy!