Posts Tagged ‘fantasy’
- - July 29th, 2015
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!
- - July 23rd, 2015
Last month we introduced you to HOPE & RED—an upcoming adventure fantasy series we’re incredibly excited about! We’d like you to meet the author, Jon Skovron, and hear a little more about the novel.
Tell us a little about yourself.
I’m originally from Ohio, although I’ve since lived in Brooklyn, Seattle, and Pittsburgh. Now I live just outside DC, with my two sons and two cats. Rather than going to a regular college, I studied in the theater conservatory at Carnegie Mellon. But after a brief stint as a professional actor, I decided on the much more practical career of author. I started writing short SF&F stories in 2000, several of which were published in now defunct zines and online venues such as Baen’s Universe, where I had the honor of appearing in the same issue as Gene Wolfe. In 2006, my agent suggested I try my hand at this new craze called Young Adult, and my first YA novel was published in 2009. I’ve had two more YA novels published since, and my fourth comes out this August. HOPE & RED will be my first novel for grown-ups.
What is HOPE & RED about?
HOPE & RED takes place in an archipelago of islands called The Empire of Storms, with warrior monks, pirates, gang lords, science mages called biomancers, and a fair amount of monsters, violence, and mayhem. But as the title implies, this is ultimately a story about Hope and Red. They both lose their parents at a young age. Both are taken in by unconventional mentors who encourage them to transgress society, but in very different ways. Red is taught to become a thief and con artist in the urban slums, where he is fiercely loyal to his adopted neighborhood of Paradise Circle. Hope is secretly trained on a remote island as a warrior in an elite order that has specifically banned women. She seeks vengeance against the biomancer who murdered not only her parents, but her entire village.
When the biomancers team up with the gang lord of Paradise Circle to consolidate power, Hope and Red’s worlds come crashing together, resulting in a quest for justice that leads them all the way to the imperial palace.
Why did you decided to write HOPE & RED as an adult novel, rather than YA?
Don’t get me wrong. I adore writing YA, and will continue to do so. YA and adult Fantasy have a lot of similarities. But they also have some key differences. By nature, YA is all about teens. I wanted to write story that took these two characters from age eight all the way into adulthood. Also, YA is intensely story-focused. I love the lean efficiency of it. But this time I wanted to write a book where the world was rich and immersive, with a long, compelling history. Something you couldn’t see the edges of. I wanted characters that were complex and nuanced and broken. And frankly, I just wanted to write something R Rated, and not have to worry about gatekeepers.
There’s an lot of swashbuckling, sea-faring adventure in this book. Do you have any personal experience with sailing?
Quite a lot, actually. My grandfather was passionate about ships and sailing. When I was a boy, he often took me sailing for days on end. He taught me how to sail, of course, as well as all the parts of the ship, and odd little sailor adages that linger in my mind to this day. He was also a musician, so he’d often bring along his accordion, and we’d sing sea chanties once the sun went down.
HOPE & RED will be published next summer. For more news and updates, follow the author on Twitter.
- - July 17th, 2015
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.
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 »
- - June 30th, 2015
THE FIRST LAW TRILOGY is being released this September from Orbit! This is the original grim dark trilogy that inspired a new generation of fantasy writers. We envy the readers who have yet to meet the infamous barbarian Logen Ninefingers, the dashing Captain Jezal dan Luthar, the wizard Bayaz and the sinister Inquisitor Glokta for the first time…
Murderous conspiracies rise to the surface, old scores are ready to be settled, and the line between hero and villain is sharp enough to draw blood.
Ancient secrets will be uncovered. Bloody battles will be won and lost. Bitter enemies will be forgiven — but not before they are hanged.
The king lies on his deathbed, the peasants revolt, and the nobles scramble to steal his crown. Only the First of the Magi can save the world, but there are risks. There is no risk more terrible, than to break the First Law…
“Bloody and relentless.” – George R. R. Martin
“Delightfully twisted and evil.” – The Guardian
“Heroic fantasy without conventional heroes…Full of cynicism and wit.” – RT Book Reviews
“Bold and authentically original.” – Jeff VanderMeer
“Compelling characters, a complex plot, and style to burn.” – Strange Horizons
“There is a gritty edge to his world and an awareness of the human cost of violence that is very contemporary.” – The Times
“Truly wonderful.” – Forbes
Cover design by Laura Brett
- - June 29th, 2015
We pre-empted a manuscript a few months ago that we read and loved instantly. The reads were unanimous — it was perfect!! It reminded us of Brent Weeks’s original Night Angel Trilogy, mixed with a drop of Scott Lynch’s The Lies of Locke Lamora and the brilliant characterizations of Brandon Sanderson. But to be honest, we just fell in love with the characters, HOPE & RED. Red is a thief — and Hope is a trained warrior. Their meeting — and their adventures will become a legend. . .
So we are over the moon to introduce you to a new author in the adult world, Jon Skovron and his novel, HOPE & RED, which we will be publishing in the summer of 2016.
In a fracturing empire spread across savage seas, two young people from different cultures find common purpose.
A nameless girl is the lone survivor when her village is massacred by biomancers, mystical servants of the emperor. Named after her lost village, Bleak Hope is secretly trained by a master Vinchen warrior as an instrument of vengeance.
A boy becomes an orphan on the squalid streets of New Laven after drugs and disease take the lives of his bohemian parents. He is adopted by one of the most notorious women of the criminal underworld, given the name Red, and trained as a thief and con artist.
When a ganglord named Deadface Drem strikes a bargain with the biomancers to consolidate and rule all the slums of New Laven, the worlds of Hope and Red come crashing together, and their unlikely alliance takes them further than either could have dreamed possible.
- - June 23rd, 2015
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!
Skyborn, the first volume of a new series by David Dalglish, will be hitting shelves November 2015.
- - June 11th, 2015
The first round of voting for the David Gemmell Awards for Fantasy is done and dusted. The Orbit team is delighted to announce that THE BROKEN EYE by Brent Weeks (UK | US | AUS) is on the short list for the Gemmell Legend Award for best novel and AGE OF IRON by Angus Watson (UK | US | AUS) is up for the Morningstar Award for Best Debut Novel.
Winners will be announced at the Nine Worlds Geekfest in August and you can cast your vote here until Friday 17th July. Congratulations and good luck to all the shortlistees!
- - June 8th, 2015
Congratulations, Witcher fans, THE LAST WISH (US) by Andrzej Sapkowski is now a New York Times bestseller!
If you are new to the series, now is a great time to jump in and THE LAST WISH is a perfect place to start:
Geralt of Rivia is a witcher. A cunning sorcerer. A merciless assassin.
And a cold-blooded killer.
His sole purpose: to destroy the monsters that plague the world.
But not everything monstrous-looking is evil and not everything fair is good. . . and in every fairy tale there is a grain of truth.
Magic and war combine in this action-packed first book in the internationally bestselling Witcher series that inspired the video game. Also, be sure to check out the rest of the Witcher novels here.
Praise for the Witcher novels:
“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)
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!