Rob’s Blog o’Stuff
THE TROUPE by Robert Jackson Bennet
THE KING’S BLOOD by Daniel Abraham
RED COUNTRY by Joe Abercrombie
EXISTENCE by David Brin
BLACKOUT by Mira Grant
CALIBAN’S WAR by James S.A. Corey
SEEDS OF EARTH by Michael Cobley The Eli Monpress series by Rachel Aaron
Get acquainted with Orbit author Gail Carriger in the most recent episode of Sword & Laser! Gail joined Veronica and Tom for tea and to talk about her Parasol Protectorate series (starting with SOULLESS [US | UK | ANZ]) and other projects.
Orbit is going to New York Comic Con! We’ll be in the Hachette booth, #1027, with giveaways, raffles, and several author events, so be sure to stop by if you’re in town. Here’s the schedule of events:
Friday, October 12
1 PM: Kate Locke signing GOD SAVE THE QUEEN @ booth 1027
4 PM: Nicole Peeler signing TEMPEST’S FURY and TEMPEST RISING @ booth 1027
4 PM: Senior editor Devi Pillai will be on the panel “Publisher’s Paradise: Adult Publisher Spotlight” in Rm. 1A06
Saturday, October 13
12:15 PM: Nicole Peeler will be on the panel “Myth Mixology: How Urban Fantasists Create the Perfect Cocktail” in Rm. 1A08
1:30 PM: Creative director Lauren Panepinto will be on the panel “Ladies Who Steam: The Publishing Industry on Women in Steampunk” in Rm. 1A01
Sunday, October 14
11 AM: Michael J. Sullivan will be signing THEFT OF SWORDS @ booth 1027
4 PM: Michael J. Sullivan will be on the panel “The Brave New World of E-Book Publishing” in Rm. 1A07
We’ll also be running raffles every day of the convention, with prizes including books by Gail Carriger, Joe Abercrombie, Iain M. Banks, and Rachel Aaron. See you there!
Lilith Saintcrow launches a new steampunk series this August with THE IRON WYRM AFFAIR (US | UK | AUS). Adventure and intrigue lie in wait for detective duo Bannon and Clare as they try to unravel the mystery behind a string of murders targeting London’s geniuses. You can read the first chapter here and get a sense of Emma Bannon’s sharp wit. This novel is a ton of fun so we thought: what could be more fun than bringing two charming ladies like Gail Carriger and Lilith Saintcrow together to introduce this new novel?
Read on to find out several fun and interesting facts about Lilith and THE IRON WYRM AFFAIR and find out which character(s) Lilith would most like to slap.
About you, the Author!
Gail: Tea or coffee and how do you take it?
Lilith: Yes to both. Coffee I take as espresso with a little heavy cream, tea I take mostly with gingersnaps. But there’s nothing like a cuppa when the day’s going dreadfully.
Gail: Describe your personal style for author appearances.
Lilith: You mean other than the perfume of complete terror? I have dreadful social anxiety. Normally I’m in jeans, a T-shirt with no holes, boots, and eyeliner. I agonize over appearances, they’re nerve-wracking. I have to wear something I can run in if the zombie apocalypse occurs.
Gail: If I were to observe the writer beast in its native environment, what surprising thing might I see? What does the environment look like?
Lilith: A tall glass of water with a squirt of Key Lime juice in it. That’s my preferred drink while writing. Also, a statue of Ganesh the Remover of Obstacles as writer right next to my computer, and on the other side a bonsai tree. It used to be the Saddest Little Bonsai In All The World, because the cat wanted to chew on it, and on my desk is the one place the cat can’t get to it. So the bonsai is recovering now. Also, there are a bunch of 3×5 notecards with different notes and page numbers on them, and a Keep Calm and Carry On paperweight.
You’d think I’d be happy (and quite busy enough) worrying over the Orbit bookcovers, but I’m one of those designers that wants to try her hand at everything. Websites, branding, invites, and now, apps! I love working with Orbit because I really do get a chance to be there for the beginning of a project and say “hey, I can totally design an author app” and they believe me! Of course, then I need to go back to my desk and figure out how to actually do it, but that’s the fun part. And let me tell you, I had a hell of a lot of fun with this one.
It certainly wasn’t cool enough to have an author app that was just about books and excerpts (which, of course, are awesome, and included), we wanted to make a cool functional app that the fans of The Parasol Protectorate series (and any steampunk fans, really) would love and use everyday. So after brainstorming a lot of ideas, we came up with the idea of doing a super intricate interactive clock app that has the functionality of the standard apple clock, but is way way cooler. A Steampunk clock app.
As you can see in the screenshots below, we’ve got 3 clock skins: A Mechanical Clock with cool brass cogs and gears (and rotating cephalopods), a Steam-Powered Clock run by octopus power, and (my personal fave) a Tea Time Clock with drag-able teabags and spoons that develop your custom cup of tea, while letting you set a Tea Timer!
Our booksellers’ evening last Wednesday at the gorgeous Drink, Shop, Do was a glory to behold. See Gail’s report of the event here.
The steampunk event at Waterstones Nottingham last Friday was also a storming success, with around a hundred people in attendance - many attired in full costume - to pay tribute to the honourable Gail and fellow steampunk fashion icon Jema Hewitt. See below for some of the wonderfully impressive regalia displayed on the night:
Gail Carriger and Jema Hewitt (top left hand corner) as well as a whole host of other wonderful costumes at the steampunk event at Waterstones Nottingham
And whilst all this was happening in the UK, fans from across the world were sending us fabulous parasol photos for our very special teapot competition. See the final entries below (and earlier entries here and here), and tune back in this Friday 20th for the announcement of the winners!
Maria Diana Broughton's photo of the darling Ane Victoria and Eirin
The beautifully coy Kirsten
The delightfully daring Elizabeth Dixon
The just divine Jaymee
The heavenly Katelynn Hickman
Terry Kroenung's capturing of a feisty low-kick
And don’t forget that Gail is now off to swan around the rest of the European continent. See her tour details here!
We invite you to be so kind as to look below for some more entries to our competition to celebrate Gail Carriger‘s UK tour. What these lovely beauties are all hoping to win is a beautiful teapot or one of two tea strainers, which Gail signed for us when she graced the UK office with her presence on Wednesday. Be sure to send in your entry by 5pm UK time today to be in with a chance of winning. More entries and winners will be posted next week!
And don’t forget that tonight there will be a Steampunk Extravaganza held in Gail’s honour at the Waterstones in Nottingham. It looks like it’s turning out to be quite a party indeed . . .
Going to the RT Booklovers Convention? If so, you’ll run into some Orbit authors: Nicole Peeler, Kristen Painter, and Jaye Wells will be there, as well as new Orbit authors Amanda Carlson (whose Full Blooded [US | UK ] will be out in September) and Kate Locke (whose God Save the Queen [US | UK | ANZ] hits stores in August)! It runs April 11-15th in Rosemont, IL.
Speaking of conventions, you’ll find Nicole Peeler at Malice Domestic, and Jaye Wells at the North Texas Writers Conference. Both run April 27-29th.
Also, Gail Carriger will be touring across Europe this month! Her UK tour runs from April 8-14th, and then she’ll hit Stockholm, Budapest, and Barcelona. More details available at Gail’s website.
Sunday 8th April: EasterCon, Heathrow ~ panels: Meet the new king (same as the old king) ~ 11am, Room 12 | You got your robot elf sex in my SF ~ 3pm, Commonwealth | Multicultural steampunk ~ 9pm, Room 38
Monday 9th April: Foyles, Shaftesbury Avenue, London, 6.30pm ~ In association with Pornokitsch, a steampunk soirée with special guests at Foyles bookshop in Central London.
Friday 13th April: Steampunk Night at Waterstones, Nottingham ~ To commence at 6.30pm with Pimm’s & cake for a 7pm start. Special guest Jema Hewitt (author of Steampunk Emporium) and friends will be frequenting the event in full costume.
And finally, in the UK, EasterCon is this weekend, 6th to 9th April, at Heathrow, with Guest of Honour Tricia Sullivan; and Alt.Fiction is the following weekend, 14th and 15th April, in Leicester, with special guest Ken MacLeod.
Great Britain is honoured and privileged to announce that Gail Carriger shall be setting foot on our shores this April – for a gloriously grand UK tour. Orbit Books shall also be launching a frightfully wonderful competition to celebrate – where you can win this enchanting teapot. Read on for more . . .
For years Ms Carriger has resided in the colonies, supping on the finest of infusions imported from London, wearing the tiniest of hats and penning the novels which have brought her fame and fortune throughout the Empire: the Parasol Protectorate novels – most recently Timeless (UK | US | ANZ).
Yet now the time has come for this illustrious lady to return to the British Isles – and to greet the legions of fans waiting to pay tribute to her magnificent work.
You are all cordially invited to attend several splendid events taking place over the course of a week in April:
In coordination with the most honourable chaps over at Pornokitsch, Gail shall be hosting an exclusive steampunk soirée at Foyles bookshop in Central London. Climb into that corset, pull out your pocket watch and buff up your brass goggles – and pop along for a tipple or two and to get your book signed by her fair hand. This event is free but ticketed, so please send an email as soon as possible to firstname.lastname@example.org to obtain a cherished spot on this exclusive guest list.
Gail shall be speaking to a thoroughly privileged throng for another steampunk extravaganza at the Waterstones in Nottingham. Special guest Jema Hewitt (author of Steampunk Emporium) and friends will also be frequenting the event in full costume. The evening shall commence – as is only right – with Pimm’s & cake at 6.30pm for a 7pm start. This event is ticketed and costs £5, or £3 if you hold a Waterstones card, so please purchase them here in advance.
Now on to the competition. We are delighted to announce that whilst on her Grand UK Tour, Gail shall be signing three very special items for us to give away as prizes. The first prize is this darling teapot, and the two runner-up prizes are these twee tea strainers – all from the lovely shop Oliver Bonas.
All you have to do to be in with a chance of winning these prizes is send us a photo of yourself with a parasol or umbrella in a darling pose and send it to email@example.com. This is an Orbit worldwide competition, and we shall be posting the entries on the site. Ms Carriger herself will choose the winner and runners-up at the end of her Grand UK Tour on 13 April. See terms and conditions here.
And to show you just how easy it is, here are Orbiteers Anna Gregson, Emily Rowland and Rose Tremlett with a shining example (and no fear, they have honourably excluded themselves from winning):