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Cover launch: CHASING EMBERS by James Bennett

Chasing Embers by James Bennett, a contemporary fantasy novel perfect for fans of Ben AaronovitchDo you ever feel like there’s something more to your city than meets the eye?

Have you ever sensed a touch of magic simmering beneath the streets?

Do you ever wonder about the myths intertwined in our folklore – and whether there’s any truth to them?

You could just be right. Because this Autumn, something’s about to be let loose…

Today we can reveal the cover for CHASING EMBERS (UK/US/ANZ), a spectacular debut fantasy novel coming in September from author James Bennett.

If you’re a fan of the books of Ben Aaronovitch, Benedict Jacka, Jim Butcher and Kevin Hearne, this contemporary fantasy is about to sweep you off your feet . . .

Get ready to meet Red Ben Garston. He’s a rascal, a rogue and an anti-hero who will stand shoulder to shoulder (and likely end up in a tussle) with the likes of Harry Dresden, Alex Verus, Peter Grant and Atticus O’Sullivan. He’s got a chip on his shoulder and a very big secret hiding under his skin.

Intrigued? See the below info and stay tuned for more soon . . . It’s available for pre-order now.

Behind every myth there is a spark of truth.

There’s nothing special about Ben Garston. He’s just a guy with an attitude in a beaten-up leather jacket, drowning his sorrows about his ex in a local bar.
Or so he’d have you believe.

What Ben Garston can’t let you know is that he’s also known as Red Ben. He can’t let you know that the world of myth and legend isn’t as make-believe as you think, and it’s his job to keep that a secret. And there’s no way he can let you know what’s really hiding beneath his skin . . .

But not even Ben knows what kind of hell is about to break loose. Because a centuries-old rivalry has just resurfaced, and the delicate balance between his world and ours is about to be shattered.

Something’s been hiding in the heart of the city – and it’s about to be unleashed.

Orbit’s Urban Fantasy Covergram

Looking to recommend or discover the perfect urban fantasy book to keep you warm through the long winter months? Orbit has you covered with our covergram. Featuring a range of bestselling authors alongside newcomers to the genre, we’ve dissected the world of urban fantasy and re-assembled it so every reader can find their next book.

Click on the image below to see a full size version.

Urban Fantasy Covergram

 

If you can’t decide and would like a little bit of everything, try Charlie Fletcher’s delightfully dark adventure set in Victorian London, THE OVERSIGHT (US|UK |ANZ), which has garnered the praise ‘exciting, exhilarating, scary and moving in equal measure . .  . this feels like the start of something amazing’ from Mike Carey, and Cory Doctorow called ‘a dark and glinting book . . . told in a kind of compelling and hypnotic poesie that I just lapped up’.  The second book in the series, THE PARADOX (US|UK|ANZ) is out in paperback this month.

Is Urban Fantasy Dead? Or Undead?

We remember when urban fantasy first arrived on our shelves, but the genre has changed significantly since then. Are these stories still popular? If so, why? We asked some of Orbit’s authors for their take on the genre’s past, present and future.

Where does urban or contemporary fantasy come from?

JIM BUTCHER, author of the bestselling Dresden Files, as well as recent adventure fantasy THE AERONAUT’S WINDLASS

Butcher

‘Urban fantasy is nothing more or less than the resurgence of fairy tales. We’ve changed what our big bad wolves look and act like, and our forests appear somewhat different than they used to, and Little Red Riding Hood is generally much more heavily armed than she has traditionally been, but we’re telling the same stories, in the same ways, with the same emphasis on the fantastic and the terror and delight of its clash with our everyday world.

It’s the everyday reality that so many of us find terrifying – to such a degree that we flee to tales of vampires and werewolves and dark sorcerers just to lighten the mood.’

CHARLIE FLETCHER, author of THE OVERSIGHT and THE PARADOX

CharlieFletcher

‘People have always created stories to try and make sense of stuff they could neither see nor understand. ‘Urban’ fantasy is just a logical step since as society has become less rural and more metropolitan so the old dark woods of the old fairy-stories have been replaced by a sodium-lit concrete jungle. And of course we may have moved to the cities, but we brought our darkness with us.

There’s a lot of product jammed in under the urban fantasy label that doesn’t do it for me, but the books that do mean something to me are the ones that engage creatively with the inevitable transition from the old to the new world and deal with its consequences as a central part of the story (AMERICAN GODS by Neil Gaiman is a particularly fine and definitive example of this).’

What does the future of urban fantasy look like?

LILITH SAINTCROW, author of the Bannon and Clare Affairs and BLOOD CALL, as well as many other urban fantasy series

Lilith2

‘I think the last five years, as with any shiny new trend, have brought a certain amount of reader fatigue. Urban fantasy isn’t going away, but it’s not so much of a Wild West ‘let’s throw a vampire in there and hope it sticks!’ anymore. Which is very good, if sometimes frustrating when paranormal or urban fantasy is what you want to write.

After working in publishing for so long, I see “urban fantasy” as a genre title, nothing less, nothing more. There’s always a market for tales well told, and urban fantasy, like any genre, offers a set of tools and toys for a writer to play with.’

BENEDICT JACKA, author of the Alex Verus novels

BenedictJacka

‘I’d have trouble pinning down exactly how urban fantasy’s changed over the last five years, but I’m pretty sure that it’ll stay popular for the foreseeable future. The mash-up nature of urban fantasy lets it evolve easily, and the sources it draws on (comic books, games, epic fantasy) still have a lot of resonance for city-dwellers. So while I’d expect the type of urban fantasy stories to shift over time, I think the genre will stick around for a good while yet.’

PATRICIA BRIGGS, author of the Mercy Thompson series and the Alpha and Omega series

PatriciaBriggs2

‘There isn’t a reader appetite for urban fantasy the way there used to be. Five years ago, any book that was urban fantasy was guaranteed a certain number of readers. I think, and it is not a bad thing, that readers are pickier now. For me as a reader, right now, what I love about urban fantasy is that there are so many good storytellers working in this field. Good stories still work and can still find an audience, though it might take longer to find a readership than before.

One of the things that I actually like about this is that we are seeing more diversity in books that are published again. I love, love, urban fantasy. But I also love space opera, traditional fantasy, and contemporary fantasy – and those genres were getting drowned.’

ELLIOTT JAMES, author of CHARMING

ElliottJames

‘I like to read stories where the extra-ordinary and the ordinary mingle. Some people sneer at escapist literature, but “escape” implies relief, release, and freedom, none of which are bad things. Escape also inevitably holds a mirror up to the thing being escaped from.

Urban fantasy often gives ordinary characters a chance to demonstrate extraordinary qualities. It encourages readers to examine what it means to be human through contrast or by eliminating a lot of the obvious assumptions.

There have always been stories that introduced fantastical otherworldly elements into the everyday knockabout world that we humans optimistically call reality, and I expect there always will be.’

Jim Butcher’s THE AERONAUT’S WINDLASS: Cover Launch

Are you as excited about the launch of Jim Butcher’s new series as we are? THE AERONAUT’S WINDLASS (UK|ANZ) comes out 29th September, but you can preorder it today!

Filled with swashbuckling adventure, daring airship chases and thrilling swordfights, plus all the magic, wisecracking and dazzling heroics that make the Dresden Files so spectacular, this is not a series to miss. We’re very excited today to release our cover, by the fantastic Chris McGrath.

The Aeronaut's Windlass by Jim Butcher

Jim Butcher, the no.1 Sunday Times and New York Times bestselling author of The Dresden Files and the Codex Alera novels, conjures up a new series set in a fantastic world of noble families, steam-powered technology, and magic-wielding warriors . . .

Since time immemorial, the Spires have sheltered humanity, towering for miles over the mist-shrouded surface of the world. Within their halls, aristocratic houses have ruled for generations, developing scientific marvels, fostering trade alliances, and building fleets of airships to keep the peace.

Captain Grimm commands the merchant ship, Predator. Fiercely loyal to Spire Albion, he has taken their side in the cold war with Spire Aurora, disrupting the enemy’s shipping lines by attacking their cargo vessels. But when the Predator is severely damaged in combat, leaving captain and crew grounded, Grimm is offered a proposition from the leaders of Albion – to join a team of agents on a vital mission in exchange for fully restoring Predator to its fighting glory.

And even as Grimm undertakes this dangerous task, he will learn that the conflict between the Spires is merely a premonition of things to come. Humanity’s ancient enemy, silent for more than ten thousand years, has begun to stir once more. And death will follow in its wake . . .

Hugo Award Nominations

We’re thrilled that two Orbit books made the shortlist for this year’s Hugo Awards! Both Ann Leckie’s ANCILLARY SWORD (US | UK | ANZ) and Jim Butcher’s SKIN GAME (UK | ANZ) have been nominated for the Hugo Award for Best Novel.

ANCILLARY SWORD’s nomination follows Ann Leckie’s Hugo Award win last year for her debut ANCILLARY JUSTICE.

Congratulations to Ann, Jim, and the rest of the nominees!

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Launching into Orbit this month: March 2015

Dead Heat by Patricia Briggs

DEAD HEAT by Patricia Briggs

The next page-turning adventure in the compelling Alpha and Omega series, from No. 1 New York Times bestselling urban fantasy author Patricia Briggs.

Buy it now: UK | AUS

Read An Extract

Skin Game by Jim Butcher

SKIN GAME by Jim Butcher

The latest instalment in the Dresden Files comes to paperback – Skin Game is a number one Sunday Times and number one New York Times bestseller.

Buy it now: UK | AUS

Listen to an extract of the audiobook

Read An Extract

PRUDENCE by Gail Carriger

PRUDENCE by Gail Carriger

From New York Times bestselling author Gail Carriger comes a new novel in the world of the Parasol Protectorate starring Prudence, the daughter of Alexia Tarabotti.

Buy it now: US | UK | AUS

Read An Extract

Artefact by Jamie Sawyer

THE LAZARUS WAR: ARTEFACT by Jamie Sawyer

For fans of The Edge of Tomorrow, Alien and James S. A. Corey’s Expanse series comes an explosive new adventure set in space that will thrill science fiction fans worldwide. Jack Campbell, author of the Lost Fleet novels calls it ‘a gripping read that moves at warp speed.’ Out first in ebook.

Buy it now: US | UK

The Mechanical by Ian Tregillis

THE MECHANICAL by Ian Tregillis

Set in a world that might have been, of mechanical men and alchemical dreams, the new novel from Ian Tregillis confirms his place as one of the most original new voices in speculative fiction.

Buy it now: US | UK | AUS

Read An Extract

Jim Butcher to visit London, Manchester and Liverpool next month!

We release the paperback of Jim Butcher’s Number One Sunday Times bestselling SKIN GAME today, which seems like a fantastic time to announce some of the dates for Jim’s first ever UK visit! As well as appearing at Eastercon 2015 from 3-6 April, we can announce today that Jim will be appearing at:

Forbidden Planet, London (179 Shaftesbury Avenue, London WC2H 8JR) @ForbiddenPlanet
Tuesday 7th April, 6pm

Waterstones Deansgate, Manchester (91 Deansgate, Manchester M3 2BW) @WaterstonesMCR
Wednesday 8th April, 7pm

Waterstones Liverpool One (12 College Lane, Liverpool L1 3DL) @L1Geekery
Thursday 9th April, 6:30pm

There are more dates to be confirmed, so sign up below to stay up to date!

Sign up for updates on Jim Butcher’s UK Tour with exclusive news and giveaways

Announcing Jim Butcher’s New Series and UK Tour

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.

 *Butcher-licious? Butcher-ageous?

 

Goodreads Choice Awards: the Semi-Finals

The semi-final round of voting for the 2014 Goodreads Choice Awards is now open until 15 November, and we have ever more titles in this round than in the opening round! Get your votes in for your favourite fantasy, science fiction and horror books of 2014.

 

Fantasy – VOTE NOW

THE BROKEN EYE by Brent Weeks (UK | US |AUS)

SKIN GAME by Jim Butcher (UK | AUS)

NIGHT BROKEN by Patricia Briggs (UK | AUS)

SHATTERED by Kevin Hearne (UK | AUS)

TOWER LORD by Anthony Ryan (UK | AUS)

THE BROKEN EYE by Brent Weeks   SKIN GAME by Jim Butcher   NIGHT BROKEN   SHATTERED, the seventh Iron Druid book from Kevin Hearne, an urban fantasy series starting with Hounded   Tower Lord by Anthony Ryan

 

Science Fiction – VOTE NOW

CIBOLA BURN by James S. A. Corey (UK | US |AUS)

ANCILLARY SWORD by Ann Leckie (UK | US |AUS)

THE FIRST FIFTEEN LIVES OF HARRY AUGUST by Claire North (UK | US |AUS)

HEAVEN’S QUEEN by Rachel Bach (UK | US |AUS)

EARTH AWAKENS by Orson Scott Card and Aaron Johnston (UK | AUS)

Corey_CibolaBurn_HC   Leckie_AncillarySword_TPB   The cover for The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North, a Richard and Judy Book Club 2014 pick   HEAVEN'S QUEEN by Rachel Bach   Earth Awakens, book three of The First Formic War series by Orson Scott Card and Aaron Johnston - a prequel series to Ender's Game

 

Horror – VOTE NOW

THE GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS by M. R. Carey (UK | US |AUS)

THE RHESUS CHART by Charles Stross (UK | AUS)

The Girl With All The Gifts by M. R. Carey   THE RHESUS CHART by Charles Stross

 

Goodreads Choice Awards: The Opening Round

The initial round of voting for the 2014 Goodreads Choice Awards is open! Below are the selection of Orbit titles that we’re really proud to see have made the list.

Fantasy – VOTE NOW

THE BROKEN EYE by Brent Weeks (UK | US |AUS)

SKIN GAME by Jim Butcher (UK | AUS)

NIGHT BROKEN by Patricia Briggs (UK | AUS)

THE BROKEN EYE by Brent Weeks   SKIN GAME by Jim Butcher   NIGHT BROKEN

 

Science Fiction – VOTE NOW

CIBOLA BURN by James S. A. Corey (UK | US |AUS)

ANCILLARY SWORD by Ann Leckie (UK | US |AUS)

THE FIRST FIFTEEN LIVES OF HARRY AUGUST by Claire North (UK | US |AUS)

HEAVEN’S QUEEN by Rachel Bach (UK | US |AUS)

Corey_CibolaBurn_HC   Leckie_AncillarySword_TPB   The cover for The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North, a Richard and Judy Book Club 2014 pick   HEAVEN'S QUEEN by Rachel Bach

 

Horror – VOTE NOW

THE GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS by M. R. Carey (UK | US |AUS)

THE RHESUS CHART by Charles Stross (UK | AUS)

The Girl With All The Gifts by M. R. Carey   THE RHESUS CHART by Charles Stross

 

If your favourite Orbit title of 2014 isn’t listed, you can also still enter a write-in vote for it at the bottom of each genre page.

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